AnimeNEXT 2016 was an amazing convention experience with lots things to do, many people to meet and share similar interests with. Whether you like anime, manga, gaming or the culture around any of those, conventions are the place to go and AnimeNEXT 2016 celebrated their 15th anniversary in their new home in Atlantic City, NJ which was within driving distance for us and we had the opportunity to go. They had many great activities to go and see or even partake in. For example, the gaming room, karaoke, panel rooms, video programming rooms (mostly the first the episodes of some anime shows), Manga Library, they also had the Cosplay Masquerade and the World Cosplay Summit in their main event rooms and the exhibit hall combined with the artist gallery. There was also a cosplay repair center within the convention where you can get your costume fixed if something happened to it. The staff and volunteers were very helpful and respectful. There were a handful of AnimeNEXT help desks scattered throughout the convention where you could ask for directions or help with anything you needed and was greatly appreciated.
We spent a big chunk of our time inside the exhibit hall and the artist gallery checking out what they had. Without surprise, we left AnimeNEXT with lots of figurines and posters from the exhibit hall and the artist gallery. The game room was jam packed with lots of old and new games and a plethora of arcade-style Japanese rhythm and DDR-like games.
Also, The guest list at AnimeNEXT 2016 was extraordinarily great, especially the Japanese artists from big studios in Japan. For example; Megumi Kouno who works for A1 Pictures. MINT from MINT NekO who’s a personal inspiration for myself as a freelance designer. The TRIGGER directors also were at AnimeNEXT 2016, Akira Amemiya, Shigeto Koyama and Hiromi Wakabayashi who all worked on big TRIGGER anime shows. Unfortunately, we did not interview any of the guests of honor due to equipment limitations but we hope to do so next year.
Catch us at next year at AnimeNEXT 2017!
AnimeNEXT 2016 Pictures
Post by: Ryen
We had a lot of expectations for the second day of Zenkaikon, and they were met at surprisingly high levels. We were going to do a photoshoot with our friends, who were cosplaying lady bug and cat noir, however there was a light drizzle and the weather was quite gray, so we postponed it an hour later. We decided to take a visit to the game room since we hadn’t seen it to that point, and we were in awe. There were at least 24 booths with consoles ranging from PS4’s to PS3’s to Dreamcasts to Xbox ones. There was even a DDR machine, which sadly played the older songs from the 1st and 2nd mix, it was still fun however, especially playing with another person. There was also a projector that ran Rocket League, Hatsune Miku Project Diva, and Smash Bros (on wii u.) After playing there for a couple of hours, we went to go to go do the photoshoot and the weather turned out to be beautiful. We went to a water fountain and a nice patio which had a waterfall. We got a tremendous amount of nice shots and we had a great time doing it. Soon after we went to our interview for the day, which was with Richard Epcar and Ellyn Stern. We had a great conversation about their work ethic, their favorite projects, and the role and power that Women currently hold in the voice acting industry. All in all, we had an amazing time. The convention was extremely organized and the staff was insanely nice. It’s funny actually because I lost my phone at the convention and it was taken to a staff member and I got it back. I thought it was really cool how someone was nice enough to take it to a staff member instead of keeping it for himself. That’s but a small example of how nice and positive the convention was. The cosplayers and staff as whole made the convention wonderful, and we can’t wait to attend next year!!! <3
Day 2 Pictures
Post by: Victor
Zenkaikon is an anime convention held in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This year was it’s tenth anniversary, and we honestly couldn’t have been happier to attend it. Upon entering the Lancaster convention center, which held the marriot hotel, we instantly felt a kind and familial atmosphere. We went to the registration booth and picked up our press badges in a fast and convenient way. Upon receiving our badges, we made our towards the entrance and started taking some photos. Right from the get go we noticed that there were cosplays of newer fandoms such as Undertale and One Punch Man, however we also saw a lot of older fandoms as well. After that, we attended the opening ceremony, which showed a video that highlighted the convention’s ten years, since it was their ten year anniversary, which was emotional, since we saw their humble begginings. We attended the maid cafe soon after, which was fun! The actors were extremely playful fun, and it was a fun experience, especially having different archetypes like the yandere and tsundere. A huge staple in our visit was the vendor's hall. It was in a large room, and had a ton of figurines, shirts and collectible items. It was organized quite well, with the artists and vendors in the same room, making it easy to move between the two. Soon after we went to our interview with Charles Dunbar, an anthropologist and writer who focuses on convention ethics and the progression of fandoms within a convention. The most impressive part of the interview was the fact that it was incredibly organized. We filled out a form on the website saying who we wanted to interview, and essentially reserved a time to interview him. It was efficient and professional. As the conversation went on with Charles, we had an in depth discussion of his work and his views on the current state of fandom, anime, philosophy and we even talked about the perspective and romanticization most American’s make of Japanese culture. We finished our day by going to the ramen restaurant Issai Noodles, which was within walking distance of the convention center. They had amazing traiditonal japanese noodles with flavors such as Shio, Miso, and Shoyu. Overall, it was an organized, positive and fun day.
