For me, this year’s Anime Mid-Atlantic was very different in more ways than one. Having moved to the Norfolk Waterside Marriott this year, AMA became four floors of interesting rather than two buildings worth. I reached all new levels of procrastination having less than a week to finish my Levy McGarden cosplay (managed to finish it by 10am the morning of the con). I’ve since resolved to redo the cosplay properly someday, so after this weekend, I will never see this version again.
I woke up earlier than normal to finish my godforsaken cosplay and actually managed to do so (though I quickly became dissatisfied with the end result). My highest priority that day was Karaoke, but since that wasn’t scheduled till that night, I decided to attend Vic Mignogna’s Q&A (Worth it!). Vic was funny and charming as usual, and even reenacted a scene from Ouran with a lucky fangirl. I had several people coming up to me and saying they liked my cosplay or asking for my picture, and few of those people actually remembered the character’s name (but they remembered the anime).
Karaoke went fairly well, with an unprecedented full house. Even with a few no-shows, the show ran nearly to midnight. I sang “Endless Song” from Shouta Aoi’s play Smile Mermaid, and my friend sang “Orange Rhapshody” from UtaPri. Neither my friend nor I placed (not so unusual), but a good time was had by all, especially when someone sang the Pokémon theme (go figure everyone had to sing along ^_^).
Due in some part to rain and traffic, and me introducing my friend to Nanbaka, we arrived at the con after 1pm, but we made a beeline to Cosplay Chess. We missed being included in the first game, but managed to get into the second and third games (since he had no cosplay, they made him “Congoer 387”). Since most of the room had left by the time the third game rolled around, it was changed from chess to checkers, which all but ended in a stalemate. Even with his opponent helping him, the player in charge of my team had most of us unable to move.
After hitting the dealer’s room (which was strangely unremarkable), my friend decided to head home for a bit as he wasn’t feeling well so I opted to hang out in one of the lounge areas. While there, someone who I’d chatted with briefly on deviantART found me and expressed his excitement over meeting a dA-artist in person.
I then relocated to hang out with some friends and at some point we started griping about the con. There were fun parts, but we all hated that we were crammed into a single building and having to pay for parking garages.
I managed to kill time until the Phoenix Wright mock trial (Love Live! was the theme this year), after which I just decided to go home and call it a night.
I ended up deciding to skip the con on Sunday, mostly because I hadn’t heard from the friend who was going with me. There wasn’t anything I’d wanted to see that day, and the only manga stand in the dealer’s room had a fairly shoddy collection. I decided to check in with a friend who had gone to the convention, and he told me that he had started feeling sick so he and his group quickly left to get food and then decided to call it a day. He also told me that other people had gotten sick that day and one of his friends discovered the hotel’s AC units and filters were filled with mold and dust. I felt fine, but I doubt people would get sick from just a day’s worth of dust buildup so who knows.
Several people talked about skipping AMA next year if it was held at this venue again, which seems very possible. I must admit, I’m considering the same or at least putting it on hiatus for a while. But until we find out about next year, there’s still NekoCon to look forward to and deciding what to cosplay for it.