My first ever anime convention was recently at Triad Anime Con, located in Winston-Salem, NC. The first thing I want to say is that I had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend the con to others. The second thing is that I am obviously no expert on conventions and, therefore, my opinion on the matter should be held in no position of authority.
The con took place in several event rooms in the Winston-Salem Mariott. The building has a corridor over the road that connects the two halves of the building. One side held The Dealer’s Room and the main event room. In the other half there were three smaller event rooms and the Artist’s Alley where people sold their creations. It was a five minute walk to get from one side to the other and people were continually staking out in the corridor over the road. Thankfully, they mostly stayed out of the walkway. Compared to other conventions, I think there was minimal walking involved but I was very confused for the first few hours on how the heck to get anywhere from anywhere.
The lines for panels were minimal since this con was pretty small. I got into every panel I showed up for, which was awesome, and I didn’t waste a huge amount of time waiting.
There seemed to be a serious issue at this con with mis-labeling panels. I don’t mean they had the names switched on the schedule – I mean they didn’t accurately name the panel content. I attended a panel called “An Introduction to Tokyo Ghoul” which turned out to be season one spoilers and fan trivia, with no introduction involved. The first panel I went to was called “Con Survival 101,” but was really the staff recounting horror stories from previous years. Almost no advice was offered after they went over the rules. Another example is the panel referred to as “Are You A Nerd?” which would be more accurately named “Power to the Nerds” or “Nerds Have Power.” I got there at the very end but I got the gist of what they were saying and had been saying for an hour.
We nerds have power over ‘normal people’ who think we’re weird! That discomfort people feel when they’re around you? Well, that’s power!
Personally, I don’t want power. ‘Normal People’?!? Come ON. No such thing.
My favorite panels were mostly the fan-run ones. “Team Avatar” was a collection of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra cosplayers doing Q&A in character, which was uber-fun. “Hetalia: Beautiful World” was essentially the same thing, but still extremely enjoyable. I loved the woman who did “Moms and Dads of Anime” and “Love, Hate, and Rivalry: Siblings of Anime.” She was good natured, passionate, and did an excellent job with her presentation. She covered a lot of genres with minimal spoilers. The only main event that I attended was “Acting Workshop with Chuck Huber,” which was awesome. He asked for volunteers to come onstage and we played an acting game. It was funny, interactive, and instructive.
I went to a panel called “Voice Acting with Lauren Landa,” who, it turns out, voices Annie in “Attack On Titan” and so many other roles even she couldn’t keep track of them all. It was essentially a Q&A session, but I liked her as a person and the answers she gave were instructive as well.
Oh, the cosplay. I was in total bliss at the sheer amount of cosplayers whose characters I recognized. The volume of excellent cosplay was of epic proportions. There were three Edward Elrics and at least five Levi Ackermans. Hetalia people were everywhere. There was one guy who was cosplaying as Italy and he had the accent and mannerisms down pat. I stood next to him in the line to the Hetalia panel and he deserved to be ON that panel. Some of the Avatar cosplayers had fabric that they used to ‘waterbend’ and ‘firebend.’ I wanted to mention the cosplay solely because it so thoroughly blew my mind.
So, if you were there, were there any panels I should’ve mentioned? What did you like or dislike about the con?
Ellie is a geek teen who loves to read, watch, draw, and talk about all things manga. When she’s not doing that, she’s playing Minecraft with her gang of friends or gaming with her family.