Overall, I had a decent time at this year's AnimeNEXT. It wasn't as "exciting" as it has felt in other years for me, but that's because I got laid off 2 weeks before this convention and having to worry about how I'm going to eat at the con is a real downer. Thankfully, my boyfriend did help out, but it's still a bummer. Anyway, here's my review.
1.) Very friendly and helpful staff. I have had issues with rude and seemingly clueless staff in past years, but this year I had no problems. Every time I had a question, it was answered politely and with the correct information. I really appreciate not having to ask 10 different staff members the same question just trying to get the right answer. I was also in the cosplay dating game for the first time this year, and I'd like to give a special shout out to the staffers running it..They were super friendly and reassuring, and let me go last in the second round of bachelorettes to get the hang of things. I'll definitely consider applying for the dating game again next year.
2.) Things generally started on time and were placed in appropriate rooms for crowd size. This was so, so awesome! It kind of ties in to the staff thing again, but I really liked that everything was kept on schedule for the most part, and none of the events I went to were hurting for space for the audience.
1.) Dealer's room line. Seriously? Who came up with that idea, and why wasn't it at least told to us beforehand? I know I'm not the only one who walked all the way to the previous entrance, only to be told I had to walk around the building outside to get in. The heat made it uncomfortable to begin with, but what if it had started storming? Also, it seemed to me like the food court was no longer accessible, as I didn't see anyone moving in and out of there. Why was that?
2.) I'm going to have to be one of those downers and say that I really don't think this location suits AnimeNEXT as well as the venue in Secaucus did. That location was much more centralized and much safer. Crossing that busy street at the GSEC during the day is not only a hassle, but it is dangerous, and I really hate not having access to food without needing to drive or getting something delivered. It is probably a hopeless cause, but I really hope that AnimeNEXT will consider moving back there, or perhaps trying out a different convention center.
3.) This is minor, and I'm not sure if it's something AnimeNEXT can even control, but the air conditioning in the DoubleTree was abysmal, aside from in the Manga library. I don't ever remember it being as bad as this year, and they had the freaking fireplace going in the Doubletree as well. What the hell do you need a fire place for when it's 82 degrees outside?? -_- They really need to crank up the AC and leave the fire place off until November.
In general, though, I think a great show was produced this year and I'm looking forward to next year.
★Shizuma (Strawberry Panic!) - 10% complete