On February 13th-14th, 2016, the organizers of Animation on Display moved from their several year run in Burlingame to the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, California. It definitely did expand as it went from being in a hotel venue to being part of the Santa Clara Convention Center. First and foremost, it was awesome for myself since I am located in the South Bay. Second of all, it was totally the best that parking was free around the venue. The part I dreaded was the lack of food options in a walkable distance.
I’m not the biggest fan of an event I’m attending sharing the venue with another event. This was the case when AOD shared the convention center with a dance competition. Normally, it’s fine when events are separated, but in order to get from the main stage, registration, gaming room, concert room, or dealer’s room to either any of the panel rooms, autograph rooms, or video rooms, you had to cut through the other event. The AOD areas were also spread apart as well which made everything inconvenient.
The gaming room could have used some work. For those that wanted to compete in fighting games, the only options were anime fighters like Guilty Gear and Persona 4 Ultimax. The only Street Fighter representation for fighting games was Street Fighter: The Movie tournament which was flawed as one of the sides had a button that didn’t work on the arcade cabinet. I did enjoy that there were speed runs besides the usual tournaments.
One of the events I partook in was the dance tutorial put on by the dance team of Empire. They taught the routine of KPop boy band iKON’s “Rhythm Ta”. It was definitely friendly towards newbies. It was very fun and informative. Not only did they run a dance tutorial for KPop, but they also ran one for JPop too. On top of that, they had many dance performances too.
Probably the highlight of the event was the performance of Japanese hip-hop artist, Lotus Juice. I was excited as he has made songs from such series as the Persona ones and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. His English is surprisingly very good.
A new year at a new venue along with sharing the venue with another event meant some bumps in the road. I’ll probably keep attending this event, but I did feel like they took a step back. When they were at Burlingame, there was at least a bar inside along with great late night programming. At least for 2016, they opted not to run the event at the same time as the Super Bowl.
Written by: Timtastic