This year in Phoenix we had the pleasure of attending an all-new, Anime themed convention that honestly blew us away. Having attended many conventions in and around Arizona as well as across the country, we have been fortunate to be in attendance at a couple of debut shows in the past. Anyone who attends conventions often will tell you that the most important aspect of a good convention is organization. In basic terms how well was the event laid out how well did they utilize their space and resources to make the event smooth and enjoyable in all columns this con hit the ground running and ready to go.
If you’re like me the vendor hall is the base of your con experience. Whenever you’re not in a panel or header to an event or signing you end up in the vendor hall and for that reason its important to have a well-laid-out vendor hall at a con it can really enhance the overall experience and this was one of the strongest features of Uwu. We saw a nice mix of vendors we see often at local cons as well as many new vendors we have never seen and of course, the variety of items as well as the pricing points was very reasonable and we saw a lot of things we don’t see at other cons. Ultimately we give the vendor hall two thumbs up, they really did a great job.
Uwu was the talk of the con-going community well before doors ever opened due to the powerful lineup of special guests they had. Many whom we know waited in anticipation to see who was going to be the next addition to the list. For a first show, this was truly impressive, rivaling conventions that have been around for years.
Panels is are truly the heart of the con. At every convention you attend there is always a very distinct culture and that shows in one place above all others and that is the panel lines up. While some conventions have big-name celebrity panels, most real convention enthusiasts will tell you that the panels done by fans are always the best ones. The passion is off the charts and as fellow fans, they talk about the same aspects and ask the same questions you do. This makes for a very fun, intimate, intense yet fulfilling experience. I didn’t see one face that didn’t have a smile going.
Conventions are in essence a party and every great party has an after party and this was no exception. One thing Anime Con goers have become accustomed to is the traditional anime convention rave. There’s only one thing more fun than dressing as your favorite anime character and going out and that is to dress as your favorite anime character and go dancing. Pulsating baseline, strobing lights, and catching glimpses of every character you love as the flashing lights illuminate the room. A mainstay of all good anime events and they did it well
I’ll admit that I’m a little bit OCD when I go to anime shows I’m in an Asian culture mindset and celebrate all the things about it that I love so much. After a day of looking around at anime, manga, and figures, looking through kimono and bento boxes, and listening to k-pop on the phones of those walking by me, I find it a little abrupt to then go out and find nothing to snack on that fits the motif. In other words, a slice of pizza, while wonderful, can sort of take me out of the headspace I’m in while enjoying a day packed with Asian culture. This however was not an issue at Uwu. Not only did they do the right thing by supporting our local Asian food trucks, food and beverage vendors they took it a step further by really having a large and diverse grouping of many different styles and cultures of food drinks and snacks in their food court area. From Dongo to Boba and from Takoyaki to Korean-style doughnuts and everything in between. It was the perfect accent to the con itself.
All together this convention was a winner, the use of the space was great the organization was outstanding, no long lines or odd layouts, picking up tickets was easy security was thorough while also being personable and fun, joking around and asking people about their cosplay, Things were well labeled and easy to find but even still there were many people stationed around to make sure everyone was getting to where they were going.
We can not wait to see what happens next year at Uwu and we recommend you do also. Their debut show was truly a cut above and we expect to see Uwu become a staple anime convention in the valley for years to come.