Tis the season - and no, its not Christmas
By Amy R Zunk
It has started. For me this year, it started with MegaCon in early March. It ends with Necronomicon in October. What am I talking about? Its convention time once again. Time to put on my best costume and go talk to vendors, guests and friends that I only see once a year at a convention. Time to watch great anime, see costume and cosplay contests, listen to J Pop and J Rock, play DDR and generally have a good time.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of convention is- an assembly of persons met for a common purpose. To me, it’s more an assembly of crazies, out to have fun.
My first convention was over 10 years ago at a sci-fi convention in Florida called Necronomicon. For three days I was surrounded with sci-fi types of all kinds- gamers, fans, Trekkers, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, vampires, cyber guys, comic book characters, etc. I loved it.
Now before you give me the line about sci-fi and anime being too separate universes, you are right. Sci-fi fantasy fans are different then anime fans. There is some overlap, but not a lot.
Anime conventions are focused on one thing, anime. While anime and manga have their own genres and sub groups, it is still anime first and foremost. No Trekkers need apply.
My first anime convention was Anime Express. While this is a small con, its still has all the essentials for it to be a good anime con.
Anatomy of an Anime Con
- Anime. At its base, hours upon hours of anime. This can run from Dragonball Z, to Xcel Saga, to Robotech, to Vampire Hunter D. It is TV shows and films.
- Cosplayers. There are always cosplayers. These are the people dressed up as their favorite anime character. They tend to stay in character the entire convention. They also compete in the cosplay contest where they do a skit pertaining to their anime costume.
- DDR. Find anime fans, you tend to find a Dance Dance Revolution game somewhere. I am not sure of the correlation, but it works.
- AMVs. AMV= anime music videos. Take your favorite song and then use anime to tell its story.
- Dealers. While you can watch and talk anime, its better if you can buy it too.
There is one thing I forgot to put on that list. That is the FANS. You cannot have a convention without fans. And now that anime has become more mainstream with blocks of it on Cartoon Network and Spirited Away winning an Oscar, the fans will be multiplying at an exponential rate. Anime cons brace yourselves!
And since we are on the subject of conventions, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention AnimeMetro’s own anime convention, METROCON, taking place July 18-20 in Tampa, FL. From everything I know about it, it should be one hell of a party. So come on out and have some fun, anime style. For more information, go to www.animemetro.com/metrocon.
See ya at the next anime convention. I’ll be the one in the Chobits ears.
What do you think? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy R. Zunk is a freelance writer for several online publications doing editorial commentary and product review. Her column on Geek.com, "Backwards and in 4 inch heels", addresses women in the technology industry. She is an anime fan from way back. Her favorites include Robotech and Cowboy Bebop. Amy wants someday to own her very own veritech.