This year was my first time heading to the
convention Anime Next. It was the weekend of June 8th - 10th. I went with not much information on the con or even anime conventions in general. Besides Katsucon , I have not been to another anime con. With that said we were excited about it being held in Atlantic City, and come to find out Atlantic City was excited for the convention too. We had previously been in AC for Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, a Convention that sadly hasn’t happened in 2 years. So we thought AnimeNext would be a good alternative. This post will be about my experience at the convention and Atlantic City in general, so let’s jump into it.
To start I arrived late Thursday night and we stayed at Bally’s, one of the hotels that had arrangements with the convention. The room was great and the staff was helpful all weekend. We took that night to walk around and discovery the non-convention things to do, find out food options, find the arcade and pool, etc. Than it was time to get rest before day one.
Friday was the first day of the con, Sean picked up the badges which luckily didn’t take to long. And for those over 18 we received a special wristband. This was because of events and panels with age restrictions. The staff was carefully checking IDs and place the wristbands themselves to secure that they were non transferable. Once that was done we were free to explore.
The show floor was not full so there was plenty of space to walk around, there was a good amount of vendors but a lot selling the same products. Definitely a good place to find a nice anime related statue in various price ranges. And for me, I was finally able to find different “Gloomy Bears” including the Kigurumi. Walking around I saw many stuffed bears and many anime’s I was not familiar with but am now curious about.
In the back of the show floor was Artist Alley. Before walking into any section there was a sign stating not to take photographs in Artist Alley. We had never seen a sign like that before but understood why they would put one like that. Sean and I wanted to do small interviews to share artists work but found out you needed a press badge to do so, now we know for next time. We did walk around and get to see all of the beautiful art that was made and I found an artist I was very familiar with but had no idea they would be at the con. “No Flutter” is a Artist I have followed for a while and even cosplayed some of her designs. I hadn’t been able to meet her in person till than and she was very nice! Glad I could pick up her Felicia print in person.
In another section of the convention hall was a big arcade. About the same size as the show floor and was filled with all different games available to play for free. A lot of games we had seen before like DDR, punchout, marvel vs capcom, and so much more! There were also a lot of games I had never seen before including a very costumizable racing game that was almost intimidating with so many options. With such a large variety, anyone would be able to find something that catches there eye.
Besides those con areas, the rest of the convention center seemed to be filled with panel. We did not know until receiving the schedule that there were so many! From panels where you play games with others, to learning about photography, ones about specific anime’s and even a wrestling show! The variety was definitely there, and you could fill your weekend just running from room to room.
Besides being at the con, we explored the rest of AC , especially enjoying ourselves at the “Wild Wild West” and getting our favorite frozen drinks at “Wet Willies”. We also took advantage of the spaces we had access to like the beach and pool to do photoshoots. It was nice to have the vacation feeling and being able to just relax.
I do wish we prepped more for the con, but since it was our first time there it is a learning process. We do plan on going back next year, it was a wonderful experience and one we will be more prepared for.
Below is just a quick video of some of the things we did , wish I could have filmed more but till next time ^_^.