Anime USA may have achieved the unthinkable in edging out Otakon as my favorite con. I enjoyed myself immensely even if I didn’t have any guest interviews and missed cosplay burlesque TWICE. The depth of programming provided ample entertainment of which I recollect some below. And I learned something. The con’s smaller scale affords an intimate touch that I failed to take advantage of but will certainly exploit next year.
I had expected a few words regarding the change of venue at Opening Ceremonies but there were none. Instead, we got Arashi the Astounding who graced us with some of his magic or really the lack of. The highlight of the ceremony would have been Michelle Knotz who recruited several other guests to dance Gangnam Style with her on stage. Alas, David Lister got down on his knees before the audience and proposed on stage. She said yes.
The various cosplay panels were excellent. Re-Creating the Look: Bringing Art to Life moderated by Lizzy Schram, Lauren D. and Marty Gear was very informative. They touched upon tips and told stories as well as provide further information via suggested textbooks.
Solid advice was also given at the Crossplay For Girls panel. Never use duct tape or saran wrap. And you know you’re at the right place sitting in on Victorian Inspired Fashion, where one of the panelists, Jen, wore a steel boned corset for two years.
Livan and Chris of the Video Game Orchestra lent their talent near the beginning of the formal ball. I found it an exquisite touch to dance to live music. Duties eventually switched to a DJ however. The demographic of dancers was as eclectic as the music chosen. Genders and number of dancers mingled in every combination.
There was a pair of girls that really caught everyone’s eye. That’s to say, they could dance. There were many who obviously lacked the most basic steps as they spent the entire time looking at their feet. That didn’t seem to deter anyone from having a great time. I recall only one instance in which someone declined a dance. There were certainly lovers in attendance but the majority arrived with the hope of romance in their steps.
The charity auction benefiting the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative proved to be the highlight for my Sunday. There was a wide array of items to satisfy anyone’s taste. I believe the best money spent was a tie between $5 cereal and $5 cup of noodles. I ran into the winner of the cereal and took a photo of his prized conquest. He said it was money well spent given it went to charity ^_^
I would like to make a request. I’ve been spoiled by Otakon with a twenty four hour press lounge. It would be awesome to have the same convenience at AUSA. Finally, I am sad and anxious to see Lauren go. I felt press operations ran very smoothly and hope a management change won’t cause adverse effects.
Anime USA 2013 is September 13 to 15th. The theme is the Edo period. I can’t wait!
Please find all photos on flickr.