Of course the biggest draw of Anime Expo, outside of all the great cosplay (look for a future TR feature on that), is the dealers' room! So here's a little photo tour through the anime sturm und drang.
First up is the enormous booth for Viz Media, promoting Ranma ½ of all things.
What is this, Anime Expo 1994? Still, it's cute to see Ranma ½ mentioned at all in midst of all the hype for the latest anime fad that'll disappear after six months.
I took this picture because it looks like Naruto is trying to munch on this dude's head.
Following that is the sweet, sexy allure of the Bandai booth, which is chock full of awesome toys of cool things I could never afford unless I sold most of my organs, vital or otherwise.
Speaking of toys, it always brings me a small amount of joy to see some guy hawking action figures of forgotten anime series of the 90's. And here's All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku! Not exactly worth 25 bucks of my hard-earned money, but definitely worth a picture.
And what else is there to do with said hard-earned money than to waste it on anime cels? That Nausicaa cel in the bottom-right will set you back only 4 grand. Still worth it.
Grr! Damned cels and toys are too expensive! It creates a desire within me to stab everybody! Good thing there are a plethora of sword vendors.
If I'm going to go out in a blaze of stabbing glory, might as well make it convention appropriate by using Dark Link's Master Sword. This picture comes with a free Bonus Fedora in the bottom left corner!
Not a fan of killing people in cold blood with metal? How about wood? Yessir, a wooden Master Sword should fit the bill! Or just give you a bunch of splinters.
Sweet! Porno! Hentai by the boatload! Thank goodness they censored the naughty bits with little hearts, for the sake of snarky blogs like this one.
Not a fan of Hentai, but still want that warm n' fuzzy feeling on the inside? Try some Harry Potter Snuggies!
OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS BIG HAIR GIRL THING DOING
Oh, she's just texting. Probably something like "My hair is huge, LOL. Also this weirdo with a phone just took a picture of me for the purpose of jocular insight, should I sue?"
And now we move on to the Artist's Alley, where fan artists and everyone else who couldn't afford space on the main show floor rents a booth to hawk their wares.
It's where you'll find some cool stuff like this neato fanart for the obscure Nintendo DS game Ghost Trick!
Or these cool Evangelion-themed prints!
Or handmade dakimakura, or "hug pillows," featuring half-naked men from popular cult TV shows!
Or handmade dakimakura with half-naked men from TV shows! Oh wait, I did that already.
Well, Anime Expo, we had some fun this year. Let's do it again in 2015. Just, y'know, try not to make me wait outside in the heat so much. And try to get things done on time. Damn it.
Previously by Brian Hanson:
TR at E3: 7 Signs Nintendo is in Panic Mode, and Why That's Awesome
The 10 Worst American "Anime" Ripoffs