Youmacon 2014 Convention Report
Reported by: David Majors
Youmacon, the anime convention that started me on my otaku journey in 2008, was celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014. The stars were aligned to make it the best one yet: there were elite musical guests and convention events spreading across the largest building in Michigan and the legendary Cobo Convention Center. As an A3K representative, I was also seeing the best of my hometown’s con. I had three panels, I was staying with a bunch of soon-to-be friends, and my newest buddy was driving from Chicago. We were excited to see anime music megastar Origa while I got to play MC for everyone I knew coming into Motor City.
Before this amazing weekend could start, I faced car and health problems. My brakes decided to disagree, and I ended up in the ER with a road rash and bruised rib. Luckily–and I do mean it–I would later join my otaku brethen, who were probably circling the con’s neighboring hotels and conventions that Thursday night. Lady Luck must had known that I would not be denied my Youmacon. After calling Sean Russell to let him know that Youmacon’s A3K coverage would be limited, I was discharged from the hospital. I cleaned myself up and headed back to the GM World Headquarters to begin my Youmacon early Friday morning.
With some pain meds in my system, I got through my two panels, Early Signup for Cyber Brains, and The Return of Toonami and the Beginning of Anime’s Silver Age. The head of the programming department gave me a ton of love for updating her from the ER and still making it on time. Luckiness was on everyone’s side–Youmacon attendees would not be denied their panels.
The best way to understand the con’s mood is to look at Kid Rock’s lyrics: “Ain’t no party like a Detroit party ’cause a Detroit party don’t stop”. Youmacon still maintains the reputation, and in past years, I’ve seen impromptu dance parties, DJ’s in hotel lobbies, and conga lines exiting GM HQ at the end of closing ceremonies. This year was no exception. Beautiful Losers singer Raj Ramayya made jokes and music before taking us on a fifteen-year journey through his work on some of anime’s most iconic soundtracks including Cowboy Bebop and Gundam. Though Origa was stalled at the U.S.-Canada border, he turned a bad situation into an intimate acoustic performance via live-stream from Windsor, Ontario. The Saturday Night Rave saw a marriage proposal (she said yes!), and I saw myself getting asked to dance by everyone from Space Dandy’s Honey to Sonic the Hedgehog.
However lively this year’s events were, Youmacon was mired by a lately restriction. The Marriott Hotel that shares space with the GM HQ prohibited masks within the hotel, leading to a number of very upset anime fans. In the end, it was not enforced, and Youmacon attendees were able to go about their otaku-ness with little to no interruptions.
I hope that Youmacon has and continues to inspire other anime fans like myself to push its limits next year–and hopefully with Lady Luck’s support.
Main Point: I would had con again.
Youmacon Video Coverage from Other Blogs
Here are some talented producers that worked hard to bring the experience to life.