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20th annual Anime Expo comes to Los Angeles

July 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A convention that celebrates Japanese animation drew quite a crowd to downtown Los Angeles. Monday was the final day of the 20th annual Anime Expo.

"It is geek culture," said self-proclaimed geek specialist Melinda Gray. "We don't have social skills, that's why we only talk to each other. The words we say only make sense in our special geek language."

No matter what you are wearing, you are a warmly welcomed by Parker Shaw.

"I'm the registration candy fairy," said Shaw. "I give out candy to everybody and that makes them really friendly to me."

All aspects of Japanese animation were celebrated at this convention, where attendees simply went by their character's name.

Convention goers often walked up to complete strangers, took photos, and asked them to pose as their character.

There's a big business in all of these costumes. This is the second biggest convention in all of Los Angeles, only after the car show.

"It's safe to say anime and Japanese pop culture is really growing in America," said Kim Groomes from the Anime Expo. "As you can see from the 120,000 people this weekend."

Two hundred companies were represented as well as more than 400 artists- that artwork was on everything from cards to cars.

"We have people from all walks of life coming here," said Groomes. "Old, young, people from all different ethnicities that's what's cool. It' a really accepting fan base."

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