There was a time when even a nerd, such as myself, thought anime and cartoons were very childish. I then looked at myself and said, “Wow, that’s pretty childish.” I ponde…..okay I don’t really talk like this, so we’ll just simply put it as: I didn’t like anime and now I do. I’m a fairly new fan (July of last year), and I haven’t looked back once! I do highly suggest you try watching some anime, however understandable to be a bit weary of it. There’s a genre for everyone, I promise you that. Without further ado, a short reading about the time I spent at the Florida Anime Experience!
Even after I started falling in love with a lot of things Japanese, I honestly didn’t think I’d ever want to go to a convention about it. Not to say I disliked it or was afraid of it, it just wasn’t my scene. Or, well that’s what I THOUGHT at least. The only convention I had ever gone to was the D23 Expo way back in 2013, and that was a blast! I’m not the best at putting two and two together, but it made sense that anime+convention=kinda sorta smart. I wanna state here before anything else: You couldn’t ask for a better family experience for anything anime related. In no offense to the others, because I know how people are and such, but the costumes are not extreme. The stuff they sold, was not that extreme. The stuff you could do AT the convention, was not that extreme. I saw plenty of people with their children (that category falls to me too, I’m still a child at least uh, mentally) and plenty of them had a great time as well. I saw plenty of adults too. I honestly didn’t KNOW what to expect, but I was impressed at the age difference in everyone. It was a really neat thing to see how many different people enjoy anime and it’s entire Japanese culture as a whole.
I don’t think I could’ve started my anime convention experience (see what I did there?) without Florida Anime Experience, honestly. It wasn’t too crazily busy, for the most part it was a quiet party in a way. We visited The Park Inn by Radisson Resort & Conference Center in Kissimmee on Friday (March 10, 2017) for the convention, and it also took place on Saturday and Sunday. We got to see and meet some of the newest cast for the Sailor Moon Crystal anime. (Without going into a huge explanation, the Japanese anime gets dubbed into English so that people may view said anime in English. These are the people that are dubbing it.) Unfortunately, we only went on Friday, and they didn’t have Kate Higgins there until the weekend. Thankfully, we got to meet 4 out of the 5 main cast: Amanda Miller, Cherami Leigh, Cristina Vee and Stephanie Sheh (that’s me with them in this order). They were all good sports, and they all seemed like they were having as great of a time as me.
They had tons of little shops to look through, such as one shop had a bunch of Japanese candy and figures, while another had a bunch of wall scrolls, which are a different type of poster in case you didn’t know. Others had shirts, as well as a lot of figures. For anyone that knows anime and the Japanese anime culture decently, you’ll know, THERE ARE A LOT OF FIGURES! They even had a game room that featured some Japanese video games that would not usually be able to be played in America. I unfortunately didn’t get to those as much as I wanted to, but that was a nice little area.
All in all the entire experience was a BLAST! You can see more on Florida Anime Experience’s website here, and it’s every year. They’ve been going since 2011 and they’ve seen their attendance go up each year. I HIGHLY enjoyed my time with my family going to this convention. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun time than what I had at the Florida Anime Experience! Shout out to the people that run this every year.