Anime Midwest recap (part 1 of ?)
Posted July 12, 2014on:
Last weekend, hubby and I drove to Chicago for Anime Midwest. Over 6000 people converged on the Hyatt Regency and neighboring Expo center for autograph sessions and Q&A sessions with famous voice actors, concerts, panels, fan meet-ups, fashion shows, the dealer room, fandom specific activities, and the best people watching in the midwest. More a Cosplay convention than anything else, the lobby of the hotel and all areas outside were most definitely the place to see and be seen. it was all about the cosplay, with the most popular costumes being Kill la Kill, Madoka Magica, and Attack on Titan. Lots of younger people were dressed up, and the costumes these kids put together were simply incredible. Entire outfits, props, wigs, make up, the whole nine yards. Also? more Homestuck than I ever want to think about. I took a ton of photos, but for photos that are actually good, head over to Geek Girl Chicago’s recap.
You know how we’re always talking about how we want our conventions to be more diverse? We want more women, more minorities, more younger people? This convention was the definition of diverse. The crowd skewed on the young side, with plenty of kids and teens with parents in tow, and a huge crowd of 20-somethings. I saw all ages, all backgrounds, all skin colors, all everything. and it was beautiful. Everyone was cheering their favorite fandom, dressed to the nines as their favorite character, or in some cases, favorite two or three characters all at once. there were anime characters, video game character, a Maid Cafe, American superheroes, Disney princesses, you name it. Had I known ahead of time that there would be so many American characters, I’d have taken my Sabetha costume (don’t worry, I took a different costume!)
A few more quickie comments before getting to the photo dump (which lets be honest, you’re here for the photos, right?)
The hotel was spacious and down right huge, with plenty of public areas for people to socialize and take photos. Loud activities such as concerts were in the basement, as far from the hotel rooms as possible. Celebrities brought in for the convention did wonderful panels, gave autographs, and seemed genuinely excited about interactive with fans. The peoplewatching, oh my god, the people watching! I’d just sit in the lobby and watch people go by! There was a huge variety of panels, everything from anime show specific, to learning about Japan, to Cosplay tips and tricks, to Japanese street fashion, to fanfiction, to how to use Samurai Swords, to name that tune, to about a billion other things. The most popular events were, unsurprisisngly, the Masquerade Costume Contest, and autograph and question sessions with the attending voice actors, like Greg Ayres, Sonny Strait, Caitlin Glass, Johnny Yong Bosch, Chris Patton, Alexis Tipton, Laura Post, and D.C. Douglas.
Programming went very late at night, and around 11pm, most panels switched to 18+, and I was impressed with how strict they were about carding people. You had to show a convention badge and an ID. The two guys in line in front of me for the 18+ panel I attended were turned away, and the guys doing the carding chuckled when I said “I’m old enough to be those boys’ mom”. They let me in no problem.
photos! lets get to the good stuff!
Some more amazing Attack on Titan cosplay:
Madoka Magica was very popular:
Even Deadpool was cosplaying Madoka:
Whatever you do, do NOT confuse the Madoka Magica Girls with the Maids. And there were a LOT of maids running about, some working at and advertising the Maid Cafe, others just, well, dressed as maids:
Also, “Lolita” clothing? not what you think. Seriously. Imagine if Anne of Green Gables suddenly went flamboyant and then Liberace showed up and everything got fabulously accessorized. Here’s the wikipedia entry, and here’s a beautiful Sweet Lolita girl who let me take her picture:
Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is a famous Japanese Lolita clothing brand, they had a booth in the dealer room, and hosted a very exclusive tea party and fashion show.
ok, back to Cosplay:
I spent about ten years being a smidgen obsessed with Fullmetal Alchemist. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt (three of them, actually, and the entire Manga collection, and you get the idea). While in line to see Sonny Strait, I ended up standing in line behind this Edward, and I had a tough time not fangirling all over him. he’s not the real Edward. He’s not the real Edward.. But he was so cute! I wanted to hug him!
So, a funny thing happened on the way to the Sonny Strait Q&A (By the way, he’s the voice of Maes Hughes, Toonami Tom, Lupin III, Krillin, and he’s a cartoonist too!). A bunch of us are standing in line, and this guy in a sportcoat comes along and asks if he can cut in. He offers to pay us a few bucks to cut in, we say no. He’s older than us, and dressed way, way nicer. something is totally up, but i don’t know what. He asks what we’re in line for, we tell him. He’s very chatty, starts asking people what their names are. He shakes the hand of the young man in front of me and says “great to meet you, I’m Sonny Strait, I’ll see you inside, ok?”. Takes the kid in front of me about 10 seconds to realize what just happened.
More FMA cosplay:
I don’t watch Kill la Kill, but it was super popular:
would you believe that a google search for “flashing purple nipples” brought up Kill la Kill images in the first page? Also, I don’t recommend doing a google search for “flashing purple nipples”. There were at least two of these flashing nipple guys walking around. LEDs for the win, indeed.
more Kill la Kill:
And there were also these guys, dancing with the Maids.
Coming up, more cosplay, how to wear a kimono, and more!