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Anime Expo 2002 on Film

This year I tagged up with old acquaintance DSO (the self-proclaimed Dirty Smelly Otaku, dedicated to make everyone else's fandom seem far less disturbing) in sharing photo-taking duties. The photos on this page were taken by the DSO (who apologizes for the quality of the pics, since he can't work a camera). If you see yourself in any of these photos and wish to be removed from this webpage just send a message to alseides and I will do so as soon as possible. Also, if you folks can help me identify some of the mystery cosplayers so I can label the pics, feel free to send me a message. And finally, if you hold your mouse over certain images, my personal comments, if any, will appear. Thanks to Jesse for the scanning, graphics work, HTML, and image hosting! Enjoy the gallery!

The line for the opening ceremonies... I think I was still on the plane flying into LAX Matsubara and Goda, the gods who brought the Ah! My Goddess anime to life! NuTech Digital, a new player among US anime companies that specializes in hentai, actually casts established American adult film stars for their English dub voices Because she wasn't here this year for him to stalk, Dirty Smelly Otaku nearly stole this Kikuko Inoue plaque from the M&I Art Gallery booth as a momento Jesse wasn't done with just one signed cel, getting autographs from Rurouni Kenshin creator Watsuki and Noir director Mashimo as well! I wanted to show my friend Lisa Bay and everyone in the Midwest that anime wasn't just some underground fad with only a handful of fans During the Matsubara and Goda panel, some bonehead asked a question about Kikuko Inoue, even though she wasn't there! Jesse gets caught by the Anime Jungle girls while shopping for Comic Party UFO catcher dolls for Lisa Once again, several die-hard otakus stayed up from 3 AM in the morning for the open autograph session As a big cel collector, Jesse was able to get many of his expensive cels autographed My best friend from UCI, Brian Garvey (left), waits in the line for opening ceremonies with my old UCLA roommate, Jesse Mai.  It's amazing they caught each other in the middle of the AX chaos.  Believe it or not, Brian is actually cosplaying (as who, I don't remember).
An old friend from UCLA, Robyn Mukai, cosplays as ballroom Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII.  I swear, Rinoa must be her favorite character
Rhona Medina, former president of the UCLA Anime Club, now is president of marketing for Urban Vision Entertainment
After 2 days of cosplaying as Keitaro & Mitsume from Love Hina, Lisa and I were glad to be dressed in civvies once again
These talented girls played string versions of anime & game themes throughout the convention During this panel, we tried to take a picture of Matsubara and Goda with Jesse's prized Belldandy cel, but some blockhead got in the way of the photo! Of course, no one could measure up to Tetsu (looks like a yakuza, doesn't he?), the manager of the Anime Jungle store in downtown Los Angeles Having Matsubara and Goda autograph this gorgeous AMG Movie cel of Belldandy was worth the long hours of missing sleep! It's amazing, but this still isn't nearly everything that got autographed this year! The Tokyopop booth featured a real Toyota AE86, like the one from Initial D, complete with the Fujiwara Tofu Shop sticker!  I heard the car actually belongs to a former Cal Animage Epsilon member (maybe even Jerry Chu from Bandai!) Yoko Ishida (far right), singer for several anime themes, sits with 2 of her dancers to promote the Para Para Max anime dance albums In the dealers room, there was some great fan art on display and for sale, including this sexy painting of Mizuho from Onegai Teacher Ah, the sweet taste of victory (and 21 hours of insomnia)! My last evening at AX2002, enjoying dinner with Lisa, Jesse, and the Dirty Smelly Otaku at Pasta Presto in Long Beach


The Paper & Joker from READ OR DIE Sesshoumaru from INU YASHA The prettiest Miaka (in Suzaku robes) from FUSHIGI YUUGI that I've ever seen Ai Hayakawa from FINAL FANTASY UNLIMITED Sanzo from GENSOMADEN SAIYUKI If you can identify this character, please e-mail me.  Thanks! Alucard from HELLSING Haruko from FLCL (Furi Kuri) Vash The Stampede from TRIGUN Dan Hibiki from STREET FIGHTER ZERO Belldandy from AH! MEGAMI-SAMA If you can identify these characters, please e-mail me.  Thanks! Subaru & BT from .hack//SIGN Rabi-En-Rose from DI GI CHARAT Minako (Sailor Venus) from SAILOR MOON Mature & Vice from KING OF FIGHTERS Elk from ARC THE LAD Sumire from SAKURA TAISEN Chii & Freya from CHOBITS Wow! A brave girl (top left) dressed as J-pop idol Ayumi Hamasaki (one of her album cover costumes) standing alongside Link from ZELDA & two other cosplayers The Great Saiyaman (Son Gohan) from DRAGONBALL Benimaru from KING OF FIGHTERS Miyu from VAMPIRE PRINCESS MIYU Ryudo from GRANDIA 2 D & Leila from the VAMPIRE HUNTER D BLOODLUST movie Dilandau from the ESCAFLOWNE MOVIE: A GIRL IN GAEA Martina Zoana Mel Navratilova & Lina Inverse from SLAYERS NEXT Hikaru Shidou from MAGIC KNIGHTS RAYEARTH Goku from DRAGONBALL Minako (Sailor Venus) from SAILOR MOON Hikaru, the fighting angel from ANGELIC LAYER Boogiepop from BOOGIEPOP PHANTOM Kuno from RANMA 1/2 Stahn Aileron from TALES OF DESTINY Meryl (whose guns were confiscated at LAX, I guess) & Milly from TRIGUN If you can identify this character, please e-mail me.  Thanks! Sango from INU YASHA Sai from HIKARU NO GO Azusa & Yohko from MAMONO HUNTER YOHKO Sha Gojyo from GENSOMADEN SAIYUKI & Kaori from LAST BLADE 2 If you can identify this character, please e-mail me.  Thanks! Some Japanese anime shops like Anime Jungle actually have their own official cosplay costumes, just like in the Comic Party anime!

Auron (FINAL FANTASY X), Squall (FINAL FANTASY VIII), & Cloud (FINAL FANTASY VII) show off their trusty blades I suppose Dota & Chocolate Misu from BAKURETSU HUNTER are giving up chasing sorcerors in favor of hunting down the undead from Hellsing If you can identify these characters, please e-mail me.  Thanks! A really impressive gathering of the heroes from DIGIMON An exchange program has apparently begun between students from Ohtori Academy (SHOUJO KAKUMEI UTENA) and Eriol Academy (ANGELIC LAYER) Yuna, Lu Lu, & Tidus from FINAL FANTASY X Athena, Leona, & Hinako from KING OF FIGHTERS, wearing cheerleader outfits based on a famous Neo Geo Freak magazine cover Bloodberry, Cherry, & Lime from SABER MARIONETTE J Seigram (or Larva from VAMPIRE PRINCESS MIYU?) with Xelloss & Filia from SLAYERS A Kenshin-gumi from RUROUNI KENSHIN Usagi & Ami (Sailor Mercury) from SAILOR MOON Stormtroopers & Princess Leia from STAR WARS ???