AnimeIcon had it’s second year at the Monterrey Hyatt Regency Hotel. Since the con is fairly new the attendance was a bit low, but that didn’t stop it from being a great con. In fact, for me it was probably one of the most fun I’ve had at a small convention. This con had just about everything you’d expect from your average cons, from Guest panels, Cosplay panels, Cosplay contest, Bands performances, Dances, Dealer/Artist Halls, and even a Maid cafe.
Voice Actress G.K. Bowes, and Voice Actor Kyle Hebert made a appearance, and had a panel at AnimeIcon. There were also many bands playing there that weekend. VIS, Kurenai, The Stars At Dusk, and akai SKY all made an appearance there and played a few concerts throughout the weekend.
Other guest that made it were Yamila Abraham (founder of the publishing company Yaoi Press), Irene Flores (An Illustrator), Nancy Lam (cosplay costume maker), and Saga Roseki, Kazu Ren, and Chu who are known for their Fashion/costume designs.
The con of course had a Dealer/Artist alley, which featured a decent variety of Artist, and merchandise to buy. Tho it didn’t have as big of a selection like Fanime, or AX this is to be expected from a smaller con.
As I said before this convention even featured a Maid cafe, called the Lotus Cafe. Which contained a variety of drinks, and Ramen to eat for a quick meal. Now you may think the food selection may not be that large, but in my opinion that wasn’t the main attraction to the cafe. The main attraction to the cafe was the wonderful service by the host, and maids, as well as the daily performances throughout the day, such as dance performances by the maids, and hosts, and musical performances by the bands. The Lotus Cafe was definitely the place to be at this con.
Let’s go over the Pro’s and cons that I found at AnimeIcon.
*The convention layout was fairly easy to find what you needed.
*A good variety of panels.
*A few hiccups, but most events were on schedule.
*A dance and Game room
*Great local bands that performed at the convention.
*Not as many people (this is personal preference)
*Many places to relax if you’re tired of walking around all day
*Not as many people (personal preference)
*Since there was not a lot of people the con seemed less crowded because the con location was quite large and spread out.
*Few of the hotel staff seemed to treat the cosplayers as lesser guest at the hotel. Tho the hotel did apologize for this.
*Not many places close by to eat close by, and most places required driving, unless you’re fine with eating ramen at the cafe or at the food truck at the con.
Lets go over the Pros and Cons that photographers may face at AnimeIcon
*A lot different locations to shoot at.
*Surrounded by a lot of nature, and right next to a golf course, so the scenery was quite exceptional for shooting
*Due to the size of the hotel you didn’t have to fight other photographers to shoot at one spot because there was such a wide variety of places to shoot at the convention.
*Quite a bit of lighting inside the hotel.
*Performances were close by, so getting from one performance to the other was quite easy.
*Unfortunately do to the season this con takes place, rain may interfere with outside photo shoots.
*Even tho the there was a lot of lighting it still had that yellowish ambient light, that most hotels have, but it wasn’t as bad as other hotels I’ve been to.
*Photographers looking to cover guest panels will have a very limited selection, but this can change and grow larger over the years.
*Due to the attendance, there were only a handful of cosplayers. So photographers that want to go specifically for that maybe disappointed.
Those are pretty much all the pro’s and cons for normal con goers, and for photographers that I experienced at AnimeIcon. Now I know I mentioned attendance for both pros and cons, but honestly it really does come down to personal preference. As a photographer I enjoy more people because that usually equals more cosplayers to shoot, but on a positive note it also allows people to connect much easier with each other at the con.
So would I recommend this con to cosplayers, average con goers, and photographers? Yes, I would recommend this convention to everyone because even tho it maybe small, it still contained most attractions that most larger cons have, but of course in a smaller and limited size. It may of lacked some attendance,but there was still a decent amount of cosplayers that showed up, and due to this con being located near a lot of nature it made this con very ideal for the outside photographer. I’ve been to quite a bit of smaller cons, and none compare to the type of fun, and experience that I had at AnimeIcon, and tho there are some negatives to the convention, those can be easily avoided and worked around. I believe if this con continues to go on, then it can become a great convention overtime which will then lead to a larger attendance over the next few years. So if you’re willing to make the trip down to Monterrey for AnimeIcon, then by all means do so, because this convention was worth all the time and money I spent there, and I would definitely come back again next year.