For as long as fans can remember, Animzement has been held during Memorial Day weekend. There was question this year whether the convention would be as successful on that weekend do to another southern convention taking place at the same time. While Animazement rocked Raleigh, North Carolina, Momocon was taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. It caused many southern anime fans some concern as they tried to decide which convention to head to.
Over 11,000 people chose Animazement. These numbers far exceeded any other year and was a significant growth from last years numbers of 8,855. The unexpected surge in attendance caused some hiccups for the convention as lines for registration ended up stretching around the building and staff members scrambled to come up with enough supplies to hand out. Badges, schedules, books and more were all in great demand as swarms of cosplayers and anime enthusiasts took over the Raleigh Convention Center. Even the website saw more then normal traffic which caused it to go down just hours before the convention officially started, making it difficult for some to get the information they needed. But staff did everything they could to make things happen and keep the convention moving forward.
Hallways were always packed, the dealer's room saw a constant flow of activity, and panel rooms filled up with lines waiting to get inside. Main events rooms were packed to capacity which is always a good feeling for those running the events.
The Saturday night Masquerade was one of the popular events, as the room packed with people anxious to see a lot of great costumes and skits. It was one of the biggest masquerades that Animazement has seen in awhile with all the divisions being well represented. Best Novice performance went to a Vocaloid skit that many were quoted as saying was one of the best Vocaloid skits they had ever seen. That is saying a lot given that there was six Vocaloid skits in the event last year and is always a popular series for cosplayers to perform from because of its music foundation. Best Master performance went to Last Minute Cosplay who had the tough job of starting off the show as entry number 1. Their comedic skit of "Magikarp's Revenge" had the audience nearly falling out of their seats with laughter and proved to be a good start to the event. Best in Show once again went to End of Forever, a cosplay group that wows audiences with their dramatic dance performances. This is the second year in a row that this group has taken home the top prize, this time with costumes from "Bioshock".
Animzement has already announced that it will once again be on Memorial Day weekend next year. Momocon will be the following weekend which means people won't necessarily have to chose between the two events. The convention is offering a post-con discount rate for registration for a few more days for anyone that knows they will be attending again next year. For more information check out their website at http://www.animzement.com