This was a first-time convention for the Southeast team, and we had a blast! We have a bit of ground to cover, so let’s get right in on it.
While we would have liked to stay in the Omni, we were late bloomers on reservations, and ended up at the Holiday Inn and Suites on the corner of Cone and Luckie. My only real complaint about the hotel stay overall was that even the largest room in the hotel (which is what we were upgraded to after being told we would have a room ready by 8 AM and we, in fact, did not end up with a room until 1 PM), was rather small. If you’re a tall person, I wish you luck using the bathroom. I am but a measly 5’4” and my knees were practically in the door every time I had to pee. Also, we had to rearrange the beds just to pull out the sofa beds. If we hadn’t, the bed wouldn’t have even gotten half way pulled out. It was strange. We worked with it, but it was still strange.
What we did see of the Omni, however, was gorgeous. There was a mix of elegance and modern technology that was aesthetically pleasing (plus we got some nice shots of cosplayers in there.)
The convention center itself was pretty cohesive, but I’ll admit that it took me a little bit to really get used to the layout without getting lost. Thinking back on it, it’s much simpler than I made it out to be.
So, long-time followers of Chibi Media know that I am notorious for ragging on conventions that combine Artist Alley and the Dealer/Vendor Room. I generally find it too cluttered and inconvenient, and yes, I am aware that my opinion is on the unpopular side. There are only a few conventions that I have given praise to for doing this, and I’m happy to add Momocon to this list. I don’t know how they did it, but the layout they used worked for them. There was a steady flow, but I also didn’t feel rushed. I could stop if I wanted to look, and I didn’t feel pressure to keep moving with the flow of traffic. I can’t describe how nice it felt to really look at the work that artists made to display.
If I had to compare the room to something, I would call it a mix of MegaCon’s layout with Magfest’s organization. The vendors and artists had variety, and they were all super friendly. (Shout out to the lovelies at the Arda booth for chatting with us and helping us with an issue concerning my Noctis wig, too.)
We even managed to get to a few panels this time! (GASP! SHOCK! WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!) I know, I know. We’re generally pretty terrible at covering panels. We are, after all, only two people, and sadly we’ve had our time turner privileges revoked by the Minister of Magic.
The first one we got to, we also managed to get video footage of. Unfortunately, us plebes are still working at expanding and getting more experienced videographers, but we managed to take a video all the same through the amazing technology of cell phones! We’ll have it up and embedded here or somewhere else on the site ASAP, so stay tuned!
The other panel we managed to get to was something I absolutely insisted upon as a huge fan of gaming. Sponsored by Magfest comes Magfest Versus, a Nick Arcade style game show. (If you’ve never seen or heard of Nick Arcade, I absolutely implore you to watch an episode or two on YouTube.) The contestants featured two audience members chosen by raffle ticket numbers, and four convention guests, including Mr. Creepypasta, and Proton Jon. The contestancts were divided into two teams, Red and Yellow, and…oh heck. Just watch some Nick Arcade and educate yourselves! You’ll be all the better for it, I promise! I even included a link to a playlist on YouTube. Now you don’t have an excuse.
Let’s talk about the Game Room. Even as a gamer, I usually don’t find myself in the Game Room at conventions, mostly because if I wanted to play games, I would stay home and do so on my couch and in less clothing for free. However, knowing that Tokyo Attack (shout out to Anthony) provided the games, I had to check it out.
I have to say that I was impressed with the amount of rhythm and timing games that were available to play. Sure, there was the line of DDR machines, but also games like Reflec Beat and some strange cube game that seemed really popular but I don’t remember the name of because I’m an awful human. Anyway, point is, I’m glad we decided to check it out, even though the wall of arcade cabinets had been shut down by the time we got there.
Lastly, and easily my favorite part of this entire weekend, was the New World: Final Fantasy concert. I have always been of the mind that seats didn’t matter when it came to orchestrated music, and I still believe that. We were way up in the back, but the music was still so moving, so powerful and enjoyable. Literal tears streamed down my face when the piano hit the first few notes of ‘To Zanarkand.’ As a fan of Final Fantasy for nearly two decades and a gigantic music enthusiast, I couldn’t have been happier. They even had a special guest in the audience, Naoshi Mizuta, composer of several Final Fantasy games as well as other Square-Enix games.
We managed to grab a bit of footage from that as well, so we’ll be posting it here in this post shortly.
Overall, I think I can speak for the whole Southeast Team (all two of us) in saying that we had a fantastic time at Momocon. There really wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything, and neither of us wanted it to end. I am glad for the experience, and that I got to travel to yet another out-of-state convention! We’ve talked about it, and we definitely want to make Momocon a regular con on our list. Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers for putting on a fantastic show. We can’t wait to see you again next year!