Kami Con 2023 Review: A Well Rounded Event

Kami Con is an event that I’ve considered going to for quite some time but always had issues trying to fit it into my schedule, but this year I was finally able to attend. I’ve only recently started attending events in Birmingham, AL but there must be something about them because this makes the fourth convention I’ve attended in this city. I found Kami Con to be a very interesting anime con with a lot to do and a unique use of space so I’m really excited to put together my thoughts of the event.

I’ll start with the guest list because I found this to be pretty interesting. Lots of anime voice actors but also a wide variety of actors from Avatar the Last Airbender and a variety of musical guests. I really felt like the guest list catered to a wide variety of fandoms within the animation industry and it was something I really enjoyed. In fact, it featued a guest that I needed for my Fire Emblem Heroes poster that I didn’t even know attended conventions, to which I found it was her first convention. So I don’t know if this event has a history of having guests that are not common to conventions or if I happened to time this for a year when they invided someone to their first con but I’m hoping it’s because they reach out to those new to conventions because there are a lot of people I want to meet. Each guest had the option to sign for almost the entire day with breaks only for panels or if they simply choose to take one so it made the guests really easy to line up and meet. I also really loved how there was a lot of space allocated for their lines so at no point did it feel cramped or conjested.

The vendors had a nice variety as well including a wide variety of anime merch and what I really liked was how you really didn’t see a lot of the same merch over and over again but erather all of the vendors felt really unique which really encouraged taking a detailed look at each and every one of them. The vendors were also spread out really well so it wasn’t hard to walk around and really take that much needed time to really see everything they had to offer. I did find the location of the vendors to be a bit unusual and because of that it took me a bit to actually find them. At most events the vendors have a door to them from the common area of the convention so often times you line up at the door to the vendors if you’re there before the convention starts but here there’s a room with events like wrestling and foam fighting in between so I had to take a minute to figure out where I was going but luckily the handy convention map made that really easy.

Then finally I want to talk about the panels or rarather just the panels and other activities to do at the convention. The panels had a nice variety with several options for events featuring one of the guests, lots of concerts and other events like the foam fighting I mentioned earlier, dodgeball and live wrestling. There was no shortage of things to do. Plus this convention does something unique that I just absolutely love. Every year each convention represents part of an anime style story that is done with their original characters and the art for the event is based off of the current year’s story. I’ve never seent his before at any other event and I really applaud such a unique and incredible idea. I do have a couple of things to note though. Some of the panels canceled the morning of the day they were supposed to happen which does happen but it’s not fun when you were looking forward to attending them, thankfully for at least the panels involving actors it appears there was almost one per actor each day. This does lead to my next thing I want to mention because I found it odd that there were no group panels when the guest list featured many actors from My Hero Academia, Fire Emblem and other notable franchises so I was left wondering why group panels were not done. These are not actual problems just more of a personal preference but I find group panels where the actors can bounce off of each other really exciting.

Overall Kami Con is a nice medium sized event that really does everything rather well. It presents plenty of space for everything, plenty of opportunities to meet guests via their autograph sessions or their panels and a lot of events to do like foam fighting and concerts. I wish I attended this event earlier, and I really wish I got a host hotel so I didn’t have to leave so early or I would have stayed late into the day (I don’t like driving back to the hotel late at night but I don’t mind a short walk). So I’m without a doubt going to be looking at this convention to potentially go to again next year.

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