Orobouros.net @ Anime USA 2006

Ah, Anime USA. Being so close to the big winter holiday season, this is pretty much the close of the convention year for most regular convention attendees. Since the DC area already has two major conventions, Otakon and Katsucon, Anime USA is definitly size- and attendance-wise the most local convention. That's not to say the convention doesn't have quite a bit of its own appeal. The convention has been very comfortable in the Tyson's Corner Sheraton for the past several years. Deceptively large, the convention fills out all the function areas. Though it means a bit of walking, the spread-out nature of the hotel keep crowd density down. The con makes good use of this by keeping the dealer's room and main events in the central lobby area, and regulating panels, video rooms, and such to areas to the side.
Though located very close to one of the largest commercial districts in the region, there is surprisingly little directly close to the hotel. Other than a deli and bar several blocks away, going to anything else in the area requires driving. Parking is free and ample, but during the busiest times, Friday and Saturday evening, even the large parking lots get filled up and it takes a while to find any open spaces. Held at a time of year when winter is really starting to be felt, it can be a long, cold walk at night back to the car.
As far as programming goes, because a lot of the local attendees are minors bringing their parents, the conevntion does go for a family-frendly affair. However, while in many cases this would mean dumbing down programming or being overly sensitive to overzealous parents, the convention staff has managed to keep it all accessible to any kind of attendees. There really is something for everybody there. And the easy, accesible atmosphere makes it great for socializing, just as one would expect from a smaller convention.
After years of growth, however, in 2008 the convention will be moving to the local hot-spot, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, adjacent to DCA national airport. This should make it both much more accessible, both for air travelers (there's a free shuttle) and for local commuters (there are nearby metro-stops). However, this will put it in almost direct competition (or cooperation) with T-Mode 2007, another anime/gaming convention held in the same location about two months earlier. As the popularity of anime, manga, and gaming continue to grow, it seems only fitting that Anime USA should move into the same facilities that gave a start to both Katsucon and Otakon.

Convention Rose (FullMetal Alchemist) D.Gray-man
Final Fantasy 6 Silent Hill Kingdom Hearts II

I use an automatic Photoshop process to develop the images from RAW to the website. I'll be happy to manually fix up any particular photos by request, though, since they tend to look better and have less noise.

And more photos from various people: The Cosplay.com Anime USA 2006 picture thread.

Convention reports and photos: Orobouros.net
Higher quality images available upon special request.
Images, text, and other content © 2006 Oliver Oberg.

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