Ani-Magic 2000 - First time for Everything
By Dai Kou
Lancaster, California - Home of the open terrain and mountainous desert area -- But what's this? "An Anime Convention...?" This is what most anime-goers, unfamiliar with the area of Lancaster, thought at the mention of Ani-Magic 2000.
Literally a "new" convention itself, Ani-Magic proved to be quite worthy of the title "successful" by the amount of attendees and guests early October 6 through 8.
A nice array of guests helped make the con exciting at that. Visitors performing, or just simply 'stopping by', consisted of the lovely and talented Mari Iijima (Lynn Minmay of Macross), voice performers Amanda Winn-Lee (Rei Ayanami of Evangelion), Jason Lee (Shigeru Aoba of Evangelion) and even Kat Cressida (DeeDee of Dextor's Laboratory).
Dai rubs elbows with Mari Iijima
Programming and panels were quite entertaining. Video gaming, trivia, and even a Dance Dance Revolution contest were a few of the programming features held here, not to mention the ever-popular video screening rooms featuring anime of all sorts. As for panels, cosplay seemed to be the spotlight of this particular feature, gathering the extremely talented hosts whom presented their own panels, Tristen Citrine and The JASPER Cosplay Closet. Other panels consisted of Creating Your Own Manga by Mike Hayes, as well as panels from the creators of Gremlin Trouble, E. T & Elizabeth Bryan, Ed Luena of Bodo Genki Studios, and Joyce Wakabayashi, a noted Fan Fiction Writer.
Live entertainment and the dance had to have been the highlight of the convention (besides the masquerade, of course!). The lively Venice Koshin Taiko of California, a group of Okedou Taiko players, graced the Opening Ceremonies. Mari Iijima also gave fans a lovely concert at poolside on several occasions, also offering autographs thereafter, and two separate dances were held for minors and those of more adult age. Both dances were held on Saturday night, and lasted till wee hours of the next morn. Whoosh... Dai-chan sure was tired! ^,~*
...And here's Dai with Amanda Winn-Lee and Jason Lee...
Drum roll please... The highlight of any convention in California or what not, the Masquerade! For Ani-Magic, there was an abundant amount of entries -- perhaps not a huge "spectacle" of performers / walk-ons, but a very nice compilation of great CosPlayers! The awards given suit as follows :
Judge's Award - "Atorashan"
Everyone just loves Ryo-Ohki! Right? Right... ?
Judge's Award - "Rock Howard"
Judge's Award - "Star-Crossed Lovers"
Judge's Award - "Gary Oak and His Cheerleaders"
Best Individual Performance - "Lynn Minmay"
Best Group Performance - "Pretty Fly for an Asian Guy"
Runner-Up Performance - "King of Fighters"
Best of Show - "The Exorcist"
Individual / group awards were also given to those who entered cosplay craftsmanship of different levels. Awards were given by judges David and Kimberly Ramsay of The JASPER Cosplay Closet.
As the final day came attendees bid farewell to their temporary home in Lancaster, hopefully and for the most part satisfied of the events that had passed. In regardance to the convention itself, attendees stated, "it wasn't bad. Not bad at all for a first year!" With this said, it is for sure that we will indeed be seeing an even more successful Ani-Magic next year, with registration already open for early planners! Ani-Magic 2001, skee-doo! Hope to see you there!