Anime Weekend Atlanta News

Anime Weekend Atlanta is a anime/manga concept
From Anime Vice
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This weekend is Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014. I'm promoting conventions that Vicers had visited (see Vicers in Cons Across the World) in order to build a balanced community with discussions on everything anime and manga related.

If you are an anime fan and live locally or in the state, check out AWA especially if you never been to an anime convention. It's worth the adventure out there.

Here's the website. With conventions, there are so much things to cover. I usually cover guests of honor. My teammate, Dream, occasionally cover conventions that does a lot of industry news such as Otacon and Anime Expo.

I'll briefly touch upon events and activities for those who are new to AWA. Here's the link to all of the events.

I find this diagram nice, sweet, and short. Gives you a glimpse of what AWA offers.

As of now, this is the prices for AWA:

Walk-in Prices:

  • 3 Days: Adult-$65, Child-$50
  • 2 Days: Adult-$50, Child-$35
  • Fri: Adult-$40, Child-$25
  • Sat: Adult-$45, Child-$30
  • Sun: Adult-$35, Child-$20

Guests of Honor

Junichi Suwabe
An experienced topnotch voice actor, Junichi Suwabe started his voice-acting career in 1996. Since then, he has been voicing not only for anime, but also foreign drama/films and games. Besides, he often narrates in TV programs. The main anime characters he played include Grimmjow from “Bleach”, Takashi Komuro from “Highschool of the Dead”, Keigo Atobe from “The Prince of Tennis”, Daiki Aomine from “Kuroko's Basketball”, Toji Kanzaki from “Yowamushi Pedal” and Ren Jinguji from “Uta no Prince-sama”. He is currently playing is Dandy from “Space Dandy”.
Toru Furuya

Toru Furuya is most known for the roles of Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam and its following Gundam sequels, Hy?ma Hoshi in Star of the Giants, Pegasus Seiya in Saint Seiya, Yamcha in Dragon Ball,Ky?suke Kasuga in Kimagure Orange Road, and Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon. He considers these roles as his most important roles. In addition to these amazing characters, Furuya has been featured in hundreds of anime and video games, and has performed on CDs, radio, and in tokusatsu.

Yuko Minaguchi
Yuko Minaguchi is a veteran seiyuu from Japan, best known for her roles as Sailor Saturn in Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Stars, Videl in Dragon Ball Z, Akiko Minase in Kanon and Nadeshiko Kinomoto in Cardcaptor Sakura, She has been featured in numerous anime in addition to video games, and live-action dubs.

HOME MADE KAZOKU, is a unique looking HIP HOP group formed of small (MICRO), medium (KURO), and large (U-ICHI). The group's May 2004 debut from Ki/oon Records /Sony Music Entertainment Japan Inc. won them acclaim as the best upcoming artist of the year on the Japanese music scene. Their first full-length album, “ROCK THE WORLD”, achieved #5 on the Oricon national chart, with over 300,000 sales, and spent an amazing two months in the Top 20s.

HOME MADE KAZOKU also created a buzz with their tracks featured as theme songs on many hit anime series, such as Eureka Seven (“Shonen Heart”), Naruto (“Shooting Star”). Their third single, "Thank You!!", hit #5 on the Oricon chart.

Following their fourth album, “HOME”, which included the lead track “NO RAIN NO RAINBOW” (the theme song of Naruto Shippuden: The Movie, "Kizuna"), HOME MADE KAZOKU headlined their first tour in Japan, including a sold-out show at theNippon Budokan in front of more than 10,000 fans. They host an annual music festival, held for the third time this year in October.

MICRO is widely referred to as a “soul rapper" because of his husky, powerful voice. KURO adds a deep, whispering rap which gives life to the lyrics. Combined with U-ICHI's DJ skills, their positive, heartwarming music has caught many listeners' ears.

HOME MADE KAZOKU will be celebrating their tenth year anniversary this May 2014.

Loverin Tamburin
Loverin Tamburin made their first major debut in 2006 when they released “Aishitageru,” the opening to “Makaisenki-Disgea.” In August 2007 they also released “mo?o!,” the ending music of “Nanatsuiro?drops.”

In 2013 Loverin Tamburin went on a world tour performing in Italy, Germany, Australia, France and many more!

