AnimeNEXT 2015 – a con in review

It seems like only a few years since AnimeNEXT moved from Meadowlands Exposition Center to the larger Garden State Exhibit Center. But it has been 7 years and we’re ready to move again. At over 14,000 attendees, we’re ready to hit Atlantic City. But not without a final weekend of awesomeness. AnimeNEXT always boasted a guest list which highlighted music and fashion guests and this year was no different. From the Japanese music circuit, we have FLOW and Elisa. The head of fashion, Naoto Hirooka also commonly known as the designer for h.Naoto brought two of his lines for the highly anticipated fashion show. Studio Trigger Wakabayashi and Koyama returns with more animators, Sushio and Hori Takafumi along with Suzuki Aya, an animator who spanned several continents. Stateside, we have a plethora of voice guests including Todd Haberkorn, Kira Buckland, Marc Swint along with ANEXT most loved, Michelle Knotz and Bill Rogers amongst others. To give us our anime culture, we have Neil Nadelman, Charles Dunbar, artist Jason Robinson and to humor us is Uncle Yo. That is only a portion of the guests list which grows surprisingly every year. The only sad part is not being able to see everything but everywhere you turn, everyone is enjoying the awesomeness which is AnimeNEXT. Ever growing, let’s make some memories!
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AnimeNEXT 2015 – Masquerade and AMVs

The masquerade began with two exhibition skits, the first of which was one of the finalist for WCS 2015.
(Kuragehime part 1 timestamp 1:28) Kiss Kiss cosplay presented a beautiful scenario which with lights and wardrobe change…as commonly seen in WCS entries. Telling a simple story to gesture and expression. Sadly, the fog machine got the best of the stage so we couldn’t see the end very clearly. Stil beautiful.
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AnimeNEXT 2015 – Elisa Q&A

Despite getting there a bit late, the panel was still getting ready. I already knew that there was a no photo policy for Elisa since they mentioned it in the press room…but surprisingly, they didn’t make a formal announcement during the panel itself. I have no idea if they made any announcement for the fans on the line, but definitely, there were only a few cameras that people pulled up…and it was during the time when Elisa was singing.
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AnimeNEXT 2015 – FLOW concert

The energy was high as FLOW stepped on stage to the cheers of the fans. The two vocalists, Keigo took to the left center of the stage while Kohshi stood at the center right. The lead guitarist, Asakawa Takeshi stood at the right while bassist Iwasaki Hiroshi took to the left with drummer Goto Yasutaro in the middle. Much of the speaking was left with Keigo as per usual with a mix of English and Japanese to tease the crowd. Truly, even with no interpreter, little was left misunderstood: the band was here to party and so were we!
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AnimeNEXT 2015 – Opening Ceremonies

The con chair, Mr. Eric Torgersen gave the first speech with the usual welcome and noted that AnimeNEXT will be moving to Atlantic City next year. Than he brought on a rep who introduced the convention center noted the size of the site. Mr. Torgersen thanked the attendees for being so patient and reminded everyone of the cautionary rules of staying out of the sun and keeping hydrated. (Besides the water in the panel rooms and hallways, I heard they were also giving out water on the lines as well. That’s awesome! Don’t want any fainting attendees.)
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