If you live in North Carolina and you have any interest in anime or manga, you've likely already heard the name "Animazement" tossed around, even if you've never attended. Animazement is easily the biggest anime convention in the state, taking place annually at the Raleigh Convention center.There's even a Wikipedia page for it! Since I began getting into cosplay and the con scene, I have been to a number of conventions but this year my very first time at the fabled Animazement, and while I was certainly impresed with the convention's drawing power and some of the names that they brought out, I can't honestly say that Animazement is my favorite anime convention, but it certainly lives up to its namesake. It took me quite a while to churn out this article simply because I wasn't entirely sure which points I wanted to hone in on.
Animazement pulled some pretty big names this year. Youtube stars Rahcel and Jun came out, and from what I understand are returning next year. Youtube celebrities may not sound big, but when those Youtube celebrities came all the way from Japan and have over 600,000 subscribers, it's a slightly bigger deal. As per ususal for larger anime cons, there were several voice actors and actresses, animators, writers and the like from within the industry. The cherry on the cake for me was definitely the Japanese ska band, Oreskaband, who put on one hell of a show complete with shuffle pits and a cover of "Come On Eileen". I know it isn't directly related to anime, but ska is one of my favorite genres of music that I've never gotten to see live, and I'm still kind of hype about it even now almost a month after the fact.
One of my personal favorite things about cons is cosplayers! I'd say a guestimated 70-80% of attendees were cosplaying and there were a number of really talented people.
There was of course a cosplay competition, and while I can't recall who won overall, my personal favorite entrant, who won a judges award, was the "Armored Isabelle" by Melissa Schoux. It's a very fun take on such a peaceful character. This was easily Animazements biggest year, with a headcount of over 14,000 and it's sure to continue growing. Bigger isn't always better, and I can't honestly tell you that Animazement was the best con experience of my life or anything like that, but it was impressive and there are only bigger and better things to come from it in the future