November is our blog’s month of thanksgiving. Our editors thank our guest reporters in the field who take on personal risk to get our stories for educational reports that matter to SmartyGirls and SmartyFellas. Don’t think there is personal risk for World of Warcraft to Queen Elsa Cosplay? You’d be surprised.
Empower yourself by advocating for safety for all: #heforshe
Our editors would like to acknowledge our thanks to Guest Anime Reporter Marquila Wilson for covering a Seattle-area anime convention that received negative press last year because of a violent crime.
SmartyGirl Marquila Wilson is an Anime expert and our eyewitness to changes in the anime community one year later. Here are her observations in her own words:
Aki Con 2014 was an experience to be remembered for both its originality and elegance compared to some of its larger “Big Sister” Cons like Sakura Con. This smaller convention offered many perks of the name “Aki” to sparkle. The glimmer in the eyes of its attendees, the ornate and elaborate cosplay and the flashy autumn lights made a positive impression.
There were so many cool things about Aki Con. For instance, one of the many events included voice actors Melodee Spevack Voice actor to a number of projects including Bobobo-bo Bo-Bobo anime and a Star Trek web series. She together with Michael McConnohie, another voice actor from the widely known World of Warcraft and Vampire Hunter D series, hosted a Voice Acting Master class that I found to be both informative and realistic. They had a more personal interaction with the class that you don’t seem to get at larger Cons with advice tips and voice acting exercises that were beneficial to those who attended.
Cosplay was detailed and for some quite extravagant! See below for a video clip by Timey Wimey Production for what I mean.
Aki Con hosts a Masquerade Ball that’s formal and other dances along the way. This makes for a grand opportunity to cut loose from the hustle and bustle of the jam-packed schedule. A few smaller but less formal dance parties featured a whole lot of eye-catching pop culture references like Sailor Moon and even Queen Elsa from Frozen Cosplay Hall offered a chance to show off some skills and give tribute to your favorite anime, game or comic. With the presence of a new a division named S.A.S.H. (Safety and Social Health) volunteers well known, attendees were able to have full access to the con without concern.
Artist Alley featured some very talented up and coming artists as well as some who have already arrived. There were many personal artworks and manga. A large assortment of vendors with everything pertaining to the culture of anime from lanyards to full costumes ( plus mystery bags) designed to give the buyer an assortment of goodies pertaining to a genre for a fair price.
Overall, Aki-Con 2014 was a success that overcomes a bad rep from the years prior giving its attendees additional staffing more attractions and a list of things to do that just keeps going. Not only is it worth your time, this also counts an experience any true Otaku should have at least once. This convention offers endless opportunities without the commercialism while still exploring diversity connecting with its attendees vendors and sponsors. It offers a safe and open space where those alike and unalike can unite for a common purpose: The understanding and celebration of anime and Japanese culture. And what Smarty Girl Otaku or #heforshe SmartyFella can’t get behind that?
SmartyGirl Marquila Wilson is an anime/manga illustrator and reporter for the anime community in the Seattle area. She also believes in evaporated milk as the magic ingredient in desserts.