At the beginning of this year, there were a projected fifty nine (59) fan conventions scheduled to take place in Florida. That’s more than one for every weekend in a calendar year. So why go to Florida Anime Experience?
Many of the FAE staff are former directors from a popular anime convention that ran from 2000 to 2009 in Orlando called JACON. When the event first started at the Student Union on the campus of the University of Central Florida, “JACON” allegedly stood for Japanese Animation CONvention. Over the years the convention’s attendance grew into the thousands. With this growth, though, guests and events were added that weren’t exactly themed around “Japanese Animation”. (For example, in 2007, Ellen Muth from Dead Like Me was a guest… and she has never had a single voice role in anime or video games.)
The talent and programming grew in diversity, but the theming had became less focused. Internally, many of the directors at JACON knew this and nicknamed the event “Just Another CONvention”. In 2008, the decision was made to cut short the successful convention’s run by ending the event on a high note with JACON X: Endgame in 2009. The event hit record attendance numbers and, at its peak, it closed up shop.
Wasabi Anime® had been a solid force behind much of the marquee entertainment for JACON since 2005, so, when that convention ended in 2009, discussions began about creating a new show. The difference, it was decided, would be to steer clear of the key issue plaguing so many events in Florida… Wasabi Anime would create an anime convention about ANIME again. Unlike the other “anime” conventions in Florida, Florida Anime Experience has held steadfast on it’s course. Headline guests aren’t from popular American cartoons nor do we allow “Halo in our game room” (the mantra for our game room design in year one). We celebrate anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture.
In 2014, we’ve worked hard on expanding our programming to include authentic cultural aspects from Japan. In the coming weeks, you’ll see announcements regarding these elements – elements we’re proud of because it makes our event different from all the others in our state.
An anime convention about ANIME.
That said, here’s what you might have missed so far this year:
Melissa Fahn (Ed from Cowboy Bebop) is coming to Florida Anime Experience. We work hard to bring in original guests for our event that you won’t see at all the other local conventions, and this is Melissa’s FIRST APPEARANCE in Central Florida.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the 2014 hit anime called Space Dandy. Our Guest of Honor is Ian Sinclair – the voice of Space Dandy.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to visit Akihabara in Tokyo, Japan? Well, we’ve been there and used the experience and our resources to create Florida’s premier AUTHENTIC Maid Cafe experience: Maid Cafe Latte. In 2014, the cafe’s food and beverage experience is being enhanced thanks to our friends at Chibi’s Boba.
You like video games? Florida Anime Experience features Florida’s only game room dedicated exclusively to Japanese gaming. All of our game systems in our game room are JAPANESE and feature many games from Japan that were never released in America across generations of consoles. Games like Doki Doki Panic for the Famicom to Gal*Gun for the XBox 360.
We gave away a Yoshi Edition Nintendo 3DS at Megacon 2014 last month because who doesn’t like free stuff? We plan an announcing a few other contests leading up to Florida Anime Experience 2014. So follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay in the loop!
That’s not all. We have other Guests already announced (with more announcements being made this week) plus dozens of events being announced in the coming days.
So ask yourself… why go the same old “anime comic con” over and over again when you can have an EXPERIENCE instead?
Thousands of our fans can’t be wrong. So stay tuned, fellow otaku. We have a lot to share for Year Four.
Special thanks to our 2014 Sponsors who signed on early!