From performances to cosplays this convention has heart and is a solid event for any convention going fan. On the negative side it can feel a bit scattered because things are happening all over the place. It also doesn’t have big stars or the largest amount of vendors and panels like other conventions, however there are enough panels to learn something new. There are also super performances by bands, awesome cosplay, and a solid overall convention culture. The fans make this convention great.
We’ll start with the raves because as a DJ who is a two time finalist in the biggest DJ battle in the world, DMC, I’ve played all types of music from hip hop to EDM to drum and bass and seen all types of parties. The raves at Anime Midwest were low key and fun. It wasn’t packed at all like other convention raves, and they had some great moments from having people in the crowd come up and be their go go dancers to throwing money into the crowd. I caught one dollar! It’s probably not the best dancing you’ll ever see, but it’s all about the fun and everyone pulls each other into that fun. There’s no drinking so that’s a deterrent for alot of people, but overall whoever goes know how to have fun without it and make it a great time.
The performances were turnt up from Steam Powered Giraffe’s kid show like performance to even sitting down in the maid cafe’s interesting setup. There was alot of sitting actually so it was easy for me, hard for the performers! Mega Ran is a video game hip hop artist who was once a teacher. At one point he had everyone in the crowd sit down like it was story time. It was a unique part to his great live performance. Steam Powered Giraffe brought the creativity through their puppetry and theatrical interludes. It was like watching the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz have his own show, but there’s three of him! Cool robot esque popping and locking and funny skits were the order of the day with them. They were an inspiration for creativity for sure as I do my own unique blend of DJing, flamenco guitar, and making beats for a group that remakes parody songs of anime show, The Def Notes.
There are definitely a lot of geeks at Anime Midwest, and what do geeks like? Dating it seems because the most packed panel room in regards to size and numbers was the dating game panel. I prefer chimichangas and coconut juice because less heartburn, but whatevs. I got the chance to peek inside and hopefully they have a bigger room next year so I can actually get to see how they run things. I do short films so anyone into shooting films would LOVE the panels they have. They had a voice acting panel by Genevieve Simmons and Juliet Simmons who sings Vocaloid covers where you learned how to vary your voice for unique characters. Everything from understanding where a super low male voice would come from to a high pitched nasally school girl voice came from, and everything in between was covered. Voice acting is definitely a useful skill if you ever want to do a voice over for something in your film. Also, there a great acting panel was done by Chuck Huber whose voiced for Dragonball Z. One dissapointment was a Death Note fan film screening got cancelled,which happened after all the fans had lined up and been seated. The presenters didn’t make it to the panel.
Walking the convention grounds was fun, and a wild Pikachu appeared. I also saw the Powerpuff Girls on PEDS, and the best Porco Rosso cosplay around was there. Also, there were younger sisters dressed up who got their families, including older sisters to go. I bet next time they dress up as a family, maybe as the Kusakabe family from My Neighbor Totoro. It was a great day for cosplay and taking pictures, and the one thing I would collect if I wasn’t a comic collector would be anime shows. There are so many really cool looking anime shows to watch I’d want to catch them all, but I don’t have the time.
All in all there is a laid back vibe because a sense of community among the anime fans at Anime Midwest. I finally got to get some FREE ramen, rice, and pop at Sweet Con. It was my first time, and what other convention can you get free food at?!! It was a great feeling. Unlike many bigger comic conventions that seem more and more like money traps for impulse buying, having the Sweet Can added to having a sense of community at Anime Midwest. Afterall, you eat with your fam. Being at Anime Midwest is like being in Second Life or the Final Fantasy world. There are alot of characters to interact with and it seems more normal to startup a conversation there than in everyday life. Anime Midwest was another great anime convention that gets a 9 out of 10 for being great at what it does.
Check out the link below for more pictures.