Anime Crossroads is an Indianapolis-born convention for anime (Japanese cartoons). It was held at the Indianapolis Marriot East on September 24th through the 26th. What would you find at an anime convention? Well for starters, anime screenings, panels with voice actors, costume contests, an AMV (Anime Music Video) contest, a dance, a dealer room full of toys, apparel, and Japanese snacks, a maid cafe to eat them at, and bunches of panels where you could learn a Para Para dance, how to improve your RPG, hentai if that’s your thing, what the state of the industry is like today, or how to make a plushie!
Last year was the first year for Anime Crossroads and it did amazingly well attracting voice actors Vic Mignogna, Chris Sabot, Brina Palencia, and Stephanie Sheh and over 700 convention attendees! You can check out footage of pictures and videos from 2009 in the Anime section of HauntedFlowerReviews.com.
This year brought voice actors Jamie Marchi, Trina Nishimura, and Troy Baker as well as director David Williams. Unfortunately two days before the convention, the website (www.animecrossroads.com) crashed and still has not returned to action. This really stunted the attendance this year since people who had been working on it and were local to the area knew when it was starting, but anyone who wanted to find out more information the day before was unable to. Luckily, very loyal social-networking conscious Otaku (slang for lovers of anime) were lighting up Facebook and Twitter with what was going on at the convention including our own Haunted Flower Facebook page.
The thing I love most about anime conventions is getting to watch shows I’ve never seen before without putting my credit card on the line first and getting to meet voice actors from shows I really enjoy. Troy Baker was the voice of Abel on “Trinity Blood” and Frank Archer on “Fullmetal Alchemist” and several video games among other things. Trina Nishimura was the voice of Akira on “School Rumble” (one of my favorite comedies), Rachel from “Baccano!”, and Lan Fan from “Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood” among others. Jamie Marchi has had a very long list of roles indeed, but some of my favorites are Chloe from “Spice and Wolf” which she also directed, the lead of “Hell Girl”, Miss Polly from “Shin Chan”, and Liz from “Soul Eater.”
Left to Right: Trina, Me, Jamie
This was my first year cosplaying at a convention. Cosplay means to dress in a costume and sometimes behave as that character for the amusement of others. I dressed as Holo from “Spice and Wolf”
who is a wolf goddess who takes on the form of a 15 year old girl who still has ears and a tail. She constantly talks about what a proud and wise wolf she is and enjoys gorging on apples and advising her travel companion through his financial troubles in exchange for him taking her back home to the North. It is a lot of fun to dress up at these conventions (because almost all the other attendees do too) and random people will run up and hug you and ask to take your picture.
At anime conventions, there is always a costume contest going on. There was a hallway contest people could enter by having their picture taken and letting others take a vote on ballots for the winner, a ghetto cosplay contest for costumes made of found items, and the official masquerade contest where people were judged for craftsmanship on their costumes as well as the cosplay costume contest where people in costume did a skit, song, or dance together as their characters to try and win a prize. I took lots of pictures at the contest and videos of the cosplay and you can check those out on my youtube video playlist.
Saturday night was a dance that got off to a late start moving chairs out of the way and unfortunately only played techno-electronica music all night long with the occasional Lady Gaga or Michael Jackson remix thrown in. What is it about nerd conventions like Gen Con and Anime conventions that just assume we all like techno? Last year they did a better job when they only played J-Pop (Japanese pop music). Even if we didn’t know the words, it fit the feel of the event better. The dance went late through the night and an adjoining room had Karaoke that went even later!
The last day, everyone was exhausted and it was much quieter around the convention. Even the voice actors drifted in sleepily for their last panel after a meal of chicken waffles that they kept raving about. They decided to all combine into one panel answering questions and giving autographs simultaneously for those of us left to ask for them while music softly played in the background. Then magic occurred as “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen came over the speakers and the voice actors were stirred from their chairs into an uproariously enthusiastic lip-synching, air-guitar and keyboard playing performance! Nothing could top that and Dan and I left soon after. So that is where my Anime Crossroads adventure ended and my youtube video playlist begins….
After “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a two-part series of costumes and cosplay followed by a video of people demonstrating dances in the hallway and in panels for your enjoyment. Thanks for reading/watching and stay tuned for next year (they’ll hopefully have the website fixed by then…*sigh*), Anime Crossroads 2011 is scheduled for next December!