What do you get when you cross anime lovers, cosplayers, gamers, and Easter weekend? I’m sure that most of you know this answer: MTAC (Middle Tennessee Anime Convention)! While a favorite of the 2Shots of Geek crew, this convention always has a lot to offer. Some changes were made to the convention this year; including, but not limited to, a change in location and venue, but nonetheless, the convention was still a success.
As usual, some of the pre-registered attendees lined up as early as Thursday afternoon for a chance to get their badges before anyone else did. While I was unable to arrive until later that night to pick up my badge, you could definitely see how excited people were for the convention. There were people already decked out in full cosplay, others in t-shirts from favorite games or series, and more still just happily chattering away with new-found friends. You could feel the camaraderie that was afforded to those of us just waiting in line, and it was, in a word, awesome!
As some of your may know, I am a massive Yu-Gi-Oh! fan. Well, MTAC made me, and various others, extremely happy with their choice in guests this year. With names such as Dan Green (known for his voice of Yugi Mutou/Yami Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!) and Eric Stuart (known for his voice work as Seto Kaiba also from Yu-Gi-Oh!) as front runners, MTAC was well on its way to a successful year! There were several panels revolving around these guests, which I was unable to attend, and their roles as the original antagonist and protagonist of the anime series and popular trading card game. And to add a little extra fun into the mix, creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! the Abridged Series, Little Kuriboh, was also in attenadance!
Along with Dan Green and Eric Stuart, there were several other guests that also made a big splash: Vic Mignonga (a convention favorite), Martin “Little Kuriboh” Billany, Marianne Miller, Chii Sakurabi, DJ Pete Ellison, Samantha Inoue-Harte, Samurai Dan and Jillian, and Vedetta Marie were all in attendance! Each of these guests were amazing and were very kind to the attendees! Like other conventions, the voice actors and musical guests had areas to do autographs, and some ever had booths in the dealers’ room as a way for fans to come by and see them and to purchase merchandise.
Now, as someone who spends 99% of the convention in cosplays, I can only offer the side of the convention that I saw:
Friday morning at the convention started off slow, of course, this is the norm for conventions. As the day dragged on, more and more people showed up. Being on Easter weekend; however, made this Friday much busier than most other 3 day conventions. As the venue started to fill up with con goers, you could tell that the spirit of con was in the air. Cosplayers ran amok, the game rooms filled with ease, and all seats were taken wherever you looked. And all around where the nerds, geeks, and attendees that love the world of conventions and cosplay. We were all there for one reason: To have a lot of fun!
For me, Friday was my least favorite day, but that was mostly due to not knowing my way around the venue and not knowing where I needed to be at what times. Thanks to MTAC staff and the staff of the Embassy hotel, though, I finally found the places that I needed to be, and the rest of the day was really great. The only drawback to Friday, for me, was the heat. But that was completely understandable with all of the bodies that were being held in the convention center and hotel lobby. But even that wasn’t enough to stop all of us from having fun!
Saturday was my favorite day! As per most conventions, the cosplay contest is held on this day, so all of the fancy costumes are brought out. This is always my favorite part of larger conventions as the talent is always unbelievable! I love to see what everyone has been working on for the past several months/year come onto the convention floor. It really makes coming to conventions worth it to me. However, with all of the beautiful cosplays, some being cumbersome and taking up a lot of room to maneuver in, the hallways became a very crowded place. With the artist alley and visiting convention booths set up in the main hallways, there was some issue with people able to move as they needed to. This also made it very hard to catch a picture of a cosplay as someone walked by. However, there was plenty of space outside of the hotel and the weather was gorgeous, so photo opportunities were abundant elsewhere.
Sunday was the day for goodbyes and final trips to the dealers’ room for those items that you just had to have at the last minute. This is definitely the saddest day of the convention, but also one of the best times. Since this convention is over Easter weekend, Sunday is the slowest day; therefore, you can make your way around more easily and see those friends of yours that were busy the rest of the weekend. Since there are generally less people, panels are much easier to get into and the hallways are easier to navigate. Gotta love those lazy con Sundays!
So my overall review of the convention was pretty good! While there were some small hiccups here and there, there are always things that conventions could improve upon. Yes, there were lines to events, dealers’ rooms, and panels. But I felt like the MTAC staff did a good job trying to get everyone where they needed to be and on time. And a major kudos to the MTAC staff! You guys were so much help! A special thanks goes out to Rusty Greer! This man was an awesome addition to the MTAC staff and I hope to have the pleasure of working with him again in the near future.
For Voice Actor interviews Stay Tuned!
For the photos that were taken at MTAC 2014, please give our gallery a look on our facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.594472557315336.1073741848.195743120521617&type=1
For all of your MTAC news for 2015 make sure to like the MTAC facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mtac.net
You can also keep an eye on the MTAC website for even more news: http://mtac.net/