Friday, November 1, 2013

"Five Attractions" Report - Anime Weekend Atlanta 19

bless4 – Sibling dance chorus act bless4 came to AWA for the first time. Well known for AKINO providing the theme song to Sousei no Aquarion, the four of them proved that they had so much more to offer with their skillful range of songs with catchy and memorably melodies, impressive vocals and captivating dance routines. On Friday bless4 held a panel, their personalities were very warm, welcoming and truly earnest, you could feel the sincerity in their words, and their sense of humor was charming and uplifting. Rather than just performing for the crowd they strove to perform WITH the crowd, speaking and interacting with them, even welcoming some onto the stage. Because of this, fans at their concert on Saturday all seemed to have a great time, eager to get on their feet and be a part of the show.[gallery columns="4" ids="13139,13180,13135,13164"]

Misako – AWA’s first Lolita guest, Misako Aoki has to be the epitome of “Kawaii.” Seeing her, it’s no wonder that she’s one of the Kawaii Ambassadors of Japan. With her soft voice, gentle poise and charmingly sweet personality, she captured everyone’s hearts. Looking amazing and adorable from head to toe, she sported beautiful Putumayo Lolita coordinates throughout the weekend. She held a panel with Shunsuke on Friday, and modeled during the Putumayo fashion show on Saturday. Immediately following the fashion show, she performed「マエパツヒメカ」, the debut song of her musical project Lolitina. It was such a treat to see her ‘Kawaii’ song and dance routine; a few of the models from the Putumayo fashion show were on stage alongside her as back-up dancers.[gallery columns="4" ids="12569,12681,12602,12736"]

Shunsuke/Putumayo – The chief designer of Putumayo, Shunsuke Hasegawa, knows how to light up a room with his bright smile and endearing personality. A talented artist, his cute, and sometimes dark, graphic designs result in the fabulous and eye-catching motifs on Putumayo’s pieces. Fans were given a great chance to appreciate the work of Putumayo and their chief designer in a fashion show on Saturday, where over a dozen models walked the stage in beautiful Putumayo coordinates, showing a great range of items and styles that the brand has to offer. On Sunday, he and Misako hosted AWA’s very first Lolita Tea Party, which Visual KEIOS’ very own Alicia R. Thomas attended, stating that it was a very sweet and fun experience. Shunsuke and Misako mingled with guests, chatting, and again taking photos and autographing items. Towards the end of the event prizes were given away, including Putumayo items and a beautiful piece of original artwork hand drawn by Shunsuke.[gallery columns="4" ids="12581,12592,12598,12573"]

Eyeshine – Johnny Yong Bosch, is a well-known voice actor (with roles such as Trigun's Vash the Stampede, Bleach's Ichigo Kurosaki, and many more.) but he's also the vocalist and guitarist of Eyeshine, an amazing rock band. Having seen them at AWA last year, like many other fans I was happy to see them return. The previous year they held a musical Q&A panel, which is absolutely hilarious, this too returned again this year and if possible it was even funnier than the last time. They had a very active weekend, in addition their own concert and panels, they performed a concert with voice actor Todd Haberkorn, which was certainly a treat. Their concert on Saturday evening was spectacular, they're a band that you'll just always enjoy hearing. With their powerful performance and cool stage presence, the crowd loved them for sure. Following the concert, an impressively long line formed before their merch table. Dedicated to their fanbase, they signed autographs and took photos with all the fans that lined up, their energy high, even after a full concert.[gallery columns="4" ids="13720,13722,13715,13712"]

Musical Voice Actors – Johnny Yong Bosch wasn’t the only voice actor putting on a performance this year. Adding to the fun was Todd Haberkorn (known for roles such as Soul Eater’s Death the Kid, and Ouran High School Host Club’s Hikaru Hitachiin, among many others), who put on a beautiful collaborative concert with Eyeshine. The lovely Yuu Asakawa (who provides voice samples for the Vocaloid Megurine Luka, and voices characters such as K-ON!!’s Norimi Kawaguchi, and Love Hina’s Motoko Aoyama, among others), performed a show with her colleague Mitsuo Iwata (known for voicing Akira’s Kaneda, and Golden Boy’s  Kintaro Oe, among others). Each of them taking the stage in turn, Yuu’s show was playful and upbeat, whole Iwata’s held a high energy rock concert. Without a doubt the crowd loved the show, demanding an encore which they both gladly granted.[gallery columns="4" ids="12629,12626,12728,13668"]

This is far from my first time at Anime Weekend Atlanta, and it certainly won't be my last. 2013 was yet another fantastic year, and in 2014 Anime Weekend Atlanta will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, and already I'm eager for what they have in store for the event. I hope that we can see more amazing musical and fashion guests at the convention.

Find out more about Anime Weekend Atlanta at their [ Official Homepage ]

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This article is the fourth in the “Five Attractions” series, written by C.Thomas (CMT), edited by Alicia R. Thomas.


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