This past weekend, I attended Anime USA 2009 in Crystal City (a section of Alexandria, VA). The following are my comments concerning the convention.
-If there's one major problem that the convention had this year, it's some of the poor choices that were made by the staff running it. A rundown of some examples of bad convention running:
1. The people running the pre-reg table appeared to not be among the most efficient people running the table, since something that could have been completed in a few minutes in previous Anime USA conventions took me about an hour to do this year.
2. Someone in the staff thought that when it comes to some panels (i.e. the Funimation panel, Spoiler: the Panel), a projector wasn't needed for the events. While Spoiler: the Panel was able to get a projector from the video game room, Funimation on the other hand was stuck with a regular-sized monitor that was hard to see for some people in the panel.
3. Around 9:30 PM Saturday, the staff closed off the second floor hallway in order to allow some V.I.P.'s to come through. The end result of this was that people who were in the video game room were forced to stay there until the V.I.P.'s passed by, while those that were trying head to the lower levels were forced to take the elevators (which are usually VERY slow when it comes to conventions) to reach their destination.
-While the Dealers' Room could have been better (i.e. no Video Games New York, no dealers with more recent US-released manga), I still made off with quite a haul at the Dealers' room. Among my purchases include some DVD's at the Funimation booth (as well as a Rin shot glass and Spice and Wolf coin), a Sailor Mercury figure that I saw on eBay, some import PSP collections of various Konami shooters, and a cute plushie of a seal dressed as a penguin.
-Autograph wise, I was able to get Troy Baker and Leah Clark's autographs while at the convention. For Troy, I had him sign one of my Shin-chan DVD's (Action Bastard rules). As for Leah, given how she voices one of my favorite anime girls (not to mention I'm continuing something that I started at the previous Anime USA), I had her sign my "booklet" containing the Pactio cards of Negi's first seven Ministra Magi from Negima.
-The AMV Contest wasn't that inmpressive this year (of course, I felt AMV's were at a slump this year, so that is probably understandable). In the end, almost all the videos that I voted for won in their respective categories. The only category that was different was the Upbeat/Fun category, and there's two good reasons why I figure that result was different:
1. The video that I voted for in that category (a Bleach video that spoofs the play mechanics of the Kingdom Hearts games) was saved for the Best in Show award (with me voting for that video for Best in Show as well);
2. The one that won the Comedy category was a hilarious Goldenboy video set to "**** in My Pants" by the Lonely Island.
-Personally, the Masquerade wasn’t as impressive as last year (although part of it was due to the fact that this year's Masquerade felt shorter than usual IMO). However, there's a couple of skits worth mentioning. The first is a Final Fantasy skit that actually included someone cosplaying Maria (FF II) and Reina (FF V). The other skit was a Gundam 00 skit that spoofed Blue's Clues and included cracks at the "Red Ring of Death", The Simpsons, and a certain VMA moment involving a "gay fish".
-When it comes to watching anime with a group of people, watching Hetalia with a group of fan girls is definitely worth checking out, with them making shounen ai-esque comments during numerous scenes and singing along to the show's ED.
With Anime USA coming to a close, so ends my convention adventures of 2009. However, I'll be back in action in a few months with Katsucon.
To finish my report, here's some pictures that I took at the convention: http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a2...%20USA%202009/