MIQ

The queen of anime singers by day, and a renowned R&B and jazz performer by night, legendary songstress MIQ will make a rare trip from Japan to help make AWA even more epic! Known prior to 2000 as MIO, this dynamic performer is famed worldwide for her theme songs for anime classics "Gundam 0083," "Aura Battler Dunbine," "Heavy Metal L-Gaim," "Area 88," "Bismark," "Xabungle Graffiti" and more. She's also one of the most beloved performers on Japan's anime song concert scene. One of the star attractions in Japan's growing number of Gundam-only concerts, MIQ is also a perennial headliner in the annual Super Robot Spirits and Anime Japan Fes concerts.

Don't miss MIQ's opening act VLOMIQ Tokyo, a dynamic singing and dancing unit nearly a dozen strong, mentored by MIQ herself! With members including a top seiyuu, an Animax Anison Grand Prix finalist, and pro vocalists and musicians, VLOMIQ Tokyoites Eriko, Fumi, kenjyu from ROCKETMOND, Kotomi, Mah, Mako, Mana, Mari, Rie, Yusuke, and Ardith will make their U.S. debut here at AWA.

Shonen Knife

Shonen Knife has been credited with making "the international pop underground more international" by "opening it up to bands from Japan". The trio has a distinctly underground garage rock sound rooted in edgy instrumentation and D.I.Y. aesthetics, which over the course of their long career has earned them a solid, worldwide cult following and made avid fans out of seminal '90s alternative rock bands such as Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and Redd Kross.

Their newest release, “Overdrive”, is a tip of the hat to 70’s Hard Rock, and a continuation of Shonen Knife’s journey into the musings of food, fantasy and daily life in the Far Eastern metropolis of Osaka we’ve come to know and love.

Cherami Leigh
Cherami Leigh is an on camera and voice actor from Dallas. She has been in over 75 commercials, and was a live national on air DJ for Radio Disney. She has appeared in many films and television shows, including the soon to be released “Beyond the Farthest Star” and in the hit webseries “Throwing Stones.” She was also in the Emmy award winning “Temple Grandin,” and has appeared on various network television shows.

She stars opposite Sean Astin and Tim Curry in the animated film “Ribbit.” She has also worked on "Doc McStuffins" on Disney Junior and "Zou" on Sprout. In the Anime World- she has appeared as Road in “D. Grayman, ” Sae in “Peach Girl,” Yuti La in “Heroic Age,” Elizabeth in “Black Butler,” Patty in “Soul Eater,” Ayano in “Kaze no Stigma,” Natsumi in “Sgt. Frog,” Naomi in “Witchblade,” Yoshika in “Strike Witches,” Elicia Hughes in “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, Setsuna and Akira in “Negima,” Mai in “Ghost Hunt,” Tamaki in “Bamboo Blade,” Himawari in “XXXholic,” Cecily in “Sacred Blacksmith,” Liechtenstein in “Hetalia,” Lucy in “Fairy Tail,” Takeshita in “B Gata H Kei,” Kneesocks in “Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt “, Sunako in “Shiki," Suzuha in “Steins;Gate,” Shana in “Shakugan no Shana," Gaige in "Borderlands 2" and she plays Asuna in "Sword Art Online" airing on Toonami.

She has other projects both animated and on camera that are in various stages of development that she will share soon. She loves screenwriting, painting, making jewelry and positive quotations, reading and stars!

Bryce Papenbrook
Bryce Papenbrook has been a professional voice over artist since the age of eight. He was introduced to the voice acting scene by his father, Bob Papenbrook, and has continued the trade in his footsteps.

Bryce has performed in numerous video games, cartoons, and television shows. Some recent roles include Kirito in Sword Art Online, Rin Okumura in Blue Exorcist, Chooki & Lydendor in Tenkai Knights, Makoto Naegi in DanganRonpa : Trigger Happy Havoc, Henry in Fire Emblem Awakening, Issachar in Shin Megami Tensei IV, Asbel Lhant in Tales of Graces F, Zidane Tribal in Final Fantasy Dissidia 012, Masaomi Kida in Durarara!!, and Guan Ping in Dynasty Warriors. Past leading roles include Shugo in .hack//Sign Legend of the Twilight, Jack in MAR, Jack Russell in Radiata Stories, Hanabusa Aido in Vampire Knight, and Isami Fujiwara in Noein.
J. Michael Tatum
J. Michael Tatum has achieved the otaku dream. A Starblazers fanboy turned VA, Writer and Actor, J Michael Tatum has held numerous popular anime roles including Kyoya Otori in Ouran High School Host Club, Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, Doumeki in xxxHolic, and Okarin Tintarou from Stein’s Gate, just to name a few.

