I have very fond memories of Animazement, as a convention. Back when I first attended, Anime/Cosplay conventions like this were almost non-existent. It’s fascinating to see how far the convention culture has come since then. My first (and one of my only) cosplay experiences was there, as Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon. Animazement takes place during Memorial Day weekend, and I haven’t been able to attend in person for the last couple of years, because other things have demanded my attention. Thankfully, I have wonderful friends in the NC cosplay team of SoniCat Cosplay, who went in my stead and did a little write-up for us at OnRPG again with their thoughts on Animazement as a whole. A link to their Facebook page is above here, and you should absolutely check out their work. They also have a StoreEnvy, right here. We also have a gallery of photos below, taken by both SoniCat Cosplay and my friend Joe, who is a delightful person and even managed to find a Dan Hibiki cosplayer (you know, the best Street Fighter player). Without further ado, SoniCat Cosplay:
The streets of Downtown Raleigh were bombarded once again this Memorial Day weekend by another successful Animazement! The event has become a large tradition among con-goers that it seems more like a fun family reunion. With all of its successes, however, this year seemed to have a few differences that we noticed. The most noticeable being the lack of attendees. Animazement has been known to have very large turnouts every year, and this year seemed to be lacking. Friday was very quiet, and Saturday–the busiest day of the weekend–seemed emptier than previous years. Many attendees also noticed the lack of high energy. It could have been the heat, the unpredictable rainy weather, or just the lack of people, but the overall consensus seemed less populated than previous years. This could also be because of a newer badge system that many cons seem to be considering. Charging one set amount for the entire weekend that decreases as the days progress. There is no longer a one-day pass option which many people like to go with considering not everyone can attend all weekend and most don’t really want to pay a lot of money if they think they will only be going a single day. Granted, most can wait until Sunday to pay the cheapest badge price but is it really worth the money when the Dealer’s Room closes at 3 pm and the con itself is over by 5 pm?
It could also be the fact that each year, Animazement seems to continue the same content it has every year. Panels, guests, concerts, it seems recycled if not just changed slightly to appear fresh and new. Not to mention some of the more interesting panels we wanted to attend all happened very early in the morning. This could be because of the choice of the panelists, or the lack of space, but missing tons of panels because we couldn’t get to the con early in the morning and looking at the schedule at night to find there weren’t very many options to sit in seemed very off-putting to us as many con-goers are very much “nightlife” types of people.
Overall, we definitely felt that the largest part of what makes Animazement so important to us are the friends. Seeing old friends, making a few new ones. We had a blast just getting to hang out with other people who also enjoy the nerdy things that we love. Whether it’s shopping in the Dealers’ Room and Artist Alley, sitting in Anime Hell, playing video games or dancing at the rave, cons are just better with friends and that’s what keeps us coming back every year!