By Jamil Oakford/managing editor
Cosplayers, roleplayers and video game/card players can unite to network and talk to other fans of anime at the South Campus Anime Convention April 13-14.
Various South student organizations have come together to collaborate with the games and animation department and student activities to host this event.
Anime is all hand-drawn and digital animation from Japan, associated with a certain style of animation. Some of the most well-known anime in the U.S. is “Pokemon,” “Speed Racer” and “Fullmetal Alchemist.”
This convention gives people a place to celebrate the artform, and it’s been a hit since the first convention three years ago, student development associate Amanda Sims said.
“That first year, we were expecting 100 people, but 250 showed up,” she said.
For this year’s convention, Sims said they’re expecting 1,000 people to attend. Besides anime, the convention will also have events, tables and panels for gaming.
“We bring out indie video game developers from the area to give demonstrations of the games they’re working on,” she said.
The campus’ own voice acting instructor Bill Brooks will attend as well.
“We have him coming out to talk about how to break into voice acting,” said Sims, who is also the convention chair.
The two-day convention is primarily planned, manned and run by students. The Anime Club, Korean Interest Association and the Gaming Club planned the schedules, organized the contests and will moderate every panel.
“We’ve had really strong participation from the clubs, which is great,” Sims said. “They’re passionate about it, and it amounts to a great show.”
She said each club has captains who run the convention. They tend to head the panels or other scheduled events, and each captain has a lieutenant.
“They’ll be there to help them or take over if the captain has to use the restroom or step out for a moment,” Sims said.
Students have planned a cosplay contest, a gaming tournament for Tekken 7, Mario Kart 8, Smash 4 and several other video games and tabletop games like Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon.
A live performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show will start at 10 p.m. April 13. Tickets will be sold at the door.
Friday night will be designated for attendees 18 and older due to the more adult-themed games and events.
“We’ll be playing games like Cards Against Humanity and stuff like that,” Sims said.
The rest of the event is family-oriented, and people are encouraged to bring their families Saturday.
Quentin Jackson, South student development attendant and coordinator of the convention, is most excited about kicking off this event.
“I’m ready for this convention to straight up start,” he said. “Seeing how many people came together and worked, I want to see it finally come to fruition.”
Jackson and Sims are both excited to see how the convention goes.
“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done at any job,” Sims said.
Jackson said he still can’t believe he could take part in something this cool.
“We would’ve never thought something like this would’ve happened on our campus,” he said.
April 13: 6 p.m.-midnight
April 14: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.