In 2007, Tatum started working in the ADR directing and adaptive scriptwriting field for Funimation. He’s directed numerous anime, including Aquarion, and Romeo x Juliet, and contributed to the scripts of Ouran High School Host Club, Initial D, Deadman Wonderland and Dragon Ball Z Kai.

In 2010, along with Terri Doty and Stephen Hoff, he launched a web show entitled That Anime Show. The show focuses on Anime Insiders talking about anything, everything, and nothing! Episodes can be found at http://thatanimeshow.com
Scott McNeil
Scott McNeil hails from Vancouver, Canada by way of Brisbane, Australia. He started acting at the age of three and hasn't (his mom would say) stopped since. Spanning over two decades and including over 12,000 episodes, Scott's voice career began with The New Adventures of He-Man way back in (gasp) 1988. He is perhaps best known currently as Duo Maxwell in Gundam Wing, Koga, in Inuyasha, Piccolo (the first) and many others in Dragon Ball Z, Dinobot, Rattrap, Waspinator, and Silverbolt in Beast Wars, Jetfire in Transformers Armada, and Wolverine in X-Men: Evolution, As well as Hohenheim in Full Metal Alchemist, the deeply neurotic Merb Stork in StormHawks, the amazingly inept Voltar in League of Super Evil, Ali al Satchez in Gundam 00, and the inanely musical Flam in My Little Pony.

When his busy schedule allows, he can be found playing his Level 90 Pandarian Monk in World of Warcraft while eating spray cheese…..FOR THE HORDE!!!
Vic Mignogna
Vic has been acting and singing since he was a wee babe. But he started his career in anime almost fifteen years ago as Vega in Streetfighter II. Since then Vic has been in more than two hundred shows and video games, known for such roles as Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki Suou in Ouran High School Host Club, Zero in Vampire Knight, Yoshimori in Kekkaishi, Death Scythe in Soul Eater, Fai in Tsubasa Chronicle, Dark in DN Angel, Kurz in Full Metal Panic, Broly in Dragonball Z, Kougaijji in Saiyuki, Ikkaku in Bleach, Yukito in Air, Takanaga in Wallflower, Tatsu in Peacemaker, Luciano in Code Geass, Virgil Walsh in Trinity Blood, Hikaru in Macross and many more. Currently Vic recently played Keldeo in the new Pokemon movie, as well as roles G4’s Wolverine and Iron Man series, and the original Mass Effect movie. Vic is currently playing roles in Attack On Titan, Tiger & Bunny, Digimon Fusion, Sword Art Online, Nura, Lagrange and several others. Vic has also voiced roles in a large number of video games including Soul Calibur, Disgaea, Dynasty Warriors, Persona III, Sonic Colours, DBZ, Bleach, FMA and more. But even longer than his voice acting, Vic has been a professional music composer / singer / producer who has written and produced hundreds of pieces for TV, radio and CD. He sings the themes for shows like One Piece & DBGT, and has produced several CDs of his own original music, all available on iTunes. Finally, in addition to anime and music, Vic has a degree in film and is deeply involved as an actor and director in several web series and is executive producing a brand new TOS based series “Star Trek Continues”, where he is not only directing, but fulfilling a childhood dream of playing the iconic role of Captain Kirk. Vic works regularly writing, producing and directing video and film productions of all kinds.
Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Established in 1988, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is a lolita fashion clothing brand founded by Akinori and Fumiyo Isobe in Tokyo, Japan.

In a time when one truly felt cute and elegant
like a beautiful princess,
happily dressing up in fancy frills and lace.

With the brand concept bearing this mindset, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT was born.

In 2004, "Alice in Wonderland" lost in the world of pirates found its way as the brand concept of sister brand ALICE and the PIRATES.

Starting in Japan, BABY has now expanded overseas to Paris, France and San Francisco, USA.

Masumi Kano, a designer for this elegant brand, will be joining us for this year's AWA for a Fashion Show, Tea Party, and Signings.

Kamui (Svetlana Quindt)
Kamui (Svetlana Quindt) is a talented costume and prop designer from Germany. Since starting cosplaying in 2003 she focused her skills on armor making. She is widely known for her impressive armor projects from World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, but moreover because of her passion for sharing her self-taught knowledge with the cosplay community all over the world.

