Welcome to Little Washu's Convention Report on Anime Weekend Atlanta 8.
This event took place on September 27-29, 2002 in Atlanta (College Park), Georgia . Same as last year, the convention was held in the Sheraton Gateway Hotel and Georgia Int'l Convention Center. Total attendance count is unknown (guessing though around 2,000+), with no Japanese guests, several American guests, and the people from Cartoon Network. Anime Weekend Atlanta is one of the last major conventions of the year, the biggest in the Southeast, and popularly known as a party con. This page was written by Mark Clifton, Webmaster & Graduate Assistant to Little Washu.
So what can one say who has been going to Anime Weekend Atlanta for seven out of it's eight year existance, oddly not very much. Don't get me wrong, it is a great convention, but over the years it has done little to become bigger, badder, better. The convention struggles in getting any Japanese Guests, organization is usually non-existant, and the attendence levels have never gone past 3,000. However, Anime Weekend Atlanta does excel in being a one of the cheapest conventions to go to, it is also the only place where people from Cartoon Network will actually visit. However, besides Animazement, Anime Weekend Atlanta is still a major convention in the Southeast United States.
Unlike last year, this year's convention had to share convention space with three other conventions in the same complax. The The Probe College Fair (Friday), the Southeast Fabric Notions and Crafts Association (Friday & Saturday), and a Christian Conference (Sunday). Some people got confused and almost signed-up for these cons instead of AWA. However, the look on these peoples faces when they see some guy dressed as devilman is halarious. This was also to be the last year AWA would be at the Sheraton and Convention Center; because in February, the building (built in the early '90s) was to be torn down to make way for another runway for Hartsfield International Airport. That is why some of the problems people expereinced in the Hotel happened, because the staff just don't give a damn anymore. I think even when I got my hotel room, the hotel staff wondered if I brought my own sledgehammer or if I wanted to rent one for two bucks.
This year's convention had several big events, first and foremost was the Final Fantasy Ball. The deal was that they would hold a formal ball, presented by characters from all the Final Fantasy Series. This became the big even for Friday Night, with long lines wanting to see it or be part of it, it took'em two hours before they got a bigger room to hold it in. However, I personally didn't go, with a five dollar cover charge, I wasn't going to waiste my time to see more cosplayers in Final Fantasy attire (there was plenty just outside as were in it). Later, some of my friends told me that the ball reminded them of a bad middle school dance.
Other big events included the Dance Dance Revoluation Experiment, where several top anime music video makers join forces to animate a DDR soundtrack. Chobits was also a very big draw, showing twice in the video rooms because of overcrowding. And lastly, the Costume Fashion Show was also a big draw, but not as fun as cosplay.
As for my expereince, the fun began early for me because of car troubles. So on Saturday, I left the convention for a little while to SEARS and got my vieacle fixed. Other than that, I stayed in Room #914 in the Sheraton, roamed around the convention floor and dealer's room taking pictures of cosplayers; and late Saturday night, hosted a Tenchi ML sponsored showing of Tenchi Muyo! GXP in my hotel room (had thirteen show-up for it). I also brought my computer along to burn anime for friends and stuff, but in the end I didn't because they never came to my room (sad too, I had all 26 episodes of Chobits and other goodies).
A lot of the more interesting sights happen late at night during the convention. The Drunkin' Posse, headed by the con staff, were traveling around the hotel floors looking for parties to go too. Another was the Yaoi/Hentai room, which was the only video room active after 2am, the things that were shown in there should never be repeated anywhere else. Last was the Con Slut, who allowed any horny teen to feel her up, suck her breasts, and do whatever else in front of like thirty people. She eventually left with a guy in search for a restroom (I believe her name was Jan, say hi to her when you see her).
Other odd tidbits about the con include the presences of Disney in the Dealer's Room. Disney was there to promote there new movie "Spirited Away," which was already in theaters, but on a limited release. Disney said it was going to be in Atlanta on October 4th, but it boogles the mine the fact that they didn't have it in Atlanta that very weekend. Another was the high amount of Yaoi at the con. With over eight hours of Yaoi on hand at the con, it scares me to think that traditional good'ol hentai has been replaced by Bishonen.
This year's best of show at Anime Weekend Atlanta was: Patlabor. The cutest was: Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar. The most common Costume themes at AWA were: Final Fantasy (Duh!), Chobits, and Inuyasha.
Which finally brings me to the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Good: DDR Project 2 and Japanese Anime Hell/Midnight Madness. The Bad: Final Fantasy Ball, Live-Action Dragonball, and Late-Night Dance. The Ugly: The World of Yaoi 1+2 and Harry Potter, the Musical.
Going already, well don't forget these wonderful sites including A Fans View and Cosplay.com. If you like to get in contact with me, you can use ICQ, AOL IM, or via email at email@example.com.
Next convention coming up is Anime USA in Tysons Corner, Virginia on October 11-13, 2002. I'm not expecting it to be very big at all, and I don't really have that much money left to spend there; but nonetheless it should be fun.
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