TRR Revue and Photography by: Alan Duckworth Interviews by Lamar Dyer
Anime USA assembled at Marriott Wardman Park in DC over the weekend. It featured a mix of local talents, student standouts and industry professionals. With an abundance of cosplay, anime screenings, open play video games, panel discussions, and concerts, you couldn’t go wrong. This event is part of a trifecta of major anime conventions in the DC area, the other two being Katsucon and Otakon. You can’t help the sense of adventure you feel participating in these events. Your given a program with a map and set free to partake in any number of intellectual interests of your choosing. The sheer amount of activities simultaneously taken place can pull you in different directions. Still, with that said what always remains the main attraction is the guest themselves. The creative costume play is always entertaining and just socializing can take up hours of time. Costumes are always a great conversation starter.
The first can’t miss event had to be the Q&A session with Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey. These two have provided the voices to some of your favorite anime characters. Travis is most notably recognized as Roy Mustang in Full Metal Alchemist and Knuckles from the Sonic series. He also voiced Portgas D. Ace from One Piece. Laura has done a number of characters that include Kid Trunks from Dragon Ball Z, Lust from Full Metal Alchemist, Serah Farron from Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, Rayne from Bloodrayne and Shinnosuke “Shin” from Shin-Chan. This was a real casual Q&A session, the couple discussed personal reflections of their roles and past con experiences both good and bad. It was entertaining and insightful.
Aurora by Gowe
There was a anime music video/AMV contest where the guest had the opportunity to pick the Iron Editor’s BEST IN SHOW. It featured 32 different music video labeled under various categories such as Action, Upbeat/Dance and Comedy. It was a edited assortment of anime favorites set to a variety of themes. A stand out and what should have been BEST IN SHOW was Rikognition – “Aurora” by Gowe. He used original music and animation! There’s NO substitute for originality and Gowe had the only submission with original content. He wasn’t even given an honorable mention? All the videos were well produced but based off the final results it seems people just voted for their favorite anime.
I always thought good editing was suppose to go unnoticed but that wasn’t the case with Iron Editor’s. A theme amongst all the submissions was having the anime clips match the tempo and dialog of the sound. This made the transitions very noticeable but that was the nature of the contest. One of the winning submissions to come out of the Romance/Sentimental category was from Brakus Media. It was The Hero You’re Dreaming Of, Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love” set to the Tiger & Bunny series. It made Tiger & Bunny look gay; not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m not sure if the if the video was suppose to be comical or genuine. Another standout came from Bailey Films – Don’t Lick The Icing “LSD: Insight Or Insanity?, Case Study: LSD” The action really followed the narrative well and the flashes of psychedelic art that accompanied the short was entertaining. This submission won runner up in the Trailer/Parody category.
Bailey Films – Don’t Lick The Icing
If you were feeling a little warm blooded at the end of the day there were raves on both Friday and Saturday night. A rave with cosplay is really fun. If you could only imagine a room full of people dancing in costumes with glow sticks. Naturally the music was high energy and very uptempo. It was a good way to end the day. Unfortunately the only artist I was able to recognize Friday night was DJ Jesse James Felice. There was a lack of specific scheduling related to this event and getting the scoop during the performance was difficult with everything else going on. Another scheduling conflict was Psyche Corporation performing at 9:30am Sunday morning. Who has a concert at 9:30 in the morning!?
You don’t attend these events without openly engaging with the artist themselves. A good place to do this was Artist Alley. That’s were we ran into Michael Terracciano and Garth Graham from Star Power Comics. They have been making comics for years on the web with titles like “Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire” and “Finder’s Keepers.” There latest adventure “Star Power” is a sci-fi superhero space adventure. Their goal is to make superheros fun again. Artist Alley was a great outlet to interact with graphic artist and find some really good prints. My corespondent Lamar Dyer had the opportunity to interview Micheal Terriciano about Star Power.
Lamar Dyer, Star Power Interview
There was always something to do and surprises at every corner. You could take a break in the video game room and find yourself playing an original Sega Saturn console! Saturday morning cartoons were much more entertaining with Nostalgia Bomb. There were edited clips of all your favorite Wolverine lines from X-Men. The Skeletor clips from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were absolutely hysterical! Skeletor is one of thee all time great villain comedians in animation, I’d put Megatron in there too. The layout of the Marriot Wardman Park would make a great level in a first person shooter. There were Robotech Battlecry DVD’s on sale at the WHFC 91.1FM Anime Beats booth for $3; what a deal! Magfest was also represented with a concert stage and video game challenge booth.
It was a great convention! My corespondent actually located me by saying “I’m standing next to the dancing chicken.” That just doesn’t happen anywhere! If you feel like going on a fantasy adventure check out Anime USA. The location is great, it’s fun, entertaining and a great learning experience. I stressed originality and by definition of the word Anime (Japanese Animation) it’s impossible to produce original anime in the United States. So this convention is a celebration of that art form more than anything else, so naturally there would a lot of fan art. Anime USA 2014 is already scheduled at Wardman Park Marriott October 3-5th, see you there. Included is some additional coverage from my roaming corespondent Lamar Dyer of the group Some Never Really Get or SNRG and DJ A-ROCK
Lamar Dyer SNRG Interview
We hope you enjoyed our coverage of the 2013 Anime USA convention at Wardman Park Marriott.