This past Saturday we made our way to Miami for Animate! 2014. Brought to you by the same folks behind Supercon, Animate focuses mainly on anime and cartoons.
While I may have gone to the past five Supercons, this was my first time attending their Animate show. Myself, I’m mostly interested comics but I’ve been known to dabble in anime from time to time and love cartoons. So I was psyched to immerse myself in the culture for the day.
As soon as we arrived we could see how large of an attendance they had this year, it’s no wonder that Animate is one of the largest conventions of it’s kind in the state.
With one of their best lineups of voice actors yet, the show featured stars from Adventure Time like John DiMaggio (Jake and also Bender on Futurama), Olivia Nelson (Marceline), Jessica DiCicco (Flame Princess). Anime guests included Dragon Ball’s Chris Sabat, Eric Vale & Monica Rial.
It wasn’t all anime and cartoons though with local and pro comic creators including Mike McKone, Jose Delbo, Allen Bellman & Jeff Dekal and local publisher Cosmic Times.
Animate’s strong emphasis on cosplay brought industry guests such as Yaya Han, Chloe Doan & Alexia Jean Grey.
While Animate may be a smaller show than Supercon, you wouldn’t tell by the event schedule. They managed to pack in a very full weekend of panels, Q&As, seminars, raves and gaming.
The stars of Florida Super Championship Wrestling performed for the entire weekend. After watching Arrow take on Captain America we saw Link fight nearly all of Cobra Commander’s troops in an awesome gauntlet match. We definitely look forward to seeing FSCW return at Supercon!
Pineapple Shaped Lamps with their Rocky Horror shadow cast, Lisa Corrao and the nerd comics and Karaoke hosted by Jose Melendez (Non-Stop Karaoke).
I’m no anime-expert but I can tell you the majority of costumes were anime related. Plenty of the usual Homestuck, Naruto & Dragonball characters were well represented. Unsurprisingly there was still a large number of comic book and video game costumes.
Animate’s costume contest was bigger and more important than ever with SyFy channel show “Heroes of Cosplay” in attendance to film an episode. Other than the giant camera moving around the show, things weren’t changed too much for TV. It’s nice to see a local show like Animate getting national attention.
The vendor area was one-stopping shopping for any anime fan with plenty of manga, dvd, Pocky & prop sellers. It wasn’t all anime though with vendors like FGS friends Convention Exclusive (action figures) and the ladies from Kitsch & Crossbones and Geek Out Fashion (handmade clothes & accessories). There was also a surprising amount of comic book vendors this year including my Past Present Future & Docking Bay 94.
Like last year, this year’s Animate location was the Miami Airport Convention Center. Finished with their renovations, the MACC is a great location for a show of this size.
The main floor held the vendor room and the guests with majority of events being held upstairs. Parking was an ease with $5.00 spaces available even in the middle of the day on Saturday. With a snack bar in the main hall and the cafe in the mall next door, there were decent choices for on-site food options.
While Supercon left the location due to it’s much larger attendance, the MACC is a great location for the show. From what we understand, the Miami Airport Convention Center will still be the home of Animate! Miami for the forseeable future.
We may have only done Animate for a day but we still managed to have a great time. It was nice seeing a lot of our convention friends and shopping in the vendor area.
A big thanks to Mike and all of the Supercon/Animate! staff for being very helpful and for making us feel welcome as always.
We’ll see you all at Supercon in July!
Photos by Scott Schlazer.