Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime Weekend Atlanta 2012!

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2012!  This news report covers our trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta 2012 for a huge weekend of anime and manga enjoyment and a whole lot more!  Held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and Cobb Galleria Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend of September 28-30, Anime Weekend Atlanta 2012 saw lots of attendees ready to party on with a bunch of dedicated artists, live performances, gaming events, cosplay fun, and plenty of opportunities to hang out with fellow anime and manga fans. Our exciting trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta 2012 starts here!  Coverage you can count on, here at Linus Lam Network News!

Highlights: Various live programming events kept the attendees well-covered throughout the weekend. Guests of Honor included h.Naoto, Johnny Young Bosch, Vic Mignogna, Tim Eldred, Carl Gustav Horn, Frederick L. Schodt, You Kikkawa, Ryo Horikawa, Ayumi Kino, Suzuko Mimori, Trina Nishimura, Amy Howard Wilson, David Williams, Ed Chavez, Neil Nadelman, Heidi, and Eyeshine. Big events included Anime Trivia, Gaia Game Show, Anime Hell, Anime Match Game, Costume Contest, Anime Press Your Luck, and more. Panels and Workshops included Modeling and Cosplay, Quick and Dirty Japanese Street Fashion, Kimono 101, Drawing 101, Video Game Wasteland, Funimation Town Hall, Life Drawing Workshop, Engrish Jamboree, Webcomics and Beyond, K-Pop in Japan, Japanese Toy Collecting, Gods of Japan, Ancient Anime, Sailor Moon: Celebratind a Classic, Otaku Bellydancing, Ouran Host Club Murder Mystery, Patternmaking for Cosplay, Animation Workshop, Professional AMVs, Anime Anatomy, Inking Workshop, Heavy Metal Armor, Anime Blinded Me with Science, Americans in Anime, Japan's Horror Industry, Last Chance Myu: Sera Myu Live, Anime Knockout, Cosplay Electronics, WCS Cosplay Experience, Recycled Cosplay Challenge, Lolita Accessories Workshop, Super Sentai vs. Power Rangers, Subs vs. Dubs: Loving Both, Fandom as an Adult, and more. Nice extra features for AWA included an AWA Maid Cafe, Frill Boutique Kickoff Party, Tea Party, Bebop Lounge, Cosplay Gallery, Cosplay Repair Shop, Karaoke Stage, and more.

Cosplay: This year's trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta saw lots of inspired costumes from numerous anime and manga characters and more! Chart-topping displays for this year included characters from Legend of Korra, My Little Pony, Pokemon, Tiger and Bunny, Vocaloid, Magica Madoka, Sailor Moon, Bleach, Soul Eater, Touhou Project, Blue Exorcist, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime Weekend Atlanta stock convention archives!
Report: If you want a fun-filled end-of-summer weekend of shopping, great cosplay, lots of neat panels and workshops, and always a large line-up of interesting guests, then look no further than Anime Weekend Atlanta.  AWA is a mid-sized anime convention located in the very green heart of Atlanta, Georgia.  It's a bit out there, off the beaten path from downtown Atlanta and if you're flying in, you'd need a taxi or extra bit of transportation if you wanted to save money and take the train since it doesn't stop directly at or near the Cobb Galleria.  Weather is bit spotty at times as late September typically consists of chances of rain mixed with hot and sunny days so be prepared for extra humidity, but if you're indoors most of the time, this won't really bother you.

ontinued its own unique array of fan favorites like the Formal Evening Ball where fans can dress up in suits and formal dresses and dance in style, the Cosplay Gallery where cosplay fans can peruse some of the recreations that veteran cosplayers have made throughout the years, and a whole lot of Anime Music Video panels since AWA seems to be the hot bed of AMV creators.  Nice extras were thrown in like the AWA Maid Cafe, a quiet Manga Reading room, and the new Karaoke Stage located in the Cobb Galleria food court area.  A Cosplay Repair shop was also a nice addition as cosplayers tend to need that at critical times of the day.  The Dealers Hall always has the usual vendors and exhibits including the Pikachu-themed VW Beetle.

I had an interesting discussion with online anime distribution company Crunchyroll regarding whether or not it was wise to come to AWA and spend so much money on having a large booth presence and holding a panel.  I'd say don't worry but be careful about what you're trying to sell.  New products always have a difficult time catching on to the regular attendees who typically want plushies, keychains, wallscrolls, posters, figurines, and other odd little knick-knacks.  Vaporware is an especially tough item to sell, unlike DVD or Blu-Ray titles which have extra content and have a certain collective heft to it that shoppers enjoy.  For now, Crunchyroll seems to be doing well, creating awareness by making sure people see their large list of legitimate anime content they provide, offering prizes from small contests, giving away bright orange Crunchyroll wristbands, and encouraging fans to step into the booth to see how their service can be watched on virtually any mobile or home entertainment device from iPads and iPhones to Android gadgets and home theaters.

The people of AWA make the convention such a pleasure every year.  Maybe it's the Southern Comfort mentality or maybe it's the nice weather.  A couple of out-of-town cosplayers were surprised at the friendliness from everyone so maybe it's a mixture of both.  The AWA staff are always consistently helpful and generally go out of their way to make sure everyone has a pleasant experience.  They dutifully managed the flow of traffic with large arrow signs pointing to the correct doors to enter or exit, moved people along in the halls by vocally discouraging impromptu photos of cosplayers (there are far better places for this), and never showed any signs of stress or burnout like a few other conventions.  There's always a bit of unique fun factor every year.  This time, hundreds of cosplayers and attendees gathered together at the fountain area outside to video record a huge flash mob dance in support of the latest K-Pop sensation Gangham Style.  Even when sitting at the tables near the food court, attendees have always felt the need to chat it up and talk about their weekend.  It really felt like a nice big family gathering.

Except for a skip in 2010, this year's AWA weekend yielded a big ten year attendance mark, something which I'm pretty happy about.  AWA just has hands-down one of the best areas to shoot photos, never has any crowd problems, has a nice staff, and has an overall nice and pleasant feel to it.  No rushing around, plenty of food options, and not too loud or noisy, AWA has my personal Seal of Approval.  Try it out if you can; you'd have a wonderful time.

Come check out more cosplay and events photo coverage from our Anime Weekend Atlanta stock convention archives!

Be sure to visit the next Anime Weekend Atlanta!

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