AnimeiCon is an up-and-coming anime convention in the Monterey area of Northern California. For those who have never been to Monterey, the city and the surrounding area has gorgeous views of the coast and is best known for Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the beautiful coastal views. This is the second year for AnimeiCon; my first year attending and it was well worth it. Held at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Monterey, there were plenty of picturesque spots for photoshoots, despite the wetness and occasional rain, and all the photographers managed well.
Gary de Guzman, Boss of NorCal (and Fanime Vice-Chair) had approached all of us wanting to support this local convention down in Monterey and when Boss Gary invites, you don’t say no. Plus our friends, the amazing band VIS, were performing live. We wanted to come out and show our support.
One of our Cosplay Photographers Ambassador from Los Angeles, Eric Ng (BigWhiteBazooka), even brought some SoCal cosplayers to help liven the convention atmosphere.
For this year’s AnimeiCon, they had some notable guest of honors such as Kyle Hebert and G.K. Bowes. Herbert is an anime and game voice actor known for Wreck-it Ralph (Ryu), Naruto (Kiba), Bleach (Aizen, Ganju), League of Legends (Ezreal, Jarvan, Graves, and more). G.K. is also a voice actress known for her roles on Bleach: Memories of Nobody (Senna), Gurren Lagann (Kiyal Bachika), Samurai Warriors (Kunoichi), Marvel vs, Capcom (Felicia) and more. Also ran into Bordin (aka HyperBooster) of HyperCon. The convention’s musical performances by VIS, Yukie Dong, Kurenai, The Stars At Dusk, Akai SKY, and Angel Hearts definitely provided the quality of the production and was definitely top-notch.
There were definitely quite a bit of cosplayers at the con. The costumes were fairly decent with a few notable ones. On Saturday, the cosplay contest had many participants with Midori taking first place.
They had a good vendor room composed of a rather diverse group of vendors, with a variety of artists in the Artist Alley. I also had an opportunity to spend a bit of time in their maid cafe called the Lotus Café. I have found the staff to be energetic, lively, and especially accommodating. AnimeiCon isn’t a large anime convention by any means, but it is growing. This convention organization is run in a family-like manner, meaning they go out of their way to make sure you’re experience is the best. They are definitely doing things right! I found that the executive staff (Wilfred Mercurio, “Mom”, Kris Mercurio, Elyjah Mercurio, Suzanne Nguyen, Gloria Pham, and more) to be absolutely amazing and very attentive to any con attendee’s needs.
In the end, AnimeiCon is a great and progressive convention. I have to say, this has been one of the most fun conventions I’ve been to in a while and I had a great time. I am looking forward to watching this event flourish, evolve, and Cosplay Photographers will definitely be back next year. If you’re in the area and looking for a nice weekend getaway, I highly recommend AnimeiCon.
For more photos, please visit our AnimeiCon gallery on our Facebook.
Please note: The Bui had assistance with this article with help from Suzanne Nguyen, Program Director for AnimeiCon.