With over 10 years of experience, Kamui has created tons of written step by step instructions, video tutorials and lately became the author of several cosplay crafting books like “The Book of Cosplay Armor Making” and “The Book of Cosplay Painting"
Zanio
ZANIO is a Tokyo-based Hatsune Miku DJ and producer who frequently plays around the world, flying from country to country with Miku while using his house music-centered West Coast musical style.

He has played in countries and cities around the world, from Tokyo to Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Los Angelo and more. In 2013, he released "Worlds" through Tokyo Otaku Mode. The track with vocals by Hatsune Miku ranked in at #9 on the Beatport house charts, making Miku's name known to DJs around the world in the process.

HachiojiP
HachiojiP is the crown prince of the Vocaloid world. Videos of his work uploaded to video sharing websites have gathered over 7 million views. Videos for his songs "Sweet Devil" and "Electric Love" created together with MMD producer WakamuraP quickly gathered attention online as soon as they were released, and the later "Sweet Devil (Full Version)" was the #1 video on Nico Nico Douga, breaking 100,000 views within a week.

He is also well-established as a talented DJ who spins a unique blend of Vocaloid with exciting and electric dance music. In addition, his songs are very popular with "Odottemita" fan dancers online, and he takes pride in creating an overall artistic experience with his works, collaborating with video producers and illustrators. His popularity extends beyond Japan, and even before the 2012 release of his first domestic commercial album, he released "Sweet Devil feat.Hatsune Miku," a best-of album of his earlier work, in Taiwan on November 25, 2011, which reached #4 on the Taiwanese J-POP/K-POP charts.

S*H*S
The embodiment of the hero spirit, in action and in song! S*H*S is a trio of industry pros who love to give back to the fans. This is their first appearance outside Japan.

S*H*S is led by Shocker Oh!No!, who was named by manga master Shotaro Ishinomori himself. This action expert has served as a stuntman and suit actor throughout the Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and Metal Hero franchises, as well as in other TV series and movies. His long list of anime voice-acting credits includes the crazed narration of “DD Hokuto No Ken” and “Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku.” Also active as a movie photography director, event producer, and the iconic emcee of Japan’s top retro anison concerts, Shocker Oh!No! is one of the genre’s foremost chroniclers, with two books and countess magazine articles, and will be sharing what he sees at AWA with eager audiences back home.

Junichi Saito, who sang the theme song for “Kamen Rider Battle Ganbaride” is also a featured vocalist and keyboardist in The Kinds, Ichiro “Aniki” Mizuki’s personally selected men’s chorus group. “Gundam Try Age” and “Knights of Sidonia” are two of The Kinds’ latest chorus contributions, and the group is an integral part of some of Japan’s biggest anison concerts. Saito-san is a concert producer himself, providing a forum to introduce indie anison bands and singers, and is spreading the love by composing theme songs for Japan’s growing legions of local heroes.

Kiyoshi Hayashi has earned his nickname Guts Kiyoshi in a fearless career as a stuntman and suit actor in the Super Sentai, Metal Hero, and Ultraman franchises (most recently in “Ultraman Ginga”), and as action director and combat choreographer for a variety of tokusatsu shows including “Gridman.” Describing himself as “an otaku who loves hero shows so naturally had to work in them,” Guts Kiyoshi is so deeply involved that he currently has the rare distinction of working not only as an action specialist, but also as a digital synthesis engineer, creating CG effects for a number of Toei works.

The Konjos
Here come The Konjos! Fuelled by their lifelong passion for anime songs and hero songs, these five fans are always in the audience at Tokyo’s old-skool anison concerts, cheering on the original performers—and they carry that love into their own performances in anison karaoke contests and Japan’s growing amateur anison concert scene!

In Japan, the world of the amateur anison fan is one that’s kept carefully separate from your (mostly!) normal-on-the-surface real life. Fans know each other only by their handles. The Konjos are a fusion of four Japanese fans code-named Chibiko, Gino, Allen, and Kagawa, and a foreigner called Makibako (although you might know her as U.S. expat Ardith Carlton, co-author of “Robotech Art I”).

The Konjos are on a quest to share the retro anison experience here, focusing on favorites from the ‘70s to ‘90s, and then relay their AWA adventures and observations to a crowd of intensely curious fellow fans in a Tokyo homecoming event this fall. So relive the great old days and sing along as The Konjos and very special guests bring AWA the ultimate in old-skool cool!

