Yes, without a doubt, anime has arrived in Knoxville, TN. Being our first event we have attended, we were shocked to see the sheer volume of people that were there for the Anime. It was elbow to elbow walking through. Sadly, we were not aware of the event until a few days earlier so we were unable to set up our own booth. We have contacted the people who ran the event to include us on their mailing list and to give us an opportunity to set up our own booth for the next event.
We were pleasantly surprised on the many, many cosplayers that attended. The diversity of the characters was someone lacking (no Gintoki or Psycho Pass) while we were there but there were some impressive outfits (Yes you Ryuk! and Nezuko). We passed Mirai from Beyond the Boundary (which I felt was a sure bet in the cosplay contest), when we arrived.
Hopefully there will be more events like this in our area again soon. We are currently creating shirts and hats with the Meganime logo on them, which will be made available for purchase through the website.
The event had an very small area for artists to share and sell their works, sadly it was mostly buttons and trinkets that couldn't fit in the "marketplace" room. We were disappointed that the vendors didn't have a lot of anime goods (many had barbie and D.C. comics stuff) although one did have a nice selection of shirts.
Overall it was a great event. We met a lot of cosplayers and talked to a few about anime and our website (hey, it was a shameless plug). Rest assured it has motivated us to start organizing our inventory and to set up our own booth at an upcoming event (We will announce the Event, time and place when we decide). We did miss some photo opportunities and some of the vendors that were unprepared for an Anime event, were the only regrets we have. The price, location and time was perfect. We will definitely arrange to be at the next one!
Here are some of the cosplayers we came across and photographed (If they don't want their image used, just email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will adjust the image). We like to thank all those that braved the chilly weather to dress up and allow us to photograph them. Thank You. You all looked great!