December 8 - 10, 2017
Anime USA 2017 was scheduled for December and the theme was "The Christmas Special". Since nearly all the conventions we have attended have taken place in the summer, this was a very refreshing and welcome change (especially when it snowed on Saturday!). To be honest, I was not really looking forward to going to a convention once December rolled around, but it was just such a good con that I ended up not wanting it to end! I love the smaller con experience - it was great being able to easily walk up to booths in the Dealer's Room, attend workshops, get autographs and meet guests, and just navigate the hotel without feeling overwhelmed by the number of other attendees. In fact, the very first thing we did after checking in was the Trina Nishimura and Chris Cason autograph session. After waiting maybe 10 minutes tops it was our turn, whereas we won't even attempt the autograph sessions at Otakon due to the line lengths and confusion. Trina was very friendly and she was excited when we asked if we could take a photo of her with my BJD, Sebby. When we asked the same of Chris Cason (who, when I asked if it would be weird to take a photo with Sebby, responded "it would be weird not to!"), Trina also joined in and we got an impromptu photo shoot where they would pose him and then mimic his pose. It was a very memorable experience and a great way to kick off the con!
One of the things I wanted to do the most was to attend a craft workshop, and we were able to do two of them. We first made kokeshi dolls, which was awesome because they turned out so cute and also because everyone was so nice to each other and shared materials so well. The last day of the con we made paper doll greeting cards, although we had to leave before it was over to check out of the hotel. We saw several panels throughout the weekend and on Saturday night attended the Triforce Quartet concert. They are a very talented string quartet who played covers and medleys of video games themes. (I am addicted to remixes and covers of Final Fantasy VII music so was very happy to hear their Final Fantasy boss song.) They even played a Christmas medley to fit the theme of the con and were very likable and funny in both their concert banter and when we met them to purchase their CDs and at their autograph session. Although we didn't get as much sleep throughout the weekend as we would have liked (our annoying neighbors were having a party and singing karaoke at 3 AM), it was overall a great experience and I really look forward to attending again in the future!
- Christmas theme and decorations coupled with the snow on Saturday
- Lots of Haikyu and Yuri on Ice merchandise
- Meeting Trina Nishimura and Chris Cason and taking photos with Sebby
- Chris Cason's panel and stories about directing and his friend who plays Barney the Dinosaur
- Making kokeshi dolls
- Meeting Chris Patton and attending his panel and autograph session
- Sound traveling between the rooms could be amusing (people cheering and singing in the room next to Chris Cason's panel or the sound of karaoke traveling to the autograph sessions)
- The convention was extremely well run and organized
- Triforce Quartet concert
- Blind box fails - opening dupes or getting the only character we didn't want
- Hotel was really nice