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Happy Friday May 18th to everyone at TAY!

This weekend is going to be exciting where I’m concerned for a couple of interrelated reasons. First, my girlfriend and I are going to this year’s Castle Point Anime Convention this Saturday and Sunday! As I write this, the countdown clock on their website reads 1 day 37 minutes until the beginning of the first day tomorrow at 10:00 am.

This event has had a special place in my life, a certain history that’s guided me to where I am today. Nine years ago this month, when I was a first-year fledgling in his second semester of college, the anime club took us on a group trip to Castle Point Anime Convention 2009. It was my second convention as a whole—my first was a small and nice comic book convention the semester before—but my first time at an anime con.

The big thing about it, though, is that it is student-organized and student-run. CPAC (this one, not the other one) is the brainchild of the Stevens Institute of Technology’s anime club, and that meant that at the time, they held it on their school campus in Hoboken. Now, I had never heard of Stevens up until this point, but as a computer science-majoring undergrad, being here and seeing it meant that my interest was immediately piqued.

Especially after later finding out, wiht further research, that it was supposed to be an excellent school.

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Ever since 2009, CPAC was THE Spring semester convention for my school’s anime club, so I ended up going there numerous other times. Yet more visits to their campus, seeing cosplayers make their way outdoors between the buildings, heading in and out of the Babbio Center and to the Dealer’s Room and Artist Alley in the Walker Gymnasium.

It turns out that such a thing is some incredible stealth advertising. When I decided that I would go for my master’s degree in grad school, Stevens was one of the schools I applied to, and it was my top choice. I was elated upon finding out that I had been accepted. And that was my 2012 to 2014: A couple of years working towards and eventually receiving my Master of Science. And then attending one of their career fairs post-graduation, which led me to my current job that (fingers crossed, no jinxing PLEASE) I’ve had ever since, which also happens to fly me around the country every now and again.

I actually haven’t gone back to the Castle Point Anime Convention since my graduation in 2014, so this is going to be a reunion of sorts. Funnily enough, though, it won’t be at the Stevens campus this time (sadface), because starting this year, they’ve moved up in the world and now have a proper convention center in Secaucus! With how massive they have gotten, especially after such humble beginnings since I first visited (checks calender math once again; holy crap) nine years ago, it’s absolutely well-deserved.

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And that’s the first reason for me to be excited this weekend. The other? Well, I finally bit the bullet on something that I’ve wanted to do for the longest time: I’ll be running a panel!!

It’ll be about Kino’s Journey, after having seen the 2003 original anime and then the new 2017 anime from the past Fall season more recently, and hopefully it will be good and a fun time. I’m slated for tomorrow evening in a humble panel room in the convention center, so you best believe I’m going to be all types of nervous before then.

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And now, ONTO TODAY’S TOPICS:

  • Any conventions you’ve all been to recently?
  • Any conventions you’re hoping to peruse in the near future?
  • If you’ve been to several already, what has been your favorite convention thus far?
  • Otherwise, feel free to Talk Amongst Yourselves!