This was my first time attending Anime USA, described on their website as ” a three-day convention celebrating Japanese animation, art, culture, history, and fashion.” It was held at Washington Marriott Wardman Park . If you’re local, and still want to attend, you can! I went yesterday, but it continues today, and Sunday. Since D.C. is having a parade to celebrate the Nats winning the World Series, it may be hectic getting to the event, so metro may be your best option.
I was on the fence attending this event. I know the volunteers worked hard on organizing the event, but it didn’t have anything that I was excited about, and it’s a smaller event than Otakon. But it’s worth checking out their site and seeing if there’s anything that piques your interest. I stumbled across a Groupon and that’s how I decided to attend last minute.
Marriott Wardman Park is a lovely place. With the autumn leaves, it was picturesque. I wish I had gotten an outside photo for you. And the staff was so sweet, especially the lady helping clean up the area near the market cafe. Later I saw an employee on a ladder, supported by other colleagues, trying to reach with a broom for a giant 30th birthday balloon that had flown out of someone’s hand and was lodged near the entrance. There was a collective sigh of relief, and one happy guest, when the balloon was safely retrieved.
Upon entering the hotel, from the main entrance, you first head down the escalators and then the registration table to pick up your badge. There’s an Anime USA merchandise table (previous year shirts were on sale for only $5.00!) and the Dealers Room where you can check out a few vendors. That level also has the Artist Alley and Game Room. Perhaps I missed seeing a booth, but I only noticed one vendor selling anime dvds (I bought xxxHolic). There are three animes I always keep my eyes open for (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Poco’s Udon World, and Kodocha Seasons 3 & 4), but alas, I did not find them at this event. The vendor said they may be unavailable in the states, so that’s a bummer (the search continues!). I saw an All Might shirt I liked and one vendor booth and two keychains, but otherwise nothing caught my eye.
On the main level, there were workshops, panels, and special guests. You could also make crafts. It’s worth checking out, if any of the events appeal to you. The was a Host Club and Maid Cafe on the main level (right above the entrance to the Dealer’s Room). I did not go, but the folks who did looked like they were having a great time. I just grabbed a bite from the market cafe.
I am glad I attended this year’s Anime USA so I could see what it was like. If you’re in the area, it’s worth considering. Personally, I enjoyed Otakon more because I had more of a vendor selection, so given an option between the two I would attend the other. I am going to Anime NYC later this month, and will let you know how it goes. I’ll be doing my first cosplay. Well kind of. I’ll explain later. For Anime USA, I just wore an Aizawa shirt (but I did get a compliment from someone while in line for registration!).
Looks like My Hero Academia was delayed a week. Ah well. Look forward to that next weekend!