I made it back from Anime Punch this last weekend, and spent most of Monday making up the sleep deficit.
As one of the invited guests of the con, I signed up to participate on a number of panels, so while Friday and Sunday were spent relaxing and enjoying the convention atmosphere, I was really busy on Saturday. Here are the Saturday panels I sat on:
- Anime, Manga, and Fandom in Academia (I was also the moderator)
- Gainax (from Daicon to Evangelion and beyond)
- Shounen Manga (I hosted a conversation with my friend Lillian Olsen, a veteran translator for Viz)
- Otaku Studies (I gave a talk, "The Importance of Being Otaku", followed by discussion)
- Unique video programming that featured cult classics, rare titles, staff picks, and documentaries. At most anime cons I attend, the video rooms are totally uninteresting, but Anime Punch had me repeatedly looking at the video schedule to make sure I wasn't missing anything special.
- The con was very open to panel suggestions, and as such, there were a ton of panels covering a wide range of subjects.
- Con Suite! The last time I was at an anime con that had a con suite was Otakon '97! Free soda and snacks are always a plus.
- In addition, there were great local food options. Usually, I spend more money in the dealers' room than I do on food, but this con had plenty of good restaurants nearby, whether you wanted fast food, casual dining, or really expensive steaks. Next year, even if the hotel changes, I hope the con stays in the same general area.
- Really nice con staff. As a guest, I was treated very well, and from the looks of it, the staff was just nice in general. I've been to too many cons where the con staff (volunteer or otherwise) were rude to attendees. Even when they were spread thin and lacking sleep, the Anime Punch staffers managed to stay friendly all throughout the weekend.