So I got to attend Maturicon in Columbus Ohio. Maturicon is an anime convention and this years theme was pirates. This convention had some great things to talk about put also some things that just didn’t hit the mark or just flat out caused a chaotic mess. So with that I’ll break down the individual aspects of this convention and give my overall opinion of how everything was executed.
The guests that came to the convention were amazing. The voice actors for Vegeta, Master Roshi and Krillin from Dragonball Z, most of the characters from One Piece and my personal reason for going Walhart and Basillio from Fire Emblem Awakening. I was overjoyed by the amount of guests the convention had and the wide vareity of content that the guests were in. Matsuricon did a great job picking the guests for the convention.
I really loved the panels. I went to three panels today and the first one I went to was a voice acting panel led by Paul St. Peter. Paul St Peter was the voice of Kurama/Nine tailed Fox in Naruto, Wormmon in Digimon and Yammy in Bleach. Paul St Peter went over different methods of changing ones voice to create different characters, as well as how to combine different methods to make a variety of different voices. The second panel I went to was the 500 voices of Richard Epcar which was hosted by of course Richard Epcar who voiced Zangetsu in Bleach, Raiden in Mortal Combat and the Joker in Injustice Gods Among Us. We got to hear stories about Epcar’s experiences as well as some of the samples of the voices he’s done which was pretty entertaining. The final panel I went to was the Patrick Seitz Q&A which was by far my favorite panel. Seitz was a riot and had the crowd laughing frequently. In the first five minutes of the event I was already catching my breath from laughing so hard. The panels were amazing and I loved every second of them. In fact I rarely find panels that I’ve enjoy as much as the ones I went to at Matsuricon so I’m really interested in seeing more of them.
The art work sold at this event was spectacular. Rarely ever do I find artwork that is so good that I have to buy it; however, I found multiple stores with artwork that I had to look at and I even bought a couple of pieces with the intent on hanging them up. The vendors however were just so so for me. I liked the variety that the vendors had to offer but I’ve been to several conventions where the vendors had more to offer so in comparison this one seemed a little lackluster.
I am quite reluctant to talk about this part of the review. While the guests were amazing; the methods used to handle the autograph sessions were so bad that I couldn’t help but wonder if the autograph schedule was slapped together with no real thought involved. First of all the convention placed the guests in the smallest room on the convention floor, but that wasn’t a problem because if one guest was in the room then the attendants had enough room to enter the room and wait for a signature. The problem arose when Maturicon decided to put two guests in the same room and to line up anyone who wanted to see either guest in one line. The particular problem was Chris Sabat was signing autographs with Patrick Seitz so if you wanted to see one of them you had to wait in line for people who wanted to see either Seitz or Sabat. In this particular case I found out that Seitz didn’t even sign for several minutes while Sabat was signing one after another. This left several people wanting to see the guests disappointed as the line was far too long to be satisfied in one hour.
When you look at how the signing was managed, each guest was supposed to get one hour; however, when two guests are in the same room neither of them could sign for the full hour which only made it harder for fans to get autographs. Overall when they had one person in one room everything worked out ok, but they got ambitions and tried to double up on rooms and it was the absolute worst experience I ever had trying to get autographs. I wound up not being able to get to Seitz that day and waited till the next day to meet him when he was signing on his own. I managed to get to the room an hour early and got a really good spot in line but it was still crowded from the people who couldn’t meet him the day before so, in my opinion, too many people left disappointed.
The staff was doing the best they could in order to be helpful; however, I honestly got the impression that the staff was afraid of the attendants. When many of the attendants got angry with autograph issues, multiple staff memebers tried to calm the people down but when that failed some of them were almost brought to tears as others seemed reluctant to even speak to the people at all. While tensions were high during these moments the staff is supposed to be able to face these problems head on or else you’ll have a riot, which was discussed amongst the attendants. I got along well with the staff but I really don’t think they have the backbone to handle the crowds.
Overall I had a wonderful time at this convention, but it wasn’t without its problems. The panals were amazing and I don’t have a single complaint about them. I enjoyed the vendors and artist alley; while I felt like there could’ve been more to them I was not disappointed. The guests were amazing but how the autographs were managed was the only, but major, problem of the whole convention. I will consider Matsuricon in the future, but there has to be some changes made to the autograph policy.