AniMore 2017 Convention Report

AniMore 2017 Convention Report

The 2nd annual AniMore anime convention was held this weekend from January 13-15, 2017 in Baltimore, MD.  I actually only stopped by for a few hours on Saturday as I was curious as to how it may have changed or grown since its debut last year.  AniMore had a rough start last year as a record-breaking blizzard hit the area during the same weekend which caused a lot of attendees, panelists, and vendors to not show up (you can read my report of last year's con here).  While there were some signs of minor growth this year it was most likely once again hampered by a weather forecast for dangerous icy conditions (which never materialized).

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MAGFest 2017 Convention Report

MAGFest 2017 Convention Report

The MAGFest 2017 Music and Gaming Festival was held last weekend from January 5-8, 2017 in National Harbor, MD.  There really isn't a whole lot for me to say about this year's MAGFest because it's simply the same great, fun, laid back place for all things video games and music, except continuously bigger.  If rumored speculations are true about attendance this year nearing the 25,000 mark then that is twice as many attendees than the first MAGFest that I attended back in 2014.  MAGFest has become so popular that pre-registration and hotel reservations were being sold out at record paces.

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Anime USA 2016 Convention Report

Anime USA 2016 Convention Report

The annual Anime USA convention was held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC this past weekend from October 21-23, 2016.  The perennial small to mid-sized con featured much of the same experience as past years which is not necessarily a bad thing.  New this year were themed fandom meetups where fans of a particular show/game/fandom can meet up for either a cosplay photoshoot or just to hang out and talk to like-minded fans.  AUSA also had to share the hotel with another convention that was running simultaneously over the weekend so some of the event and panel rooms were relocated from their usual locations in order to accommodate the situation.

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Otakon 2016 Con Report - Sayonara to Baltimore Edition

Otakon 2016 Con Report - Sayonara to Baltimore Edition

The annual Otakon anime convention may have originated from Pennsylvania, but after calling Baltimore its home for the last 18 years it's hard to imagine it taking place anywhere else.  For better or worse, the sights and sounds of Inner Harbor have become synonymous with the convention and with the overall Otakon experience.  But just like everything in life, all good things must come to an end.  Otakon has long since outgrown the physical capacity of the Baltimore Convention Center and the BCC itself is woefully aged and decrepit.  Thus Otakon will be moving to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown DC until at least 2024.  The city of Baltimore has pledged that they will do whatever they can to bring Otakon back to the city, but we'll have to wait and see if anything comes to fruition in the next eight years.

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Fiesta Asia Silver Spring 2016 Street Festival

Fiesta Asia Silver Spring 2016 Street Festival

Fiesta Asia had their 6th annual Asian Street Festival at Silver Spring, MD on June 26th, 2016.  Normally scheduled for the beginning of May but postponed to June due to being rained out, the Silver Spring festival is a smaller, more compact version of the big bonanza that takes place in Washington, DC.  I was in Silver Spring for a couple of hours and took photos and video from performances by the Mongolian Dance Ensemble (which included ultra-adorable kids in camel costumes), Chin Daiko taiko drumming, Spotlight Studio Indonesian dances, Arabesque Dance Theatre, Kuchipudi Dance Academy, Leilah Moon, Asala Raqs, Beta Academy, and a Hawaiian performance.

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AnimeNEXT 2016 Convention Report

AnimeNEXT 2016 Convention Report

The AnimeNEXT anime convention took place at its new home in Atlantic City, NJ this past weekend from June 10-12, 2016.  Previously held in Somerset, NJ, AnimeNEXT feels right at home in the larger space that it occupies in the Atlantic City Convention Center.  The location offers a number of places where con-goers and cosplayers can hang out at and take photos which includes the beach, boardwalk, and hidden parks and locales.  The new location should allow AnimeNEXT to continue to grow and thrive after having outgrown the Garden State Exhibit Center.

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Philadelphia Sakura Sunday Festival 2016

Philadelphia Sakura Sunday Festival 2016

On Sunday, April 17, 2016 I went up to Philly to attend the annual Sakura Sunday event which is a Japanese culture festival at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center.  This is basically a smaller version of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Sakura Matsuri from the previous day in Washington, DC.  Despite the weather being fairly warmer this year compared to last year the trees were only starting to green and there weren't any cherry blossoms in bloom, maybe next year the surrounding vegetation will be livelier!

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Washington DC Sakura Matsuri Festival 2016

Washington DC Sakura Matsuri Festival 2016

This will be just a quick post from the Sakura Matsuri Festival held today in Washington, DC. The annual Japanese culture festival is back and located in a new location.  Previously held on Pennsylvania Avenue, the festival is now located in a lot near the Nationals ballpark close to the Naval Yard.  I'm not sure in terms of square footage if the festival encompasses a larger or smaller space compared to previous years, but the new layout meant less traffic choke points and made it a little easier to move around.  The location at Pennsylvania Avenue was notorious for its congestion, especially around the food areas which made it a slow crawl to get anywhere.

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Zenkaikon 2016 Convention Report

Zenkaikon 2016 Convention Report

The Zenkaikon 2016 anime convention that took place from April 1-3, 2016 in Lancaster, PA went by so quickly this weekend and yet there was a lot of awesome fun that still needs to be digested.  The 10th annual Zenkaikon (aka Zenkaikon X) was just as big and wonderful as previous years.  So big that we broke the escalators several times throughout the weekend.  I spent the majority of my time going from various voice actor panels and main events so I didn't actually get to take very many cosplay photos. I'll just have to rely on the collective Internet to relive some of the awesome cosplay that I saw throughout the weekend.

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Skip Beat! Anime Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign - Industry Game Changer?

Skip Beat! Anime Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign - Industry Game Changer?

[Update 3/17/2016] This campaign has been rebooted on Kickstarter. [End Update]

Today marked the start of yet another crowdfunding campaign. But unlike many other campaigns that are simply trying to get their products out to market, this campaign could potentially have long-lasting implications for the North American anime industry.  The one-woman show behind Pied Piper, Inc. launched the Skip Beat! Anime English Dub For North America campaign on Indiegogo which could have very positive ramifications if it should meet its $210,000 funding goal by the end of the month.

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