Last weekend was the 2nd year for the Queen City Anime Convention in Charlotte, NC. The convention was held at the Hilton Charlotte University Place. There were multiple panel rooms, main event room, dealer room, game room, and a great outdoor area. This convention was one of the smallest I have attended, but still offered multiple panels and main event entertainment. There were plenty of water stations and the amount of people roaming the halls never felt overcrowded. The dealer room was surprisingly full of vendors and artists offering a wide assortment of merchandise. I enjoyed seeing many creative cosplayer costumes throughout the convention weekend. One of my personal favorites was a female cosplaying Veronica from Fire Emblem: Heroes, a mobile Fire Emblem game. I mentioned the game in one of my first posts on this blog due to its Gacha mechanic.
I attended a few panels including one hosted by my friend on Japanese baseball. Dan's panel content was interesting and information. The panel covered the history of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), star players that came to the United States, stadium information, and other informative facts. It was a great introduction to the Japanese national sport. Dan and I attempted to play a few video games in the game room on Saturday, but most of the popular console games were always full. They did not have any arcade games to try like some other conventions offer. I managed to check out part of a rap concert on Saturday in the main events room. While I was surprised by how few people attended the performance, I thought the gentleman did well.
My panel on traveling to Japan was on Sunday. I created a 40 minute presentation that is geared toward individuals who would like to plan a trip or visit Japan for the first time. Most of the information I cover is from previous posts and the other pages on this website. There were around 30 people in attendance for the panel. I was pleased with the great questions and engagement from the audience. I hope to have the opportunity to present again next year.
My friend and I went to Seoul Food Meat Co. last weekend for wings and beer. I was told they have an awesome Hitachino Beer selection along with great wings. Seoul Food is a BBQ restaurant with Korean inspired offerings located in Charlotte's South End neighborhood. They offer outside seating, an inside bar and dining area, and a back porch bar with full menu. Since my friend brought his amazing dog with us, we went to the back porch bar to try out the restaurant.
Seoul Food offers an assortment of street food options such as wings, tacos, BBQ, and sides. A couple sitting next to us ordered the wings with ramen mac & cheese. We thought the wings looked amazing and ordered a 20 piece with half soy garlic and half spicy BBQ. I was very excited to learn that Seoul Food carries the most Hitachino Nest Beer varieties I have ever seen. They actually had all of Hitachino beers available in bottle on display. I enthusiastically ordered a Nipponia and my friend got a NoDa Brewing Company Cavu. Both beers are Blonde Ales.
Service was fast and the food came out quick. The wings at Seoul Food are quite large and filling. Both sauces were equally good and we ate the whole order. I also had a Hitachino Weizen at the bar. The outside bar offers other amenities such as lawn games, a dog park, and beer pong tables. Another fun fact about visiting Seoul Food is that they play Korean Pop music videos and songs throughout the restaurant. We thoroughly enjoyed the food, drinks, and experience. I definitely recommend visiting Seoul food and will have to try more of the beer and food options next time.
I have recently seen a number of limited release anime films, including the premiere for Attack on Titan, at the Regal Stonecrest Theater in Charlotte, NC. This week, the theater is showing a movie for one of my favorite shows, Cowboy Bebop. The main reason for my increased interest in attending such events is because I have been able to find out about them. Here are a couple of ways for you to see if a theater in your town or city is hosting a special showing.
Funimation Email List
One of the largest distributors of anime shows and movies in the United States is Funimation. Creating an account on the company's website will ensure you receive notifications about upcoming events. I received multiple email blasts about the Attack on Titan release and links to purchase tickets near my zip code. Currently, my favorite shows and related movies are distributed by Funimation.
Another avenue to get information on upcoming releases is Fathom Events. The company hosts special screenings of anime films and other limited release movies across all genres. One event they have partnered with in 2017 and 2018 is the Studio Ghibli Fest. This year, you can see nine Studio Ghibli films throughout the year at select theaters in both subtitled and dubbed. I recommend signing up for their newsletter or checking their website monthly for announcements.
If you mainly want to follow Studio Ghibli film releases, GKIDS is the company that handles their distribution in the United States. They also distribute other animated films throughout the year. There is a opportunity on their website to sign up for a email newsletter as well.