Anime Festival Orlando Recap

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

Seven years ago, I attended Anime Festival Orlando and it jumpstarted my love for cosplay (even if I didn’t cosplay at another con again until years later). This convention holds a special place in my heart because way back in 2010 it was the first con I ever cosplayed, my first ever anime convention, as well as the first con I attended without any family with me.

This was such a unique con to me because it didn’t focus on any particular show (like the Supernatural or Buffyverse cons I’d gone to) nor did have tons of fandom celebrities that you could meet (such as at Mega Con, FX Show, or SDCC). It came at a time where I was really delving into anime during college. I was so excited about it, I wanted to show my love through cosplay like so many others. My mom and I made my Katara Fire Nation cosplay in just a day and I had SO much fun wearing it at the con. I met so many other fans and took so many photos – it was such a blast! 

When I found out that I was going to be in Florida during the convention this year, I knew I definitely wanted to go back and check it out – and do some cosplay, of course! Back then, my first ever cosplay was Fire Nation Katara – this year, I was going to debut my Water Nation Katara cosplay  – it felt very full circle in my head. 

Keep reading to check out all I did during my weekend back at Anime Festival Orlando!

Friday

My dad and I arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon. I still had to work remotely and wasn’t feeling well so I stayed in the room while my dad got our press passes and attended the opening ceremony. I wasn’t feeling better until the evening but luckily they had many panels that went as late as 2am.

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

The first panel I attended was the “Bishie Boy Brawl” – I wasn’t sure what to expect but it sounded like a light-hearted and fun way to support your favorite anime characters. The panel hosts introduced each anime boy that would be “brawling” against each other, listing out various pros and cons in humorous ways. Two of the ones that made me laugh most were for Makoto from Free! and Sakamoto from Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto. In the end, Sesshomaru from Inuyasha won beating out my boy Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop.

Saturday

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

The next day, I cosplayed as a female version of my favorite, Jean Kirstein from Attack On Titan. My dad and I did a little photoshoot which I’ll do a separate post for – I surprisingly really liked how a lot of the photos turned out and regret a bit that I didn’t do the complete cosplay with my harnesses and swords. Maybe another time.

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAnime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAnime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

While I waited for the Attack On Titan panel, I browsed the vendor’s area and artist alley booths. I was on the hunt for anything Mob Psycho 100 particularly Reigen and this was what I found – yes, I bought both fanart pieces.

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAnime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAnime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

I also met the most incredible balloon artist! He created this amazing life size robot as well as a larger than life Yang from RWBY entirely out of balloons! I want to say the robot is Voltron because of the legs…but I’m not sure. If you recognize it, please let me know!

He offered to make me some wearable balloon 3D Maneuvering gear to compliment my cosplay! As impressed as I was, I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to uh, maneuver throughout the con wearing it all day so I politely declined. Seriously though, there’s nothing this guy couldn’t figure out a way to make out of balloons!

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

I took a quick lunch break to eat one of the way too reasonably priced strawberry salads (only $5 what?). If only all con food were like this!

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

I was thrilled to see my one and only Jean’s face walking into the Attack On Titan panel. It’s discussions covered the latest happenings in both the anime and manga in an open forum type style. You bet when they had people cheer for their favorite characters I made Jean was the loudest!

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

I was able to see the second half of the Avatar Aerial Adventure Show – it was a fun retelling of the Avatar story with pop music, aerial stunts, gymnastic tricks, and dance choreography! 

Happy Happy GO! GO! GO! Costume Contest

The big event of the day was the 18th Annual Happy Happy GO! GO! GO! Costume Contest. There were so many cosplays I can’t post photos of them all, unfortunately. It was really inspiring to see all the creativity and hard work up on the stage. They gave awards for specific categories (Best Skit, Group, Youth, Most Innovative, Judge’s Awards) as well as experience level (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced).

The judges were all former winners of years past and no doubt had a difficult time judging all the great costumes. Luckily, judging happened before the show so things were able to move along quickly and smoothly with the help of its funny and personable hosts.

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaThe costumes didn’t make it for prejudging so couldn’t qualify for the contest but still wanted to strut their work on stage!Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaYou know I love Sailor Moon cosplays!Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaThis “space chicken” was definitely the biggest crowd pleaser and easily won “Most Innovative”Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAnime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAll the winners of the costume contest on stage together. Great work, everyone!

