November 18 - 20, 2011
Anime USA was the first convention that we attended that was not Otakon, and it was very refreshing to experience a smaller con that took place entirely in the hotel. We did not know what to expect, but it was really fun to see cosplayers filling the lobby when we went downstairs, and to be able to walk through the Artist's Alley before the convention even officially began. The con technically started at 1:00 PM, but by that time we had already taken a bunch of pictures of cosplayers and bought stuff in the Artist's Alley. We got in line for the Dealer's Room before it opened, and it was really cool to join such a small line (in comparison to the Dealer's Room line on the first day at Otakon). The Dealer's Room had a good amount of merchandise, and the way they had it laid out was perfect. They even had arrows on the floor so you would know which way to go.
We really liked the more intimate feel of this convention. The panel rooms were smaller than at Otakon and it just felt like the guests were able to talk more with the attendees than at them. At Micah Solusod's panel, he even offered to sign autographs at the end of his panel. We also decided to try an autograph line, which we never do at Otakon anymore because of the confusing and ever changing rules and the disorganization. The staff at this con were excellent and kept the line organized and well informed about the progress when the session started late. We were so impressed by one staffer in particular, we referred to him throughout the whole weekend as the Line God (whenever a line began to form, he would magically appear and keep it organized). It is amazing how much more enjoyable waiting in line can be when someone is keeping it organized and running smoothly. We kept running into the same attendees throughout the weekend and we very much enjoyed the overall friendly and laid back atmosphere.
- Getting pins and shirts in the mail before the convention
- Great cosplayers (our favorite was getting a photo of Reno and Rude from the Turks at the hotel bar)
- Good selection of merchandise in the Artist's Alley and Dealer's Room
- Well organized lines
- Getting to meet J. Michael Tatum at his autograph session
- Monica Rial panel
- J. Michael Tatum panels
- Micah Solusod's panel and impromptu autograph session
- Inside the Voice Actors Studio panel (with J. Michael Tatum, Wendee Lee, Trina Nishimura, Tony Oliver, Monica Rial, and Micah Solusod