I arrived in Chicago late in the evening. I had hoped to be able to head out early but with the way things went this week (unplanned oral surgury Tuesday, on my birthday, for one) I found myself playing catch up and couldn’t leave early. As it happened, I arrived just after the fellow in charge of press and such had closed up shop and head for parts unknown. On the one hand I have to say, this is just my luck. Similarly when I went to Sakura Con last month I arrived in Seattle just after their press office had closed due to fog delays in O’Hare preventing a timely initial departure leading to a missed connection. On the other hand, such events give me insight into the workings of the con.
At a Ohayocon earlier in the year I arrived after the cut off time for press passes and for almost 24 hours I shot the con with a note from the Chief of Security (a very dear man and he runs one of the best con security forces I have seen!) attached to an old press pass from the City of New Orleans. Sakura handled it with a number of phone calls and formalities leading to the pressing of a crisp, new, press pass once they confirmed everything. Here at ACEN, after verifying my credentials and such, the folks at Con Opps hand wrote me one and one of them (Thanks vladimir!) personally walked me around to introduce me to some of the security to ensure I would be able to get into the dance and get some good shots. The almost oriental precision I saw at Sakura produces some beautiful events but I love the mid west “git er done” practicality I saw in the folks at ACEN and appreciated that I wasn’t going to have to just turn around waste the $13 I had paid for parking.
I sometimes find myself perplexed at times when it comes to reviewing events as I tend to enjoy them all and they all have their good points. Also, comparing one event to the next is invariably like comparing differing fruit. I love lemons and would prefer a fresh lemon over an orange but most would take the sweetness of the orange. Along those lines I would still have to say that the rave at Anime-SPARK! was my favorite so far this year, but that would be related to my affinity to aspects that others might not see my way. For instance, at Anime-SPARK! it wasn’t so crowded so I could pick dancers off and composed some great pictures by having them dance in where and how I wanted them to dance and had the pleasure of doing so with the model and dancer, April Choi. Rumor has it that April is here for ACEN but the dance floor was so packed I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea where she might have been. So the dance being packed is a bad thing? By no means unless you are a lemon loving photographer that is greedy for floor space.
I caught two of the DJs at the rave last night. The first was part of the show himself, gyrating in dance with his long hair flying and many in the audience were watching him like a rock star, as opposed to dancing.
The second was more focussed and subdued. He ran the instrument panels with focus and precision, at times almost seeming to be a disembodied face and arms hovering over the controls while the crowd lost themselves in the dance.
All in all the rave was a success and ACEN is going strong so if you are reading this and can get here, head on over. ACEN is likely to again be one of the top 10 biggest Anime Cons in the US. Now back to the con where I am looking forward to catching up with Chris Cason again and, from what I hear, the cosplay should be fantastic!