On November 3rd, 2019, Anime Destiny held their annual single day anime convention at Pauley Ballroom on the campus of UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California. I had missed several editions of this con for years, so this would be my first one.
First and foremost, it’s a community run event, so it’s a smaller con. It relies on the local anime club on campus and volunteers to operate. It was cool to see how many enthusiastic people were there to ensure attendees had a good time.
Usually at many other bigger anime conventions like Anime Expo and Fanime Con, Cosplay Wrestling Federation aka CWF would have events there. For the first time at this very convention, they held their event. Of course, it’s a smaller event, so many of the best contestants didn’t attend, but it was still entertaining.
The gaming room was pretty interesting as it had arcade cabinets with a few rhythm games and a fighting game I’ve never played before. There were some VR games and one Nintendo Switch set up for those that want to play Smash Ultimate. There tables for those that want to play board games, tabletop games, or card games. The tournament portion and the console gaming was a bit lacking though.
One of the most informative panels I attended was how to have your own home arcade. It’s something that was very interesting and got me thinking about potentially owning one at some point.
The layout for this con was kind of odd as it was held on the third and fifth floor. The fourth floor was for studying yet attendees found their way onto this floor to loiter. The fifth floor was for some panels, cosplay gatherings, and events. People also were chilling on this floor too. The third floor was were the artist alley, anime shops, gaming room, panel room, and registration was it. The first and second floors were also for students trying to study.
One of the things that this con can improve on is the parking situation. The closest parking garage was off limits for attendees as it was for attendees of another event located elsewhere on campus. Not many people were notified and the staff didn’t set up a contingency plan for where attendees can park.
The other main issue was where the event was. There weren’t many people on campus that knew where the event was. There weren’t any signs or staff members to help guide attendees to the right place. I pretty much had to find other cosplayers on the way and also relied on maps.
A good thing going to an unfamiliar area was being able to tour the place as it’s a place I rarely get to go to which includes checking out some of the sites and trying out some of the local cuisine.
It was a good single day con. I enjoyed myself and was glad to see many of my friends that attended. I think it’ll eventually get bigger where it’ll warrant even more floors and more space on campus. There were quite a few cosplayers and many did an awesome job. I look forward to seeing its growth overtime. For now, I liked Anime Destiny 2019.
Written by: Timtastic