Queen City Anime Convention 2021
Return of the Cons!
The year 2020 was a total pain in the rear end with the world coming to an end because of the Novel Coronavirus 19. It killed the plans of so many people and basically put the world into utter chaos. With the vaccination becoming readily available and places opening back up after the lock downs. It was great to see that Conventions were able to start to occur. As many people are aware, conventions are a place where people within a given fandom can attend to enjoy their fandom with like minded individuals in a single place.
This is where the Return of the Cons come into place. For me, the return of the Conventions is Queen City Anime Convention 2021. It’s been 2 years since I attended this convention as it had to have gone virtual last year. The prior Convention was Ichibancon 2020 which was a great time before the world decided to implode upon itself. But I digress. Queen City Anime convention 2021 was a great time for me. I am sure it was a great time for all the other attendees attending the event.
In 2021, Queen City Anime convention has become a volunteer run Non-Profit organization being committed to donating 10% of the ticket sales revenue to the Greater Charlotte Rise (GCR). This is cool as it is the first time that I have heard of a local convention donating back to the community and I feel this is a great change that will help everyone involved through the organization of a Non-Profit Organization. Kudos to Queen City on making that leap.
Moving on, I was quick to reserve a hotel room as soon as I received notification that the convention was still being held. The convention quickly posted their COVID-19 precautions and advised that Fully Vaccinated Individuals just needed to show proof of being fully vaccinated with the second dose a week before to convention. If you weren’t vaccinated, you would have had to have a negative Test done several days before the convention or take a rapid test at the convention halls. At the beginning masks weren’t required as there was no mask mandate. This changed about 2 weeks before the convention and Masks were required to be worn. I had no issues with this as the convention was following local ordinances and making sure the safety of its attendees. Again, another Kudos to the convention organizers.
I didn’t have to worry about my ticket as I purchased a Lifetime VIP pass back in 2018. This allows me to get a ticket every year as long as the convention still exists. My friends weren’t as lucky as they had to either purchase a pass this year or have their 2020 pass rolled over. Either way I was able to get in and enjoy the company of good convention friends.
I had two of my friends show up to my house on the 19th. We packed up my car and we carpooled down to the Sheraton Charlotte in downtown Charlotte. We checked in and walked around the convention space to get the lay of the land. Basically, I wanted to know exactly where each of the panel rooms were, the Main Events Hall as well as the registration, cosplay judging room and prop check. This was to ensure that we knew were we needed to go if there was a panel or event we wanted to go to.
At 6:15P PM. We headed out to SOSU Charlotte for some tasty Ramen and to enter their cosplay contest. We enjoyed their food and met some cool people. Sadly, we didn’t win the contest, however, the food and atmosphere was good. 10 out of 10 I would recommend this ramen shop for some tasty food. After eating, we stopped at Target to try to get some sewing supplies for a last minute fix but they were sold out. So Instead I bought a 12 pack of Truly Hard Seltzers and we retired back to the hotel room to watch some movies and get ready for the first day of the convention.
Friday, August 20th arrived and it was time to get ready for some convention shenanigans. We woke up early and promptly went down to the registration area. We were first in line as we were waiting for our other Roomie to arrive. My friend had to go and get his Covid 19 Test done in the convention. There was some confusion about the Take at home Test. There was no indication it needed to be done at the convention. After speaking with the convention staff, the reasoning was the BiNax Test kit results only lasted for 30 minutes before they were invalidated. That makes sense, but it would have been nice if it was noted beforehand. Overall, Our registration went smoothly.
Our other friend arrived shortly, we unpacked his car and brought his gear up to the hotel room. We waited around for our friend to go through registration to pick up his badge and then He and I suited up for our cosplay. He Cosplayed as Endeavor from My Hero Academia and I Cosplayed as Ainz Ooal Gown. I didn’t have all my cosplay bits and bobs on because I was saving it for Judging and the cosplay contest.
We made our way down to the convention hall where we were promptly stopped for some videography by iShinobiStudios. After getting some footage. We walked down to the game room area where I was stopped again for more videography. Next, I walked around where the vendor hall was going to be and was stopped again for more videography and photos. We went around for a couple of hours in cosplay until it got too hot, and we got out of the cosplay.
My friend and I went to the vendor hall and found out the lines were long. While waiting online I got something to eat. I asked con staff how the VIP worked this year, and we were escorted the front of the Vendor hall line as My friend and I had Vip Passes.
We walked around the vendor hall to see what they had. To be honest, I wasn’t fully impressed with the vendor hall as it felt like it was more artist alley than vendor. I think it could have been better if it was better separated, but, it was decent enough to buy some items later in the weekend. After browsing, we left the hall, I finished my lunch, and we check out other cosplays, and checked out game hall, hung out with friends.
