This year we were able to get an early start on our
6-hour drive so we arrived at a more reasonable hour, a little before 11 PM.
However, due to another convention that was wrapping up the next day on
Friday, rooms were in extremely short supply for Friday night, even for
those of us who booked in advance. Fortunately, the Waverly was still able
to accommodate us.
Due to activities of the earlier
overlapping convention, a band stage in the Grand Ballroom was still being
removed Friday morning. This required that the Opening Ceremonies be
rescheduled to the afternoon. In a bonus result of this rescheduling, I had
the opportunity to photograph two of the AWA guests of honor. To the left is
Masahiro Aizawa, key animator, director and character designer. His most
notable current work is for the anime,
Moon Phase. To the right is a surprise unannounced guest,
Sumie Kinoshita, key animator, also associated with Moon Phase. To my
great delight, after taking this photo, I gave my usual bow of appreciation
and Kinoshita-sensei bowed in return. I was deeply honored.
Following the Opening Ceremonies
(covered on the next page), we took a break for lunch around 3 PM.