Anime Weekend Atlanta is a 4-day convention held annually at the Cobb Galleria and Renaissance Waverly Hotel. The event is a family-friendly celebration of Japanese anime (animation), manga (comics) and cosplay (costume-play) and takes place the last weekend of September.
AWA was first organized in 1994, with the first convention held in 1995. Since then, AWA has been recognized as one of the most popular Japanese Animation conventions in the United States, and one of the top ten attended anime conventions in North America.
Cosplay Events included the ever popular Cosplay Contest, a Fashion Show, and Cosplay Photoshoots. Cosplay Alley is a space where you could find inspiration for your cosplay or even receive cosplay repair. Here are a few of our favorites this year:
There were plenty of guests in attendance and I have the privilege to chat with a big one. Voice actor Ray Chase (Final Fantasy XV, My Hero Academia) gave me a few minutes of his time and went in-depth about how he got started and a few notable roles he’s played.
“[On being the voice of Noctis from Final Fantasy XV] Man… That was an opportunity I thought I’d never have in my lifetime! Being a Final Fantasy protagonist,” he said excitingly. “I was super nervous on my call back, did the demo with a different voice, they went ‘let’s recast him’ and the director went to bat for me and said ‘let’s give him a second shot.’ That was a month-long process, finally got it again, and then got to work on the game for the next couple of years. It was a dream come true.” We’ll post the full interview in our new series “PEOPLE” starting Dec. 7 (we’ll post the link here) on our podcast and YouTube.
One of the cool things about AWA is that it takes place at a hotel and an event space that are interconnected. So you might spend all day at panels in the Cobb Galleria but when you’ve reached your breaking point you can calmly and safely walk to the Renaissance and recharge for tomorrow.
Another cool thing about AWA is that there are a lot more photoshoots. There are scheduled shoots like other conventions but a lot of times, for example, a group of seven Dragon Ball cosplayers might see our reporter TBZ (who’s usually dressed as Perfect Cell) and say “Hey, let’s shoot in 20 minutes at (location)!” Then you’ll meet the group in 20 minutes and it’s ballooned to 40 people. That’s usually how it starts (which is more fun in my opinion). Cons are a place for fun and friends and cosplaying is a great way to meet new people.
AWA 2018 has come and gone but what a great time. We now have a total of four major cons that come through Atlanta and this one closes out the season. It’s nestled in the suburbs so there’s no need to worry about traffic and there’s plenty of space for parking. If you’re new to these types of conventions, AWA is the perfect starter convention for a few reasons: A) Minimal crowds B) Easy to navigate C) Notable guests without massive crowding D) Easy to access and E) Much easier to watch movies and play video games than most cons.
We hope to see you at AWA next year. Be sure to follow them as they have special events and announcements throughout the year Anime Weekend Atlanta.
-Jon J. & TBZ