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Momocon, an Atlanta-based anime and gaming convention, took over Georgia’s capital from March 16 to 18, 2012, bringing plenty of colorful costumed fans and exciting panels for everyone to enjoy.
It was held in the Mariott at Peachtree Center for the first time rather than its past occupation of Georgia Tech’s student center, and while fans missed hanging out on campus, it was a welcomed change due to the larger size and easier transportation access.
Momocon is always held in mid-March and is usually free, but this year brought about improvements and new developments to the classic convention. Con-goers paid $25 for the weekend and the money went to getting a larger venue and inviting several voice actors. In attendance were Wendee Lee, Ellen McLain, Martin Billany (aka Little Kuriboh), Lucky Yates, and Amber Nash, much to the fans’ delight.
The con hosts several different kinds of events for the three days. First, there are Q & A panels for the voice actors, panels to discuss different subjects from anime and gaming to television shows and cosplay, and panels for screening classic and new anime. Second, there are activities such as roleplaying games, video game tournaments, cosplay competitions, and dancing contests.
Finally, there are the Dealer’s Room and artist alleys, where hardworking vendors sell anime and gaming related paraphernalia. All of these events are laid out in a schedule that each attendee receives upon arrival and can plan which ones they wish to attend.
One of the biggest draws of Momocon is the cosplayers. Cosplay, a term used for people who enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters from an anime, manga, or TV show, is adopted by most of the attendees at the con and always draws attention from the local Atlanta people. Many enjoy gathering around outside the immediate area of the convention to watch the many intricate and detailed costumed fans enter and exit the con.
The spread of characters is always diverse and never limited to just anime. There are representatives from science fiction films like ‘Star Wars’, American-based cartoons like ‘Samurai Jack’, and even British television like ‘Doctor Who’. Though the con is based around anime and gaming, everyone and anyone is welcome.
The guests were also a huge appeal this year for the fans. For example, I am an immense fan of Little Kuriboh, the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged: a fanmade parody of the popular but often silly anime known as ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’. Kuriboh edits and redubs the actual anime and created an entire online movement by doing so.
He has successfully made dozens of episodes and two movies, and even inspired other people to create Abridged versions of other anime. This ultimately led to the creation of TeamFourStar: a collection of talented voice actors from different Abridged shows that all came together to make an Abridged version of Akira Toriyama’s ‘DragonBall Z’. Kuriboh remains a sweet, cheerful, and humbled fellow who enjoys his work and continues to turn out excellent episodes and parodies to this very day.
Another popular appearance came from Lucky Yates and Amber Nash, who voice Dr. Krieger and Pam from FX’s hit animated show ‘Archer’ (2009) I am also a huge fan of this show and attended the Q & A panel that was held over the weekend where the two voice actors gleefully answered any and all questions from the fans.
Yates and Nash worked together on an Adult Swim show called ‘Frisky Dingo’ and have humble backgrounds in acting and voice work. They were also given a booth in the Dealer’s room for fans who wanted pictures and autographs as well as to ask any questions they didn’t get to at the ‘Archer’ panel.
Overall, Momocon 2012 was a fantastic weekend for everyone involved and will certainly be eagerly anticipated for next year.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrvacbob/