Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) is a 4 day convention that happens in Atlanta, GA annually. It takes place inside the Cobb Galleria's Renaissance Waverly Hotel. This cultural event celebrates Japanese culture, anime and manga as well.
It has been years since I've been to AWA. I fondly recall vivid cosplay costumes, international novelties and memories that would last a lifetime. The few times that I have attended were exceptional. I was introduced to asian treats as well as some fashion trends, However nothing would prepare me for the joy ride through this enriching experience in 2017.
This year was different for me. I wasn't cosplaying. The privilege of being recognized as official press for AWA is an honor. I was looking forward to being a spectator this time around. Upon entering the hotel I was greeted by multiple murals. They were huge. One was even on the floor of the lobby. I don't remember that many before.
As I browsed through the halls, I saw many cosplaying. Dragon BallZ, Sailor Moon and Naruto characters could be seen. Legend of Zelda and even Star Wars were represented too. What impressed me the most was the attention to detail.
One cosplayer devoted an entire year on her Fullmetal Alchemist costume. The precision in creating an exact replica of the character was intriguing. It looked perfect to me. She did confide in me that it did not come out the way that she had intended. However she put so much work into it that she decided to showcase it anyway.
The Dealer's Room is one of my favorite spots. This is the area that most paraphernalia is sold. Items that are not sold in typical american stores can be found here. From snacks (like Pocky) to memorabilia such as specialty swords are on sale. There are hundreds of vendors in this giant event hall. Each one offering different pieces to add to any collection.
Artists Alley is a little different from the Dealer's Room. This area gives both amateur & professional vendors the opportunity to sell fan art. These are one of a kind novelty artwork/pieces created by the artists. They can include decor, handmade jewelry or even original fan artwork. Plus you can actually talk with the artist about their craft.
The gaming room gives fans the convenience of learning new games and playing some favorites too. This is a very social area that people often make new friends. The staff is helpful with helping locate games that are in stock. There are also tons of prizes for the tournaments too.
Anime fans from all over can enjoy movies and panels galore during this epic weekend. There is no shortage of things to do. Whether it is attending J-Pop concerts, entering costume contests, attending a panel of international stars or even getting jazzed up for the AWA formal ball there is something for everyone. This is a fun event that has grown tremendously over the past 20+ years.
I appreciate AWA allowing me to cover some of this years festivities. I look forward to the next epic affair in 2018. This event gets the 'Ash Said it Stamp of Approval'.
Visit http://awa-con.com for info on registration for Anime Weekend Atlanta 2018!