Anime Mid-Atlantic was held on June 14-16 at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, Virginia. This was the 13th year of the convention and featured many big name guests such as Vic Mignogna, Kyle Hebert, and Yunmao Ayakawa.
Ed Fortner, convention chair, said that it takes "ten to twelve months a year to develop the convention." He said that during the convention they are on a kind of high and that they are always sad when it is over. There was one song that seemed to sum up the convention for many of the staff and volunteers involved and that was, "When Can I See You again?" by Owl City from the movie "Wreck it Ralph." During closing ceremonies the audience sang along with the video as it played on the main screens.
Chris Cason, voice actor of Mr. Popo and Tien Shinhan in "Dragonball Z", Holy Roman Empire in "Hetalia", Gluttony in "Fullmetal Alchemist", among other popular titles said that "It feels like a family" in regards to the AMA convention. Even cosplay idol, Yunmao Ayakawa said that AMA was her home and that she is "Always happy to come back to home." Ayakawa also made her US singing debut at AMA this year.
Many convention goers drove through treacherous weather to get to AMA on Thursday and even Charles Dunbar, guest and anime anthropologist, talked about driving through two thunderstorms to get to the con. But the overall feel was that nothing would keep the guests or the attendees from getting to this years AMA. Even having only one working elevator in the hotel for the entire weekend didn't seem to dampen any spirits.
Convention staff said that there was new events in the works for next years convention, not even taking a day to recover before beginning to work on the future AMA. Even Todd Rogers, the King of Video Games, is already planning for next year and opening up game selections for contests to the public.
This was the second year for an event called "Animanicans." This was Storm Raven Cosplay's fifth year at the convention and next year plans on bringing the event back and making it "bigger and better". They already have plans and were taking suggestions on how to improve it while still at the convention.
Main events such as the Masquerade, raves, and voice actor panels drew in large numbers as lines stretched through the halls of the convention center. Several big groups took home awards during the Masquerade contest. Agents of Moonlight won Best in Show with their comedic skit involving the "Sailor Dudes". Last Minute Cosplay took home two major awards (Best Master Presentation and Best Overall Craftsmanship) for their dramatic "Tsubasa:Reservoir Chronicles" skit. Other winners included Best Novice Craftsmanship to a duo from Utena and the Chairman's award was given to a cosplayer from Assassin's Creed. Some of the series cosplayed in the skits included "Vocaloid", "Zelda", "Doctor Who", "Soul Eater" and "Anastasia".
Artist alley was once again located in the halls of the convention center and a wide variety of artisans came out to show off their wares. Fan art, pins, jewelry, scarves, and more lined the walls allowing attendees a chance to find some rare and unique pieces for their collections. The dealer's room also had a variety of sellers ranging from Kpop, to anime merchandise, to renaissance fair type items.
Overall AMA was a convention loved by fans and guests alike. Many guests said they were excited and hopeful about returning next year. No details are out about next years event quite yet, but you can keep up to date by checking out their website at: http://www.animemidatlantic.com/