Weekend Atlanta 7
- Sept. 21-23,2001
- Atlanta, Georgia USA
- A convention that treated both
"old schoolers" and "new schoolers" with
respect and downright anime fun!
- Well, this convention was by
far one of the best I'd ever attended. Only Anime Expo stands
as its rival. I can see where Animazement (the anime con local
to me) developed its great line-up. I saw so many people with
NC affiliated apparel and Animazement t-shirts at AWA that I
almost thought I was at the wrong con. Anyway, back to the good
- Firstly, location. From my hotel
room window I could see the planes depart and land on Hartsfield
Airport's parallel runways. Hotel shuttle from the airport whisked
us to the hotel within minutes after boarding it. Sadly however,
this location will host AWA only one more year as it will be
torn down to make room for even more runways for the airport.
- More location. There was space
galore here! The Georgia International Convention Center is attached
to this spacious Sheraton hotel. (Yes, the GICC too, is going
to be ground down for airport progress). Only downside to this
hotel was the elevators. Con goers easily jammed the four little
things and made otaku sardines everyday.Nevertheless, there was
no complaining about room for the main events like the Costume
Contest. Colored stage lights, a huge movie screen above the
stage, and ample seating made these events attainable for anyone
who wished to attend.
- And like myself, I must go next
to the Dealer's Room. I always have a 3-way rule: First, get
your hotel room so you can plop all your stuff down and not carry
it around. Second, get to registration. Without your badge, you
ain't gettin' into no stinkin' convention events or rooms. Thirdly,
get to the Dealer's Room as soon as possible on Friday after
the above two events are complete. The best pickins are found
on Friday. The Dealer's Room, like the main events room was huge
and contained ample space for the tables of anime goodies and
walking. Some dealers even made their own mini-stores which seemed
almost enclosed right within the main room. And still, there
was room! To the right are some of the goodies, minus the DBZ
posters that I succumbed to in the Dealer's Room. Yes, that's
a Tree Spirit from "Princess Mononke" if you're wondering.
It even makes a little rattle noise too. Good thing it doesn't
spin its head, the thing creeps me out, but I felt compelled
to purchase the thing anyway. There's something about it that
I like, I just couldn't tell you what it is if you asked me.
- Walking down the hallway one
of the video rooms caught my eye...Gatchaman was being shown!
Cool! It was a Japanese sub-titled one where Joe and the others
find out exactly what the heck Berg Katse is! That's one of the
best episodes of the entire series! So, I plopped my butt down
for a looksee.
- The first event I attended was
called "Whose Line is it Anime?" It's a spin-off of
Drew Carey's show, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Four
(or was it five? oh well)anime voice actors were the improv comedians
who were forced to act out the scenes and themes given to them.
Naturally, when a couple of them are jokers themselves, things
took turns that the host didn't anticipate but made the audience
enjoy it evenmoreso.
such, I decided to return to the hotel room and don my SSJ2 Gohan
costume for the first time. I was nervous to open my bags that
contained it seeing how I checked-in my luggage to be on the
safe side. After some minor adjustments, I found that the costume
fared quite well. The pic at left is me. I edited out the background,
which was white so you could see the costume a little better.
This was the first convention where I actually wore a costume.
Usually, I wear my usual anime t-shirts. I kinda liked being
in costume. While there were several other DBZ costumers around
such as a Great Saiyaman, Mirai Trunks, Great Saiyaman 2, several
Gokus...I never ran across one while still in costume. After
several picture sessions in the hall, I opted to pop into one
of the many viewings of anime music videos. They had several
categories for music videos at this con. The ones I viewed at
this time were the Music and Dance videos. These were later played
during the dances for anime fans to (pardon my old school wording)
boogie to. I soon found however, that the little hair piece that
hangs in front of Gohan's face is rather annoying when trying
to watch videos so I returned to the room to switch back to regular
clothes. Once the vids were over, it was food time! A Ruby Tuesdays
across the street from the hotel made for a decent and affordable
meal. Good thing I changed out of costume. I really didn't want
to try to eat ribs while wearing that Piccolo-style cape and
shoulder thingys. Not-to-mention I didn't want to get the weird
looks from the "normal" people who were en route on
business or whatever.
