Hello all! Maki here with yet another convention report! We apologize for the late deliver, but we were spending time deciding what pictures to put up because we had so many. Some of it might have also had to do with us being lazy…but only a little. Anime USA was held November 9 – 11 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC, an exciting a new venue. Continuing in our new fashion, we’re gonna count down our Top 10 favorite AUSA-isms.
As mentioned before, Anime USA has found itself a new place to call home, a mere 30 minutes from it’s old stomping grounds in Crystal City. The Wardman Park Marriott is a beautiful venue, which combines classic early 1800s architecture with the newness of modern living. Cosplayers and photographers lined the hallways for opportunities to pose alongside the beautiful backdrops of the hotel. Though a bit hard to navigate at times due to the two towers, the hotel had plenty of room for con goers to roam freely. The hotel was also a 2 minute walk into many convenient and inexpensive eateries. The only complaint we have is how small some of the rooms were for major events, but with this being the first year in a brand new space, minor descrepincies were to be expected. Overall this place gets a solid B and we can’t wait to return back 🙂
9) 10 Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos
You ever walk into something that you know is going to be terrible but you go in anyway? Well at this panel AT LEAST we knew what we were getting into. Turns out though, a panel about bad japanese music videos was actually one of the highlights of our con. We joined other con goers as we laughed at Sex Machinegun’s video for “Sexy Hero Revolution” where it was everything but sexy. By the time we were finished we remembered each and every song for the wrong reasons. We’ve even linked some below for those of you who missed out on the awesomness.
Now I’ll admit, usually we’re not about the raves at conventions, but I dropped in on both nights to see a friend of mine spin (shout out to DJ Speed Demon) and both nights I was not disappointed. Friday night we grooved to the wonderful mixes of DJ Erik “Eek” Sedwick and AUSA alumn DJ Mighty Mike Saga, while Saturday DJ Speed Demon and DJ Luminal brought down the house. Perhaps the best part of both nights though were the dancers themselves, particularly on Friday night. As onlookers gathered around, a circle was formed where skilled dancers showed off their skills in a battle type fashion. From vouge-ers to break dancers, the dancing lasted into the wee hours of the morning…or so I heard. We dipped out at around 2 AM on both nights. I don’t know how these people do it!
7) Maid Cafe
Each year we go the maids of My Cup Of Tea maid cafe get sweeter, and this year was no exception! Guests were invited to sit and share a treat or two with one of over 15 adorable maids. For a small fee, you were able to get your picture taken with the maids in their exclusive photobooth, play a fun table top game, or stay for one of their dance performances. There was a maid to fit every personality, from bubbly, to tsundere, to extra moe! We have to say that the new location provided a nice, quaint atmosphere for the maids and we’re excited to see what they have in store for next year!
6) Host Club
The Host club really brought their A game this year. Packed with fresh new hosts and seasoned favorites, the Club Ikemen Paradise Host Club was back and better than ever. Stored away in the hotel’s posh Stone’s Throw Restaurant, the suave and equally charming guys were waiting to wisk girls (and guys) off into a night of their dreams. The hotel definitely worked in favor for this event, as there was more space to accommodate the 100+ people waiting in line to be wooed. The menu also took an extreme upgrade, featuring more traditional Japanese dishes and treats. As to be expected, the prices were a bit steep, but that seemed to be the least of the giddy patron’s worries. The guys did a fantastic time making sure everyone was cared for and made to feel like were the only person in the room. Definitely one of the highlighs and major selling points of the convention.
5) Super Art Fight
We had always been curious about SAF but never got a chance to experience due to schedule conflicts at different conventions. Finally we were able to get to it and we we’re glad we did. Two artists battle head to head to create a mural of artwork based on topics that could ONLY be thought up by the sadistic minds of con goers and crazy nerds. We won’t spoil it and tell you what the topics were, but see if you can try and decipher even a fraction of what is going on in the gallery here. We can’t WAIT to see what they have in store for MAGfest!