I as able to get in line with VA Tiffany Grant and buy some awesome Merchandise which I got signed. She also signed 2 dvds and a funko pop I brought. She was very impressed that I had some dvd’s from series other Than Neon Genesis Evangelion. Its funny I wound up spending about 200 bucks on merchandise. It was money Well Spent.
After walking around, I Saw another buddy of mine who was cosplaying as Albedo. I asked her to stay where she was, and I went back to the hotel room to get dressed back into Ainz Ooal Gown. We had out photos taken. I gave her one of the spare rings I made, and we went on our ways. After that I went back to my room and I ordered some Pizza for Dinner for us, and we ate dinner. I went and saw the Burlesque show with my buddy Cam. It was a good time and done very tastefully. After the Burlesque show, we retired back to the hotel room and enjoyed the company of some additional friends. We told stories while drinking and enjoying snacks. Around 2 am we went to sleep to get ready for the next Day’s events.
On the Dawn of Day 2 we woke up and relaxed. Cam and I got into our cosplays, and we had to go down to the judging room as we entered the cosplay contest. We went and did our judging. When the judging was completed, we went around the convention floor for a bit. I wound up having a 5-minute conversation in character with the CWF Skeletor Wrestler. It was pretty bunny. Next, we walked around and had our photos taken. Scared some Kids and just chatted with people before getting out of our bulky cosplays and enjoyed lunch.
We walked around the convention some more and wasted time until we needed to be at main events for the cosplay contest. Around 5 pm, we got dressed and then went back to the room to get ready. We robed up and went to main events. WE had to go to several places as the main events hall as running longer than expected. We had to run to the Lounge and wait. There we got lined up and went to the Contest. After some moving around, following instructions the contest went without a hitch. I was up after Cam in his WOW cosplay. I got onto the stage. I walked up to the main part of the stage with the swagger of Ainz Ooal Gown Holding his Staff and belted out. “ALL HAIL AINZ OOAL GOWN!” before whipping my cape behind me and walking off stage.
I didn’t place into the contest, but Cam got 2nd place in Journeyman. That was cool. I was disappointed there was no other categories like best in show, best prop, best technical skill, etc. But Its all good. We got out of our cosplays. Had dinner and I walked around the convention after enjoying a good chunk of adult beverages.
We went to sleep and woke up for the final day.
Dawn of the final day
We woke up early to get ready for check out. By 10 am we were completely out of our room and our stuff was in the cars ready to go. We checked out of the hotel and stood for the rest of the convention. We walked around checked the vendor hall. Bought stuff and took a lot of photos of the cosplayers.
I did my judging feedback. And was told my finishing work is what caused me not to place. I am taking the advise and I will work on my finishing. Overall my cosplay was good from a far, but far from good. I have already bought some tools to help me with my finishing work and I will make sure to make it look better for next year’s contest.
After the judging panel I walked con, hung out with friends and just took tons of photos with what time I had available. We left the convention around 2 pm as there wasn’t any panels or guests that I wanted to attend and that marked the end of Queen City Anime 2021 for me.
Overall Thoughts and opinions.
Overall, it was fun to be back at conventions. I think the convention did a great job considering the hurdles that COVID-19 has brought. I believe there will be some adjustments made to make next years convention to operate smoothly. Communication was a bit lacking, but I think that is going to be address. I think the main issue was people not having their vaccinations or having a negative test before going to the convention. From what I have seen is the registration lines was empty, the time was spend having people doing the testing on site. But, as I said, this is a new experience event organizers must go through.
The Event space was set up much better than it was in 2019. There were a few times where the lines caused issues moving around the convention. The only time this was a problem was when Main Events went longer than expected. I think it will run better next year with the feedback the convention will receive. I also believe there were some staffing issues that was causing some issues, but I think the convention organizers will learn from this year and make improvements next year.
The Event Hall was way too hot. It felt like the HVAC system wasn’t working properly. Couple that with a ton of WEEBS, you can tell thing were going to get gross quickly. Again, I think that is something that is up to the Hotel to deal with. Perhaps their system wasn’t working correctly since they were doing renovations to the building.
In the end the convention was a good convention considering the hurdles the organizers and hotel had to deal with. I think next year it will be better. I think this convention may outgrow this venue and may need to find a bigger venue. But I think they have several years to go if they continue on their trajectory.
Queen City Anime Convention. (n.d.). Queen City Anime Convention. Retrieved from Community Service: https://queencityanimecon.com/community-service/
 (Queen City Anime Convention, n.d.)