By Ernie Carothers
Another year is half way gone so that can only mean we've put another Anime Blues Con in the books. ABC 7, to be exact. It seems only yesterday that the new Con on the block had just started, but here we are. Originally held at the Hilton Hotel in East Memphis, this year marks the fourth year in the Cannon Center in Downtown Memphis.
Everyone was bringing their A game when it came to cosplay. I saw more than my fair share of it. Overwatch, Tokyo Ghoul, Legend of Zelda, and Dragonball Z ruled the day as many Con-goers were dressed up as their favorites from each. Each and every one was eager to let others take pictures and learn about how they got their amazing gear together.
It wasn't just about the cosplay, though. The arcade room has always been a staple at ABC, and this year was no less the case. Players from wall to wall were engaging in Super Smash Bros, Dance Dance Revolution, Tekken 7, and much more. Some friends, some who've met for the first time. Not just here, but all over the con, you would find this being the case. People you never knew coming up and sharing the experience with you.
We also got to check out the tabletop gaming room, where many brought their own games but could pick from other games already on hand. Many of the games were also available for purchase. I very nearly bought the often-times-hard-to-find-but-terribly-over-priced Doom board game by Fantasy Flight Games. Key word. Nearly.
The dealer room is probably one of the rooms I spent most of my time in. Vendors from all over, both local and hailing from nearby towns and cities were there to sell their wares and arts. True story. Found a Bluray/DVD vendor that had nearly every anime I grew up on back in the late 80's and early 90's. Other had amazing cosplay ready gear in case you were lacking that “one piece.” See what I did there? Yeah...
One of the big draws for this year was Zach Callison (Steven Universe), who was in attendance and gave a great Q&A panel. Sadly, I missed the autograph signing session. Martin Billany (Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged), better known as “Little Kuriboh”, was there as well and he was more than happy to meet and great fans, both at his booth in the dealer's room, out and about in the main hall, or during his Q&A session. His wife, Marianne Miller (Little Witch Academia), was also in attendance.
Other voice actors were also present, but I never got the chance to meet them all. Bryce Papenbrook (Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online) who voices Eren Jaeger was another big draw for the ABC 7. Possibly even more so than Zach Callison, which is no small feat. Cherami Leigh (Sailor Moon Crystal, Sword Art Online), was also there, as well. Another of my personal favorites is the amazing 3-piece band, KAZHA! They killed it during their live show and even had a pretty enchanting acoustic set the next day.
All in all, it was an amazing time. There were quite literally too many things to see and not enough time to do it. Seriously. That was my only complaint about ABC 7, which is a complaint I leverage at any Con. If only I could be in eight places at once. This isn't a bad thing though. We live in a wonderful age where all the nerdy things are available. It never bad to be spoiled for choice.
If you missed it this year, be sure to plan for ABC 8 because it gets better and better every year!