- After that, it was getting rather
late and having arrived at the airport for my flight to Atlanta
extremely early (3 hours), I was fighting a losing battle with
my eyelids. I tried to watch some more anime, but those eyelids
are a worthy adversary. Returing to my room, I surrendered to
them and the sandman visited me shortly after 10pm.
- Saturday, I awoke refreshed
and with much more energy than Friday. My friend and I opted
to try breakfast room service. Nice large waffles with syrup
and strawberries, yummy strips of bacon (sorry Oolong), and fresh
orange juice put fuel into me that lasted practically the entire
day. After, it was time to head for one of the video rooms to
watch some Star Blazers. "We're off to outer space..."
Ah, the old songs of classic anime series. Heheh, none of that
flashy stuff that the new anime seems to have. After that, there
was a lull of interest so, it was time to use some hotel goodies.
Back to the room, I found my swimsuit and headed for the pool
and jacuzzi. How relaxing and refreshing! After that, it was
back to the room to change into my Gohan costume once again.
- The next panel that I checked
out was the Cartoon Network Toonami one. They showed the three
videos of Daft Punk that were animated by Leiji Matsumoto who
also did the Yamato (Star Blazers) and Harlock series. The drawing
style he used was his trademark old school designs as well. The
euroclub beat of Daft Punk isn't half bad either. The Toonami
dudes really didn't have a whole lot to say aside from the dislike
of the WB sharing thing. But, they weren't supposed to say that
so you didn't hear that from me.
- After that, it was time to hear
what some of the voice actors of Star Blazers had to say. The
voice actors of the three main characters of the Star Force were
there: Ken Meseroll (Derek Wildstar),Amy Howard-Wilson (Nova),
and Tom Tweedy (Mark Venture) (these characters ended up in an
almost love triangle). After that panel, it was onto some more
music videos. This time it was the Pro/Masters contests. Man,
the music vids the entire convention were awesome! There were
so many funny/memorable ones. Even a couple that made fun of
interesting words like the f-word and pussy. And the Best of
Show music video for this con wasn't entirely a music video but
rather a comedy with fanart within it about the artist trying
to make a music video for the contest and the anime characters
in the series' she picked making fun of her. Definite originality
and very funny.
- With a slight gap, I changed
back out of my costume so I could attend the Costume Contest.
Out of costume you say? Well, uh yeah. I'm rather stage shy and
hate being in front of crowds so I opted not to participate and
instead watch others from the seats below. After that event,
it was time to turn in for more sleep. It's pretty sad that my
body is used to going to bed around 10-11pm, but that's the price
one pays when one adjusts to getting up at 5am to go to work
everyday. The body just doesn't like rapid changes.
- Sunday was rather boring and
short since we had to be at the airport rather early again just
to play it safe with security,etc. I popped into a few panels
where Tim Eldred (he worked on the Star Blazers comic as well
as others) spoke and heard the Star Blazers voice cast once again.
That was about it.
- Sidenotes of stuff I just popped
into were things like the Art Exhibit, which was small, but there
were some good works in there, several more visits to the Dealer's
Room and Video Rooms,etc. I can't list everything so I opted
to use my own agenda on this con report. Things I didn't see
but are notable were the Japanese Guests of Honor (most were
notable for series I had never seen so therefore not interested),
tons of anime to view (again, many new school titles that didn't
peak my interest), workshops on cel painting, model building,etc.,
more voice actors, and much more. Check out Anime
Weekend Atlanta's official homepage or do a search for other
sites that run down conventions for potential info on some of
this other stuff.
- Oh yeah, I took pics of the
Costume Contest, but those cheap throwaway cameras suck at distance
so they're too small for me to post here. And, when I saw other
costumers in the halls, I was usually in costume too and that
little spike of Gohan's that drops in front of the face prevented
me from taking pictures while in costume. I'll search and ask
permission from some others who got some decent ones though.
Perhaps some will let me borrow some for display here because
some of the costumes I saw were damn good!
- Well that's it for now. I am
planning on attending next year's Anime Weekend Atlanta too.
- Below are some snapshots
of the posters I got: Please ignore the bright flash thingy on
them, the posters are glossy and the flash reflected onto them.
- I will be scanning some of
my GT stuff at a later date and they will be viewable from my
- (hit browser's back button to return to website)