This weekend is Anime Matsuri, held in the Hyatt Regency in Houston, TX. For the past 5 years, Anime Matsuri was held in The Woodlands, which is in the greater Houston area. In 2007, Anime Matsuri was held in the George R. Brown Convention Center for it’s first year, which is very close to where they are now.
Why do I mention Anime Matsuri’s past in a post about it’s present? The environment of both the convention and the hotel are important characters in the backdrop of the weekend. I’ve mentioned Anime Matsuri’s, but what is so important about The Hyatt Regency?
I haven’t been to The Hyatt since Shiokazecon in April 28-30, 2006. Before that, KamiKazeCon on March 25-27, 2005. My opinion of the environment hasn’t changed. I’m not a fan of it for anime conventions.
The space is spread out, and in the middle of the lobby floor is an eating area. It might be great for what it’s for, but ultimately it doesn’t make a great place to sit down and hang out. The Artist Alley is split between a hallway and a room that could at first be confused as The Dealer’s Room. The Dealer’s room is down a stairwell from the lobby. it’s plenty large, but without signs it’s a bit inconvenient.
In total, Anime Matsuri is split between 4 floors, so you are often in corridors not knowing where to go. Once again, this is all the hotel, and nothing to blame Anime Matsuri for… except for the fact that it’s here. There was a big gap between KamiKazeCon’s, and Shiokaze was a one year convention. True those cons had their own, sometimes major, problems… but shouldn’t Anime Matsuri have wanted to not let people connect their convention with failure? Maybe it was the last thing they thought of, but then again… maybe Matsuri will be the one that works in this location. It’s only Friday, so only time can tell.
Below are some photos from Friday thus far… and man, what blasts from the past for some of them. The Louisianime table was right in front of a Marvel cosplay meet up we have some FF7, Rescue Rangers, and heck even the cosplayer who won Prom King from last year’s Cosplay Prom. More photos from today can be found here, with more to come in the following day or so… ENJOY!