ANIME ST. LOUIS
Anime St. Louis (ASTL, Anime STL) is a convention in the St. Louis area that has been entertaining us geeks for over 10 years. This convention is one of the biggest local anime cons in the St. Louis area. Panels and themes of this convention tend to be anime and cosplay based and is a perfect convention for first time con goers. This year was an absolute blast at Anime STL and we can't wait for next year!
Anime St. Louis 2017 Con Weekend Badge. Artwork by Art of Tabby.
ASTL offered several opportunity periods for preregistration and the ability to register online for Early Sign In. This option allowed for payments to be made at the door but without having to fill out registration forms at the con. At-door prices were $55 for the weekend, $40 for Friday only, $45 for Saturday only, and $35 for Sunday only. Child badges, for those 7-12 years old, where only $5 and kids under 6 years of age were free! Like most cons, Cosplayers were offered at discount of $5 off the admission price if their badge was picked while in cosplay. Another wonderful feature of this con was the special pricing for special people! Chaperone badges were $15, for adults ages 30 and older, that were purchasing a badge for a person under 18 years of age. On Sunday, which was also Mother's Day this year, the con offered FREE entry to all Moms to help celebrate! I was able to purchase my badge by utilizing the Early Sign In and it was a huge time saver!
The Con Chair Jeremy could be seen watching over us con goers, making sure everything was going smooth for the attendees. The overall staff at ASTL were awesome. All staff members were helpful and had a positive attitude with every interaction we experienced with them. Con Staff were easily recognizable with con logo attire and badges, this made finding them to ask questions very easy. Our own Luna from CKC was a member of the ASTL Guest Relations team, helping keep the voice actors and guests comfortable during their visit to STL.
The St. Charles Convention Center is such an awesome location for a con. This is the second year ASTL has been held at there and I hope they continue to use it in the future. Prior to 2016, ASTL was held in Collinsville, MO at the Gateway Center, which for a lot of con goers, was a bit of a distance away. The convention center was very easy to find and the set up inside was easy to navigate. The Dealer Room/Artist Alley space was more than adequate to comfortably browse most of the time, however it did get somewhat congested during Saturday, which is very common for most conventions.
Cosplay/Voice Acting/Musical Guests
The Cosplay guests at Anime STL this year were a particular favorite for myself. The highlight of my personal experience was meeting Mango Sirene and Night Eyes Cosplay! These girls are two of my favorite cosplayers. They have a huge presence with their successful Youtube channels,where they give tips, tutorials, and inspiration to those of us in the cosplay community. They are so talented and funny in person. This very dynamic duo had multiple panels during the convention and were a delight to watch. Momo Kurumi, another Cosplay guest who has gained a huge faithful following on Instagram, was also in attendance. She hosted a panel about cosplay positivity, which of course is a subject very near and dear to our heart. Other cosplay guests of ASTL included Ex-Shadow and Malindachan, husband and wife cosplayers who hosted wig tutorial style panels for Arda Wigs at the con this year. Anime STL also had a line up of wonderful Voice Actor guests for 2017. Leah Clark (Wolf Children/Soul Eater), Jonny Cruz (Overwatch), Christopher Smith (Tenchi GXP/Attack on Titan), and more. All the voice acting guests were wonderful and very entertaining for the crowd. One unfortune aspect of the voice acting guests was the cancellation of Jake Paque (Pokémon/Yu-Gi-Oh!). Due to unexpected illness, Mr. Paque was unable to be at the con this year and his presence was sorely missed. Musical guests for the con this year included the talents of DJ Imza and DJ Packie who along with MC Ghost entertained for the dances this year.
Cosplay Guest and YouTubers Mango Sirene and Night Eyes Cosplay with me at their Bop to the Top Posing Workshop Panel.
Panels and Events aplenty! ASTL was not lacking in entertainment for its attendees. Of course ASTL had the usual tabletop, RPG, and card gaming events throughout the con but, also so much more. ASTL hosted the 4th Annual return of the Okashii Fashion Show, which featured some kawaii Japanese fashion designs modeled by con goers chosen prior to the event. Some new events for this year included the ASTL Food Showdown and Lolita Swap Meet. The con also hosted multiple speed dating events and an escape room of its very own. Another returning element of ASTL entertainment was fan favorite Greggo, who once again ran the con's game shows. The 90's Nostalgia Prom and Electric Onsen Dance were a treat, if you felt like partying down at the end of the night. Also returning again this year, was the Nerdy Night Lounge for a more laid back end to the con evening. The panels this year were hosted mostly by cosplay and voice acting guests along with Vitamin H, a professional panelist group. Panel themes ranged from artistic/cosplay skill improvement techniques to guest Q&A sessions.
I have to say the Dealer/Vendors’ room at ASTL was pretty good. I was a little disappointed that there was not more artists and local/handmade vendors at the convention. It seemed like a lot of mass produced items as well as larger business vendors such as Slackers. Despite having said that, what there was of the smaller vendors was really good. We found some amazing art and handmade items that were so awesome. Some of our favorites we saw were gawki, Penelope ♥ Prints, Tabrakadabra, Nerd Rage comic creator Andy Kluthe, and Wizible, most of which are featured in our Anime St. Louis Sunday-Artist Alley video. We also ran into JF Costume Creations artist James Fipps, who is a dear friend. Mr. Fipps was featured recently on SyFy's Cosplay Melee. Some vendors I would like to see next year are Seifer's Stitches and DollTeeth.
James Fipps of JF Costume Creations. Fipps was also a contestant on SyFy channel's Cosplay Melee this year.
Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts with our photo shoots, we were unable to attend the Anime STL Masquerade this year. We do however look forward to this event for next year as there is always so many amazing cosplayers that attend this convention!
Anime St. Louis 2017 Program Book.
Con Program Book
Anime St. Louis always does an awesome job with their program booklet. The overall all design was super cute featuring cover art by Art of Tabby! The layout and panel descriptions were easy to understand. There was a decent amount of ads included in the book but also information to help guests find near by restaurants and discounts from certain vendors.
Our Con Highlights
Anime STL this year did not disappoint. Overall we had an amazing time at the convention and are looking forward to returning next year when the convention comes back on May 4-6, 2018!
If I had to pick one thing though, the most memorable for me would have to be the amazing time we had with our Tenchi Muyo group photography shoot. Once again we were able to work with the incredible Mouzycat Photography and Thomas Ricks. These two sets of photographers are just wonderful. Mouzycat is so easy to work with and we always get breathtaking cosplay photos. If you want to see more of her work. She is the photographer behind our Ayashi no Ceres, Apocalypse Merida, and Pokémon Trainer photo shoots. Mouzycat's work can also bee seen on Gamer Zone, Comics Alliance, and Arda Wigs Spring Picks to name a few. Thomas Ricks is also a good friend of ours and a photographer. Some of his work can be seen on FOX 2 KTVI's website. Ricks is always a blast to hang out with. We had such an awesome time... even though I managed to lose a tooth (a faux fang) lol.
REVIEW BY RENCHAN