Asahi (Anime Society of Antioch High) Con took place on March 20th at Antioch High School (Antioch, CA). The small, one day con was run by high school students under the guidance of Bay Area convention veterans (Jason Ebner, Rob Miles, Wendell Nacnac, etc). The event was made to develop high school students in running an anime convention. This event had panels, a video game room, anime viewing room, and an artist alley. Other clubs from the high school sold food to raise money for their respective organization. Hanyaan said that this was the first con to have real affordable food on-site. $5 for a TriTip steak sandwich can't go wrong. Admission was only $5, but if you showed an anime convention badge, admission was $5.
The small high school run con had a few keynote panels. I was invited to Asahi Con to talk to the high school kids about "Fandom, College, & Career." The panels were placed in the spacious choral room. Before that panel started, I sat in for a voice acting panel that was hosted by a veteran amateur voice actor. He talked about how an aspiring voice artist can use a free program like Audacity to practice voice work. Amateur voice actors can find auditions on Voice Acting Alliance.
I presented my panel. I have to thank Valerie Doan (Live Programming) for getting the word out throughout the event. Basically, I talked about how a college applicant can take their hobbies and interests and turn it into a college major. I had an audience of 30 attendees including someone who works for St. Mary's College and a gentleman from Sega. It was a great experience to talk to high school kids. Glad to have become an inspiration to you guys! Many thanks to Rob Miles (Sega) for jumping in and sharing his story.
Other than informational panels, a few of the local cosplayers came out to support this event. Though it was labled "Fail Con," this was the little con that could. The nice thing about Asahi Con taking place in a high school is that there was much potential for school scenary shoots.
Behind the baseball field, Hanyaan, Tog, and I found a few nice backdrops appropriate for Baccano!, Fate / Stay Night, and Jojo's Bizarre Adventures.
The nice part about Asahi Con was it granted opportunities to make your own fun. Claudine, Tog, and Hanyaan started playing kick the shiny thing.
Asahi Con was a laid back kind of hang out con. The Artist Alley did have a swap meet. I was able to find six rare Love Hina figures all for the price of $20. Claudine was able to find a copy of Space Channel 5 for Playstation 2.
The cosplay show was coming up. Valerie (Live Programming Chair) was in need of participants. The show was non-competitive. Therefore, it was more like a fashion show in which the cosplayer talks about his or her costume. I was very amazed by the auditorium space. You could almost fit three Fanime stages in that performance space.
Perhaps the highlight of the cosplay show was Rico and Charie's dance from Hanamaru Kindergarten. It was so cute that it gave the audience cavities. "This song is going to be on the soundtrack to my night terrors," I said to Tog. More entrants from the cosplay show can be seen on Scarlet Rhapsody's Asahi Con Playlist.
The con was coming to and end. Several people decided to host an after party at Milpitas Golfland. We missed out saying "Hi" and "Bye" to a few of our friends. Much love to the Recca Society veterans for being awesome mentors to these high school kids. Even though the event was planned, oraganized, and staff by high schoolers, I was amazed how smooth the con went. This was not an epic fail as it was precieved to be. People were generally well behaved and there were no instances of a yaoi paddle breakout. These kids had great mentors and guidance from the Recca Society.
It was a bittersweet bye bye to Asahi Con. I actually showed up to the Bay Area by surprise. Not many people knew I was coming up for Asahi Con. Jason Ebner invited me to be a guest speaker, and I would love to do it again. Asahi Con has much love and support from this veteran anime convention attendee. Many thanks to Asahi Con for the invitation and food. Ms. Doan's spaghetti and garlic bread was amazing. You guys know how to treat your guests!
This con delivers on the "we have cookies" incentive. For more information about Asahi Con, please visit their website. If you are a local to the Bay Area and have time to spare on a Saturday morning, check out the little con that could.
A special thanks to Claudine Roselle Puente for videotaping the show and to Hanyaan for final proofreading.
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