Anime Banzai 2016
October 21st – 23rd 2016
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
The 12th annual Anime Banzai took place this weekend at the Davis Conference Center. 2016 guests included: Kara Edwards, Russ Adams, Chris Cason, Josh Chichester, Julie Rei Goldstein, Kiba Walker, and Steve Nunez aka Warky T. Chocobo. Cosplayers included: Angelic Threads, Noodle Ninja, Pannon, Steff Von Schweetz, and We’re Not Twins Cosplay. Some of the events at this year’s Banzai included a card/tabletop gaming room, an arcade/video game room, a vendor hall that double in size, a larger Artist’s Alley than previous years, a scavenger hunt, Banzai Village, Kid’s Corner, countless panels, and two viewing rooms that offered anime from 10am – midnight. The main events included Banzai’s Got Talent, the Opening Ceremony, Cosplay Chess, Fairy Tail Guild Ball, Brawl, AMV Contest, Cosplay Contest, Castle Crasher’s Whiteout Dance, Crossover Cosplay Contest, Vocaloid Mixer, and the Closing Ceremony.
I was able to attend the Pokémon: 20 Years of Myth and Legend panel. The panelists were knowledgeable about the history of Pokémon from beginning to present. They were even able to elaborate on some of the fan theories I was unaware of.
The Opening Ceremony was a good time. The 2016 guests were introduced and Warky T. Chocobo sang his annual Anime Banzai opening theme!
Anime Banzai’s charity quilting auction to raise money for Utah Autism Give included two quilts this year, one of which was an all-around anime quilt while the other was strictly Powderpuff Girls.
The AMV Contest, my favorite event at any anime convention, showcased 33 videos this year to the packed main event room.
Some of my favorite AMVs of the year were:
(Warning, AMVs tend to contain spoilers to some extent)
Fun with Someone by Mayank Kumar
Singular Strike Gentleman by Glitzer
Affinity by Allaire
Zuzuzu by leolide
“Get in the Robot! Celebrating 20 Years of Evangelion” was both an informative and entertaining panel. The panelists showed how they knew their stuff by explaining the history of the series as well as what they enjoy about it. One of the panelists, Michael Ricks, clearly knew what he was talking about and even brought original Evangelion merchandise to show.
Thanks to everybody that attended our What’s New in Anime 2016 panel this year. We enjoy presenting the panel and are so glad it’s well attended. We missed having Breanne Evans for this year’s panel, but Alec Unsicker filled in nicely. It’s always nice to have Brittany Evans and Lindsay Starke on the panel as well. They’re the foundation of anime if you ask me. I’ll be posting a full summary of all the anime we mentioned in the panel as soon as I’m able. If you haven’t already seen it, start watching “Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto”. It’s new this year and I love it!
This year’s iteration of the Anime Banzai convention was well run and organized. They made the right decision with the new layout, which seemed to alleviate congestion in most of the convention center. I appreciate how the organizers of Banzai strive to make it an interactive convention with something for everyone. There’s a variety of panel topics, various main events, all sorts of games, and even a courtyard for dancing at any time of day!
Photos courtesy of John Evans and Brittany Evans. Feel free to use, but please give credit to Fragglepuss.com for taking the photo.