After a couple of years Anime Delivered has return to Anime Milwaukee! Its nice to see during our absences this Con keeps on growing and growing. However, just because a convention is getting bigger dose not mean it has its share of problems.
Anime Milwaukee was held once again in its staple location since 2011 between both the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee Hotel & Wisconsin Center at where else – Milwaukee Wisconsin! Located just a little ways off of Interstate 43 in downtown Milwaukee, the venue is easy enough to locate with plenty of parking available directly at the hotel. That said should it fill up, there are a multitude of parking garages conveniently located in the surrounding area offering discounted rates due to the convention. Which is wonderful news to anyone attending. If traveling by train is your fancy, the Hyatt is a reasonable 10 minute walk away from the nearest Amtrak station making that a favorable option for many attendees. Unfortunately we were unlucky to get that discount rate because they filled up, so make sure you arrive promptly and early.
Starting with the Hyatt hotel – it was extremely clean and well-kept. Wide halls and walkways made getting around fairly painless despite all the foot traffic. There were four elevators available in the lobby to access the higher floors. It was easy to get on and off earlier in the morning but as the day went on lines began forming which led to wait times – but nothing out of the ordinary for convention standards. As far as fun stuff goes, the Hyatt was where you could find the featured Guest panels, most of the hobby rooms such as video programming, a manga library, and an extremely impressive tabletop room all conveniently on the first two floors. The Hyatt was a fantastic place to be when you were looking for something to do while waiting for that next panel or event to start. Or if just wanted to meet new people while enjoying a leisurely group activity.
The second half of the convention was held within the Wisconsin Center across the street which was split into three floors.
The first floor was chock full of stuff and things to do. It contained the ballroom that was used for the Masquerade, Rave and other large scale events as well as a dozen or so separate panel rooms. One of the corners was designated for cosplay photo shoots, another for food booths from local eateries if you wanted to grab a snack and at the other end of the venue was the absolutely massive gaming room.
The second floor though less exciting in comparison was essential to getting around. Here you could find more panel rooms, the skywalk to the Hyatt and access to the third floor which is where the dealer room and registration were located.
Lastly, the best thing about the location is that when hunger hits you have many options.The best one is walking down a block to the nearest mall and hit the food court. However, there were some restaurants food stands in the Wisconsin Center if you don’t feel like leaving the con.
Registration went fairly smooth for a Saturday, we went in fairly early around 9am. We were able to get in and out in a timely manner. Staff members were kind and directed everyone to the proper locations for registration.
One thing to note was AMKE had both a guidebook and a separate schedule sheet that were to be handed out to attendees upon receiving their badges. That said, we only received the schedule sheet as there weren’t any guidebooks available at the time. Which was a bit strange as it was only the second day of AMKE and we found it hard to believe there weren’t any more available. Worse so, is when we realized that we would need both to find our way around the con properly.
To elaborate on this a bit, the schedule sheet we were given for Saturday listed when and where all of the events and panels were going on (except the cosplay gatherings!) and at which half of the venue… but it didn’t include a map. So we had to wander around a lot to figure out exactly where panel room “203DE” actually was.
The guidebook on the other hand (which we got a copy of late that night) had just about everything you would need. It included a list of all rules for the convention, convention guests, panels and their synopses, a map so you find your way around but no scheduling information at all. So if all you had was the guidebook you wouldn’t know when needed to be at “203DE” to find that awesome panel you were looking forward to.
Stepping back a bit I should mention both the guidebook and scheduling sheets were well made. Together they had all the information you would need but you had to have both to get the full experience. Considering we were only given one of the halves to successfully navigate the con makes us wonder if other attendees ran into the same issue. For attendees new to conventions this would probably have been very confusing. Our suggestion for next year is that all the information is included within the guidebook to prevent this from happening. It wasn’t a deal breaker by any means but we did waste a fair amount of time running around!
Video Game/Table Top Room:
This years video game room was spectacular! Before walking into the actual game room, there were arcade cabinets out of the video game room. Once entering the game room, you are in “ah” with how spacious and huge this room is. It had just about everything you could ever want – Arcade rhythm games, consoles spanning from the Atari to the current generation, a section dedicated to PCs running Overwatch, Star Craft II and League of Legends, pachinko machines and constant tournaments on just about every popular game imaginable. It was a sight to see! We will say this, AMKE has made our top best game room we have ever been too!
Your next panel is going to be a while? Video games not your thing? Need to challenge someone to a duel? I know the prefect place for you, the Table Top room. Where any card game enthusiast can sit and enjoy themselves. Of course card games is not the only thing you can play there. The room offers you many different board games for you to rent and play. You have choices like cards against humanity, Monopoly, Carcassonne and much much more! The table top room was located on the second floor of the Milwaukee Hyatt Regency. Because of its location in the hotel its nice quite spot, especially if you want to get away from hustle and bustle of the con. So if your looking for a nice peaceful spot to relax and kill some time or you want try out a new board game with your friends, the Table Top room is the place for you.
Dealer Room/Artist Alley:
This years dealer room was being shared with the registration area, and located on the 3rd floor of the Wisconsin Center. From what we were told, this years dealer room was set up in a much bigger area, which was a huge improvement since our last visit in 2015.
