It was my first AWA, and I had a good time at Atlanta. Part of it has to do with the ability to hit up tourist attractions like the World of Coca-Cola, but also I just did fun stuff. Like not sit in line all day, or eat good food (and paid a hefty price for that). I’m not sure how much of these fun-generating activities had to do with the con, and more so because it’s the South, and they do things differently.
That said, the con itself is run fairly okay for the parts of that in which I interacted with. I spent a good amount of the time inside the con hotel, which is where I stayed. It’s got that open well-like architecture where a nice pit-area-like setup at the ground floor is surrounded by the rest of the hotel, going up 14-or-so floors. It does mean things get really loud if you open your hotel room door. I mention this because that was a thing sort of in the way of us watching lives inside our hotel room when the door is propped open slightly.
I watched the first two episodes of Karen Senki. I also got to talk to Ouji Hiroi a bit. I’ll talk about that later. But it’s nice to see someone like him at that con, adds a little bit of cred. He was there on Crunchyroll’s behest I guess, so he didn’t really show up on the schedule or the con promo, which is weird and odd and I think CR needs to not drop the ball there for whatever the reason. (I’ve done this too many times to assume it is just their fault, but it is their responsibility ultimately.) Anyway, they screened the first two episodes there (about 20 minutes worth of anime) and, well, it’s interesting to say the least. The most interesting thing was that Hara Sayuri is character voice of the titular character (and her sister).
The rest of the time we were there trying to accomplish our primary mission, which is to stalk a certain somebody whose name I’m not suppose to divulge. It was not a guarantee thing, so we were okay that we failed the primary mission because the secondary objectives were complete and fun in themselves. The World of Coca-Cola, for example, feels like a giant brainwashing chamber of commercialism and sweet syrup. It was quite the experience so I recommend it, but not in a good way, other than the soda sampling thing they’ve got going where you can drink like 80+ different Coke products, including 30+ variety from overseas.
The food and BBQ were tops. Steak was good. Heirloom was best of fusion American cuisine could be, if you think about it. We ate two meals at Local Three which is a ridiculous burn rate for the wallet, and I didn’t even have any Kentucky bourbon despite its huge list of such things or similar. It also served Suntory Hibiki. And how can we resist? It is the siren’s call for old timer Ps.
Speaking of secondary objectives, MIQ was there and she rocked. I think when we dig back to golden age anison singers (which is something I never do on this blog) she has to be one of the top ones right alongside Aniki and the likes of Horie Mitsuko or whoever else I don’t know. Yeah, Men of Destiny and all that. Essentially the con concerts, other than the forever young Shonen Knife, was a bit of a cover-fest. VLOMIQ, which are 11 of MIQ’s students from her school, also performed at AWA and they are obviously 100% cover. I think along with Ardith’s Konjos (her amateur cover group) and the various VocaloidPs spinning music they didn’t write at the rave, it’s a lot of covers all weekend long. And we didn’t mind as eventers. What was the problem was that none of us were really into old school music. Like, J9? Srsly. Loverin Tamburin was a nice rocking addon to the con though, and it’s the first time I’ve seen someone do double stage outfit disrobing.
Ardith is perhaps the most famous old school EN language fan, who’s been in Japan for a long time trying to strike it. She coauthored a bunch of stuff. But other than the whole ethnography angle it’s kind of interesting to see what sort of stuff happened as far as her participation in the other aspects of fandom. Along those lines, it’s always fun to see also the Nihongo de OK routine + Mirai de Neiro at the East Coast. Go Miku go.
I always said that Animazement is a laid-back experience. AWA is also similarly laid back. So I can see why this con is pretty enjoyable, down to the frenetic Thursday night flea market thing they’ve got going. But without a strong guest list like Animazement, AWA can be a bit of an investment, which explains why I’ve only made the journey this year.
And yeah, there was a Love Live panel and an IM@S panel. I only went to the LL panel (in WUG gear) and IM@S panel ran into VLOMIQ so I couldn’t go. I spotted some IM@S cosplays in Forever Star ☆☆☆ outfits, which tickled my fancy. One twitter folk also cosplayed as Star Piece Memories Azusa. That is admittedly like, 5 more IM@S cospalyers more than I had expected. On Sunday, there was also a MayuC cosplayer. Needless to say I am very stoked, even if MayuC is not my oshi! This is an encouraging development!
No loot shot, because I didn’t really buy anything worth noting–MIQ and VLOMIQ were selling things so I picked up a couple things as a memento, but that was it. And a couple silly all-ages doujinshi from the Thursday night flea market.