Yaya Han

Yaya Han is a costume designer, model and cosplay entertainer with over a decade of experience. After discovering cosplay in 1999, she quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume design and creation. To this day Yaya has made close to 300 costumes in the genres of anime/manga, comic books, video games, sci-fi and her own original designs.

Over the years, Yaya has built a successful business in the cosplay community, creating a popular cosplay accessories line that is available online and at conventions, as well as her line of Yaya Han Brand merchandising. Her intricate and lavish creations have won awards and acclaim nationwide, and she has been invited to appear as a Guest, Panelist, Judge, Performer and Host to over 100 conventions and other events all over the world. Yaya has been a Guest Judge on 2 seasons of TBS TV Network's "King of the Nerds" competition show, featured in a documentary about cosplay called "Cosplay - Crafting a Secret Identity", as well as is starring in the Syfy (Space) TV Network Docu-Series "Heroes of Cosplay".

But, no matter where Cosplay has taken her professionally, Yaya strives to stay true to what got her into this field originally - fun and creativity. Through hard work, unmatched passion and infectious enthusiasm, Yaya has helped Cosplay gain respect and integrity as an artform in the fandom world and art communities, and her decade long campaign for creativity has helped raise Cosplay to the standards we know today. Everyday, Yaya continues to pave the path for the beloved art and lifestyle we know as Costume Play.

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To end up having to share this when another convention is nearing is quite shameful, but school was kicking my ass to no end during the time. I'll share with you what I remember of AWA 2013. I managed to get a DVD boxset of Princess Tutu that was about and I also had a poster of Chi (Chobits). I can't remember what else I bought, however. What I clearly remember, however...

Cosplay Photos!

Many, many cosplay photos were taken, including someone dressed as Charlotte, the meet-up with someone who ended up on TV a couple of times (I also end up in a pic with her!), found someone in a rediculous Marshall Lee getup, end up meeting Chi and Fraeya, found Mitsuru loafing around and met up with a good ninja friend of mine.

Sorry that this is so short, but to compensate with it, my next adventure is the first of 2014 and it should already be up after this blog. Until next time, see you!

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As I was working on the Anime Expo wiki page, I was wondering how our former Staff Gia got so much points on a page that has a barebone article. I was stupid and realized Gia loves uploading cosplay photos in the wiki gallery as well as the news articles she had done. I know some of you guys and gals visit anime conventions this summer.

I know it's a bit more work after making a blog and uploading all those images due to the site's glitches. It's worth it. More images means more foot traffic for our site.

Please share your images and blogs of your Anime Conventions memories. It makes our community stronger and better. I hope you check out the Anime Convention Survival Guide! that and I co written for folks who haven't been to an anime convention. I wish everyone a good time this summer!

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This weekend I attended Anime Weekend Atlanta along with my buddy Daryl and my good friend Jack, who stopped by on Saturday evening. I believe it was my third time going and my second time getting a hotel room at the event for the whole weekend. Overall it was a cool time. I picked up a lot of swag, got hammered, met some voice actors, went to a rave, and was severely sleep deprived.

Friday

It's important to say that I went to bed around 1am on Friday and then woke up around 5:30am and couldn't fall back asleep just like a little kid waiting to open his Christmas presents or something. It's going to be important to remember this. I started off lacking sleep.

Friday autographs
Friday autographs

Anyways, I started off just browsing around the dealer room and eventually made my way to the autograph line for Ryo Horikawa, Suzuko Mimori, and You Kikkawa. Ryo voices Vegeta from DBZ and Suzuko is the voice of Sherlock Shellingford from Detective Opera Milky Holmes. I got in line about an hour before the signing started and once it did, it became very very apparent who most people were in line for. At one point some staffers asked, "is there anyone not in line for Ryo," in an attempt to get the line moving and nobody responded. You had some people stopping by after Ryo, but after about 25 minutes of waiting, I was the first person to get a signature from Suzuko :(. Anyways, it was good fun. She seemed super cool and was pretty excited to see that I had her character's BD volume and seemed awestruck that silver Sharpies existed when I presented her with mine.

