Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime Conji 2013!

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2013!  This news report covers our trip to Anime Conji 2013 for a huge weekend of anime and manga enjoyment and a whole lot more!  Held at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California over the weekend of April 12-14, Anime Conji 2013 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 Conji 2013 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 Sean Dietrich, Mark Brooks, Vampy, Asako Yamamoto, Raj Ramayya, Cyril Lumboy, Cassandra Lee, Jessica DiCicco, Carrie Savage, and Rhode Montijo. Big events, panels, and workshops included Anime Music Video Contest, Masquerade, Cosplay Ballroom Dancing 101, Who Wants to be a Voice Actor, Anime Poetry Contest, Convention Photography, Convention Runners Roundtable, Japanese Cinema, Gundam Model Building, Teaching in Japan, Lolita Fashion, Otaku Feud, Creating Webcomics, Costume Camp, Soundtrack of Anime Life, Project Cosplay, Fight Choreography, Reading Manga, and much more.
Cosplay: This year's trip to Anime Conji saw lots of inspired costumes from numerous anime and manga characters and more! Chart-topping displays for this year included characters from Sword Art Online, Kuroko no Basket, Vocaloid, Adventure Time, Hetalia, Black Butler, Psycho Pass, Saint Seiya, Legend of Zelda, Bleach, Naruto, My Little Pony, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime Conji stock convention archives!
Report: Anime Conji felt like another trip to Hawaii. The location was a beautiful spread of palm trees and quaint little resort hotel rooms attached to lush green patios and gazebos in the middle of sunny San Diego. In some ways, it didn't feel like you were at an anime convention. The functions were a bit spread out and kind of confusing at first but after while you got used to it.

Friday started off with some problems. Attendance was very lean leaving some panels not filled much, supposedly because many people were still in school or work. No program books or printed schedules to be found.  I had to rely on a hotel-provided map and video monitors showed the scrolling schedule. It was a bit difficult to tell what was going on in some of the function rooms but door volunteers seemed well-informed to explain to everyone so that was nice. Staffers combated the lack of printed schedules by going around announcing panels, pool party events, and the nighttime Taco Party. Rovers all wore SPJA-sponsored red jackets for security so it was a bit weird like being at a mini-AX, but I have to say they were all very courteous and patient in tagging weapons and went out of their way to be nice to everyone who attended Anime Conji.

Saturday was much better. Attendance picked up dramatically and a healthy crowd turned out for numerous big events like the Masquerade, AMVs, and other panels throughout the day. Cosplay photographers and videographers itching to use their equipment were relieved to be able to get on their feet and apply their craft. Cosplayers came in force and gatherings formed just outside the front of the main convention center. Business in the Exhibit Hall was brisk and both dealers and artists seemed to see some good returns for mostly just that one day. I noticed other additional events going on like the Maid Cafe and Rock Band events in the Regency Tower's top floor.

Sunday went back to a smaller more relaxing day. I was able to interview a few folks along the way, asking them about their experiences at Anime Conji and Anime Expo, two very different sized conventions but both owned by the SPJA. Many preferred Anime Conji's quieter and smaller location; it's not as crazy and insane like AX and provided a lot of nice lush surroundings perfect for cosplay photoshoots or lounging in the nearby pools and hot tub.

I had the pleasure of meeting Guests of Honor Vampy and Asako Yamamoto. Vampy is a super hyper nerd-geek-dork tour de force ball of excitement that is hard to cap. She loves K-Pop, 80's and 90's heavy metal rock, building Gundam model kits, cosplay, English voice-acting, and recently started working with metals such as molding and welding. Her favorite K-Pop group is 2NE1 and she owns over a hundred Gundam plastic model kits collected since her teenage years, all of which she patiently built, painted, and then neatly boxed for posterity. Asako Yamamoto comes from a variety of colorful backgrounds including being a seasoned cosplayer but most notably commands CosMode magazine and all of its smaller operations as Editor in Chief. Cosplay has expanded into all sorts of interesting forms of expression and Asako has carefully aligned Cosmode to take advantage of these opportunities. A new line of CosModes will include Cosmode Nation featuring cosplayers from around the world, CosSnaps featuring cosplay photography and photographers, and of course CosMode may possibly see another hardcover edition if interest is high enough.

Anime Conji may be small, but it has heart and many staffers went out of their way to make it a pleasure for attendees. Having only been there for the first time, I can't say a lot about its origins but from what I've heard from other seasoned attendees, Conji hits the sweet spot for a nice relaxing vacation before the summer convention season sizzles up the excitement for bigger shows like Fanime and Anime Expo. All in all, a really pleasant anime convention in the San Diego area. I look forward to attending next year.

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

Be sure to visit the next Anime Conji!

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