Orlando Anime Day is an event that happens once a year.  Compared to massive events such as Megacon, AX, or Dragoncon, Orlando Anime Day is a smaller event. This year the venue was the Wyndam Orlando Resort and was tailored to be family friendly and affordable.

After paying only $5 at the door, I got the chance to experience a smaller and calmer convention than most. Events such as this one are a great place to start for those worried about the larger Cons. Orlando Anime Day features many similar events to what you would see at a busier convention in a less stressful setting.

The Vendor Room

The three rooms at the venue were all tailored to different environments.  The first and largest room was the vendor room. At over 2000 square feet, there was plenty of space for vendors to set up.  What really struck me as an interesting take on the event was the sheer amount of local indie artists that attended.  Many of the vendors were up and coming artists.  It was nice to see that these artists had a chance to really get their feet in the door. Equally diverse were the many cosplayers who walked the room exploring everything that Anime Day 2018 had to offer.

Fighting video games took up an entire wall in the room.  The most popular game available was Dragon Ball Z Fighter.  I had hoped to get a chance to try the game out, but the line was long. I would have spent too much time waiting to play for five minutes, so instead I tried out some of the other fighting games. Unfortunately, since this is not a game genre I am familiar with, I cannot remember the names of what games I actually played.

The highlight of my time at this section of the venue was when I encountered one of the few people that recognized my attempt at a Kirei Kotomine cosplay.  As avid Fate/ Stay Night fans, we managed to find a fighting game that featured fan favorite Saber from said anime.  I cannot remember the name of the game we were playing (probably BlazBlue), and neither one of us really had any idea what we were doing, but we ended up having a blast.  While people are so competitive in video games these days it was nice to play a fighting in a relaxed manner for a change.

The Viewing Room

The second room showcased both recent and older anime.  Admittedly, given the number of events I wished to attend, I did not spend much time in this room.  Though for the brief time I did sit in, I noticed that there was quite a large crowd consistently in attendance.

Since this was a one day event, there were no fears of missing anything major.  The events for the day were tailored to not overlap.  The schedule of such events were posted outside of all three areas of the event.  The first event, which took place in a room right next to the vendor area was “All things Pokemon”.

The First Panels

This panel consisted of two parts.  Both a Trivia Section as well as Charades.  Prizes were given out for correct answers.  Unlike my time with the fighting games earlier in the day, Pokemon is my forte.  After winning at least one of every available prize between both variants at the panel, I opted out of answering to avoid ruining the fun for others in attendance.

The Second Panel, titled anime Worth Watching ending up being more of a discussion style.  Topics included what makes a good anime as opposed to a great one.  The consensus seemed to be one with a strong start, powerful middle, and exceptional ending.  The key word of the discussion was closure of the story.  The panel argued that this was the most vital aspect of not just a great anime, but powerful storytelling in general.

In the middle of the panel, the group I was with wanted to get food.  I was glad that I left in hindsight.  As a writer, I greatly disagree that closure is required for a story to be powerful.  An argument with the panelists would have benefited no one.

The Later Panels

After the break, the group I was in returned to the convention and just in time for the Danganronpa Panel. I am not caught up in Danganronpa. As a result, I did not completely get all the jokes in this panel .  The panel involved many cosplayers from the story. The twist was that cosplayers answered questions in character.  Perhaps once I have finished up the entire Danganronpa story, including the video Games and anime, I will reflect on this panel again.

I left the event after the Danganronpa Panel to get some rest.  It was an exciting day even if I did not get a chance to see the entire day to its conclusion.  I am looking forward to attending this event next year and will be more prepared to attend the entire day’s events.

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About Ross Ellison

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Ross is a new writer at BentoByte. When he is not writing articles, he amuses himself by writing dark fantasy of nightmarish proportions and being a general menace to society. His favorite Anime is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, favorite Manga is Berserk, favorite Video Game is Final Fantasy VI, Favorite novel is Mistborn, and favorite TV Show is Breaking Bad.

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