Oh, to backtrack some, I met this girl in line who was pretty cool. She was super into Case Closed (apparently Ryo was someone in that, which is why she was there) and was cosplaying as someone with purple hair and dressed like a Code Geass character. I say like because when I asked her about it and mentioned Geass, she got heartbroken and said that everyone keeps saying that but it's actually from $#$%@#%, a show which I completely forgot the name of while typing this. Anyways, she was preparing to finish her college degree in Japan and to use that as an inroad to becoming a teacher over there. Pretty cool. I also met this crazy uber DBZ guy who nearly raged when I showed him that I was getting Kai signed rather than DBZ proper. He was good hearted but sorta annoying due to him going crazy over every DBZ cosplayer in line (and imagine how many were in a line to get a Vegeta autograph), but I liked his dedication to the series and knowledge. He even made up some crazy complex Animeopoly game that even he couldn't remember the rules of, but the cool thing was that he got a bunch of voice actors to sign the board, which was pretty sweet.

Friday pickups and swag.
Friday pickups and swag.

Having finished up with having to wait in lines, I decided to earnestly browse around the dealer looking for stuff to grab. I found a standard edition of the School Days visual novel. I decided to purchase it and while buying, the dealer anxiously informed that there was another H game that featured Vladmir Putin and Barack Obama re-imagined as girls for the seduction of a nimble gamer. I didn't have any intention of purchasing anything other than School Days and on top of that, the Barack girl wasn't even black. No sale. After some scuttlebutt later on regarding me finding the premium edition elsewhere for the same price and wanting a refund (you really can't claim all sales are final as a given when you have no signs saying such and you don't tell people no refunds before swiping their card or taking their cash), I was the happy owner of a premium edition with keychain and Kotonoha breast mousepad. I also ended up grabbing some Bleach and Naruto art books. It was a tough choice between buying those two ($20 per) or one Hayate the Combat Butler book ($55!) but at the end of the day, my inability to convince the dealer to cut me a deal for buying all three led to grabbing the shonen ones.

After that, I went to Sentai's industry panel and they revealed some stuff that got covered on ANN almost immediately. I think I was actually sitting a few seats down from the person covering it for them as I recognized him from previous year's industry panel and he was feverishly typing on his phone with every announcement.

With that complete, there weren't any more panels that I was dying to see so Daryl and I just chilled out in the general cosplay area. To be honest, Friday was a bit of a downer due that dealer (he ended up giving me a partial refund), fewer cosplayers than Saturday, and I honestly feel that I've been to the same one and it's losing a bit of the wow factor it used to have for me. Either way, not bad, just less awesome and regardless of anything, I stayed up until like 1am again doing stuff.

Saturday

So, I wake up at like 5:37 am on the dot and couldn't fall back asleep again. For the record, that's somewhere around 9 hours of sleep in the past 72 hours. Daryl and I ended up going to an IHOP that was a few miles away and while there, we overheard some guys having a heated discussion about One Piece.

Once we got back to AWA, we immediately headed over to the Johnny Yong Bosch autograph line. I didn't really have any swag for him to sign (I was going to bring a Bleach boxset but I decided against it and only now am I realizing that I could have had him sign the art book which had Ichigo on the cover) but I decided to hang out in the line anyways because Daryl wanted him to sign his copy of Devil May Cry 4, where Bosch voices Nero. I think we came about an hour and a half early and geez louise, that line got stupid huge stupid fast. Waiting in lines sucks but the one good thing is that you get to meet interesting people. There was one big guy in line who had a coke bottle filled with like 50% Jack Daniels. He was entertaining and I remember someone saying Thor wasn't that good of a movie and he straight up interneted him and was like, "No, you're wrong. It was awesome." The other dude kinda immediately shut down, but the whole thing was funny.

Round 2 of Suzuko Mimori
Round 2 of Suzuko Mimori

100s of screaming JYB fangirls later, no wait, while in-line Ryo and Suzuko came back to the line that was right beside us. It was way smaller than the previous day's line and Suzuko seemed to have more people there. One girl had a massive Sherlock Shellingford BD case with like a doll or something in it. I immediately asked if this was from season 1 or 2 because I was sure I picked up the collector's version of Sherlock's volume from Season 2, and it was indeed season 1. Someone else had a Nenodroid Sherlock as well. Anyways, the line was nearing it's in and my Noir lunchbox still had my Milky Holmes stuff in it so I decided to get Daryl to save my spot while I had Suzuko sign some other stuff that came with the volume.

