With the end of Yama Con, my conventions for 2022 are done and I won’t be attending another one till the middle of January 2023 so with that we’ve reached the point where I rank all of the conventions I went to this year. Now like in previous years when I did my reviews of events I took everything into consideration such as how I liked them as well as how well they executed their schedules and overall organization. However, my convention rankings are entirely based on how much I personally enjoyed attending the event as well as how much I got out of it so you may see conventions that were less organized placed higher simply because in spite of that I may have been able to get more out of them than other events that ran more smoothly.
In every list that included Anime Expo it has always placed rather high on the list but this time it was a clear choice for last place. Before 2022 I always tolerated the flaws in Anime Expo’s management because it was still able to offer me an experience unlike anything else I could get at the other events I attend; however, it was very clear after this year that this is no longer the case. The poor management skills reached a new level that made it basically unbearable for me as they now charge actors hundreds of dollars to sign which means actors simply have no desire to attend anymore and as a result neither do I. Plus over the course of the pandemic and when things opened up again, I became more complacent with a smaller crowd and went to smaller events before the larger ones opened back up and gained a new appreciation for the ease of access they have. I’m sure the crowd at Anime Expo this year was comparable to previous years, but I was less tolerant of that and just became frustrated at how much I struggled to get around and see everything. It escalated to the point where I just gave up on the event entirely and was able to get more out of planning to meet actors that I became friends with over the pandemic to hang out rather than ensure the song and dance to meet the actors inside the convention. However, the parts of my vacation that were outside of Anime Expo were amazing as I got to meet some awesome friends of mine like Jamieson Boaz and Vernon Dew so while the convention was a bust the trip itself was wonderful.
My Hero Con/Kimetsu Con
Now I’m going to be entirely honest here and say that the reason this is low on this list is more due to an external circumstance. While I had a great time at the event and managed to enjoy shopping, seeing several guests, and taking tons of pictures I received some really depressing news after I met the last voice actor on my list of people to see. This was how I found out that AVOX, an event that I was incredibly excited about, was canceled. For that reason, I just left the convention and was unmotivated to really do anything else there which was really a shame because I got to meet Brook Chalmers who I was really excited to see. In fact, Brook was the entire reason I went to that event, to begin with, because I actually already planned another convention but changed my plans to be able to do this event on the same weekend just so I could meet him. Thankfully I was able to hang out with him before I got the news and I was able to experience what became one of the highlights of the year for me as Brook is really an incredible person; however, now the memory of that is bittersweet because of the bad news that followed.
Queen City Anime Con
I really did have a lot of fun at this event and it was super well organized, but sadly it ranks below several events on this list simply because it had less to do in comparison to them. The vendors were great and I enjoyed meeting the guests but none of that really took all that much time and I didn’t find a lot of panels that I was all that eager to go to so while this was an incredibly fun experience it winds up having less to offer than many of the other events on this list because of this.
Smoky Mountain Fan Fest
This event really did offer a very unique experience and one that I will remember fondly but this was not a trip without its flaws. We had some frustration with the photo ops because for a while we didn’t know if the one we bought was going to happen on the day we were actually going to be at the convention. I feel like this is a frustration that really could have been easily avoided with better planning but I applaud how well the convention worked to provide several potential solutions to the problem. I also got to drink Moonshine with Walter Jones the original black ranger from Power Rangers and spend time with one of my childhood heroes was amazing.
I had so much fun going to this convention and it really brought me back to my card-collecting days. Seeing Vanilla Ice and the Ninja Turtles perform on stage was easily a highlight of the year and having the story of being hit by a water bottle thrown by Ice is just hilarious. It was a shame that flight delays prevented me from seeing Jason Paige perform live but one day it will happen and the cards I got in replacement of him performing included two legendary Pokemon. It was a ton of fun and I was so glad to go. I got to meet David Lodge who was one of my all-time favorite actors.
Lexington Ton and Comic Con
This is one of those conventions I attend every year and it rarely disappoints. Being able to take my giant Snorlax and meeting the voice of the character was an adventure unlike any other. Plus the variety of guests makes for a very fun day meeting people with very little planning needed since the event isn’t that far from home. If plans continue I’m going to go again in 2023.
Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo
This is my second time attending this convention and I’m already planning to go again next year. The guest list at this event is a gift for both my wife and me and we always enjoy seeing several people here. Everything is so easy to find and I personally love the venue and the nearby scenery. Plus the fact that this event is so close to a buffalo wing festival at the same time is just amazing and I always make time to get some wings while I’m there.
Chattanooga Comic Con
This is the first time this event has happened and I really find it to be really successful already. It had a fair amount of fun guests to meet but what I really liked was how it already has a wide variety of things to do. Interactive panels, concerts, games, and more which is something that is hard to pull off and pull off well right away. This is another event I’m making plans to attend next year.
This one is probably going to be the most shocking of them all on this list as Matsuricon has repeatedly placed number one in previous years but this time made less than the top three. Matsuricon is a lot of fun as always, which is why I attend this event so much but sadly this year when it made its return it was affected by the past two years. It had less to offer than what it usually does and while it was a ton of fun it also meant I had more downtime as I was not doing as much as I normally would do at this convention. I am considering this event for next year though.
This is the first convention that I attended at multiple locations and I was not disappointed. Great panels, lots of guests and vendors plus the organization is really on point. It really hits all of the things I love about conventions and does it very well. I am also hoping to attend another Galaxycon next year; however, I’m not sure which one yet.
Yama con really stepped up its game to celebrate 10 years and it was so much fun. The convention offered the same amount of entertainment it always did at the best location for a convention during this time of year for local attractions but upped what it had to offer in the form of parties and hotel events. I am saddened to not be able to attend next year but my wife and I already made plans to go on a trip that occurs during Yamacon 2023.
Anime Weekend Atlanta
So this is a very interesting case. Thanks to specific events it easily took the top spot this year. I mean getting to play Super Smash Brothers on stage with Chris Hackney, Bill Butts, and Tony Oliver while Kyle Mccarly was on the microphone was the best thing that happened to me at a convention all year. Sure the convention had issues with overcrowding and the line to get a badge was miserable but in my case, I avoided the worst of it because I had my badge mailed to me. Here’s the thing though while this took the top spot this year the events that led it to take the top spot will almost certainly not happen next year and you have the chance of dealing with the organizational problems so I haven’t decided on if I’ll come back in 2023.