Last weekend I wound up volunteering at Anime Conji 2011, a rather small convention in San Diego, the most exiting city on earth.
Anime Conji was definitely the smallest convention I've attended, with a whopping 1700 attendees, less than one tenth of Anime Expo. The convention's location was spread out of a smaller venue than Anime Los Angeles, (Which took up most of the LAX Marriot) a small part of the Town and Country Resort, sharing a hotel with some respiratory research convention.
|See, they have THIS in San Diego|
On the entertainment side, I wound up getting to see Steam Powered Girraffe, a band of robotic singers from the 1900's. This was exiting, since I had taken my girlfriend to see this band about a month and a half beforehand. They seemed more exiting at this convention than a month ago, since they were the main event, rather than an opening act to Abney Park (Steampunk band from Seattle, totally awesome) Other than that, the only events I attended were the rave and the mochi maid cafe. The Maid cafe was being held by a bunch of girls in maid outfits, where we recieved free food. In retrospect, I feel that I ordered the wrong item, seeing that I ordered the soup, and it was lukewarm by the time it got to me. The waiters were nice though, and we got to see the maids doing the Hare Hare Yukai.
This convention's rave managed to be.... okay. It was a bit better than the rave at Anime Expo 2011 (way too big, not interesting enough) but not as good as Anime Los Angeles' rave (plenty of room, decent music) Here I learned that my girlfriend cannot dance, and that not everything needs a techno remix. On Saturday, one of the DJ's decided to do a techno remix of the “Over 9000” video that everybody has seen over 9000 times. Unfortunately, this is a bit of an old meme, and the quiality of the remix was not good enough to warrant being played at a rave. The rave on Friday was a bit to big for the room that it was held in (capacity 80) making it difficult to get to. The rave on Saturday had enough room, but also contained the annoying over 9000 remix. Best convention rave still belongs to Anime Expo 2010, until further notice. I'm thinking of checking out the gas lamp district in San Diego after Comic con, assuming that my girlfriend decides to learn how to dance.
There were a large percentage of cosplayers at this convention, about the same percentile as Anime Los Angeles. Gatherings were a massive load of fail (Okay, I couldn't make the blasted Scott Pilgrim party, so I don't know how that went) as the Persona gathering and the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya gathering were made at the convention, and both held less than 10 people. I suppose the gathering organization was comparable to the entire convention's organization.
Organization was a mess at this convention, but this will be detailed in the upcoming volunteer report, however, I will note that I had trouble finding the location based on the description on the website. Apparantly it was a lot better than last year (this was only the convention's second year) so hopefully things are more in shape next year
Overall, my attendance at Anime Conji next year depends entirely on my econimic situation, and whether or not I can secure a staff position. I may take a shot at hosting my own panel if I can manage the logistics. The convention makes a nice bridge between Anime Los Angeles and Anime Expo. It should be considered that the convention tickets were about 35 dollars (student, but there were a LOT of available discounts) and that it takes place in San Diego, a city filled with awesome, cheap restaurants, and wonderful theater districts.
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