Day 1 Pictures
Post by: Victor
Since this convention was in Philadelphia, we were really looking forward to the urban setting and more importantly the actual convention. We were initially a bit skeptical about the convention being one day, but after talking to Jason Richardson and seeing how hard he worked on the convention, it was obvious that it was going to be a good convention. Upon entering the convention center, we noticed the space of it. Most of the events were on the third floor, but there were some tournaments being held on the second floor. Every corner of the event center was filled. This was good and bad at the same time. It was good in the sense that it was easy to navigate through the convention center and see most of the cosplayers, but on the other hand, it got a bit boring and repetitive going through the exhibition hall and game room. Like I said however, it did a lot with the space it had. The cosplays were magnificent and the overall convention had a friendly vibe. Another thing that was a lot of fun was seeing Kyle Hebert. It was amazing to see a voice actor that had such a rich and wide variety of voice roles. All in all, the convention had a lot to offer. There were a lot of amazing people there, and the overall content and quality of the convention was very good.
Post By: Victor
Day 1 of Saikoucon 2015
Since Anime Expo was our first convention, we honestly didn't know what to expect from a local convention. We knew the lines wouldn't be as long and that it wouldn't be as hectic as Anime Expo, but we were sort of skeptical because of this. It was an overall okay experience. When we arrived, we waited for about 45 minutes to pick up our press badges, and after that, we just explored the hotel that the convention was being held in (Best Western,) to get a feel of the rooms and the overall building. At some points, there was little to no activity going on in the convention since the actual convention started at 12 and we picked up our badges at nine. There were also small delays like the art gallery opening at 1 (it was supposed to open at 12,) and panels getting canceled and rearragnged, and not to mention the ridiculously long lines to get into relatively small rooms for some of the panels. Throughout the course of the day, we got some amazing photos, met some amazing people, and saw some impressive material at the art gallery. It was a pretty good first day. Unlike Anime Expo, there was an intimate and cozy feeling to it. It felt a lot more close and personal, unlike Anime Expo where everyone had somewhere to go, and every inch of the convention center was occupied. It was also exciting to see people that I knew from and outside of school. It wasn't just a convention full of people that we didn't have a connection or bond with. So going back to our schedule, we toured the exhibit hall and art gallery for a good two hours, and soon after went to the pool outside of the hotel to get some shots. We actually ended up getting some of the best shots there. It was a bright blue day, and it wasn't humid, so it allowed us to get vibrant and colorful photos of the cosplayers with ease. After that, we went to the autograph session with voice actress Leah Clark ( Eden of the east, soul eater, fairy tail.) It was an amazing experience to meet such a talented voice actor that could do so many dynamic roles. She could from a flirty witch in soul eater, to a sensitive and somewhat serious character in Eden of the East. I brought my Eden of the East poster which featured Saki (she did her role,) and her autograph. She was very kind, and had an extremely friendly vibe. Soon after that, we ended up taking some last photographs and started packing up for the night. Overall, it was a fun day. The cosplayers were nice, the convention center looked great, and I just had an amazing time hanging out with friends and taking photos of some amazing cosplays. I can't wait to see what the rest of the convention has in store.
Day 1 Pictures
Day 0 of AX 2015
Day 0 was the day we were supposed to pick up our badges and we went as early as we could (8:00 AM.) I have to say though, the line to get your badge was ridiculously long; We honestly didn't know what to expect since this was our first anime convention. After about a 4 hour wait, we went to little tokyo in LA where we found the Jungle anime shop. The shop was divided into three sections: a figurine shop, a cosplay costume op, and lastly an anime/manga shop which sold anything from dakimakura's to wall scrolls. We spent a good hour just looking through all the novelties they had there. They had figurines that were rarely sold in Pennsylvania, they had original and unused art books, and they also had amazing key chains with pretty much any character you could possibly imagine. We left content to say the least.
Day 0 Pictures