AWA Day 2

Day 2 of a con is always the busiest and for me this was no exception. While I was bowled over with interviews the day before, and only had 1 today, in terms of photo shoots, panels, and just general activities Saturday certainly took the cake.

Therefore, a 10am event for me was required, and specifically that event was the Bleach photo shoot 2nd of 3 scheduled at the time. Rain had started to intrude on our con activities so instead of the Fountains, where the Bleach-ers were on Friday, everyone setup by the Main Ballroom. The photos I believe turned out rather well and really the only main problem I could see is that in the location traffic was diminished, which became more of a problem as entrants for the costume contest started arriving (and squeezing through our bloated setup). All in all though we crunched in, I and others got our pictures, and then we dispersed. I thought about hitting the dealer’s room but alone (for probably the first time in sometime) and wandering the con I rested casually by the front of the dealer’s room and then slipped in for part of the Funimation Industry panel.

The Funimation Panel was brief, since I left after about 20 minutes, but enlightening.  First of all, I got the feeling that Funimation is on top of the industry and knows it (in a good way). I judge that by both the number of releases and the casual nature of the panel. Basically the Funimation Rep. was really funny, had a great sense of humor, and wasn’t afraid to make comments one wouldn’t traditionally expect in an Industry Panel. Otherwise, it was just business as usual, with the Rep.showing off new shows, which I really want to see now, and introducing Funimation’s new in-development Social Networking site. Perhaps most importantly for me this panel reinforced my interest in Shodojo.com, future home for Funi’s Social Network. Well perhaps more importantly this panel actually made me want to watch Sgt. Frog just to see what it’s about. Sgt. Frog was Funimation’s big release for the weekend so they were selling it early at AWA too, but I decided to pass on that opportunity.
Instead, I slipped out of the panel, and made my way to my 4th and final voice actor interview for the con.

My fourth interview was with Vic Mignona, voice actor most known for his role as Ed on Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki on Ouran High School Host Club, and a talented singer of both his own original pieces, and his own fan work relating to show’s he has worked on (specifically the ones just mentioned). To no surprise of my own, his schedule was quite busy, so he was a bit late but that was certainly no problem at all. We had a great chat for about 30 minutes with Vic, and I believe The Cay (my Tokyo Tower co-host) and I were able to ask most of the questions we had, and certainly we learned a lot about the man behind the voice. As with my other interviews this one will be available in the future for folks to either hear or read.

When the interview was finished Nate and I took some photos of an Air Gear photo shoot in the hotel lobby (which was awesome because I love Air Gear), and then I joined Erica and checked out the AMV awards.  For those who haven’t been to Anime Weekend Atlanta, or maybe just aren’t aware, AWA is THE place for AMV’s. If you want to watch the finest AMV’s around? You go to AWA. If you want to compete on a level unknown to even most major cons? You go to AWA. For this reason, I’ve known people to fly from all across the country to present their AMV’s to us con-goers. For this reason, plus the contest’s popularity, the full AMV contest runs about 3 hours, not withstanding delays due to technical issues. I myself only stayed an hour, and sadly a large part of that was dealing with technical issues, so I only got to see the Expo. competition, what we’ll call the “beginner’s” round. Believe me though that this most basic level is higher than most AMV competitions top rung. I was knocked out by the effort, time, technical know-how, and patience especially that went into each of these AMV’s.  There were so many great ones, including a Macross AMV that brought quite an emotional reaction from myself and the crowd which lead to a gradual, yet quite stupendous, “lighter waving” of sorts.  Too bad the creator wasn’t there to see that! Anyways what I did see of the AMV’s was amazing and I do wish I could have stayed but I had elsewhere to go!

In this case, I went back to my room for a breather and some much needed phone/camera charging. As you may know cons can really do a number on you, especially as much as people walk, so not just the cosplayers get pain after time. Anyways it was a wonderful break, I got to meet up with Nick who started feeling much better, and together we returned shortly thereafter to join up with Erica and Nate for some munching in the dealer’s room Moe’s style.  I had been wanting to go back to the Dealer Room so this was a great opportunity, albeit also an opportunity to buy things. Thankfully for my brother and his friend, who could not come to AWA, I took this time to pick them up a wall-scroll each, one of Ouran High School Host Club for my brother and one featuring Lelouch from Code Geass for his friend. I stumbled across some awesome art books and picked up one for “Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto” an anime I liked that is fairly new (’06-’07) but definitely lesser known, so I was quite excited to buy something truly unique. All in all my return visit proved successful.

After dinner and dealing, and running into a rather impressive seemingly impromptu Harry Potter photo shoot, we split again and Nate and I went to hit up the Resident Evil photo shoot. I am not a major Resident Evil fan, having seen only the first 2 films, so aside from zombies I didn’t really know what to look for. Lucky for us we were standing chatting with a Boogie BAM Anime Jam club member when the group began to gather behind us. This bit of serendipity gave us perfect timing for the photo shoot. Too bad the weather didn’t think to cooperate equally, because when we went to the Fountains the rain brought the photo shoot to an early end, for us anyways. That said both Nate and I got a number of pictures so all in all photo shoot success! Seeing as how the con was waring on us, and that Nate had 2 photo shoots to attend to, we both retired to the hotel for a bit to charge up our batteries once more.

Upon our return to the con I briefly stepped into the concert, to see Peelander-Z wailing out their now oh-so-familiar tunes, took a couple pictures, and moved on for more photo shoot fun.  First up was the Hellsing photo shoot. I was particularly looking forward to this one because Hellsing is awesome and I’d seen a number of cool cosplayers doing Hellsing but I hadn’t been able to stop them and get their picture.  Thanks to our early arrival for the shoot, and likely Nate’s familiar yet professional nature, he was able to be the primary photographer for the shoot.  Of course, like all good photo shoots, we had a number of photographers casual and professional step-in, and by numbers alone, and the fun that was being had, this was a great shoot!  The Persona one we had following was also quite entertaining, and knowing many of the people cosplaying as Persona, indeed it was all quite fun too. Sadly though, due to the numbers of participants and the weather, we moved around a fair amount so while I got shots in different locales, I became worn out again and Nate and I quite quickly wrapped up our con activities for the day and returned to our respective rooms.

All in all, I had a great and extremely busy 2nd day, with my only disappointment being that I missed out on O
modaka performing. I know I could have probably tried harder to go, but I also had the times when Peelander-Z and Omodaka were supposed to play mixed-up, so I did see some concert, but alas none of the seemingly quirky, yet fun, Omodaka show. Anyways it was a long day and rest was desperately needed before the morning packing.

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