Anime Weekend Atlanta News

Anime Weekend Atlanta is a anime/manga concept
From Anime Vice
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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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