All in all there were a staggering 250 unique booths to browse through insuring that there was something for everyone!
The dealer room was large, varied and hectic.. just like any good convention should be! It was packed to the brimmed with Industry staples such as Funimation, Sentai Filmworks and Fakku each running a booth providing official anime Blu Ray, DVD and clothing merchandise. It had just about everything you can think of, keychains, handmade plushies, stickers, posters, pins and tons more fan service stuff of your favorite waifus and husbando.
Majority of the bigger company were to the right side of the dealer room, and on the left side of the dealer room shared the artist alley. Where artist from everywhere come to together and sell their works ranging from self published comics, posters and wall scroll to customized jewelry, pins and much more.
Lastly, rounding up the back end of the hall were the vendors. This was the place to be if you were looking for figures, manga, video games, cosplay accesories and collectibles.
This years masquerade was unforgettable, the stage was set up in a “T” format where the cosplayers can have a cat walk experience and show off their work. This was great allowing everyone to get a better view of the skill and talent that goes into cosplay and more conventions should consider doing the same! Following the cosplay walk-ons, was a brief intermission to show off the process of putting on a large Warhammer 40k Space Marine cosplay on stage while allowing for the skits section to get prepped. Even though it took a while, once placed together and being properly displayed the Space Marine walked off stage so the skit section could properly begin.
Talented young actors performing either a comedy, dance, or just showing off any talent for all of AMKE to see. There were some minor technical difficulties with the audio being delayed on some of the skits, and music for some of the walk on’s were a nice touch, but only a few were given music to the cosplayers that showed off their work. Skits can be a hit or miss depending on the material but I’m happy to say the majority of them at AMKE were fun to watch. This years masquerade was fantastic and entertainment, a highlight and main event we recommend everyone to go check out.
We were able to check out a few panels this year, due to be able to attend one day, but the few we were able to cover were just right. Unfortunately majority of panels were either canceled or re-scheduled, luckily enough arriving at the panel rooms, there were signs letting you know of their changes. We were able to check out Cosplay Combat Chess, where cosplayers were to stand in a giant chess board and they act as the chess pieces. It was hilariously entertaining as contestants fought with foam swords, insults and weird named attacks. Another panel we were able to check out was The Bad Anime Panel, run by Animerica Show, the panelist had the audience come to the mic and tell the audience in their opinion on a bad anime as well as their reasons. the panel was entertaining but not what we expected it be. We were wanting Animerica to tell us what their bad anime was, other than that the panel was interesting to see others point of view on anime shows. Our last panel we were able to attend was Hentai Worth Watching run by Fakku, an 18 and up panel where the panelist show us their weirdest and craziest Hentai to (not) watch. That’s about it for panel, we were unable to attend more which makes us sad because we missed out on cool stuff from Friday, advice for everyone, always try to attend all 3 days for the full on experience.
The Rave this year was just as loud and big as we can remember it to be. Called Nocturnal Underground Rave, went on from 10pm to 4am the next day, bringing in guests like DJ Amaya, DJ Khek, Bad Corey, DJScottaconda, VJ Daguru, and Liquid86. With a verity of mixes brought to the dance floor from K-pop, Jpop to Big Room, Electro House music and just about anything to dance your heart out. The crowd was filled with so much energy I had to walk around with caution to avoid bumping into anyone, the music volume was just right and wasn’t too loud. The perfect way to end the night with lots of good music and dancing the night away!
Early Satuday morning we were lucky enough to sit in and interview the wonderful trio of Erica Mendez Erica Lindebeck and Lucien Dodge.
These three are quite familiar with each other as they have done voice over work together in a lot of projects including Sailor Moon, Seven Deadly Sins, Hyper Dimension Neptunia, Magi The Labyrinth, Sword Art Online, Your Lie in April, Love Live, Smite and Little Witch Academia to name a few! It was great to speak with a group of friends in the industry about their highs and lows as they were all so obviously in love with their craft.
Later on that day we spoke with Laura Post who is most known for her roles as Ahri in League of Legends and Valentine from Skullgirls. Laura spoke about what got her interested in voice acting, personal experiences with conventions, her Love Live audition, and touched about one of her dream roles! It was a personal treat to speak to interview her as fans of both League and Skullgirls.
Be sure to check out our video interview with Laura on our Youtube! We’d happily upload our interview with Erica, Erica and Lucien but due to a faulty SD card that won’t be possible. 🙁
-I absolutely LOVE the game room, if I wasn’t staying just for one day, I would be up all night playing League of Legends and the rhythm games.
-My most favorite skit in the Masquerade is the Mario and Link drunk Skit, where they were talked about the Nintendo Switch console, I laughed so hard the entire time.
-Masquerade skit of reworking of “You Are My Sunshine” by Yandere-chan of Yandere Simulator fame.
-Staff members in the red shirts need to be well informed.
-biggest negative i have to say about the con was the staff. Many times when i asked a staff member a question they either don’t know the answer or give me the wrong information. If this just happened one time then it wouldn’t really bother me, but it happen quite often. A few of my friends also dealt with same experience with the staff.
Total Body counts for AMKE 2017: 9520
Be sure to check out our photo album of this years Anime Milwaukee 2017 HERE as well as our Podcast below! :3