I am a DC native and love anime conventions. Anime conventions in Washington DC shapes the way of fandom. In 2018 and 2019, I have an experience of a lifetime. I went to four conventions in one year. Hoping to go to more in the near year. Washington DC is not the only place that have anime conventions. There is Maryland and Virginia that have anime conventions as well. I like to go to some near me and close to home. Sometimes talking the Metro Bus or Rail to these conventions is a pain. It does cost money for tickets and bus fare. I am happy to have a good job for expenses for going these events. Love to show my support to these conventions. That being said, there were some conventions that I enjoy.
I have experience Otakon for the first time. Otakon was in Baltimore, Maryland previous years of my life. When I heard Otakon is going to Washington DC. I was stoke about it and wanted to experience the biggest anime convention. It was 2017, I brought my $100 ticket (yes it was that expensive) and didn’t want to do that anymore. There was panels I have went to like Vic Mignogna (before the scandal). Kyle Hebert and Michelle Ruff in a Gurren Lagann panel. Japanese music artist like T.M Revolution and FLOW. The game room was huge and had different type of video games. There were some retro gaming, arcade machine and indie section. The dealer room was amazing with big anime companies like Crunchyroll, Funimation and Aniplex.
Otaku Fandom in DC
I took some pictures of cosplayers (might have deleted some sorry). Otakon had Anison and screening of different anime movies. This convention was a real treat and growing strong since. There was some other guest I have met like Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. Hoping to see more in the near future. There were some complications like United the Right Rally in 2018. My family told me not to go but it was not bad at all. I had to go early which I convince them. Overall, I had a great time at Otakon but it didn’t stop there. Next up Blerdcon, the first African American anime con in Virginia area. My siblings really enjoy this convention.
Blerdcon is celebration of black nerd culture and diverse. This convention has panels, music and gaming. Blerdcon is a small convention but it’s vibrant fun for everyone. There was guest like Kevin Grevioux, Beau Billingslea, Estelle and Karan Ashley. Blerdcon has music artists and cosplay models appearing at the convention. Blerdcon debut in 2017 and still growing strong to this day.
Anime USA has been around for ages. This is another small convention with Masquerade, Cosplay Burlesque and maid café. Anime USA has been in Arlington Virginia since 1999 and move to DC in 2012. This convention is just like any other with AMV contest, gaming and dealer room. In the beginning, there was a lot of attendances but recent years it decline. I am guesting Otakon and other conventions were in Washington DC at the time. Maybe people had jobs and life situations. Anime USA is still good in a way and keep trucking. Lastly Conjustu, this debuted in 2019 and it was a fun. There was some mix up with the location at the last minute. It was held at the The Cave Gaming Center in Fairfax, Virginia. Conjustu had guest like Bill Rogers and Kametz.
Sailor Moon singer Jennifer Cihi and rapper Vaze Haze. Japanese writer Kaoppe and many more guest. I was in the Super Smash Bros Tournament but loss. Check out The Gaming Cave Center Twitch, YouTube and website for more. Conjustu could have improve in some way but there is next year. Speaking of esports, I was going to do a separate post but combine them into one. Esports have been in anime conventions since who knows. In 2018, I have the experience of going to Red Bull Conquest at Entertainment and Sports Arena. There was some esports players that were talented. There were three games Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear Xrd and Tekken 7. You might watch some matches on YouTube.
Esports in DC
I had a great experience overall and wish they come back to DC. Afterwards, I came across Capitol Underground Gaming League at In3dc. They have hosted Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 11 and FIFA. In 2019, Capitol Underground had a retro gaming night and still fun. I had good memories playing the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 and more. I am hoping Capitol Underground grow huge in Esports market. We need more Esports in DC and I will support it in anyway. I think there is a Esports Bar in DC but don’t know it shut down. Washington DC needs to know about anime and Esport because it’s too grounded. I am hoping we have more gaming events in DC. Eventbrite might have some in the near future.
There are plenty of conventions to go to like Magfest. Magfest is a gaming convention that I am willing to go. I heard Ocean City have a Comic Con for the first time. There is esports organizations like UGL (United Gaming League) and many more to check out. I am hoping to see more conventions in DC on a later date. If you ever seen some let me know in the comment or contact me. It’s game on in Washington DC