It’s been right at two months since Animazement ended and this is just now going up. I fail. Enjoy the train wreck below and don’t forget to check out my AZ 13 photo gallery, as it accompanies this wrap-up.
It’s without a doubt that Animazement is one of North America’s best-kept secret anime conventions! 7,070 people convened at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina to enjoy 3 days of win! Guests this year included Richard Ian Cox, Keiko Han, Noriko Hidaka, Yusuke Igarashi, Kazuhiko Inoue, Trish Ledoux, Chiho Saito, Chika Sakamoto, Spike Spencer, Koichi Tsunoda, Cristina Vee, Kappei Yamaguchi, Yasuo Yamaguchi, Toshifumi Yoshida, and returning musical act Uchu Sentai NOIZ.
Last year I was only able to go for one day, which anyone who has been to a convention knows that’s not enough time to see anything. This year, I went the entire weekend from Thursday Pre-Con to the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday, and I had an absolute blast! I met some awesome new friends and worked to combat my severe shyness. There were a ton more things going on this year compared to last, making full use of the facilities at the RCC. I had a whole schedule of panels I wanted to attend, but didn’t get to see most of them because I was occupied with my new friends from the Newbie Group.
Out of the huge schedule I had planned, I only got to go to Anime Hell, which was fucking epic, and the Friday and Saturday night dances.
Here are a few of my favorite clips from Hell: Dio – Aye ft. Sef, The Legend of Koizumi Episode 1, A Life of Ninja, Christoph Waltz on “Der Humpink”, and Cautious Twins. Check out the full playlist on the Animazement Fan Forums.
I am looking forward to next year’s Anime Hell panel ‘cuz Phil manages to find some amazing clips.
On to the dances now, the Friday one was lame as there were no DJs and got interrupted by a fire alarm after 1am when the fog machine’s output set off the alarms outside the ballroom. The Saturday edition, however, featured DJ Amaya and was headlined by DJ Speedycake, of Caramelldansen fame, and was not interrupted by an alarm. I wasn’t able to show up until a few hours into the dance, so I missed Speedycake’s set, but Amaya’s was awesome! I tried taking some pictures and video, but my phone doesn’t do a good job in dark, noisy settings. Oh well. I stood off to the side and watched everyone have a great time while my body was shaking thanks to all the bass. 😀 I really wish DJ Amaya would have recorded his set and put it online because I enjoyed it so much.
When you think of an anime convention, you think of cosplay. As usual, there were tons of awesome cosplayers at Animazement this year. Out of the multitude of costumes (some awesome pictures by Animazement Guy can be found here), I really liked the cute ladies cosplaying as the Weighted Companion Cube and Xbox-tan, which happened to be the first two pictures I took over the weekend. I was hoping to see some Ranma 1/2 cosplayers as Kappei Yamaguchi was present, but I did not. Maybe next year…
There was a lot to like with this year’s Animazement, including tons of awesome panels, events, and video screenings, the escalators actually working (even though one broke down before the end of the convention), the awesome badge and convention booklet (even if it was on the thin side as the schedule and panel/event/movie descriptions were separate), and that there were huge schedules posted around the RCC that were updated when changes were made. Next year, I hope the schedule and descriptions return to the booklet and that things keep improving as there is still plenty of room for more awesomeness.
All in all, I had a great time at Animazement this year and can’t wait for next year! Be on the lookout for epic announcements in the coming months as the AZ Staff try to top this year’s epic convention. Look for Hamtaro and myself to return when Animazement 14 hits Raleigh once again next Memorial Day weekend!