Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Back from Anime North Texas 2017!


Finally back from Anime North Texas, and I gotta say despite the location change this convention turned out really great!
Cosplay of the Anime North Texas mascot.
This year the convention took place at the Sheraton DFW in Irving, TX.  I love Sheraton hotels and my expectations where high and they were certainly achived, Sheraton staff is always courteous and professional and that's what I love
about them.
Registration lines for ANT went pretty fast and that is always a plus, especially since the registration area was in the lobby area of the hotel and there was not very much room, but like I said it went by fast so it did not create a problem.

Panel Room 1 and the Maid Cafe where next to each other right next to a hallway that created a bit of a traffic jam when people were lining up to get to the panels, the issue was quickly fixed by Saturday by designating areas to line up, smart move. Panel Room 2 and 3 where upstairs in the second floor, unfortunately to get up there, the only way was through the elevator. This did create a lot of congestion unfortunately, due to there not being a main set of stairs to get the the mezzanine level of the hotel. There was a good line organization with con volunteers patrolling the elevator to make sure they did not go over capacity, but this did create a long line at the elevators which caused delays for people trying to rush up to the second floor in a timely manner.   Maybe next year the issue could be fixed by putting the other panel rooms downstairs perhaps? It seemed this year there was another event going on at the same time as the convention so not all the downstairs conference room areas where available so that is understandable.

Parking...
Well honestly in my opinion, the ANT website and social media did a fair job warning everyone that there was limited parking. But unfortunately for people that are not from around here, I don't think they made the effort to even look for offsite parking.
What I thought was really cool though was when I saw the Freedom Park valet people coming in and parking cars on Saturday, I hope next year maybe this could happen again.  Or maybe a shuttle service can be provided for offsite parking elsewhere?  I managed to find parking at he hotel by planning ahead and arriving early, the one day that I did arrive late was on Sunday, and I was able to find parking at the Esters Business center about a block away, it seems like the business offices over there are closed on weekends so the entire parking lot was pretty much empty except for the other con-goers who parked there as well.   I've noticed conventions in Irving, TX, always seem to be short on parking, so it's probably something to think about for anyone planning to go next year if they stay at the same hotel, carpool, uber, or plan to park offsite because those 400 parking spots are gone fast!

 Main Events were well done, I was able to see the opening ceremonies, a couple of concerts, the cosplay contest, and the closing ceremonies. Unfortunately some of these events did get full so again anyone planning to attend cosplay contest and closing ceremonies plan ahead to be at the designated line up area because it fills up fast.


Video of the cosplay contest is coming soon so be sure to check back here for updates!

Food availability at the convention was as expected.  The closest off-site venue to eat was Denny's which is open 24 hours so that is definitively a great place to have nearby, especially since the food trucks did not stay at the hotel late. Althought the selection of food trucks was a great choice! My personal favorite is the Nami Truck, and I have now become a fan of the Bobbadiction truck, thanks to their sponsorship and the availability of their drinks at the Maid Cafe, they certainly have new clientele, that place is delicious!
Speaking of Maid Cafe, this was a great place to grab a bowl of Ramen and make some new friends! Maid Cafe needs to be on your list of things to check out at Anime North Texas if it isn't already! 
The hotel also had a variety of foods available at their bar, snack bar, and the hotel restaurant.

Dealers and Vendors area was well set up, it looks like there were a lot more dealers and vendors this year than previously so that is always good to see.

Overall the convention went great! I have nothing but positive memories from my experience at ANT2017, extra points for, all the great karaoke panels, amazing Maid Cafe, superb cosplayers, the availability of a Denny's near the hotel, and the wonderful staff of the convention and the Sheraton itself.  If you didn't get to go this year, definitively plan on going next year because this convention just keeps getting better!

Here are a few pictures I took of the event, cosplayers, and general atmosphere.



























Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall is here!

But con season is not over yet! With the autumn we now have a chance to enjoy fun Japanese Festivals and even more conventions, and now without the scorching hot Texas weather. Yup it's looking like its finally going to get a bit more chill so that is good news!

Here are a few events we're looking forward to here in the DFW area!


Coming up at the end of the month is Nightmare Nights! With the new My Little Pony movie that just came out in theaters, this one is bound to be a huge hit with local bronies in the area. Unforunately this will be the last Nightmare Nights in DFW until someone else is able to take over the planning. The current convention heads are moving away and will not be able to organize this event again until other convention planners are able to take this over.  Check out more info and registration information about Nightmare nights here at their website! http://nightmarenights.net/



The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens has been holding a Japanese festival twice a year every year for quite a number of years actually! It is held in their own Japanese Gardens, where you will see and maybe even take part in the traditional tea ceremony, watch live performances of music, martial arts, and dancing! A great place to wear your yukata and take pretty pictures in the Japanese Garden. Check out the website for more information.  http://www.fwbg.org/events/2016/11/5/japanese-garden-fall-festival



  

The Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival was originally scheduled for October's full moon but due to bad weather conditions this event has been re-scheduled to Saturday November 4th, still planned to be at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. Check it out, there will be Japanese Bentos, performances, origami, and more! https://www.visitdallas.com/things-to-do/events/view/4056/Otsukimi-Moon-Viewing-festival.html



Anime North Texas has been growing in numbers for a couple of years now, still a newer convention but it has plenty to offer and the best maid cafe experience for any convention in the area that I have experienced.   This year it is going to be in the Irving Sheraton DFW hotel in mid November.  Check out their website for more information and to pre-register! http://animenorthtexas.com/

Friday, October 13, 2017

San Japan X


This year I finally got to go to San Japan in San Antonio Texas.  This labor day weekend convention is one that I had looked forward to, I had heard nothing but great things about San Japan including, a sweet gaming room, with Japanese arcade machines set on free play, an all day karaoke room, the Itasha car scene, and of course the beautiful scenery of the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Of course while I was there I had to make a pilgrimage to The Alamo, a trip to San Antonio would not have been complete without this.

San Japan did not disappoint, it was everything I had heard of and more! The karaoke room was indeed an all day thing, from 10am to 4am so much non-stop karaoke.  The musical guests were amazing, I went to two concerts, Japanese rock band ALL OFF ending their tour at San Japan with a bang! I didn't even plan to attend this concert, I sort of just found myself there and I ended up having a great time. I also attended the wonderful concert of Myuu and his dark piano compositions. Plus the DJ's at night Teddy Loid and the Living Tombstone were amazing.

On my off time from the convention, I decided to take a tour of the Riverwalk since it was right in front of the hotel. There was also a mall where plenty of food options were available, as well as a variety of restaurants on the actual Riverwalk itself. Not more than about a 5 minute walk from the convention hotel was the Alamo. Great convention for tourists and people new to Texas for sure, or even new to the area!
I would highly recommend going to this convention, and I hope to make it back again soon!

Here are a few pictures below of some of the cosplay I found at the convention, also be sure to check out the Facebook gallery at this link right here, to see even more pictures from San Japan and the atmosphere at the convention. 
























Quickie on Quakecon 2017


I actually had a chance to stop by Quakecon 2017 this year at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine Texas.  Quakecon this year was August 24-27, 2017.
This year there was actually some hype about cosplay! That's right this year Quakecon actually held a cosplay contest so that brought along more cosplayers to the event.

I was able to catch a few pictures of some of the cosplayers as well as some of the atmosphere of the beautiful resort, and a big congratulations to Riana in Japana @DIYferret for her win in the cosplay contest!

Check out my gallery on Facebook here at this link!