Afterwards, I went to a plushie crafting workshop where I learned how to make a cute little Hello Kitty plushie. I learned a lot even if we didn’t have enough time to finish.

All About Otome

My dad and I went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner before my dad turned in for the night. I, on the other hand, had one more panel on my agenda. I changed into my Mystic Messenger MC cosplay and headed out to the midnight All About Otome panel. As soon as I walked into the room, people recognized me and I knew this was going to be a good panel. The in-depth panel covered both PC and mobile English otome games as well as anime and manga based on otome. I left with a list of games and anime I definitely want to check out as well as some new friends!

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

I forgot to take any photos of me in my MC cosplay but here are some silly bathroom selfies I took – I was feeling such freedom after wearing two wigs and false eyelashes all day. Also the bathroom lighting was amazing so I had to take advantage of it.

Sunday

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky FashionistaAnime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

For Sunday, I was debuting my new Water Nation Katara cosplay and doing another photoshoot. I also really liked how those photos turned out and can’t wait to share them! The rest of the con, I just spent walking around checking out other cosplayers. Eventually, it started raining and we decided it was time to leave before traffic got too bad.

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

I had a lot of fun at Anime Festival Orlando! My sensitive health kept me from doing everything I wanted to, unfortunately. As a fan of anime or Japanese culture though, there is SO much to do. Even with all the different things happening at all hours of the day, the con is very laid back. No crazy crowds or super long lines, you could just walk into a room. Well, except for the cosplay contest – there was a little line for that but it moved super fast. I’d love to go again next year – perhaps I’ll even enter the cosplay contest – who knows!

Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista Anime Festival Orlando 2017 Recap // The Geeky Fashionista

Be sure to check out my Anime Festival Orlando Cosplay post to see more of the cool cosplays I saw at the con!

Have you ever attended an anime convention?

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  • Beth Davidson

    My cousin would love this, he is always doing anime cosplay in North Carolina. I don’t know the characters, but your costumes look great!

  • I’ve always loved anime as a kid but growing up I spent a lot of time not watching it anymore! Still always super fun to look into these and would love to go one day! Looks like you had a blast! Just loved seeing all the awesome cosplay costumes!

  • Natasha

    I wish I could also attend an Anime Festival. I really enjoy seeing their fantastic costumes, hairdos and just everything!

  • I love your phone case! My husband loves Dragon Ball Z. That’s about as anime as I can get. ha.

  • Melissa Chapman

    That Anime Festival seems to be so fabulous with amazing costumes. I have never been to one. I think you looked great in cosplay.

  • I’m sure you had an amazing time there. I love your costumes! I don’t really watch a lot of anime but I’ve seen a few, like Avatar (The Legend of Aang). And SAO.

  • Cassie Liz

    I’ll bet there would have been some crazy costumes at this festival! Looks like a fun time and perfect for anime lovers!

  • Amber Nelson

    I have never attended an anime convention before, but I can tell you it would be fun to dress up!

  • Brittany Muddamalle

    Wow it looks like you had a lot of fun. I haven’t ever attended one but I think it would be a lot of fun!

  • Katrina Honer

    You are the cutest thing! Love your blog. So original! Never been to an anime expo but it’s next on my list!

  • This is an event that my teen boys will love, without a doubt! I SO love the costumes that you wore during the event! You should have joined the contest!

  • It’s incredible to see how much work, time and effort go into each cosplay. It’s great to see how passionate people are for anime and their favorite characters.

  • My good friend has a son who is so much into cosplay. I mean, his costumes are so cool! I am not sure, but I think he attends Anime festivals too. Thank you for sharing photos of the event. It sure looked like you have a lot of fun!

  • Reesa Lewandowski

    This looks like it was an awesome time! I loved your costumes! I had no idea Orlando had an anime festival.

  • Jean Standley

    I’ve never been to a convention likes this, but it looks like you had an amazing time. Those costumes are amazing, and you looked great by the way!

  • This convention looks like it was a lot of fun to attend. I love the Megazord made out of balloons!

  • KJ D’Costa

    This reminds me of DragonCon here in Atlanta. Such fantastic costumes, like yours.

  • HilLesha

    I have never been to anything like this before, but I have always wanted to attend one. Maybe someday!

  • redheadmomblog

    One of our daughters loves to draw and loves anime. I’ve never heard of this conference before!

  • Krystel Seijo

    Was this as much fun as it looks? Your sunday outfit is so awesome.