Next Club Meeting: May 25, 2024, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Memories of AnimeCon '91

AnimeCon, held in San Jose, California in 1991, was the fourth anime convention created in the United States, the first convention to have major backing from the anime industry, the first anime-specific convention within the state of California (which spawned many similar conventions thereafter), and the first anime-specific convention in the US to break 1,000 attendees. It also formed the genesis of Anime Expo (currently the largest anime-specific convention in North America).

Guests included Jerry Beck, Colleen Doran, Geoff Everets, Carl Macek, Ken Macklin, Johji Manabe, Leiji Matsumoto, Luke Menichelli, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Robert Napton, John O'Donnell, Toshio Okada, Katsuhiro Otomo, David Riddick, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Toren Smith, Kenichi Sonoda, Rick Sternbach, Jeff Thompson, Adam Warren, Robert Woodhead, Trish Ledoux and Toshifumi Yoshida.

AnimeCon '91 was my FIRST real anime convention in the United States, and one of the BEST conventions I have ever been to. Being the first of its kind meant attendance numbers were really low, about 1000 fans showed up. But that meant having more personal time and interaction with the Japanese guests. Imagine walking the halls of the San Jose Red Lion Inn and seeing a Japanese artist sitting alone at a table in the middle of a hallway drawing free sketches for anyone who stopped by. I met with one artist who was drawing random characters on regular 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of paper. He was using a fine tipped Sharpie, and he would sketch anything you wanted. At that time, I really didn't know who each of the Japanese guests were. They had no name tags or signs identifying them. They just drew. The artist asked me in Japanese what I wanted him to draw. I didn't want to be impolite because I didn't recognize him, so I just asked for anything. He gave me a sketch of King the Lion from Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water, which at that time was my favorite anime. It wasn't until later that I found out that his name was Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the character designer for Nadia. That was awesome! I wish I knew who he was before. I would have asked for a sketch of Nadia herself. I went beck to the table some time later, but he wasn't there anymore. Someone else was there. I didn't know who he was either. He gave me a sketch of a chibi-version of Space Battleship Yamato. I found it amusing and he chuckled. I discovered later his name was Hideaki Anno, the creator of Evangelion and Nadia. Best anime convention experience ever!
- anim8trix


  1. That is a damn impressive guest list! O_o

  2. Speaking of the con check out this blog post I found about it: