Anime Impulse at the Asian-American Expo 2016

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Talk about a last minute decision. I already had IMATS that same weekend. I heard about Anime Impulse on Facebook. Someone clicked "I'm Interested" and it popped up on my feed. I'm all for anime conventions, you know that. But at first, I told myself that I wasn't going. That I could not go. But what finally pushed me to go were two things:

  • Food trucks: Okamoto Kitchen and Seoul Sausage
  • Artists Alley
It's been a hot minute since I last had the Lil Osaka from Seoul Sausage and every single delicious goodness from Okamoto Kitchen. Seriously guys, I recommend everything from both trucks. Have White Rabbit Truck and Belly Bombz there with them and we'll have a feast! WonderCon maybe? Anime Expo? ;-)

And Artists Alley. It used to be something that I completely skipped. I didn't even venture into that area on my first Comikaze. Or WonderCon. Anime Expo, I saw the light because of a friend we were showing around. I bought my prized Yuyu Hakusho print and my wall has never been the same ever since. I asked my brother if he wanted to go and the first stop he checked out as the artist list. For $11 per person per day... we both decided to go.

What we didn't realize that it was part of a waaaay bigger expo. The $11 ticket was good for the rest of the Asian-American Expo. That, my friends, was overwhelming. Anime Impulse is a baby convention. I believe this was the first one...? Tons of room for improvement! 

They actually invited Chad Future. Lawl. He was there on Saturday but I went Sunday. I saw the guy at KCON 2013. Oh well. The K-pop segment would've been fun for me. But hey, I had my eyes set on the Artist Alley. We weren't really interested in anything else. (James Chen was there on Saturday too. Pfft, my brother kept missing meeting him. One day.) But it's always fun to look at cosplayers. I didn't cosplay. But I found a Yui (K-On!!) cosplayer. That gave me ideas.

There really isn't much to say. It's a very new anime convention and I see it growing every year. It still looked pretty bare. The artist alley was definitely the biggest area there. I wish they put the Maid Cafe closer to the front than the very back of the ~warehouse. Or they could flip the set up. Have the main stage deeper into the room. It was right beside the entrance and it wasn't very good for the audio. I appreciated the little rest area in the middle together with the charging stations.

The art selection is limited but we were so pumped to find some treasures. Aside from food (and some Peripera stuff from the AA Expo), this was all we picked up:

Look at the pretty!

That incredible Rurouni Kenshin and Studio Ghibli prints are from Cassandra Nguyen. The adorable Street Fighter piece is by Mylene Aslarona. And that awesome Kingdom Hearts watercolor print is from a familiar artist, Pascual Productions.  I've wanted to own some of his stuff since seeing them for the first time at the 626 Night Market some years ago.

Even though this was a small convention, cosplayers were out in full force. I even saw a Yui Hirasawa from K-On!! I want to cosplay her as well but I'm a leftie so Mio is a better choice. We'll see if I can add her to my lineup.

But the cosplay to end all cosplays is... baby Chun-Li!

She just stole everyone's hearts with her cuteness! Chun-Li is pretty popular with cosplayers. She's just the cutest!

There was also a mini car show in front of the Anime Impulse building. A lot of people were just hanging out there, eating, resting, taking a break. We ended up exploring the whole Asian-American Expo instead of just Anime Impulse. There were so many food stalls and random stuff! Really, it was 95% Asian out there. XD  All the food totally reminded me of 626 Night Market which cannot come any sooner. OMG I miss it so much!

We left kind of early than planned because my brother wasn't feeling well. I wish I bought one more bag of kettle corn though. I originally wanted to stay because the Gosengfiao sisters had a panel at 4pm. I'm not so familiar with them but they're Filipino so... support? I wanted to but we were all walked out and just munching on kettle korn and boba.

Tickets for Anime Impulse 2017 are already on sale. I might go again but I'm holding off buying tickets right away. After all, it's super affordable. This year was a last minute decision and looks like next year is going to be the same. Pomona is not as close to me as the Los Angeles Convention Center so I also have to consider that. But the Asian-American Expo has fooooood. OMG.

I'd love to see you grow, Anime Impulse. Hopefully, we'll see each other next year!

I recommend all the goodness right here.