This year Ariesna and I returned to AnimeIowa after a years absence. We’d gotten a bit burned out on the con due to the overly crowded hotel and the lack of programming for the over-15 crowd. But this year AWelkin and some mutual friends put on Natsukashii seminar, a programming track designed specifically to cover older anime shows. Natsukashii seminar turned out to be a blast and surprisingly was attended by some of the younger crowd rather than just bitter, old fans like myself. Now I could write up a detail summation of my experiences at this year’s con, but I’m far too lazy for that. So here’s a quick list:
- Good grief! The lines for registration were insane and stretched around practically the entire hotel.
- That many people in one place, even a place with excellent A/C, stink! Seriously the funk around those lines was as bad as most cons on Sunday and this was only the first day.
- With registration so backed up most early panels were empty, which was really good as from what I was hearing most didn’t start on time anyway.
- The hotel was gorgeous and much better laid out for the con, excluding that con-com put the consuite on the 8th floor. Also, paid parking sucks but Ariesna & I got lucky and found a free spot.
- The con ran a blood drive in cooperation with a local blood bank. I donated and it was kind of fun seeing how the medical staff were reacting to the con-goers. Some were interested, some ignored them and some looked confused.
- Driving back in the next morning, our free parking spot was still empty. Wahoo!
- This year’s dealer’s room was huge. Unfortunately, the number of dealers was not as large as it initially appeared as the artist’s alley was in the middle of the room.
- Though that was cool for the artists and not bad for the con-goers.
- The dealer’s room had a decent selection of merchandise. I filled in some missing discs of R.O.D. TV and Ariesna got a doll she’s been looking for. Still there was considerable overlap in the merchandise between boths, not surprising but not pleasing either.
- A larger number of con-goers were costumes this year1. Good! A good portion of them had giant sized weapons (ala Final Fantasy) and the costumers didn’t really know how to handle their props safely. Bad!
- Once the con-goers were more spread out; the funk in the air lessened somewhat. Though you could still tell where the A/C was weakest by the strength of the funk.
- Watched some excellent anime in the Natsukashii video room, heard it was the best video room at the con.
- I saw a dealer selling large, wooden paddles. Weird! Later noticed the goobers who bought them spanking one another with them in the halls. Bad! I also noticed they didn’t pay much attention to their surroundings, and so were constantly in danger of hitting people who did not want to be hit. Very bad!
- AI’s idea of a fansubbing panel was to have an industry shill sit up in front of an audience and tell us all the ways people can pay to watch anime rather than downloading the fansubs. Seriously, odds are this guy would have never heard of anime if people hadn’t started fansubbing it and all he can do is sit up there babbling on how people who download fansubs are all thieves. Note: It is possible that the panel discussion actually had something useful in it later on; however I grew sufficiently discontent with it that I left after listing to ~20 minutes of this nonsense.
1 I also found this somewhat depressing as nothing like this exsisted when I was the same age as these kids and there were a fair number of attractive, young ladies in rather interesting costumes. Which had I been single and of the same age (or at least close to) I would have enjoyed making their acquaintance.