Akaicon was back for its third year! This time, the staff brought us a theme of Pirates and a brand new venue: The Cool Springs Marriot. Like previous years, the staff of the convention worked very hard to put on a fantastic show with some amazing guests.
Like I’ve said before, I really enjoy Akaicon. And this year was no exception. With amazing voice acting guests such as Lauren Landa, Danielle McRae, Matthew Mercer, Jason Marsden, and Scott McNeil; the ever present Vedetta Marie and ScatterDot, and special guests Greggo’s Gameshows and Marisha Ray. And let’s not forget the special guest panelist: PymSlap panels! Of course, what’s a convention without a cosplay contest, an AMV contest, an amazing dealer’s room, and of course, an awesome landscape for photography? Akaicon had all of this and more, and I wish that I had more time to explore each and every avenue that this convention had to offer. There was just so much that I couldn’t pack it all into everyday!
First up, let’s talk about the guests at the convention. Back for his second year, Matthew Mercer is an absolute delight to talk with and is always there for his fans. And even if you don’t agree with him on whether Titans are good or not, he’ll still grant you that everyone has an opinion. Matthew is an all-around cool guy and a perfect fit at Akaicon! Lauren Landa, who voices one of my favorites in Attack on Titan, was a first time guest at Akaicon this year. Lauren is a no-nonsense lady who speaks her mind, which I love and find refreshing. She is also one of the nicest people that I have met, and would love to see her back next year. One actor that was a large part of my childhood was at Akaicon this year: Jason Marsden! If that name doesn’t ring a bell, then does Max Goof? That’s right my Disney loving friends, we had the voice of Max Goof from the Goofy Movie amoung us that weekend! In addition to Max Goof, Jason also voices characters such as Bart Allen (Impulse) in Young Justice, Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus, and Chester McBadBat in the Fairly Oddparents. It was a treat to have such a different kind of voice actor in our midst, and I cannot wait for him to be at more conventions in the future. Scott McNeil also joined the line-up this year. McNeil has a VERY long list of anime, western animation, and live-action roles. But I know him best as Piccolo from DragonBall Z, Van Hoenheim from Fullmetal Alchemist, and Wolverine from X-Men: Evolutions.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this amazing Nashville based convention, shall we? As I mentioned before, Akaicon moved into Franklin, TN’s Cool Springs Marriot. And I have to say that I absolutely loved the new venue. The hotel was more spacious and inviting than that of the Maxwell House where the convention was previously held. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved being at the Maxwell House, but there was just something about the Cool Springs Marriot that really did it for me. Maybe it was the amazing areas for photoshoots, very nice lobby, and great sized rooms for panels and a dealer’s room. Also, I guess that I felt a little more protected from the outside world here. Surrounding most of the hotel were large hedges, so that no one, except for “normal” hotel guests would see you. Again, don’t get me wrong, I adore cosplaying, but I do love keeping it in my private life, so this was a nice addition to the location.
The schedule for this convention was completely cram-packed with great panels, a fashion show, a charity Let’s Play of Five Nights at Freddy’s, a Dance Competition, and so much more! I was involved in several panels during this convention (as I attend as both a cosplayer and Press) and I have to say that everything was scheduled to run very smoothly. There were no overlaps in panels, to my knowledge and no panel times were too late after their starting times. The events were scheduled so that none of the larger crowd gathering events overlapped or took attendance from others. I have to give a huge shout-out to the scheduling team, because they completely wet above and beyond for this show.
In all, I was blown away by Akaicon this year. Everything that has been learned from the years before has been taken and learned from. Each year the crowd of attendees has been growing larger, and that’s something that speaks volumes for this convention. The team behind Akaicon should be very proud! I can’t speak for the rest of my team here at 2Shots, but I am beyond excited for Akaicon’s 4th Year!
Want to get more information about the theme of next year’s convention, how to register for an Artist or Vendor’s table, Pre-registering, or want to stay tuned for guest announcements? Make sure to check out their Website or their Facebook group.