To start, I don't believe we've ever spoken about anime conventions on this board, and if we have I apologize for restarting the whole thing, but I had to know the common consensus on them. What are your opinions on anime conventions? They're everywhere, they're huge, and they're growing every year as new fans show up. Before you state your opinion, please give your past history concerning them. Have you been to any? How many? Which ones? Large or small conventions? What were your arrangements/how long did you stay?
A-Kon (Large), 2 Days, inbetween shifts of work and going back home rather than staying at a hotel. Outlook: Had a boring time. My friends were ill equipped and without plans.
AnimeFest (Large), 3 Days, stayed the whole day, left to go home at night.
Outlook: Great. Somewhat planned, with a friend with some experience, plenty of things to do.
There are two outlooks you can take on them, a positive one and a negative one. I'll just come right out and say that orignally I was quite negative regarding them, and the first time I attended one was a total failure. The second time, and most recent, I had a blast, despite it being the smaller of the two conventions, with about half the events. Don't misunderstand me, it was still a large convention, with a lot of things going on, but not much compares to A-Kon, which is one of the larger conventions in the U.S. Originally I had a negative outlook because of stereotyping I had been exposed to, and then a negative outlook because of my own anti-social tendencies when it comes to large organized events. After A-kon I was dissatisfied with them because we had done nothing, come and left without seeing anything. Could a convention possibly be this boring? I found out later that my friends had simply not gone to any of the events besides the game room, the lan room, the dealers room, and the huge free room. In the game room we did nothing but play SSBM free games (we didn't even manage a tournament because our timing was bad).
Animefest was... a change of pace. I went with a friend who knew the ins and outs of these sorts of things and generally had an idea of everything he was going to do before the day even began. I met some friends of his, we hung out and attended different events, things went incredibly well. After going to a Question and Answer session being held by Shinichiro Watanabe, the man who directed and created Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, we went to a signing and had him sign some stuff of ours, we went back to the same room for what we thought was going to be a formal training session for what could only be described as a traditional japanese tea party, and ended up in a meeting for gothic lolita fans, which is not something you want to end up at, believe me. A lot of people came out of the woodwork. We left when we could, before either of us could have the regrettable memory of waking up the next morning hungover with a neko mimi hair clip on. Going to the game room was a bit different because there were other games being played, most importantly among them were some board games that I was surprised to see there, Risk, Risk 2040, and the Doom boardgame. And of course card games like Magic the gathering and so on. A lot of stuff went on, however there were still time lags.
Needless to say that after this, my position on these things changed. And this coming A-Kon, I look forward to attending with the same friend of mine, and another friend of mine and his girlfriend. I also know that I'll be taking a good look at the scheduler and filling in all the time gaps. We may never run out of things to do.
P.S. If any of you are going to A-Kon, and are interested in seeing the real Cold-NiTe, that can be arranged, but if you are coming under orders from the Corinthian, don't think I won't sense it. No attempts at digital photography to put my picture up here, please, thanks. It's been attempted before by others for other forums, even though they knew I was camera shy. The repercussions were... extensive.