Star Wars
BlazBlue cosplay, featuring (from top-to-bottom, left-to-right) Joshwin Kelsey, Adam Bregar, Ryoga Rocket, Jesse Garcia, Andrew Tiner, Azreale Cosplay, and Skye Cosplay. Photograph by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography.

Animation On Display 2014

As conventions grow, they sometimes have to move to new locations to fit the ever-expanding crowds they draw. Such was the case for Animation On Display (AOD), which left the familiar but cramped confines of Japan Town’s Hotel Kabuki, and instead moved to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. NorCal con-goers will remember that location as a previous location for Yaoi Con, so while the hotel may be familiar, the con itself is new to the spot.

Let’s begin by looking at the hotel: it is beautiful. The windows from the rooms face inward, providing a bird’s eye view of the convention below, set in a wide open hotel with a great (albeit expensive) dining room and plenty of shrubberies. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and getting around the convention was no problem.

Advert
Save 20 on all pre-order statues at TFAW.com!

Outside, finding affordable places to eat wasn’t too difficult, but the wait could be pretty bad. There were some decent places within walking distance, although given the amount of convention attendees that went to them, the restaurant I went to seemed short-staffed, as there were plenty of empty tables but still a lot of waiting.

Photograph by Toshiyasu Morita, featuring Eri and Moni of Shiawase Cosplay and Gogo Hikaru of IchiGoGo! Twins.
Photograph by Toshiyasu Morita, featuring Eri and Moni of Shiawase Cosplay and Gogo Hikaru of IchiGoGo! Twins.

In the convention itself, there was the usual convention setup. The big room was the Dealer’s Hall, which also held the Artist Alley. It actually felt a little short on dealers this time around, as all the usual stuff was there, but nothing particularly unique or out of the ordinary. Still, several attendees managed to find that rare figurine they wanted, and I myself got a wig I was in need of for an upcoming cosplay, so all is well.

Advert
100% Awesome Official Dr Who Merchandise

Also of note is that some of the guests of honor had booths in the Dealer’s Hall themselves. I managed to stop by and chat with LittleKuriboh of “Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series” fame, and Cristina Vee also had a table of her own. That certainly made it easier for many to meet the guests they wanted to see.

Outside of there and slightly down the hall, one could find multiple gaming rooms. There was a room for video games, one for arcade games, and one for tabletop games, which all held various tournaments throughout the weekend. Of course, as with all tournaments at a convention, there were both casual and competitive players in attendance, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Advert
Photograph by OscarC Photography, with Yuki-Chan Cosplay.
Photograph by OscarC Photography, with Yuki-Chan Cosplay.

The panel rooms held discussions and presentations from fan, guest, and industry attendees alike, each drawing decent crowds. The “League of Legends” panel was a huge attraction, given the amount of League guests in attendance, while other panels, such as the fan-held “Magikarp: A History” still managed to get a huge attendance as well. The various panels covered a range of topics, from fandoms to life tips from conventions, with only moderately long waits for the insanely popular ones.

There were no official cosplay gatherings at AOD, although the popular series were still in abundance. The location did make it a little difficult to hold large photoshoots or cosplay gatherings, although perhaps it could set up a gathering location if there is enough demand.

BlazBlue cosplay, featuring (from top-to-bottom, left-to-right) Joshwin Kelsey, Adam Bregar, Ryoga Rocket, Jesse Garcia, Andrew Tiner, Azreale Cosplay, and Skye Cosplay. Photograph by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography.
BlazBlue cosplay, featuring Joshwin Kelsey, Adam Bregar, Ryoga Rocket, Jesse Garcia, Azreale Cosplay, and Skye Cosplay. Photograph by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography.

Speaking of cosplay, the masquerade had some wonderful cosplayers show off what they could do. Sadly, there were also some poor sports afterwards, posting complaints about judge favoritism or unfairness. I have to speak in favor of the judges and the winners, for while there were many excellent cosplays on display, those who won did not put any less work into their costumes or performances than anyone else, and I congratulate all who entered, win or lose.

In short, Animation On Display was a fine convention, although its new location did make it lose out on all the conveniences and locations that it used to have access to at Japan Town. Still, it was a convention filled with friends and great guests, which is what I went there for. Moving to a new location is always tricky for a convention, but for its first year at the Hyatt, AOD was just fine.

About rpleasant

A would-be writer, who enjoys living the geek life and indulging in comics, cosplay, anime, and more. He hopes to one day have something created that other people can enjoy and review, but until then continues to work on various projects such as parodies and short stories.

Check Also

SacAnime Swap Meet Gallery 3

Some photos from this past SacAnime Swap Meet in Roseville Summer 2020. Hope you enjoy …

SuperHeroStuff - Shop Comics Now!