So now, 100s of screaming JYB fan girls, a signed copy of Devil May Cry 4, and Trina Nishimura writing "pimp the pink" later, we found ourselves surrounded by even more screaming fan girls as we waited in line for Vic Mignogna. About halfway through his two hour wait, I realized that maybe, just maybe I had gone too autograph heavy this year and was missing cool panels and cool random moments being in these lines. Anyways, it was pretty cool. I swore I was going to be too cool for school about the whole thing but once I got up to Vic, I got kinda giddy and gushing. He saw my Noir lunchbox and was like, "ahh, what's that?" and I was like, "oh, it's just holding my other stuff," and he was like, "you know I was in that, right?" I said, "oh shit, if I'd known that I woulda had you sign it rather than two FMA things," but he was really cool about it and asked me to hand it over to him and he signed it. That was pretty cool. His line was smaller than JYB, but fan girls were going crazy in it. He signed one girl's arm and she damn near passed out. Someone else started crying when she got up to him.

Everything I got or had signed.
Everything I got or had signed.

With that done, I had everything that I wanted to get autographed autographed, I purchased a Scanty and Kneesocks shirt, put my lunchbox up in the hotel room and chilled out. Me and Daryl went to this Funimation Town Hall panel that was a hoot. There weren't any jokes, but man, people are frickin passionate about their anime and there anime companies. "Why did you stop D.Gray-Man before it was done?! That's so stupid" "I don't know what you all were thinking, why don't you put shows out faster!" "Why don't you guys hire fansubbers, there translation are better!!!" I feel bad for the Funi rep, although when someone brought up their godawful white subtitles with thin borders that constantly mix in with the background and can't be read, I applauded with him. Short rant, but subtitles are supposed to be read. That is their whole point. That is the only point they are there. So what you will about ugly yellow DVD subtitles, they were always easy and quick to read and readability should always take priority over everything else. Anyways, that panel was fun and despite the raging, it ended in a Funi love fest of everyone who just tore the rep a new one proclaiming that Funi is the bestest and most more awesomer anime company on the planet.

A prime example that stalking does work, despite what police and society would have you believe.
A prime example that stalking does work, despite what police and society would have you believe.

After that, some chilling, and no less than two stalking attempts in hopes that a Shichika Yasuri would eventually lead me to a Katanagatari dream photo with him and Togame), my friend Jack came by to check out the scene. We got like 3 rounds of Jager while he was there with all of us occasionally dashing away to get a photo (he went crazy for a Desert Punk) and I saw a Strider roaming around. This was Jack's first time being at a convention and he seemed to like it a lot. At the bar, there was this dude who seemed ripped, but he had a camera man following him and filming him. I asked about it and it turns out he was this nerdcore rapper named Nerdork. He dropped the line, "what's a goon to a Gundam" and Jack, being not really a nerdcore rapper but a rapper who incorporates nerd culture into his raps, retorted, "but what's a Goblin to a Spider-man?" (both of these are playing off a Lil' Wayne lyric for those like "huh?"). That made him pull up a chair, point the camera at us and we starting chatting about anime and stuff for about 10 minutes. After that and some walking around, Jack bounced out and this got interesting.

Saturday is the big cosplay day and by this time it was like... 10pm maybe. My goal was to order a mixed drink and then Trailer Park Boys it up and sip on that for the rest of the evening while getting pictures and stuff. I went to a waitress and asked her for a Grateful Dead. That ended up as there was a drink mixup so here is a free Long Island Iced tea. Awesome. However, I later sat it down to take a picture and some jackhole knocked it over. Way more upset than I thought I'd get (blame the Jager for that), I went back to the waitress and asked to buy a Long Island as strong as she could make it. Daryl ordered one for himself and his came out ultra strong. I paid for his (he bought mine) and I basically gave her a 100% tip. She then brought me out another ultra strong one on the house. So now I'm walking around with two of these in my hand looking like a super alcoholic when I really just wanted one to sip on for the next hour or so. Anyways, about an hour later, the waitress finds us in the hotel courtyard (the main cosplay area) and hands me another ultra strong one. That's four of these and I hadn't even finished topping off our cups from the first bonus one yet and I was in the mindstate of, "If I sip one for the rest of the night I'll be in a good state of mind for high fun and high control." Then we ended up with like 2 more.

Only the realest of OGs roles with not one, not two, but three bodpillows.
Only the realest of OGs roles with not one, not two, but three bodpillows.

