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).
There certainly were more attendees here this year compared to last year, but not as many as I would have thought or hoped. We'll probably never know for sure how big of an effect the dire weather forecast affected the con this year, but suffice to say that AniMore was still a rather small con in terms of attendance numbers and activities available. I do hope that AniMore will continue to grow in numbers and size, but I believe that it will have a hard time gaining traction as long as it remains a Winter con. Plus, I do believe that AniMore has to do more to advertise itself as many people that I know still haven't heard of this con's existence.
During my few hours at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, I only really attended two events. The first being a short acoustic concert by The Slants. The second being the popular Cosplay Contest. I actually quite enjoyed the concert by The Slants, who are billed as the first Asian-American dance-rock band. What was really interesting was that there was an HBO TV crew there filming the concert for a documentary on the group's ongoing legal battle for the trademark of their band's name. Their name had been rejected by the Trademark office numerous times because they deemed that the name was a racial slur towards Asians. However, seeing how the The Slants are comprised entirely of Asian-Americans, it seems really silly that they have no right to express their free speech when they themselves not only do not take offense to the term "slants" but are trying to use that in a spin for cultural pride. The Slants are scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court next Wednesday to make their case.
The Cosplay Contest was certainly the highlight of the night. Although it was a bit disorganized it was still fun to watch the cosplayers strut their stuff. I do feel as though the room that they used for the Main Events this year was smaller than last year's Main Events room, but I could just be remembering it incorrectly. Either way, it didn't take very long for the room to be completely filled with people so I hope next year they will acquire a larger space for the Main Events.
One last point that I'd like to make actually doesn't have any relation to AniMore itself. Many people are aware of the city's decision to demolish the McKeldin fountains and its ongoing renovation of the Harborplace market in hopes to revitalize the downtown Inner Harbor area. Many con goers, especially cosplayers, were definitely sad to see the start of the demolition of the fountains last August during Otakon. It just really struck home when I walked by the area on Saturday to see nothing but dirt inside the fenced area. The fountains are indeed gone and serve as a heavy reminder that Otakon will also be gone from the city.
Anyways, here's hoping that AniMore will have a brighter future and better luck with the weather in the upcoming years. Here's a small gallery of photos that I took while I was there:
My recording of the Cosplay Contest can be viewed on my YouTube channel here: