It’s been over two weeks since Anime USA and I am in withdrawal. As I try to will the memories to the present so I may live it all over again, I am unsure why I love the capital’s convention as much as I do. It’s like the Mona Lisa. It compels me immensely but I can’t exactly articulate the thoughts and emotions that make it so.
My Cup of Tea and Ikemen Paradise certainly play a huge role. The magic of make believe speaks dearest to my heart. Some people dream about living a fairy tale. The patrons of the maid cafe and host club live in one! The melancholy absence of my maid Shiori and my butler Mr. Stanley conjures a greater loneliness than the word can contain.
Then there are all the people that I met or ran into. My maid, my butler, Chris (Director of Properties and Publications), Ashley (Press Liaison), Chris (Press Coordinator), Tom, Jake (Social Media Associate,), Charles Dunbar, DJ SiSen, Hiroaki Inoue (who is trying to bring more Bubblegum Crisis to fruition!), Kit and Shizuka.
There’s also a koto and its magnificent owner, Kyoko Okamoto. Much like dressage, it takes a knowing eye to understand how incredibly effortless she looks performing when it’s anything but. As much as an engaging presenter as a koto player, she introduced the instrument beforehand so that we may better grasp the ensuing performances. The reader can enjoy one of several here. Beyond the lecture and performances, she invited members of the audience to try a hand at it. Sugoi!
And several panels presented by Charles Dunbar. Enough said.
The press room is much improved from last year. Spacious, elegant and efficient, it morphs beautifully into the ideal photoshoot setting as demonstrated by DJ SiSen. While I miss Lauren, the press staff handled things smoothly in their freshman year. I appreciate the increase in convention space. Cosplay Burlesque certainly deserves a bigger room than last year. Water remains as abundant as cosplayers.
Like Adam, the Vice Chair, said at closing ceremonies, I want Anime USA to grow. Meanwhile, I really welcome its intimate atmosphere that lends so well to a safe space. It’s a heartmaking sight to take in the wide array of fandom represented where judgements made involve craftsmanship not bodies, gender or the like.
Unfortunately, I experienced one black mark over the weekend. While waiting for the BACK-ON concert to begin, one of the volunteers I was conversing with made the choloroform rag meme. It was something mentioned at the Harumph Gentleman’s Guide panel. I told him it’s not funny at the time but didn’t expound on it further. The pepetuation of rape culture is simply not cool. I am not sure if it was brought up by the panelist or an attendee there.
Guidebook is the only complaint I have. It’s ironic when the paper copy is more accurate. I realize it was partly an issue on Guidebook’s part but precaution should have been taken to account for inevitable glitches.
I hear Anime USA has plans to move location due to the lack of parking nearby. It will be sad to have to relearn a new location after just getting to know the Marriott like a friend. The proximity of the hotel to food, public transportation and the National Zoo will be missed. The con has become like a lover that one hopes never changes.
Anime USA 2014 is October 3rd to 5th with a cosplay theme. I will treasure the memories of this year until then when I eagerly look forward to creating new ones.