Anime Impulse 2020 Review: The Ideal Fire Emblem Experience

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So naturally, when a convention has over 14 people from Fire Emblem: Three Houses it will get my undivided attention.  This was an event in Pomona, CA and is part of another event called the Asian American Expo where a ticket to either the expo or Impulse will grant you entry to both events.  Anime Impulse was the first of three conventions that make up my honeymoon with me and my wife and I cannot wait to go into my thoughts about it.

Guests:

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I applaud the guestlist for this convention.  I have never been to a convention that has had a guest list that indulged my favorite fandom, Fire Emblem, as much as Anime Impulse.  All of the actors featured above were in the game and they still did not make up the entire Fire Emblem roster that appeared at this event.  Furthermore, for several of these individuals, this was their first-ever con appearance. Every announcement by Anime Impulse was an exciting experience for me and a stressful one my wallet, or rather it was till I got to the event and saw that most of the prices were one item free and each subsequent item was $10.  If that wasn’t enough the guests signed two at a time so you would wait in a line and get to meet two people in Fire Emblem at the end of it so for a guest with so many amazing people it was nice to only wait in half as many lines.  Furthermore, the guests signed for three to four hours a day.  So even though it was a two-day con the guests signed more at this event than what you would normally find at other anime conventions. If that wasn’t enough the guest list also included a lot of people famous for non-Fire Emblem roles like Aleks Le famous for Demon Slayer and Brandon Winckler from Sword Art Online.

Panels:

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This convention did not have a lot of panels, but the panels it did have were really good ones.  This event knew it had a lot of people from widely popular franchises from Fire Emblem to Jojo to Miraculous Ladybug so the con provided panels with interviews featuring its massive guest lists that make up those fandoms.  In fact, the convention had not one, but two Fire Emblem panels and both of them were amazing.  The panels also took place in the back of artist alley so it was really easy to enjoy the panel without having to worry about not getting a seat.  That does go into my one and the only downside to the panels was the lack of chairs.  On day one the panel area did not have anywhere to sit at but that was fixed on day two. The convention also did an event called the Fire Emblem power hour which allowed fans to just run down a row of Fire Emblem voice actors and high five them all.  It was an amazing experience for sure.  That’s why I did it twice.

Staff:

The staff was incredibly nice.  They were really quick to help people get to where they wanted to go, especially when there were so many autograph lines near each other they were quick to direct people to which line they were trying to get to.  The really great thing about the staff was how they just created a positive experience for everyone. The staff was really friendly and very approachable so they really helped to add to an already great event.

Vendors/Artist Alley:

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I really enjoyed shopping at this event. The area was a little crowded at times but at no point was it difficult to get around. There were a lot of cool things all over and there were a lot of cosplayers selling prints so it was really great looking around at all of the stuff for sale.  The variety was nice and we even found a reversible Ditto/Snorlax plushy from Pokemon for my Wife and she absolutely loved it. You could also get your face painted on a Toyota and look for special badges all over the con floor.  I managed to get the badge that featured Chris Hackney and Joe Zieja, voices of Dimitri and Claude of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and just loved it.

Food:

I’ve never taken the time to mention food in my previous reviews because I actively avoid eating at conventions.  Usually, the food is subpar quality for insanely high prices; however, this event was a huge exception.  As I mentioned earlier, this event is part of the Asian American Expo and there are over 80 vendors that featured a wide variety of meals.  My wife and I couldn’t help ourselves and we tried a few of these vendors out and loved the results.  We wound up eating almost exclusively at the con and the prices were very fair.  We actually found drinks for $1.

Overall:

This was a very well-executed event and it was very budget-friendly.  The hotel, autograph prices, and meals were very reasonably priced and the only thing I really had to splurge on were the flights to get to the event. As a Fire Emblem fan, this event nearly overwhelmed me in so many ways.  I remember back in 2012 where I was the only person anywhere near my area who pre-ordered Fire Emblem: Awakening and now in 2020 I’m at a convention that features more Fire Emblem voice actors than any other convention and brought together a massive Fire Emblem community. I was deeply saddened when this event was over because I was just having that much fun. I hope my blog one day picks up enough that I get considered as a guest for cons because I would be a guest at this event in a heartbeat for sure. I will go back to this event,  I don’t know when maybe even next year but I’m going back to Impulse for sure.

Message to Impulse:

Another new thing that I’ve never done before, but I actually hope the convention reads this review.  Thank you Anime Impulse for creating this event, and for bringing together the greatest assemble of Fire Emblem guests to date.  It was a truly wonderful experience.  As I stated earlier, this event was the first of three that will make up our honeymoon and we are really thankful that we made Impulse part of this memorable occasion.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Anime Impulse 2020 Review: The Ideal Fire Emblem Experience

  1. My only gripe with the whole event was the “Power Hour”. Look, I know it seemed like a good idea on paper but the execution was kinda flat. They dedicated a whole HOUR to this event and it took less than 5 minutes to complete. My initial thought was that it would be like a photo-op/meet and greet kinda deal but it was Chris Hackney who broke the news to me and said “Umm, we aren’t taking photos during the Power Hour” even though Joe Zieja said we would. Turns out Chris Hackney was right! CURSE HIM! (Sorry, was doing a Dimitri quote).

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    1. I still enjoyed the power hour myself, but I agree it could’ve been executed way better. More people went to the event than I think they were prepared for and they had to do too much on the fly. I think instead of the high fives it would’ve gone way better if it was just a professional photo op. I would’ve paid quite a bit to have a professional photo taken with me and the guests in the power hour.

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