I really enjoyed talking to Beryl today. He was a fun person to talk to and it was awesome to get a behind the scenes look at the con. Addie was awesome, too, and his artwork was great.
It was funny when someone asked Beryl if he considered himself an otaku, he responded with a “DAMN STRAIGHT!” It really reinforced the idea that in America, cons and otaku are all about community. I could really sense a strong sense of community at ACEN.
I had no idea ACEN could draw around 12,000~14,000 people. That number is INSANE. It really put things into perspective about the popularity of manga and anime today. It was also interesting that Beryl mentioned how science fiction cons that have existed for over 10 years cannot match the attendance rate at ACEN. To be fair, I think a lot more young people are into manga/anime than science fiction today, which could be a reason for their mass appeal.
All in all, Beryl’s visit was fun and he was really friendly. ACEN was lucky to have him as the chairperson this year!