9 out of 10. Did I have fun? Hell yes. Would I go back next year? Probably not since it won’t have a lot of stuff that appeals to me (2015’s main focus may stray from fashion). Time for a pros and cons list:
-A variety of panels that explores the main focus, fashion and culture, while having anime related panels as well.
-A badass ARCADE room hosted by Bemani Invasion. DDR, Pump it Up, and various rhythm games are ALWAYS an incentive for me to go to that convention. To start out my day right or whenever I was waiting for a panel, I would hit up the dance games in the arcade room.
-Maid + Host Cafe. I thought this convention offered a good option for maids and hosts for later hours. Not gonna lie, the hosts were very handsome.
-Good size, weather, and numbers. I have a big bias for small to mid sized cons, and although there weren’t a lot of people this year, it was much more comfortable than AWA or Momocon. Whenever I go to those cons, I get bombarded with tons of visual stimulation everywhere. Too many cosplayers, too many panels, too hot from all the warm bodies adding to the temperature (maybe I’m getting too old haha). With the smaller to mid sized cons, I can direct my attention to individuals more instead of being selective and ignoring a lot of people. The building was nice and cool with a cool breeze the outside weather offered as well… …perfect temperatures for pirate ouji.
-If you’re looking for a big con environment, then you may need to think again. It wasn’t crowded like AWA, so if big, big crowds are your thing, you might get disappointed. Expect to see a lot of fashion interested people? This is a big maybe.
-I thought the organization for the walk-ons during the masquerade needed improvement. It would have been more professional if the walk-ons had some practice before show time. Nevertheless, it was pretty simple to do.
I mainly decided to go to Anime USA because they offered a variety of choices when it came to fashion. VK, rave stuffs, street fashion, and steampunk was some of the offerings. AWA 2014 was like an extension of work in my opinion, for I was constantly on the go and never really had time to relax. I don’t think I even went to a panel haha, but Anime USA was different. Being able to go solo in a place where nobody knows you and being able to do whatever you want is really refreshing to me. Yeah, it’s a bit lonely, but I’m able to relax better and enjoy the con weekend, and boy did I have fun.
Special fashion guest Mika Takeuchi showed off her designs in the fashion show. I gotta say, she had some CUTE designs. Dark, gothic fashion, similar to Frill and Gramm.
The Schwarz Stein concert was small, but there was PLENTY of room. I didn’t watch much, but it was pleasant to see them perform.
Saturday night rave was okay. Plenty of space to dance, not too hot, and the dj was okay. I only stayed for an hour since I kinda got bored with his selection of music.
I definitely had more fun and was able to relax with this convention than AWA. In fact, call me crazy, but I think this convention was even BETTER than AWA. Maybe it was just the fact that I was busy this year, but it brought back the fun I had expected for. AUSA felt like a good jog while AWA was HIIT. Fashion-wise, I think both offered a good variety of panels, and AUSA had a good proportion of people wearing such fashion, like lolita and VK. AWA had a BUNCH of lolita and I can’t blame them since the fashion guest was Baby. Either way, you can’t go wrong with each con. Will I go next year? That depends on the theme for 2015.
For my next con, I’m going to head towards Virginia for Nekocon.