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Episode #0028 – PMX 2011
Released: December 4, 2011

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PMX Day 3 Report and Final Thoughts

PMX Day 3

Sorry for the late posting here.  PMX 2010 has drawn to a close, and I am now safely back at home at Otaku no Podcast HQ, and more or less back to normal (after a day of basically nothing but rest).  So far (knock on wood) I’ve managed to avoid the dreaded Con Plague.  (Pro tip: Emergen-C.  It works, people.)

The third and final day of PMX was as low-key as the rest, and was spent mostly soaking in the con atmosphere, checking out the dealer’s room and artist’s alley, taking pictures, and hanging out with our fellow con-goers.  We did make one attempt to go to a panel — an “open mic” doll meet at 11 AM — but apparently nobody else got the memo, and no one showed up.  So we ended up basically resting our weary selves in an air-conditioned meeting room, and talking dolls and other random subjects with several passerby who wandered in to find out what was going on.  (At least one confused attendee was wondering why there was no one at the mic cracking jokes – I guess he thought “open mic” meant comedy, as in “open mic comedy.”  I offered to step up to the mic and start telling jokes but he ran away pretty fast.  I guess my reputation precedes me…)

PMX definitely feels to me like a hang-out con.  Is that a bad thing?  Not at all.  After all, what is the real purpose of anime conventions?  At the very heart of it all is the desire to get together with your fellow anime fan and socialize.  Everything else is just window dressing.  Of course, don’t get me wrong; that’s not to say that PMX is devoid of things to do.  There were quite a few things that I really wanted to see and try: the various guest-of-honor panels; martial arts and stunt choreography demos; the Vocaloids panel (which I hear is always fun); the food carts (which turned out to be uber-popular); swap meet; fashion boutique and swap meet; Japanese snack, sushi, and sake tasting; karaoke; the various musical guests and concerts; and the various anime and live action films being screened.  Live action, including Japanese and Korean drama, is something I’d like to learn more about (Korean in particular being that that is my heritage), and PMX is definitely the place to do so.  So, yeah, there was certainly plenty going on; just enough to satisfy someone of almost every taste, but not so much as to bewilder or confuse a person and make them feel bad because they might be missing something cool.

I couldn’t be happier with the location.  Pasadena is a reasonably safe area, and is well served by public transportation.  There were reasonable looking hotel/motel choices within a reasonable commuting distance (although my earlier Pro Tip applies: definitely seriously consider staying at the con hotel – it’s really worth it to be close to the action. And if you do, be mindful of the con hotel block closing dates – you don’t want to miss that discount!)  There are plenty of food options nearby, and if you’re not willing to go off-site for food, the Hilton’s food was actually pretty decent, and the prices weren’t horribly outrageous (and the prices were actually better than most convention food I’ve seen).  The Hilton’s rooms were reasonably big, and although a few of the hallways were a bit small, the building was mostly pretty easy to navigate in a crowd.  The lobby area had plenty of soft couches/chairs and tables, an environment quite conducive to just hanging out with your fellow con-goer and getting to know them better.  The PMX staff were helpful and courteous; I didn’t get a hint of the ‘tude that you sometimes see.

One thing I wanted to mention is the wonderfully refreshing attitude that PMX has toward the press.  Their press restrictions (what qualifications you must meet to qualify as press) are refreshingly non-stringent, making it possible for even smaller organizations (anime clubs, school newspapers, etc.) and New Media creators (bloggers and podcasters) to qualify for press credentials.  Most other anime conventions that offer press privileges set their requirements so high as to essentially shut out anyone other than traditional large-circulation media.  Kudos go to PMX for the foresight to recognize that yes, us “little guys” do in fact have a legitimate voice, and to give us the opportunity to use it in support of PMX.  Press privileges included special press panels, access to the guests of honor, and preferential seating (with a better location for photography) at main events.  They also sent out press releases and various other background material about PMX and the various guests and events.  The photography-friendly seating, in particular, was very much appreciated.

This was my first year attending PMX.  I had always wanted to, but something or other kept coming up.  I’m really glad I went.  The Otaku no Podcast crew will definitely be coming back next year.

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