Anime Central was my first con in a long time, and it was fantastic! Since it was my first time going as press, I figured that I’d both write about what I did in that role as well as what I did more generally. Above all else, I believe this is a great con and even barring the time I spent with others, it was a great time. So let’s dive in.
First of all, what did I do as press? Well primarily, I took part in the interview sessions with Kikuko Inoue and Mitsuo Iso. Because I went there with my girlfriend, who was conducting interviews for Crunchyroll, my questions ended up being written down on their site. For Kikuko Inoue I asked the questions about Tamura Yukari and Kunihiko Ikuhara. I’ve honestly been a bit of a fan of her for a while, and I love the “Forever 17” club, so getting a chance to ask her about it was great. She was also just a great person, glowing at all times. When Lachlan asked her a question about her daughter, she was beaming, so happy to get the chance to talk about it.
For Mitsuo Iso I asked the question about international cooperation; he took a long time to answer each of his questions, something we were told about, so no one seemed to get the chance to ask him as much as they wanted in the thirty minutes that we had, and I was certainly no exception in this. While he was a bit gruffer than Inoue, he was still great to talk to. Getting the chance to speak with an actual legend of Japanese animation face-to-face was fantastic. The next day, we got to see the new project that he’s working on at his panel, though he said not to share any info or images from that so I won’t be doing so quite yet.
We didn’t get the chance to make it to any other interview sessions but I’m very happy that we got to go to these! Most the cons I’ve been to haven’t had Japanese guests, so it’s great that the first one I attended as press gave me a chance to speak to people other than dub voice actors(no offence, but that’s not what I’m interested in). Without a doubt, I’m satisfied with this part of ACen, and I’d love to be able to attend as press and interview people like this next year as well.
What else did I do at the con? Well, a lot of my time was simply spent hanging out with Lachlan. It was a huge con given the number of attendees and there was a lot to do. We spent some time in the game room(regrettably, I had forgotten my GC controller and thus couldn’t play Melee), hung out at some panels(the Ikuhara panel was fantastic, and I’ve already talked about Iso’s), and spent a copious amount of time in the artist’s alley. As you’ll see below, we got a lot of stuff, and I can’t wait to find a place to hang these. We also bought a couple of doujins but we’ll, uh, leave those to ourselves.
In all, it was a great con, and I’d be glad to go back! I was treated great as press. Even barring the fact that I got to hang with my girlfriend for the first time, it was a great experience. I definitely encourage those in the area to do so and I hope to meet more people at next year’s event!