I don't know how much weight what I'm about to say holds, but I attend the Soap Bubble every year I come and absolutely love it. It's one of the things I look forward to all year.
That said, I would much rather have it canceled completely, forever and ever, if that would mean restoring Anime Central's reputation. I don't know if it's Soap Bubble attracting the badly behaved attendees or if it's the badly behaved attendees that are attracted to the Soap Bubble, but something went completely and totally wrong this year with how the whole Soap Bubble-Masquerade fiasco was handled.
Unfortunately I don't have many solutions, because if the Soap Bubble is canceled those people will just try to go to Hardcore Synergy (not sure what happened with that this year, either. Very disappointed). Perhaps moving the Soap Bubble location away from the Hyatt?
Anyway, I mirror other sentiments here about Anime Central still being an anime convention and how geek-dom popculture is all intertwined. Earlier in the thread someone brought up Western influence on Eastern pop-culture. Bravo!
If you want to really get deep into the argument, you'll see that art breeds art and that anime and manga are so deeply intertwined with Western art and influence it's impossible to separate the two. I'd go into the history of Wood block prints and Dutch painters and American animation and occupation of Japan and all sorts of really fun history topics, but all of that information is readily available on the Googles.
If we are celebrating anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture, then we are by extension also celebrating our own animation, comics, and pop culture.
Personally, I found it refreshing out of the sea of Vocaloids and Narutos to see a Dalek here and a Scooby Doo cosplayer there. I won't get into Homestuck, every year there's one thing that's super mega popular and everybody cosplays. Just curious to see what next year's is (I do miss the days when it was InuYasha and Kagome everywhere, though!)
Anime Central is definitely still an anime convention, but does urgently need to address the issue the Soap Bubble and raves are causing/attracting, even if that means the unpopular decision of cutting them/charging for them/etc.
(Maybe a cover charge would deter some of the craziness or people getting a Saturday badge just to go to the rave. If you make them pay another $25-$30 on top of that it may not be worth it to go. I'd certainly pay the money.)
This post has been edited by chompzie: 02 May 2012 - 01:58 AM