Nothing like waking up after a long Saturday of con activities and realizing that you have to pack. More importantly, the whole hotel is trying to check out as well, and for those who know, anime congoers bring a ton of stuff. Cosplays alone can force folks to take 3 trips to make sure they have all their wigs, wig heads, weapons, props, and of course costumes. I didn’t have any so I was packed pretty quickly thankfully, although I still had to play the elevator game with folks. Thankfully even with the unintended hijinxs provided with our moving out, I was still able to do what I expressly wanted to do Sunday – head to the Dealer Room.
Last day for the uninitiated, or the unobservant, is a day for deals. Why? The Dealer’s brought tons of stuff and frankly they’d rather not return with it. Plus by this point it’s kind of expected. That said I surprisingly enough wasn’t hunting for deals. I figured what I wanted, 1 art book, would probably be just as pricey as they were when they came in. I was right but I still had to get the thing. Thankfully enough my co-host Casey (aka The Cay) was nice enough to get me a belated Christmas gift, and per that I had enough for the art book I had in mind, featuring Shakugan no Shana. This is a bit of nostalgia for me since it was one of the first shows I was introduced to through my college anime club so I’ve had a thing for the show ever since. Lo and behold an art book is now there to support my habit. I was happy with the find.
Following that I got to partake in that most difficult of activities waiting for autographs. Upon my arrival I feared I would get no autographs at all since Vic’s line had already filled 1 hour before his signing time. Due to my lingering nature, and the kindness of the staff to extend the line, I was in the right place at the right time and became the new end of the line. This actually happened for other folks later so I became more of a back middle, but still I was excited to see that I could get Vic’s autograph. Indeed I did but of course after a couple hours of waiting, for which I didn’t mind. I made some line buddies with an Ed cosplayer, a Simon cosplayer, and a girl (who may or may not have been cosplaying?). They certainly helped pass the time, plus I was excited because, with due hassle on a staff member apparently, I was able to send my goodies to friends in Caitlin’s line to get her to sign them. All in all it worked out. After that I was threw. Day’s over. Con’s over. Time to head home and, with a Cracker Barrel stop en route, we did.
All in all this year’s AWA was perhaps not only my favorite AWA but maybe even my favorite con experience and that’s saying a lot. Sure a large part of that is the interviews, and trust me I realize I am in a uniquely lucky and cool position to do those, but really there was more to it then that. I had more friends at the con. I knew my way around. Most importantly I did nearly everything I wanted to do. Sure some items get tossed to the side, and certainly all Thursday night I was thinking there’s too many good things at once. I realized there always will be and moved on and that helped me a lot. I did miss my experience of the past two years, because my brother, who’s now in college, was sort of my con partner but I think I made up as best I could.
Regrets? Perhaps not being in the con hotel. Sure the elevators would be bad but the Sheraton’s this year’s were broken too (at least the outside ones which everyone has to take). Additionally, I wish I’d gone to more of the concert. I didn’t get to see Omodaka at all. Sad. Hopefully next year I’ll have a better run at that.
Highlights? Other then what I’ve mentioned not much but as always I emphasize friends. New, old, unexpected, patiently waiting, friends of all kinds were in attendance at AWA and I was glad. Hopefully if I met you between now and then I’ll get to see you there too. Guess we’ll just have to see when I return in 2010 for a hopefully equally awesome AWA.