It has been a long time since I attended an anime convention or large public gathering of any kind. Over the past few months I just never saw the opportunity to attend one. My mind has been occupied on various other things this year, and before I even noticed it we are already at the end of the 2020 convention season! So as soon as I saw there was one last chance to attend a con this year, I knew I had to go experience it.
After an uneventful trip in an unusually empty plane, I landed in Dallas on Friday morning and made my way to the hotel by midday. I was really hungry, so I sat myself down at the buffet that the convention had arranged for us all weekend! The hotel staff didn’t look as excited for the event as I was, but they helped me get my food so I didn’t have to get up. Despite the helpful service, the food itself was underwhelming; I could hardly taste anything.
I walked down the crowded halls looking at all the cosplayers and convention-goers. All the free hugs I gave really made things start to feel normal again. At night, I went to go sing karaoke in one of the common rooms. It was a fun few hours of belting anime song lyrics into a microphone that I shared with several other people. I then went to my hotel room, which I also shared with some people from online.
Over the weekend, I did my favorite convention activity: visiting the artist alley and dealers hall! I love the sensory overload of shopping at anime conventions — feeling the acrylic stands and can badges, touching the volumes of manga and t-shirts for sale, smelling the fresh scent of a PVC figure or boob mousepad. A tip I always swear by is to use cash at conventions, as credit card transactions can be time-consuming due to unreliable internet on the show floor.
I’ve also had my card info stolen by a dealer at a convention before, but I wasn’t particularly worried about that. Any dealer at Anime Dallas this weekend is likely very trustworthy and responsible.
I rounded my weekend off by going to some panels. I didn’t really know any of the guests but this was the biggest anime convention in 2020! Any guest that shows up must really be worth listening to. If there was any points for improvement for Anime Dallas, I would say they should get more Japanese guests. I don’t understand why they couldn’t get any this year.
Overall, Anime Dallas was a decent convention with all the standard convention happenings. As I relax here typing this in the dining room table while visiting my elderly grandparents, I think back to how Anime Dallas had that magic spark. That spark of making you forget what was happening in the world around it. While I was having fun at Anime Dallas, it was as if the spiking hospitalization rates in North Texas were just a distant memory.
Anime Dallas isn’t the largest convention, nor were there any memorable guests, nor did any of my friends go, nor did I have much fun to be honest, but it had its own unique charm — and with every other major convention cancelled, this one is to die for.