ANIBeat Idol Festival Concert [F+] – The women who organized and performed in this concert were amazingly talented. Each had their own unique idol persona and strengths while the song choices contained a nice variety – so there truly was something for everyone here. I was also incredibly impressed by the craftsmanship and musical skill that went into each performance. Developing a persona (complete with interests, cheers, and color of choice), assembling a costume, learning the songs (often in Japanese!) and dance routines, and having the nerve to put it all together on stage is no small feat! And one of the idols managed to do it all while wearing a leg brace (obviously not by choice)! However, having the event somewhere that allows for a more concert-like feel would be appreciated. While sitting on the floor and at tables was more comfortable, the ability to stand and move around would take this already high-energy event to the next level and make it feel more like a true live. Also, having a well promoted list of all of the participating idols would be helpful because I loved some of the performances and definitely wanted to check out the groups’ other work/public social media but had no clue what to search for. Overall, a great concept and execution on a first year event and I hope to see the ANIBeat Idol Stage and its lovely idols back next year! ANIBeat Idol Festival Meet and Greet [F+] – Admittedly, I did not stay for the full duration of this event, but it seemed (at least at first) to be lacking in structure. Some of the idols definitely came prepared to interact with cheki, etc. but having a designated line, table, etc. for each performer would have both expedited and encouraged the process. On a positive note, I love the concept of having a “meet and greet” after the live and definitely would have stayed longer if the process for interacting with each idol had been laid out. I hope that this comes back bigger and better next year! Funimation Peep Show [18+] – The Funimation Peep Show is the first panel my friends and I add to our convention schedule each year. The clips are always hilarious, the Twitter feed is unreal, and Cookie is a clever hostess who always knows how to pump up the crowd! Every time I leave this panel with several new shows to add to my watch list (and usually wind up buying one or two of them from the Funimation Shop when I get home). Cookie also does an amazing job of balancing the Peep Show and making sure there’s a clip for everyone – no matter what gender or kink you’re into. In general, I can’t say enough great things about Funimation’s industry presence at conventions. It always seems like they truly care about providing attendees with an engaging experience and the Funimation Peep Show is the prime example of that. This is the best-constructed industry panel out there and the competition isn’t remotely close. μnite presents: Wotagei 101 [F] – While the time slot for this workshop seemed a bit odd (starting at 12:30 AM?!) my idol loving friend and I came ready to learn all about wotagei and shout “HAI” way too many times. We were not disappointed! In fact, we got more than we ever expected out of this workshop and had an absurd amount of fun along the way. The structure of instruction first, followed by follow-the-leader style clips, ending with a fully DJ’d all-out wotagei free-for-all was genius and allowed for a great combination of support for newbies and chances for veterans to show off. The energy was on par with many small con dance parties and I hope that μnite and their friends get invited back to host a similar event next year.