By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

Campus’ anime convention draws big numbers

Atlantis royalty, alchemists, warriors of Amtgard and more descended upon South Campus for a celebration of all things anime April 13-14.

South’s Anime Club, Gaming Club and Korean Interest Association all came together for the campus’ third annual South Campus Anime Convention.

The two-day convention covered all of the student center. The first night was more adult-themed with tabletop games like Cards Against Humanity and included a performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show from a local acting troupe.

Eric Torres of Fort Worth plays Smash Bros. during a video game challenge at the South Campus Anime Convention April 14. Several video game tournaments were held.
Eric Torres of Fort Worth plays Smash Bros. during a video game challenge at the South Campus Anime Convention April 14. Several video game tournaments were held.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

But the second day was more family-oriented and brought out community members.

“We heard about it online,” Hannah Kozlowski said. “I was looking up any cosplay conventions in the area, and this one was pretty close.”

Kozlowski brought her two sisters, and they all dressed up as characters from their favorite animes Voltron and Mystic Messenger.

Community members Shirley Wilson and Torie Patton found the convention a similar way and were happy they went.

Attendees were encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime or video game characters during the two-day convention on South Campus.
Attendees were encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime or video game characters during the two-day convention on South Campus.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

“This has been a really cool experience,” she said. “You get to hang out with different people, and seeing all the cool artwork has been fun too.”

While a Magic: The Gathering tournament turned into a casual play, several board games were available for con-attendees to play, such as Settlers of Catan, LIFE, Sorry, Uno, Yu-Gi-Oh and chess, to name a few.

A series of video game tournaments for Smash Bros., Tekken 7, Pokken and Mario Kart 8 were held in the Game Room. 

Early into Saturday’s programming, the convention held a cosplay contest, which saw competitors vying for two possible winner spots: the judges’ award or the crowd award.

Frostbite Cosplay’s Aspen Eden heads a panel April 14.
Frostbite Cosplay’s Aspen Eden heads a panel April 14.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

Frostbite Cosplay’s Aspen and Bryce Eden were judges as well as panelists for the convention and were looking for something special in the cosplay contest.

“The main thing we look for is the craftsmanship,” said Bryce Eden, who was dressed with Discord My Little Pony mashup in mind. “We want to know people are proud of what they’ve made.”

One contestant, community member Hailey Malone, came dressed as Duck from Princess Tutu. This was a costume that took a lot of trial and error to get right, she said.

“I ended up spilling concrete cement on my carpet that did not come out,” she said.

Her full-body duck costume included an upper-body piece that covered her from her head to her knees. Accompanying her upper-body suit were a pair of orange-and-white-striped leggings and bright orange, webbed feet-like shoe covers. 

Fort Worth resident Alejandro Zamorano gears up for a fight while playing a Smash Bros. virtual reality game.
Fort Worth resident Alejandro Zamorano gears up for a fight while playing a Smash Bros. virtual reality game.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

The costume required Malone’s friend Rose Morales to stand in front of her and take her hands to navigate her way around the room and up on stage.

“We tried three different methods for this costume,” Morales said. “First it was duct tape, then it was concrete cement before we finally chose this felt material.”

Malone ended up winning the judges’ award and a $25 Google Play gift card.

The crowd award went to University of North Texas student Areanna Rhodes, dressed as Princess Kida from Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

“It feels good. People like me!” she said.

Rhodes was happy but was worried during the voting period because there wasn’t much applause.

Uno as well as Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering were some of the card games available to play at the South Campus Anime Convention April 14. They also provided LIFE and Sorry board games.
Uno as well as Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering were some of the card games available to play at the South Campus Anime Convention April 14. They also provided LIFE and Sorry board games.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

Her friend and fellow UNT student Jasmine Jones echoed this statement.

“The claps started to sound kind of alike,” she said.

The campus saw well over 1,000 people before 2 p.m. on Saturday, surpassing their expected amount of visitors.

Veteran convention-goer Kozlowski said she was impressed with the setup. While many people attended, it didn’t feel crowded, she said.

“Everyone is super-friendly,” Kozlowski said. “It seems that every staff member knows where everything is, too. We’ve been to bigger conventions where not every staff member knows what’s going on or where something is happening.”