Anime Frontier's first-ever convention did not disappoint and creates its mark in DFW!
The long-awaited journey to the arrival of this event was way overdue. The crew and I can officially say that it was well worth it for its first convention.
Anime Frontier by LeftField Media brought its A-Game and its dedicated volunteers and experienced convention organizer staff to create a spectacular three-day weekend! However, these guys are not new to the game as they are known for Anime NYC, a significant event in the US, and now they bring Anime Frontier here in the DFW area.
Staff & COVID Protocols
First things first, the event was well organized from start to finish. The staff was super friendly and always willing to help! From everyone we talked to throughout the three days, they had so much praise for the staff and volunteers. We even got in touch with a couple of cosplayers too who had told us how incredible the staff was with helping them maneuver in them and even helped them when their cosplays got damaged or fell apart.
Plus, they made sure to check everyone at the door if they had their vaccination card and if guests had or wearing masks at all times since we are currently still taking precautions regarding the atmosphere we are still in. They had hand sanitizer stations located everywhere and even were offering hand sanitizer bottles for those who asked or needed them. I know many will still be very wary about conventions and the world opening back up but with Covid Vaccines and boosters rapidly being available things like anime conventions are possible! if you have not been vaccinated or received your booster we highly encourage you to do so.
A Texas-Sized Dealers Room
With Anime Frontier being at the Fort Worth Convention, we all had expectations of what the venue and the setup will be at this convention. Years prior A-Kon was at this convention and was arguably the biggest event a-Kon had ever produced! As they were spaned within two hotels and the Fort Worth Convention Center and was it huge. Therefore, with Anime Frontier taking place at the same venue expectations were high for its dealer's room and man did they not disappoint.
We all agreed that the Dealer's Room was arguably the most jammed-packed dealer's room we have seen on that show floor for a convention in a long time. They had everything from anime-inspired cars, dealers, artists alleys, food court, entertainment, Attack on Titan manga gallery, and more! This was by far the highlight of the weekend and it was a gift that kept on giving! I will say even though the atmosphere outside the dealer's room was lackluster (more on that later) the atmosphere inside the dealer's was electric! Everyone was just so excited and couldn't helo but feel giddy being surrounded by weebs and anime lovers everywhere! By far Anime Frontier delivered in its dealer's room and was one that was so vibrant and full of life that made it a staple and a must-see during their three-day weekend!
As a collective, the crew and I have been to many cons, and usually, there is this energy in the air that resonates through the area—people playing music, random dances, high fives all around. However, I can say there was a lack of energy outside of the dealer's room. When you stepped outside the dealer's room, you would see a crowded hallway with cosplayers having fun and playing but instead, you had people on their phones and then leaving the convention area. At the Fort Worth Convention Center, there is a water garden where people would congregate and create a festive atmosphere but it was dead empty. Keep in mind this is all post-pandemic, and the event had a few setbacks on their actual premiere date when they gained steam which was unfortunate but I wish the convention used the other hotels or even just the outside to create an energy in the air. That way people are not just going to the dealer's room and just leaving.
Yet the biggest drawback was the gaming room and the lack of dance/rave. The gaming lounge was so small and crowded that people peeked their heads in and left. There were hardly any seats available and nothing really to do. The game room should be so much more than just consoles and tournaments. It should be a place where long tables and other activities could be enjoyed. There was hardly any tabletop gaming and many people were relegated to go back to their hotels to play card games. And then comes the part where there was no rave or dance Which is is something a lot of people look forward to letting loose and having a good time. There was a masquerade ball but it was not the same. I mean you can't start a conga line at a masquerade ball. Hopefully thought next year Anime Frontier improves and they are also looking for feedback so if you attended the event and want to provide any feedback you can!
Now I do want to stress and cannot say enough that Anime Frontier excelled in their first-ever convention in DFW. The crew and I were happy that there were as many people in attendance for this event because it has so much potential, and this first event may have had a rough upstart, but it came out fun and fantastic at the end. Overall review Anime Frontier premiere event came and conquered during its long journey and delivered the entertainment and togetherness that was needed during these times. One could hope that it along with many other cans, get us back together once again to enjoy cons. We for one can not wait for next year to see what Anime Frontier brings us!