Dallas, TX, USA. June 10 – June 12, 2011.
Reporter(s): Kouichi Kimura
The pre-reg line moved quickly for the amount of people that were there. However, if you had not managed to pre-register , you had quite the wait ahead of you. The on-site registration wait time ended up being about 60 minutes or so depending on when you started waiting. To help combat the long wait, the staff passed out registration sheets in the line so you had it ready the second you got up to pay.
The A-Kon staff (the ones in charge of the press), were accommodating, friendly, and professional. They took and executed interview requests in addition to ensuring that there was ample time for each person to get all of their questions answered. It could not have been an easier time.
I wasted no time in hitting up the dealer’s room to see what kind of treasures there were to be bought. There was no shortage of Blu-ray goodies, and there were plenty of weapons vendors to be had.
The only problem at A-Kon was figuring out how to schedule your time to be where you wanted! The autograph line was accommodating, but like always, any regular con-goer needs to have the foresight to show up before it gets too long and they are turned away. But fear not! The same guests were available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to sign merchandise and badges.
Other activities available at the convention this year were Origami lessons, a Cosplay Chess show, Emergency Cosplay Fix classes, and a plethora of things to go to, like some Q&A’s which included Mark Hildreth and Chantilly/Atelier-Pierrot on Friday, and Blood Stain Child on Saturday.
Before wrapping things up for the first day, I had the privilege of sitting down and meeting with Kyle Hebert, most noted for his role in Dragonball Z as Teen Gohan, and lately as the awesome antagonist Lord Aizen in the hit anime Bleach. He was very forthcoming and informative with what we had to ask, and you can read about it in the interview section here on AnimeSecrets.org.
On day two, I received a call to have an interview with Cherami Leigh. Her dossier includes—but is definitely not limited to—“Wrench” from Casshern Sins, “Naomi” from Witchblade, and recently “Elicia Hughes” in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This report is also available for your viewing pleasure on AnimeSecrets.org.
Towards the end of day two, I decided to give Anime Hell another chance. Despite the disappointing line-up last year, Anime Hell 2011 was well done. The contests I stuck around for were hilarious to watch and highly entertaining. The first was a Camay walk. Men and women had to casually walk across the stage just like the lady in the old Camay soap commercials and were then judged by the crowd. The second contest was a Hard Gay contest. It’s as if the guys from this one were trying to make up for missing the Camay walk, because that’s exactly what it looked like. Still, the hilarity level was off the charts watching them try to pelvic thrust or mini-seize while shouting “Ufoooooooooooo!” to the back of the room. Of course, the best part of Anime Hell had to be the classic show introductions they showed while trying not to get a concussion from flying boxes of candy cigarettes in a dimly lit room (which was hilarious as long as you weren’t the one getting pelted).
Since I had to leave early the next day for my two-and-a-half day drive home, that was all the fun I could possibly fit into one night. But as I said before, compared to Anime Hell 2010, the show was executed much better, and flowed more smoothly.
To throw everything together with a nice shiny ribbon wrapped around it, A-Kon is still one of my favorite conventions to attend and is a great value for the badge cost (pre-registration is always cheaper than on-site… so pre-register!). The only thing you could possibly want is for there to be more hours in the day to enjoy the convention more. I will definitely be going back in 2012.