I had the opportunity to attend Animefest this year and it was this past year that I too started to appreciate Anime as a real form of entertainment that I could enjoy. I am a self proclaimed “nerd”. I love my fandoms from Supernatural to Harry Potter. I love to read, I love to sing out loud to musicals, and anything and everything that has to do with superheros. What I never allowed myself to enjoy was Anime. I had this strong belief that it was too promiscuous and pervy for ME. I did grow up watching things like Sailor Moon and liked it but just never got into the more adult themes.
This past year I was challenged to watch an Anime called Sword Art Online. I watched the first episode and thought it was pretty good but I just didn’t know if it was something I could like, I mean it’s cartoons for goodness sake! But I allowed myself to be driven by the story and OMG it was so good. I couldn’t stop watching. I binged watched the whole season and went straight into season 2. I loved it! Next was RE: Zero Starting Life in Another World and I fell in love again. I just could not stop watching. I loved the idea that there could be another world out there full of magic, monsters, and heroes; oh my! I then started watching Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan, and believe it or not Anime has another fan and I am part of another fandom.
Anime fandom is another world completely! I do not know what I expected to see at Animefest but what I did see, I loved! Animefest is a 5 day fun filled day of cosplayers, meet and greets, gaming, art, and buying authentic Anime culture.
I bought tickets for Animefest for Saturday only. We had to drive to Dallas from the Fort Worth area which is about a good 30 minute drive with traffic. I was so excited and had no idea what to expect. Animefest was held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Dallas and almost every floor was filled with something that had to do with Anime. Parking and food were the only things that I would have to say needed a bit more thought. There were food trucks parked outside and a vendor who was selling food inside on the bottom floor but the food was not very appetizing. Since we were downtown we decided to walk (it was 100+ degrees outside) and look for a restaurant for lunch. After walking around in the hot hot heat, we finally decided on a small pub called the Press Box. The pub was small but cute and our server noticed our badges. He asked if we were there for Animefest in which we replied yes. He started to talk about his favorite Anime Naruto and asked if we saw any Naruto cosplayers, the answer was yes, so many! We enjoyed our lunch and took water to go as we trekked back to the hotel.
The hotel is about thirty something floors high and we visited the ones that appealed to us most. We visited the karaoke room which, make no mistake, I would have went and stood in line and sang my favorite musical toon but not alone! So instead we sat with the crowd and watched and sang along to some great musical numbers, like Seasons of Love. We visited the video game room which was awesome! They had some of my favorites like Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat, however if you wanted to play you had to either have your own remote control or borrow one that you traded your badge in for them to hold until you returned with their remote. We decided next year we would bring our own remotes and go head to head.
We decided to go all the way up to the 37th floor for the role playing and board game rooms. The elevator was a nightmare and when you finally did get a chance to get on an elevator, you were crammed in like sardines and then the elevator made multiple stops even though we were all going to the same floor. When we finally got up to the 37th floor we got to paint figurines. The area to paint was pretty big. There were several rooms dedicated to the painting, they provided one figurine per badge holder, all the paint you would want to use, paint brushes, and everything else. Painting was fun but I really wanted to just look at everything! We did take most of our time in the merchant rooms, bought a couple of items, and took pictures. We took pictures of and with so many amazing cosplayers. I really wanted to dress up as a scout from Attack on Titan but I did not get my costume ready in time but I will be ready next time.
We saw a lot and did a lot but we did not get to do everything we wanted. I think next year I will be better prepared and may even get a room at the hotel. I will definitely make sure to bring snacks and water with me and I will take a lot more pictures. I had a great experience and will probably continue to do it every year from now on. I would recommend Anime to all nerds because this fandom is one that is not going away, if anything it is getting more amazing and entertaining with time! Until next time peace, love, and music nerds!