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AWA 16: Post-Con Impressions

26. September 2010

This has been my seventh year at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Seven years since I started going to conventions and got into all this mess! Seven years of learning, for both me and the convention’s staff. A lot of the logistical issues from the past have been solved, and quality in the events presented made this a good year for the convention.

First of all, the panels I went to were great. Early Friday was “Self-Defense for the Otaku,” run by Jonathan Tarbox of Arashi Productions.  Don’t let the title fool you: the panel was more like “nerd apologetics” than Krav Maga. I found it to be an interesting discussion and will be talking more about it in a future post. Next, we attended the Outland Armour panel and are glad to report their losses from the MTAC flooding were minimal. Although I didn’t get to go to the “Evolution of Mecha Design” panel, we should have a guest post up in a few days detailing it.

The sundries offered were also up to par. The dealers’ room had all the usual stuff: T-Shirts, DVD’s, and costumes. It was the same size as usual, but compared to Animazement and a friend’s recollection of AnimeExpo, it seemed a bit lackluster. For the second year in a row, the Artists’ Alley was moved into the hall next to the Dealers’ Room–a much better place than clogging up the registration lines. I had another friend with a table there, and she reported doing quite well selling her knitted goods. Lastly, I want to comment on the food selection at the con. The Galleria offers little in the way of a food court; the China Sun and Subway work their asses off all weekend to accommodate all the con-goers. Granted, there are also two “sit-down” restaurants available as well, but, as in my case, are you really going to want to sit down and spend a lot of money there when the conventions is offering so much other expensive goods as well? The area around the convention center and hotel offers many other choices as well, but a car wasn’t always available to me, and, barring the hidden parking deck, parking can be a nightmare to find.

I found the viewing schedule to be more diverse and of better quality than earlier years. I don’t often take time out to go to many of the viewing rooms, but I was hard-pressed not to this year! A screening of the second Gurren Lagann movie was the highlight (with a cosplay photoshoot afterward), but two showings of the Black Rock Shooter OVA were also pretty neat. Combined with a stellar AMV Awards, the premier of AMV Hell 5, and a fresh Anime Hell, AWA certainly did well this year.

The convention got the above areas right, but there were some problems as well. All of the game rooms seemed very lackluster. I know this is an ANIME con, not a gaming con, but the cultures cross over in a lot of ways, and there are enough tournament-lovers out there to make for some interesting main events. I also thought the scheduling was a little weird. Why have the Space Battleship Yamato panel happen at the same time as the screening of the new Yamato movie? Why have the cool panels be on the Sunday morning after I’ve stayed up late partying and drinking. Okay, maybe that’s nit-picking a little, but I still wonder why all my favorite stuff tends to be on Sunday. Lastly, if any staff from AWA is reading this, bring back OMODAKA! He rocked last year!

All in all, this year’s con was a great success, much better than some of the previous years I’ve attended. As the hobby’s popularity peaked and began to wane, they are able to focus less on what is just the big thing that year and more on what is really good. We’ll definitely be back next year to see if they continue this trend.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Hikari-chan permalink
    25. October 2010 4:24 pm

    Do you guys have a way for me to personally message you or leave you an e-mail? I can’t seem to find it on the site but I really want you to take down one of the critiques you did of my costume ><; When you asked for my pic at AWA, no one told me you were actually going to /critique/ my costume on a public website for every single detail. So yeah XD Please send me an e-mail and I definitely want you to remove the critique you did of me :/

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