Recently, I got to attend Youmacon 2022 and It was my 8th time attending the convention as a whole. This is my second year staying at the convention from Friday through Sunday I was there for three days out of the four-day event that ran from Nov 3-6. This annual four-day anime convention was held in early November at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and Huntington Center in Detroit, Michigan.
Youmacon’s creation was inspired by other conventions including Anime Central and Ohayocon with the convention’s name coming from the Japanese word for demon or ghost. Founded by Morgan Kollin in 2005, it is the largest anime/gaming convention in Michigan and the 10th largest North American anime convention as of 2017.
This is the first year I did preregistration where the badges got mailed to me and my friends. I’m glad it worked out in my favor. Though the shipping schedule was very close to the convention (we received badges a week before) I wanted to avoid the lines. I’ve had my previous share of waiting in lines for registration and found this way much easier. The only line I had to wait in was to get a sticker for vaccine verification for my badge and that line was less than I five-minute wait. I’ve seen how crazy the lines can get at this convention and if you plan to attend in the future, I definitely recommend preregistering online beforehand as the convention offers deals leading up to the convention plus you save more money than purchasing badges at the door.
Artist Alley/Dealers Hall:
After registering, I meandered through the many aisles of fandom goodness at the Artist Alley and Dealers Hall which was fantastic. I visited the hall once each day as it can be very busy and sometimes the crowds lead me to miss a couple of booths. Plus this is a great way to budget for what I want to buy and if I don’t pick up something one day I can have the opportunity to buy it later. A work of caution though. This convention can draw over 10,000 attendees so if you really want to buy an item, don’t wait as most vendors have limited stock for their items.
All vendors and artists were in a much larger room, so it didn’t feel so cramped and it was much easier to walk down the aisles and shop each booth. There was way more variety in content and I spent my fair share of time talking with artists/vendors and buying way too much stuff.
I wished there was more of a variety of panels, but I had heard things were delayed for this year. Considering the time crunch, there was still a great array of panels to go to. It can be difficult to go back and forth between Huntington Center and Renaissance Center even though the buildings are only a 10-minute walk from each other, so you end up having to choose which ones are closest to your current location. But if you plan your day right, you can maximize your time and try to attend as many as possible.
I did attend a couple of panels such as So You Think you’re a K-Pop Fan with fun trivia games and a craft-themed panel where I got to make a traditional Japanese Kanzashi hair clip. The crafting panel was so relaxing and a nice reprieve from a busy day. I definitely hope they bring back more panels with hands-on crafts!
The video gaming room was very spacious! I did see more of a variety of games for everyone music games (ex. especially for the music-themed games (ex. Dance Dance Revolution, Taiko no Tatsujin) which are my favorite! There was a solid layout for the games overall. I appreciated that there was lots of seating for whether you were taking a rest, watching the tournaments, or playing arcade games with friends.
The Renaissance Center is gorgeous and it was my third time staying in the hotel. The room was nice and equipped with features and the view of the city and Detroit from my window was stunning. The hotel staff was friendly and there was a very easy check-in and check-out process. The hotel offers convention discounts if you choose to room there, but there are also a number of hotels near the convention area Downtown with reasonable prices if you book ahead of time.
This was my third year cosplaying and on Saturday, I dressed up as one of my favorite Disney princesses Tiana (from Princess and the Frog). I had a lot of fun meeting other cosplayers and taking photos. The community of people at this convention is so welcoming.
All in all, Youmacon 2022 was a blast and I can’t wait to go back again in 2023! This was my first return to the convention since Covid-19 and being there made me realize how much I miss the anime convention community. I’m already brainstorming cosplay ideas for next year. If you’re a fan of Anime or Japanese pop culture and live in the Metro Detroit area, this is a convention you should definitely visit in the future!