4) Michelle Knotz
To say that Loco has a crazy crush on Ms. Knotz is an extreme understatement. From the moment she was introduced at opening ceremonies, donning a Piplup mask, Ouran High School Host Club jacket and about six other people (including Tuxedo Mask) performing Gangman Style, we were dying to know more about her. Loco and I were not disappointed when we went to her panel. She joked and laughed with the audience about her various roles, as well as provided us with hilarious voice warm ups (and equally hilarious pictures). At the end of the week Loco got a nice little suprise when he was able to come face to face with Ms. Pokedex herself. You should have seen the smile on his face…oh wait, you will. We got pictures!
3) Anime USA Presents: Carnival Cabaret
One of the most exciting events to ever happen at any anime convention that we’ve attended to date. Anime USA’s theme for this year was all things sideshow, carnival-esque and cabaret inspired. To follow this up, AUSA whipped up a spectacle that was not to be missed, including the melodical musings of The Clockwork Dolls and Psyche Corporation, two skilled and sexy burlesque perfomers, the sideshow shenanigans of Mab Just Mab, Crickett and many more. I have to say; I was never more fascinated than I was that night so see a woman swallow a 2 ft balloon and chase it with a chug of beer. There was never a dull moment in the show, as the audience was captivated by the rhythmic sways of belly dancer and burlesque star Rio. Before that night we had never heard of Psyche Corporation, but after their eccentric performance, we are lifelong fans. We hope that Anime USA keeps with this tradition and continues to do shows that coincide with their themes because this was definitely a highlight of the con.
2) Mix Speakers Inc Concert
Yet another one of Loco’s highlights of the convention, Mix Speakers Inc! The eccentric band came out donning outlandish costumes and played 2 hours full of new and old hits. The crowd’s roaring was only matched by their fast riffs and lead vocalists Miki and Yuki’s dueling harmonies. Despite the language barrier, it was awesome to see how interactive the band was with their audience, and even better to know that after the performance the band took pictures with their fans. Definitely one of the most charismatic bands we’ve ever seen!
Check out the outrageous costumes that the band wore to the concert here!
As always, a convention just wouldn’t be a convention without creative and passionate cosplayers. This year it seemed video games ruled the hallways, from Guilty Gear (shameless plug) to Mortal Kombat and BlazBlue. We’re always on the lookout for the most original costumes and no matter what convention we go to they never disappoint. I even got quite the Honeyglow in my cheeks when approached by a Fix-It Felix Jr cosplayer along with a Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. The movie hasn’t even been out a month yet. How awesome is that?
**An honorable mention goes to the gentlemen who decided at 2:00 AM in the morning to do an impromptu screening of Tommy Wissieu’s “The Room”. Thank you, for without this god awful movie, many of our inside jokes would have never been discovered.**
Overall we really enjoyed the convention. The new location takes a bit to get used to, but I’m sure with another year or two going there it’ll be just as easy to navigate as the Hyatt in Crystal City. I do love that there is tons of roaming space and areas to take photos, though there is no real variety in scenery. That of course, is not the hotel nor the con’s fault. I wish that the dealer’s room was open a bit longer on Sunday to accomodate for people who had to check out at 12 PM and get everything stored away. It was a pleasure to see the convention from the eyes of not only an attendee, but a staff member and it was awesome to work with such an amazing, funny and effecient team.
Maki & Loco’s Top 3 Cosplays/Costumes
As always, we have our top 3 favorite costumes from the convention!
1) 2) 3)
For more pictures, go ahead and click here!
First of all we’d like to give a HUGE shout out to the staff of Anime USA for allowing us to be guest bloggers on behalf of the convention. It was a very amazing experience, and Theo was such an AWESOME head of marketing staff 🙂 Also thank you tons to our roomates for being fun and silly with us! Thank you to Cindy from WeTheG33k for her continued support of what we do. Thank you to all of our new and old friends for yet another exciting convention experience. Last but not least, thank you to EVERYONE who has liked the page so far! Our next con is MAGfest in January! See you all there!