Anime Expo Day 0: Registration, guest of honor interviews, voltage media event

Jesus Figueroa
Shenron the legendary dragon from Dragon Ball Z. (Photo by Jesus Figueroa)
Written by Jesus Figueroa

Anime Expo 2015 prepares to start as thousands of people line up at the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 1, one day before the convention starts, to pick up their badges early.

While industry professionals and vendors set up in the main hall, thousands of anime fans pick up their badges, schedules and goodie bags to prepare for the four-day event.

Guests of honor spent the day talking with press and preparing for AX2015.

A veteran to AX voice actor Kyle Hebert, voice of Gohan in Funimation's "Dragon Ball Z" English dubs, prepares for the largest convention to date.

"I heard the first AX had 300 people. To see it grow in leaps and bounds and max out at 80,000 people, we are going to get to the point where it's like a comic-con situation," Hebert said. "You have people from around the globe who save money to come to an event of this size in California."

New comer to AX voice actor Ben Diskin, best known for voicing Death Gun in "Sword Art Online II" and Umino in Viz media's "Sailor Moon" English Dub, was eager for the convention to start.

"I like doing Anime alot because it you all the time," Diskin said. "You just have to stay in the moment and stay in character. I like that kind of energy."

Animation producer LeSean Thomas, known for TV animated shows like "The Boondocks" and "Black Dynamite," is thrilled to be among people who enjoy animation as much as he does.

"I think the people who are creating content now, who are in their late 20s early 30s, who are in that generation, who are creating content, are pulling back to nostalgia," Thomas said.

Romance app developer Voltage, LLC held a media event at L.A. chapter at the Ace Hotel in Hollywood to promote their newest romance simulation app "My Forged Wedding."

The company's representatives were there to talk to attendees and guide them through a short demonstration of the apps.

Attendees played a trivia and puzzle game to which included the "My Forged Wedding" app.

With so much going on throughout AX each guest of honor is looking forward to different parts.

"This AX, I wouldn't mind bumping into Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley, considering that KISS is singing with one of the Japanese bands," Hebert said. "I was a huge KISS fan in the ’70s growing up. Just to shake their hands would be great. I'd turn total fan boy."

The diversity of the people who attend AX is another reason this convention stands out among others.

The anime community which comes out in support of the Japanese culture, of anime fans and of nerd culture in general is astonishing.

"What I love about AX compared to other conventions, I've been to comic con and mostly comic book conventions, but Anime Expo, to me, seems to be where the youth of America spends alot of their time," Thomas said. "That's where the youth is, you can see it. There are so many young kids and teenagers who are so enthusiastic about characters who are fictional."

What convention would be complete without the people in cosplay?

Many people in cosplay will be walking the convention center.

"My favorite part about attending AX is probably the cosplay," Diskin said. "I'm not good at dressing up and making costumes, so it's really cool to see some of the wild and extravagant things we will see here."

Check back for the official Day 1 post. Day 1 includes KISS, Momoiro Clover Z, cosplay and more.

A full story on Herber, Diskin and Thomas will be up soon.

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