L.A.'s Anime Expo Issues Safety Reminders, Offers Ice Water During Heat Wave

Anime Expo - Getty - H 2018
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North America's largest celebration of anime is prepared to welcome fans dressed in heavy cosplay and makeup.

Triple-digit temperatures haven't intimidated visitors to Los Angeles' Anime Expo (AX) from donning colorful cosplay and attending the annual celebration of animated media, renowned for being the largest anime convention in North America. Attendees this year are dressing up in impressive homages to My Hero Academia and Shadowverse, as always. 

Still, organizers for the L.A. Convention Center-set event say they are issuing weather updates and safety advice after Friday saw record-setting temperatures in multiple parts of the city and temperatures continued to edge past 100 degrees Saturday.

"We have been using the the Anime Expo mobile app and social media several times a day and leading up to the event to communicate current weather conditions, remedies for battling the heat and reminders to hydrate," a representative for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, which organizes the event, wrote Saturday in an email.

On Friday, for instance, the Anime Expo 2018 app announced that temperatures were expected to reach 102 degrees outside the venue and reminded attendees that the convention offers water bottle refill stations. "Stay safe and hydrated!" one told visitors Friday.

As those Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball get-ups and makeup can get heavy, attendees were also told to take the heat into consideration when planning their costumes. 

Once inside, attendees can expect to be quite cool: AX worked with the L.A. Convention Center to ensure that air conditioning in the complex would be running at maximum capacity across the event's run. "Today, all the Halls are cool and comfortable," the SPJA representative wrote.

Those waiting on lines outside in punishing weather to get into the convention, meanwhile, are being offered ice water by AX and free fans from exhibitors. The SPJA said AX is moving lines as quickly as possible to keep fans out of the heat.

In 2017, over 100,000 attended AX, while nearly 115,000 are expected to arrive this year. Could the promise of Convention Center air conditioning be bringing more fans into the Expo? The SPJA representative said that "at this point, we can't tell if A/C is a driving factor for anyone."