Review: ExxxAM – Exxxotica Chicago and Anime Midwest 2016

So I’m back from my vacations. Spent a few days in the pool, visited my family, dealt with a few family issues, but everything started with two shows I attended in Chicago: Exxxotica and Anime Midwest. A friend from Fetlife baptized it as ExxxAM 2016, so I will use the moniker (hope she does not mind…)

 Exxxotica Chicago 2016

If you follow me on Twitter (@CasqueteroNYC), you know already I went to Exxxotica Chicago during early July. Exxxotica is usually known as “the porn show”, but to me it is much more than that. Of course you have the porn stars in attendance – hundreds of them through the weekend – , but the show includes many other things. During that weekend I enjoyed watching and photographing many beautiful ladies in skimpy clothes, but I also learned a few things in the seminars I attended, got a couple of free porn DVDs for my collection, bought a few hentai collections, met a couple of friends from The Doll Forum, checked some new toys in the market, and above all had a good weekend.


Sheridan Love as Velma

What did I enjoy the most? Let me tell you…

The uncovering of Misty Stone’s sex doll. 1 AM USA signed Misty Stone to be the first model of their Signature Starlets Dolls series and presented the doll in public for the first time during Exxxotica Chicago. I was there when Misty uncovered the doll and the reactions were incredible. Even porn stars that had worked with Misty through the years could not believe how close the doll was to the real star. The doll is slightly scaled down to keep weight under 65 pounds, but the details – muscular tone, color, dimples, and even the aureola and nipples – are as close to the real Misty that some stars were asking 1 AM’s staff about the cost and process to have one based on themselves.


Ron Jeremy’s seminar. I had seen this presentation a couple of times and it never gets old. Having the Legend Ron Jeremy talking about the porn industry and establishing how the business has changed through his career – talent, director, producer, and now legend- is always entertaining and informative. Of course, there was some discussion about his penis – and so many dick jokes that it became a long, long single joke.

Ron Jeremy and James Bartholet doing sketches…

Cosplay themes. This year’s show was sharing the convention center with Anime Midwest (an anime themed regional convention – see below), and many adult goers invaded Exxxotica. On Friday and Saturday shows there was a very animated cosplay contest between attendees with some of the costumes being super sexy. Besides the attendees, many porn stars and models participating also wore costumes of their favorite characters – from Tanya Tate’s original character to Sheridan Love’s Velma, passing through the classic Catwoman to body painted versions of Supergirl, Batgirl, and even My Little Pony. My favorite cosplayer? Jade dressed as one of my fantasies…yep, Mystique!


Jade as Mystique

Rubberdoll’s performances. I had seen Rubberdoll’s performances before, but compared to her closing number on Sunday evening, the others were “soft”. Illuminated helmets, light batons, fire shooting nipples, and sparks from power sanding a metal strap-on. How can you top that?


Anime Midwest

As I said before, Anime Midwest was sharing the convention center with Exxxotica. Since I was already there and the Exxxotica show opened in the afternoon, I decided to use the mornings to be at a completely different show.

Anime Midwest is a family-oriented show with a much, much younger audience. At times, I felt like the dirty, pervert uncle asking cosplayers less than half my age to pose for a photograph. Besides the huge age difference, I also felt out of place because I am not an otaku. I enjoy anime – hell, I had been watching anime since the 1980’s – but I could never reach the level of fandom professed by these kids. When I saw hundreds of young men and women wearing super elaborated costumes during registration during one of the hottest days in the summer (there was a heat wave in Chicago), I felt a lot of respect for this people. You really have to be a fan to wear a Victorian Butler or a Full Metal Alchemist costume when it was 95 F outside…

Other factor making me feel like an outsider is that I had no idea of half of the characters I saw on display. I recognized some characters from classics like DB, DBZ, Evangelion, Pokemon, and Naruto and newer series like Kill La Kill, Attack on Titan, and Fate/ stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, but there were so many characters from Cartoon Network shows and video games I could not recognize. I felt really, really old when some of the girls asked if I followed their favorite show and I had no idea what they were talking about…

Well, although I felt weird at  Anime Midwest, I enjoyed the segments I assisted, especially these parts:

 Free food. This is the first ever convention I go that has some free food for their attendees. Considering that most of the attendees to the con are in their late teens / early twenties and that economic eating options in the convention district are basically non existing, having some free food is a god send. This con has an eating area where you can have free white rice, ramen soup, or oatmeal with a cup of soda completely free. I got my lunch there on Saturday and it was an experience that took me 26 years back when I was a college freshman and ramen was the only thing I could prepare – and afford.

Burlesque show. Fortunately, there are some adults in the convention and they included late night activities geared to the “older” ones. There were hentai projections, panels about mature anime series, and a couple of burlesque shows. I was able to attend one of the burlesque shows and although tame when compared with other shows I had seen, watching superheroes and anime characters performing risque dances was an interesting twist.

Sailor Mars will never be the same for me…


…and neither for you!

Sessions on voice acting. Although I am not interested in doing voice acting for Funimation or other anime-dubbing company, I found extremely interesting a couple of sessions I attended about the topic. One was an acting workshop with Chuck Huber, who is one of the original voice actors for Funimation, dubbing characters in series like Dragon Ball Z, Soul Eater, Yu Yu Hakusho among others. There I learned and practiced a few things about modulation and voice warming that I will be using for my job IRL and some of my stuff as El Casque. Another had to do with the technical aspects of voice overs such as good microphones, mixing software, and setup. Definitively worth the whole admission.

Will I go next year to both / either show?

Honestly, I don’t know. If they were done together every year I would do it again, but apparently this was an accident that will not happen again. I would go to Exxxotica again next year depending on the dates, but honestly, I find Frolicon a much better value… after all, there you have all the fun of being a geek and being an adult at ALL times!