With the first impact of Japan Expo down in the history books, lets discuss the experience that is JX. No VIP/ Press badges here, I bring you the experience straight from the eyes and tired legs of the normal attendee. I bring you: THE LINE-CON REPORT!
On all days, the at con registration was a breeze, short line, in and out, not much to say. No two or one hour long wait lines (I’m looking at you AX and especially Fanime).
Since I bought the premium pass at 0830, there was a small line, but nothing major and we were in very quickly. Many of the attendees, once inside, promptly went to the autograph ticket line. Most of the convention booths were setting up, which was a bummer since that pretty much negates the whole purpose of the premium badge and entering early. Once 0900 rolls around there was a slightly longer line for the autograph line, but not much longer. People got their autograph tickets. Autograph line was as efficient as the autograph ticket line, and didn’t take that long to get autographs. Panel and concert wise, no complaints here. The rooms were never more than half way full, and people filed in efficiently.
Same as in Friday, but now with 3X as much people, and one days worth of prior experience. The lucky premium badge holders got a no stress autograph ticket line. By the time the regular attendees came in, the line to get Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s autograph ticket line took a total of 2.5 hours to claim all the tickets. At the actual autograph signing, it took 1.5 hours for each of the two signings to sign all the autographs for Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. Sadamoto-sensei was not the only crazy line for the day– Iwamoto and Kozake both had intensely long lines. However, Sadamoto takes the trophy for the longest line of the Line-Con. His line was the only one that got cut short due to the sheer number of people. Likewise, there were many disappointed fans. There were still rampant cutting between lines, as one dedicated granny otaku has shown me (she brought her own chair; now that’s dedication!). Panels and concerts were all barely half full.
Sunday saw crowds on the scale of Friday’s attendance. Easy to walk the aisles, and barely saw anyone there. Sadamoto-sensei’s autograph sessions were still the longest, but most of the tickets were given out to mainly the premium badge holders as the line for the tickets closed down around 0930. Otherwise a pleasant day today.
Overall, Line-Con, First Impact, was a walk in the park. Not bad for a major anime convention, transplanted onto US soil. Being the first of many years of great Japan Expos in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area, CA region, I can only assume it will only get worse from this point on. Longer lines, and more complaints of unfairness will be in JX’s future. But for this First Impact, I give it an above average, (awesome!) rating. This convention is a demonstration to AX and Fanime on how to effectively manage their lines, and how to efficiently move people around. I await the Second Impact.