Anime USA 2019 Review: A Shining Moment In My Convention History

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So my convention travels finally took me to a con in Washington D.C. Now I’ve had my eye on this con for a couple of years but due to scheduling conflicts I’ve managed to keep missing out on it, but this year I finally got a chance to go.

Guests:

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Guests were pretty awesome this year. Quite a few people in the Fire Emblem series like Faye Mata, Cherami Leigh, and Bryce Papenbrook.  This con doesn’t get a large number of guests but it got several amazing people to attend.  Also, the guests were featured in a lot of events so I felt like I got plenty of opportunities to talk and get to know these people.  While this con doesn’t have a huge guest list, I felt like I got more of an experience with each person than I normally would and I was very happy with the results.

One small hiccup involved the autograph sessions.  The sessions allow VIPs to go first, which was great for me, but there were times where the VIPs took up 40 to 50 minutes of an hour-long autograph session.  The staff did a good job trying to adapt to this but this still happened a lot.  One thing that also helped with this was the fact that a lot of the guests sold additional autographs in the dealer’s room so this was a minor inconvenience.  I think a ban of table photographs would help resolve this to allow more people to get autographs.

Panels:

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This continues on the point I made with my guest section of the review.  There were a lot of great panels and several that featured the guests.  Bryce Papenbrook and Cherami Leigh did a cold reading panel that I got to try and absolutely loved it.  I even got a thumbs up from Bryce which was epic.  Keith Silverstein did a voiceover panel and Cherami led a panel called women in anime that offered a detailed insight regarding how the industry has been for these amazing performers.  Faye Mata even did a panel where people got to try to beat her in Super Smash Brothers, none succeeded.  Normally I don’t pay much attention to panels but this was for sure a highlight at this con that contributed to my amazing experience.

Vendors/Artist Alley

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There was plenty of space to shop in both the vendors and artist alley which made it easy to get a good look at everything and find interesting treasures.  I got my fiance her first Pokemon item at this con, a Snorlax keychain, and found a lot of cool things all over the place.  I also bought myself a trio of artwork of the main characters of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I wouldn’t mind seeing more vendors at this event, only because it was laid out really well and I enjoyed the experience so more vendors make that experience last longer.

Venue:

I have never felt strongly enough about a venue to feature it in any of my reviews; however, this time the venue/host hotel made a great impression on me.  The Marriott Wardman Park had an incredibly amazing staff that was kind and helpful.  I briefly mentioned taking my fiance on a trip to DC when I checked in and found a nice engagement gift in our room just a couple days later.  Additionally, there was an incident where a group of fans was extremely loud late into the night.  When hotel security arrived to their room, which was unfortunately next to mine, they were very quick to silence the group so others could sleep.  I was very appreciative of that since they were up till 2 am playing loud music, slamming doors and yelling.  Way to go hotel staff.

Overall I want to go to this con again.  Great venue, great panels, great time with the guests and just an absolute fun event.

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