ACEN Weekend

Spent the last 3 days in Chicago working at Anime Central (ACEN). It was my first convention of any type and I enjoyed it greatly. It had its downsides. Large, slow-moving crowds, body odor, dudes dressed in scanty girl costumes. But on the whole I enjoyed it and will likely do it again next year.

With my background in the media, ACEN tapped me to moderate the press availabilities for the various voice actors, directors, musicians and other stars. I spent most of the Con stuck in one room doing research, asking questions, making other people ask questions by force of will and coddling stars.

Not all the stars. Most of them were incredibly cool and very approachable. Some… weren’t. And it’s not a cultural thing. While some of the Americans were… difficult, some of the Japanese were too. But most of both groups were happy to take questions and be interviewed and meet with their fans and the press. Refreshing, after a lot of the movie and TV people and politicians I’ve met in the past.

I got to meet Todd Haberkorn, Cristina Vee, Ian Sinclair, Joel McDonald, Travis Willingham, Mike McFarland, Chris Cason, Samurai Dan and Jillian, Shota of Video Game Orchestra (which I didn’t get to see perform, dammit), Brina Palencia, Christopher Sabat, Christine Cabanos, Cassandra Lee, Johhny Yong Bosch, Masashi Hamauzu, Yasuhiro Koshi, Nabeshin, Asuka, Maki and RinRin of Angelic Pretty, Iruma Rioka and her guitarist Nemu, Sixh.Ibi, and Maya and Aiji of LM.C.

Of special note, Ian Sinclair is hilarious and very genuine. Christopher Sabat has great stories and the most ridiculous deep voice, it’s not done with computers. Joel McDonald was awesome because he had the 9:00 AM slot and nobody showed but he was graciousness itself and chatted with us staffers. 100% professional right there. And, finally, Cassandra Lee was tiny, beautiful, talented, handled the press with aplomb and I think I have a crush.

I did purchase my first Con souvenir. It’s the Mog hat in the top picture. If you don’t know what a Moogle is, well, I’m sorry for you. Click the link and play some decent video games FFS. You know, the ones with a story and not just FPS. Sheesh. I didn’t get the chocobo hat, though that’s what I was originally hunting, because I think my sister-in-law (already made me a Jayne Cobb hat) is now inspired to make me one.

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