Anime USA 2019 Convention Review

Anime USA took place from October 31st to November 3rd, 2019 at the Washington Marriott Hotel at Wardman Park. I came to this convention in hopes to do an interactive panel on Anime Genres. When I applied, I also did the application form for volunteers as back up.

A few days before going to the convention there was an email with a discount code. This surprised me because I was put on the waitlist for my panel and was later declined due to a lack of space. I feel that I learned more about convention security and convention setup while at Anime USA.

Anime USA came to fruition by a group of Anime fans coming together and making their passion for a convention a reality in 1999. These anime fans made a 3-day event where the goal was to “celebrate Japanese animation, art, culture, history, and fashion” (Anime USA's guidebook information). Five years later, the event would change from for-profit to a Non-Profit Organization. Any money earned through registration, vendors, merchandise, and other revenue goes directly into the next year's budget. The motto of Anime USA is Of Otaku, By Otaku, For Otaku and this is embraced a lot at the hotel and the anime activities.

My days were mostly spent in volunteering at Anime USA. On day one, I went to the Convention Ops and they said that there was no needed help specifically. They told me to wander around and see who might need assistance in various areas. After a few tries, the arcade or gaming room presented a potential task as a monitor. So, I patrolled around the gaming equipment to see if machines were down, anyone with problems, and more importantly, make sure that drinks and food were not on any of the various electronics. Then, the Dealer's Hall needed a person to check badges before entering and as such the same was needed back at the Exhibition Level right near the gaming section again.

The only time that I had to enjoy a few of the activities was at around 10 pm on Friday, Nov. 1st. I ventured to go to the tabletop section (non-electronic gaming) to possibly Yugioh. There was someone to duel but only for one duel. He played with my Timelords deck while I choose my flip effects deck. Timelords have too many effects to name like normal summon without tribute with controlling no monsters, field protection (can not be destroyed by card effects and battle), taking no battle damage, and end of battle effects (dealing direct damage or getting cards on the field or graveyard). I used the flip effects for the only weakness on the Timelords were them being shuffled during the opponent's Standby Phase. Dice Jar is a broken effect if you roll a six on a di and deal 6000 direct damage to the opposing party.

There were also Cards Against Humanity being played at Tabletop and funny enough there was a Cards Against Humanity Panel. In CAH, the only victory of a card given to me was my card The Great Depression to the question of, what do millions of Americans struggle with every day? The panel was originally a roost of Anime USA but it turned out to be seven people playing the game and a host. It was very fun for the audience were the ones to judge the winner for the best card or the crudest of them all. Cards Against Humanity is a game where the main goal is the adult version of Apples to Apples to fill in the blanks.

Finally, Anime USA was really well planned out and I am glad I was a part of it. Looking back, I would say that it was an overall success in my opinion. At the Post-Modern Comedy Panel, Chex the Panelist was the host and did a superb job at explaining humor and bringing excitement to panels at Cons. I can say in the future that I am definitely seeing Chex again as a co-panelist. I am now able to understand what goes into a convention behind the scenes. This occurred while volunteering at the Patrol Safety desk which provided much insight in convention operations. Conventions are not easy to plan and there is a lot more to them than people realize. Therefore, go to a convention or any other large event and think of the work that went into it and take it to heart.