As part of his Otakon coverage, Ed also conducted three podcasts with various special guests. The first episode features Daryl Surat (Anime World Order) and Charles Dunbar discussing why people go to conventions and what they do there.
Charles, an anthropologist, brings up how anime con-goers often go to these events for the experience, not anime itself. They want to party instead of watching video. This is attributed to changes in technology. Once upon a time, you couldn’t easily find anime except in convention viewing rooms; now, you can easily buy or watch it online. For similar reasons, the demise of the anime club is also noted. There’s a little bit of flavor of “those kids don’t do things the way WE did”, but I find that amusing, especially when I note how short the generations are — at one point, Charles states that changes were obvious when comparing a 2003 show to the same one in 2007.
The three also compare anime to comic conventions, noting that comic shows are often more based in consumerism, where attendees are there to buy things, especially when seeking particular comic issues. Anime shows are about hanging out, with events extending far into the night, while comic shows tend to wind down after the dealers’ area closes.