I went to my fourth AnimeNEXT anime convention that was held this past weekend from June 7-9, 2019 in Atlantic City, NJ. At this point people have pretty much made up their mind as to whether or not they like the new-ish location of the convention in Atlantic City (as opposed to its previous location in Somerset, NJ). Some people like the beach-side location while others continue to stay away from the casino city like the plague. Either way, AnimeNEXT continues to offer something for everyone as they offer a wide range of guests, panels, and events.
One of the things that I liked was the Itasha car show that they had. I don’t actually remember if this is something new this year or if they’ve had it previously and I was just unaware of it. I’ve always found this art of decorating your car as an intriguing form of expressing one’s love for something (albeit a very expensive one).
This year AnimeNEXT invited AIMI (Aimi Haraguni) as one of their musical guest. AIMI is best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for the now-defunct Japanese rock band Stereopony. Stereopony was the only Japanese band that I actually actively followed outside of the anisong genre. It was back in 2011 when I was strolling through a Dealers Room at a convention (which one, I don’t actually remember) when I happened upon a booth that was selling Asian music and they had a TV monitor showing various music videos. I was intrigued by the music video that was currently playing as I not only found the song to be really cool but was also happily confused as to why the MV had the band members playing through rain/water. I later found out that the song was called “Hitohira no Hanabira”, a song that was used as one of Bleach’s many ending themesongs.
I became hooked on Stereopony’s music. Unfortunately, a year later I saw the news that Stereopony was disbanding. That was a sad, sad day. Anyways, long spiel aside, AIMI returned to AnimeNEXT after having performed with her Stereopony bandmates at the convention back in 2010. It’s really too bad that her concert was scheduled for late Sunday afternoon as there was unfortunately a very small crowd that showed up and she definitely deserved a better time slot than that. After the concert I went to her autograph session (it was pushing 5pm on a Sunday by this point!) and had her sign my copy of the Stereopony Final Live DVD (I had also previously picked up her solo AIMILION and Limited CD albums from the dealer’s room on Saturday).
Overall I had a good time. It was mostly a chill weekend for me as I didn’t really expend myself taking too many photos or video. This was in part because I am currently in the middle of transitioning my workflow from using Adobe software for post-processing (Bridge, Photoshop, Premiere Pro) to new software solutions (XnViewMP, Capture One Pro, and Davinci Resolve respectively). As I continue to learn how to use the new software for photo and video processing I definitely didn’t want to overburden myself with having to process too many files. So yeah, this year’s AnimeNEXT was kind of my guinea pig to figure out how to work things.
Click here to go to my Facebook photography page where I uploaded photos that I took at the My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia) cosplay photoshoot and the Fate Series cosplay photoshoot on Saturday.
Click here to go to my YouTube channel where I uploaded my recordings of the “One Punch Man with Max Mittelman“ voice actor panel, voice actor Josh Grelle’s Sunday Q&A panel, and the full cosplay Masquerade contest.