The Raleigh area once again brings the art and entertainment of Japan with stage sword fighting performances to rooms full of anime. This year the convention brought in fewer guests from before, but it didn’t stop the attendees to enjoy themselves. Kotoko made an appearance and the return of DJ Amaya for the dance brought many people from around to see. Both the Marriott and Sheraton were at full capacity and most likely the satellite hotels were too.
Animazement is not a convention unless things just go weird. Just like last year, there was a wedding in one of the convention hotels, and a ton of rickshaw business going around for the masses. Even at one point there were two rickshaws racing down Fayetteville Street. On Saturday night of the convention, the Sheraton and the area went through a black out.
For the performance sector of the convention, Kotoko was brought in for a concert. Kotoko is well known for bring in I’ve and performing many anime themes. Some of the names would be Onegai Teacher (Please Teacher), Hayate no Gotoko (Hayate the Combat Butler), Shakugan no Shana, and many others. Attendance was quite packed for the ballroom and the loudness was just about the same as last year’s concert (Note to self, stay back).
The Jacabals came into the convention showing their sword fighting techniques. The attendees were impressed with the techniques as they performed. It was also a good supplement for the intermission between the masquerade and the awards ceremony. Either way the three men looked like they could kick anyone’s ass the convention.
Cosplay overall improved from last year and finally Naruto isn’t so annoying anymore. Animazement has always been the type of convention where both the novice and veterans of cosplay come at once. Quite a bit of new photographers have come in with full gear to show off their skill or equipment too.
Masquerade wasn’t too bad, but there are still remnants of the past. From the novices who performed a few dialogue skits to the full-out dance skits in the veterans of the masquerade, some were enjoyable, some were just alright, but for the first time it was bearable to watch to the end. The few skits that retained in the mind were the Bacanno choreographed dance, Left 4 Dead zombie action, and the different intermission with The Jacabal’s. During the awards ceremony, a few things could’ve changed; showing what costume was being awarded for would’ve been quite useful for those who doubt the winner.
One thing animazmenet does well in is that they like to experiment. There’s always something different from animazment that is different from any convention in the surrounding area (probably since it’s so secluded from any other convention). At one point a few staffers took over the bridge overlooking the lobby area and used a slingshot to launch t-shirts to the attendees below. It’s always to get the crowd in a raucous about where their at once a while at the convention.
The Raleigh Convention Center is probably one of the best places for a convention and all the cosplayers,as is provides places for a person to take a photo. With a lot of venues for many conventions, there’s usually no place to do anything. The convention provides the lobby area and the outside area, but there were a lot of potential areas. Raleigh invested in Cree LED walls that would change colors for all the photographers who wanted a unique background compared to the usual walls.
One thing the convention brought back in full force was signs. There were plenty everywhere warning people from escalators to irritating staff, but if they’re known for sign con, then them go at it at full force. Signs stating no camera or photography were clearly marked, so there was no excuse for not seeing it.
For the most part Animazement is getting better for the first time in a while. Everything at the convention went smoothly and people didn’t seem to mind just being at the convention. Hopefully Animazmenent will continue to grow and be entertaining as everyone’s first convention experience.