AkaiCon Sailed It
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: AkaiCon is a magical, mysterious unicorn of a convention.
The first weekend of August 2015 saw the third year of this amazing event and it was as impressive as it was in year two, when this newbie of an anime con managed to double it’s attendees from year one. We at the blog had so much fun on our one day adventure into Akai last year that this year we knew we couldn’t miss a second (Also, the theme was pirates and you know how much we like pirates).
So what makes this ‘Akai’ thing such a big deal? Sure, Nashville has seen it’s share of uber successful Anime conventions over the years and, honestly, it’s only because of these predecessors that Akai can be all the magical, amazing, unicornness that it’s proven to be. But what makes Akai so special, so wonderful, is this uncanny ability to put exactly the right people in exactly the right positions.
See, Akaicon is the brainchild and baby of lots of folks who have spent years attending, volunteering, and staffing other local cons. In the vane of hindsight being 20/20, these beautiful people have seen what works, what doesn’t, and what needed a fresh face and they implemented these changes. This wouldn’t be possible for ground-breaking cons, cons that were brand new territory in a land of country music and sport. But, it’s only because of those pioneers of geekdom that AkaiCon can be the convention that it is, so let us never forget.
While walking the halls of this wonderland of love and friendship, I never once saw a single member of staff looking harried or overwhelmed. And I wouldn’t have blamed them a bit if they did! But no, every time I saw a red ‘Akai’ arm band the, wearer was all smiles and excitement. And that’s the main draw of this con for me: the excitement!
This amazing, infectious, happy, excitement permeates every second, every panel, every event. This is an excitement that trickles down from the very top to every director, staff member, and volunteer. How could the attendees not pick up on that and share in it?
Now, down to the brass tax: Is this a con I wanna go to?
Into Cosplay and wanna see some amazing costumes?
Like informative or fun panels like Con Etiquette, Cosplay on a Budget, or Creating a Rule 63 Cosplay?
Go to Akai.
Wanna meet amazing, friendly voice actors?
Akai’s got you!
Wanna hang out with your favorite geeks and make new friends in a safe, fun, supportive environment?
You guessed it, Akai lends itself to that, too.
This year AkaiCon was held at the Franklin Marriott in Cool Springs and it was all nostalgia and feels for me. You see, just a few short years ago, I walked into that very same hotel for my first convention ever, in my first cosplay ever. I stepped foot into that lobby for Geek Media Expo volume four, knowing no one, with no idea how my life was about to change.
This time, it was like coming home again. The atmosphere and excitement of Akai hits you the second you step foot on that carpet and doesn’t leave you till sometimes days later. Wanna see just how much this con means to people? Just take a peek at the Facebook Page, read the numerous outpourings of love and affection people have for this event. It’s astounding and humbling.
Just over two thousand fans and friends filled those halls last weekend and the consensus seems to be that it was EPIC. We certainly had and epic time, ourselves.
This convention has a LOT going for it and it’s only going to get better! Next year, AkaiShi, is gonna have a horror theme, so get started on your best, creepiest, cosplay and we’ll see you there! (I’ll be the one cowering in the corner).