The rest of the night is a blur. I kept getting asked about my shirt (I changed into the S&K one earlier). The maid cafe closed up but most of them were wandering around the cosplay floor so I got a picture with them. There were bodypillow cosplayers jumping around the floor popping into other folk's photos like some sorta hyperactive lemming and speaking gibberish. I got a picture with them and was basically just wandering around getting cosplay photos and chatting. After a while, Daryl wanted to check out this yuri video room but was immediately turned off when he opened the door and saw characters that looked like twelve. I LOL'd and told him, "it's anime. What did you think it was going to be?" Tons of cosplay pics later, it was like 1am and Daryl decided to call it a wrap. I stayed out on the dancefloor and decided to text my friend Jason and see if he was at the rave. Turns out he was. Jason is like an ultra breakdancer, cosplayer, otaku so I figured he would be. Anyways, I decided to check that out. It was pretty cool. Insanely loud dubstep, lots of grinding, pretty fun. After chatting up Jason and dancing around (I sweated more than when I walk for like 7 miles) I stepped out. Holy smokes, my ears were completely shot. I decided to goto bed but when I got into my room that was quiet, my ears were ringing so loud that I immediately turned around, knowing that I was never going to fall asleep like this. So I ended up finding Jason again and chatting with him and a few of his other friends and just wandering around the hotel room. Eventually, my ears felt like they weren't ringing as much and I decided to goto bed. I looked up at the alarm clock: 4:45 am.

I was tailgating at a Falcon's game the next day (great game btw, down to the wire, Falcons won) so that was basically the end of AWA for me. One last note though, I woke up the next day at 8:30am and couldn't fall back asleep. From like 9am Thursday to about 10pm Sunday I got around 12 hours of rest, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Cosplay Barrage

Man, I decided to take way less pics this year but to make all of them awesome. Unfortunately, it ended up on some Vader and now your failure is complete as it seems like all of the pics turned out way darker than I thought they would. I did some post and they're ok, but man, I lost some of them due to it.

Sorry about the dupes. The picture system was acting crazy when I tried to add a gallery to this post.

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Anime Weekend Atlanta took place over the weekend and luckily I got to go this year. I missed the past two years of the event but in late January and friend and I decided that we'd actually get a hotel room for the event, which is held in a hotel, and go for the entire three days. This was my third time going to AWA but the first time that I stayed overnight. That combined with the nearly 10 month wait made my hype meter pretty high but I have to say that it was pretty awesome all around, despite me trying to fight off a cold the entire time (including a 6:40am run to Wal-mart for Emergen-C).

Panels

I went to a bunch of panels but the highlights would be...

  • Seeing Yoshitoshi Abe draw and color onscreen while answering some q&a.
  • Watching an incredibly and awesomely raunchy hentai with with an equally terrible/amazing dub in room with like 200 people thinking the same thing. (no pics on that one)
  • Participating in a mini voice acting camp with Naoko Matsui who was super nice. My Japanese was never great and I haven't taken a class in a long time but it was cool that I could understand most of what she said without needing a translators.
  • Getting Brina Palencia to autograph my copy of Eva 1.11. I'm not really familiar with her work outside of Chopper from One Piece and Rei from Evangelion but her panels were a blast. She's really funny in real life and a pretty amazing singer.
  • Catching the Konoha Corner Podcast's Panel. I had no familiarity with the podcast before this but the panel was ultra goofy and ridiculous, which makes me think this is the nonsensical anime podcast that I've dreamed about finding. Plus I got a free Sasuke statue which is now guarding my anime collection.

Pickups

I picked up a few things while I was there. I love all of it but the bestest would definitely be my very first body pillow. I've thought about buying on of these for a while and even considered blogging about them a long time ago but I never jumped in until now. It was a tough choice between The Major or Haruhi Suzumiya but the Major won my over. The other non anime stuff I got was:

  • Bleach shirt with Aizen, Gin, Grimmjaw and Ulquiorra (smh @ no Tousen),
  • a Noir lunch box, and
  • a wooden version of Sasuke's sword.

AWA2011 Pickups (2 images)

Requisite Cosplay Pics

Kei Yuki, Maetel, a Samurai Pizza Cat, Steampunk Urahara Kisuke, and Zombie Edward Elric were my faves and a Rangiku Matsumoto with a true to anime sized bosom deserves an honorable mention.

Trends

This was immediately noticeable after about 5 minutes of walking around, but man... people like zombies. I don't know if someone was outside selling zombie cosplay kits or something there was a metric ton of zombies running around the place.

Overall

I had a blast and will definitely be doing it again next year. To any anime fan who has never been to a convention, I would wholeheartedly recommend checking one out if there's a convention in your area.

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