Anime on Display 2015

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Last Weekend our Ramen crew visited Anime On Display, an anime convention in Burlingame, CA. Here’s Eddie’s and Ramon’s take on the con:

Eddie from Ramen and a Half – Last time I went to AOD it was when it was still in San Francisco’s Japantown 2 years ago. The venue for this year was at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame (see our Capcom-Cup 2013 video here to see what the place looks like). Since Ramon and I have been to this venue before, we were curious to see how an anime convention would utilize the space. Capcom-Cup was centralized in one location, where as AOD used a lot more of the hotel space. There was a dealers room, several rooms for panels and anime viewing, and a game room on the other side of the hotel that also featured live performances. The convention itself was not crowded, it had just enough people where it always seemed lively. The dealers room was not too big either, a good number of artists and dealers with a few industry booths. Personally, I dislike crowded conventions so i enjoyed being able to move freely here. The game room had a great selection of games like Capcom vs Snk 2 and Street Fighter III 3rd Strike on arcade cabs and a selection of games on console.

My only complaint about this convention was the parking. The official lot filled up quick and when we tried to go inside, we were soon turned away and told to park anywhere else “at you own risk!” Safe to say, the parking attendant wasn’t very helpful. So we hunted for street parking around the corner but I ended up parking across the street in the private lots with many signs everywhere warning you of the potential of getting towed if parked here. Honestly, it was hard to enjoy the convention with the fear of your car getting ticketed or towed.

My favorite thing about AOD was their innovative registration system. Unlike other conventions with a cutoff date for their pre-registration, you were able to register for a badge at anytime before attending and you were able to pick it up when you arrived. This reminded me of websites like Target, Walmart or Best Buy that allow you to buy something online and get it in-store with same day pick up. It was really convenient and just made the registration process so easy!

One thing I will miss about it being in SF’s Japantown is definitely the food. It was hard to get food at this venue that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  I hope in the future they will address the food issue. On a related note, the Maid/Butler Cafe had no food when I went but the servers there did serve tea and were really fun to hang out with. They would play games with their customers and just have a good time and talk to you as well. We were definitely treated like royalty. All in all, if you are looking for an anime convention that isn’t too crowded and just a nice place to chill plus meet some cool people, then this is for you.

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