Tag Archives: cons

Providence Anime Conference: Not That Kind of “Adult” Conference!


From the Anime News Network:

Registration has opened for the Providence Anime Conference, currently on track to be the only anime-related event in North America that is open only to attendees above 21 years old. It will run at the Rhode Island Convention Center and the adjacent Providence Westin Hotel on October 3-5.

The Providence Anime Convention (PAC) was founded by several staff members of Anime Boston who felt that the North American convention circuit needed an event that would be geared to the interests of older anime fans. Some of the convention’s features will include a keynote address instead of an opening ceremony, a costume fashion show rather than a contest, and live-action programming based around professional and academic panels. Industry guests who have already confirmed their attendance include ADV Films’ David Williams, FUNimation Entertainment’s Adam Sheehan, and Harmony Gold’s Kevin McKeever, and more names will be announced over the coming months.

Mike’s Take: hmm. I honestly wonder how well this will work at all, even though in most ways I fit the exact demographic this convention is intended to reach. I’ve been going to cons for almost 5 years now, and with so many very young people (read: teenagers) there, it really has become raucous and noisy for this aged twenty-seven year old. The extremely long lines and poor organization of large cons has always gotten on my nerves. But I also love the energy and enthusiasm the geeky young’uns bring to the cons, and for someone as uptight and stuck-up as me, the freewheeling atmosphere is refreshing and even liberating.

The tone of the FAQ, right down to the naming of it as a “conference” rather than a convention and emphasizing the keynote speeches and academically oriented panels, honestly has more than a note of affectation to it. Note that, at last, alcohol is going to be served at some events since everyone has to be over 21. I wonder if there will be cheese to go along with it too? :) Nevertheless, I wish them well, because not only is the reaction understandable given the current state of cons, but there does need to a place for us older fans who–as this conference understands–work full time, can’t stay up till 2-3 AM anymore, and yes, have lives outside of anime.

Our PMX Plans

Jeremy and his wife Heather, Fred, and I are all going to the Pacific Media Expo (PMX) tomorrow with press passes! Friday, however, does not look like an especially busy day, so I’m not sure how busy we will be on that day–though I will be toting the video camera to record fan interviews like I did for AX.

What’s exciting about this con is that the emerging press passes give us access to certain press conferences as well as privileged areas to take pictures during the fan panels. Personally, I am only interested in two major panels in order to ask questions:

  • Yukana (Saturday: press conference at 3:00 pm; panel at 4:30-5:30 pm)
  • Claymore‘s Takahiro Umehara and Hiroyuki Tanaka (Sunday, 2-4 pm; press conference at 5:00pm)

I’m also somewhat interested in a last-minute addition–James Kyson Lee, the actor who plans Ando-kun in NBC’s splendid show Heroes. He has a panel and autograph session too. Now, I’ve only seen the majority of season 1, and so I can’t ask terribly intelligent questions about the story, but I think he’s a great sarcastic sidekick to Hiro. Watching Hiro and Ando in that show, especially with its slapstick, sometimes reminds me of watching anime comedy. I’m rather amused and disturbed that I often understand their dialogue because I’ve watched so much anime!

So–now, here’s your last minute turn to tell us what you’re interested in. If you have questions you’d like us to try to ask Yukana and the Claymore staff, please let us know here. A lot of J-rock bands I’ve never heard of are also coming, and they are often open not just for press conferences but private interviews, along with some American voice actors (including the one I despise most, Spike Spencer, ruiner of Evangelion. :-p). If by chance we have time and I manage to slip into the panel or press conference, post some potential questions here too. Needless to say, there are no guarantees on anything–we only have a emerging (ie “Junior”) press pass this year, so we can’t automatically get exclusive interviews or even the best seats in the panels yet. But the potential is pretty good.

Thanks everyone. See you at the (small) con!