Anime USA

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!).

Redbubble

Looks like My Hero Academia was delayed a week. Ah well. Look forward to that next weekend!

Meat Buns (The Scoop on UA Class 1A)

Season 4’s opening for My Hero Academia has a different feel to it. As a character we sense that Deku is stepping into his own power and fully embracing One for All (just not at 100% yet lol). He’s further along on his path to becoming the next Symbol of Peace, and he, along with his classmates, are working diligently to become heroes capable of saving people with a smile.

Anyone who knows me IRL, knows I detest projecting false images, or pretending to be different than you are (because ideally everyone should be their true selves and feel their own feelings without a mask), but after hearing All Might and Deku in an earlier season discuss how a hero smiling (especially All Might) puts people at ease and feel at peace, I get it. Hence the reason he says, “It’s fine now. Why? Because I am here!”

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Like the previous seasons of My Hero Academia, the first episode was a brief overview and synopsis of Deku, All Might, and UA from the first three seasons. It hit the major points, and even gave a nod towards the film, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. I thought they used a clever tactic by presenting the summary as background to the media, Juko News, trying to get an All Might article. With his retirement, there’s general unease, and an All Might article with new insight would be profitable.

In walks reporter Taneo Tokuda.

He has a hunch that “You’re Next!”(as declared by All Might after his final battle against All for One) wasn’t a threat to other villains, but actually a shout out to his successor that it was his time to carry the torch. Taneo is not alone in picking up on this, last season Bakugo and Deku both knew All Might was speaking to someone in particular, not to the villains. Which reminds of the line “give me my one chance to grab the torch and properly hold it” from the remix from My Shot (Rise Up Remix) from the Hamilton Mix Tape line courtesy of Busta Rhymes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TCVAl8j218

But back to My Hero Academia! Under a false pretense Taneo comes to UA to interview the students. After scolding Mineta for his usual perviness, their homeroom teacher Aizawa, has the students meet the reporter who is there to supposedly write an article about their happy dorm life (more like Taneo invited himself in before Aizawa was ready to introduce him but eh).

Are you doling out punishment Aizawa?! The line starts after me, ahem.

Perceptive as usual, Aizawa can tell something is up with the reporter.

Keeping up the charade, Taneo observes the UA students, and is with them as they have breakfast, and live their usual lives. Some students love it (especially those with sparkle who have laser belts), but others hate it.

Taneo has always gotten good stories due to his instincts and he suspects All Might has a successor, and that individual is in class 1A. For obvious reasons he does not think it’s Bakugo (see image above).

Meanwhile, All Might is returning from a doctor’s appointment and stops at a shop for food and finds out he has a fan club!

Since All Might’s fight with All for One was televised, the public knows his true form so the privacy he once had is no longer a thing. But he seems to be handling it well. And so far the public has been positive in their response and appreciative of his hard work as the Symbol of Peace.

Now that All Might has all the meat buns, he brings them to Deku to share with his classmates.

Good thing there aren’t any pesky reporters hanging around to catch moments that weren’t meant for the public…

“You’re Next!”

Sir, I can neither confirm nor deny that.

Taneo’s dad was saved by All Might!

I really want some meat buns now…

This is my first time watching an anime episode “live”, I usually prefer watching shows a season at a time, at my leisure (perhaps “my bingeing” would be more appropriate). But MHA is one of my favorites, so I may stay current instead of waiting for the end.

I was very impressed with Hulu, they had the first episode of season four available early this morning. I look forward to watching the rest on their site. I tried watching on VRV, since I can watch all of Crunchyroll’s shows on there, but the episode might be exclusive to their Crunchyroll platform? I was unable to watch on VRV (at least this morning).

While this post did include some spoilers, I hope you’ll watch the entire episode to learn more about the article that’s posted by Juko News and enjoy the other moments from the first episode. Looks like the next episode will have the UA students doing work studies and learning more about the new villain Overhaul.