Colorado Anime Fest 2018 - In Review

This is third year of Colorado Anime Fest in Denver. Every year at this convention has been better than the previous and the growth has been very exciting. If you missed the big announcement at the end of the convention, COAF will be at a new location next year.

The Marriott was a great home for NDK for many years, and I expect that it will house COAF comfortably for a few years as well.


I ended up attended a lot of Voice Actor panels this year, starting with the Persona 5 panel featuring Erica Lindbeck and Cassandra Morris. Persona is a series that kinda flew under my radar. Generally speaking, I've felt a real squeeze on my opportunity and desire to play video games in recent years, and deeper, plot driven, RPG's have especially suffered. When I get home at night, I often have only about an hour of time that is very free outside of eating, chores, and the volunteer work that I do. It's hard to sit down and play games like that for only an hour at a time. But, hearing Lindbeck and Morris talk about the game makes it sound like a lot of fun. Persona 5 sounds like it has some interesting characters and an engaging plot, and that actually makes me excited to try it.


Later that day, I attended a panel with Joel McDonald about voice acting auditions. I don't want to talk to much about what we discussed, because these panels are a big part of his marketability to conventions. In general terms though, he discussed how to prepare and what to expect if you go into an audition with one of the major anime localizes. The next day, he had time for attendees to read parts for a show that has been recently dubbed. This is the first time that I've participated in one of these panels, and it was a lot of fun. I haven't acted for a long time, so having an opportunity to do that again was great.


Also on Saturday, I attended with "Women if Anime and Video Games" panel with Amanda C. Miller, Erica Lindbeck, and Cassandra Morris. One of the first points of discussion was that for every 1 female role in videos games there are approximately 10 males roles, which makes competition for those roles pretty stiff. They have noted that conditions have improved in the past few years, and there have been more a better roles for women. They noted that Disney especially has been moving in that direction.


I have not previously attended a convention event with Kieren Strange, outside of opening and closing events. This year I attended a panel where Strange and friend Kit Watson talked about slef-publishing. Watson has been working as an author for several years and Strange has just published his first book. Both write romance novels with some amount of paranormal or fantasy elements and self-publish primarily using Amazon's eBook market. They had a lot of great advice ranging from how to beat writers block, how to sign up for e-publishing, how much to charge for your first book, how much you might have to pay others (editors and cover artists), and recommended tools for e-publishing. It was a really informative panel.

Next, I attended a panel put on by an attendee (Lessie Moray) about Japanese myths and legends. Her presentation concentrated mainly on various types of yokai, like Nekomata, Inugami, Tanuki, Oni, and Baku. She did a great job with the presentation, with pictures of various creatures and some good discussion of how the myths are variable depending on the source.

Due to some prior commitments, I was only able to attend one panel on Sunday. That being the case, I was fortunate to be able to attend Amanda C. Miller's panel on Sailor Moon. Miller talked about her relationship with the series that she watched when she was young. She valued the relationship development that was built into the original show. Miller also said that although she grew up idolizing Makoto (Sailor Jupiter), as an adult she tends to identify more with Usagi's failings and big heart.

With that, we have nearly come to the end of the convention. All that remained was closing ceremonies. Kieran Strange announced the results of the charity auction: a total of $9,001 were raised for Youth on Record. And finally, they announced the location of the convention for next year: the Marriott Denver Tech Center. 

Overall, this was another great year at this convention. And as I stated at the beginning of my post, I'm really excited to see this convention continue to grow in the future. Let's keep following them into the future!