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Anime convention


Anime convention

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Outside the convention hall at Anime Expo 2004. Outside the convention hall at Anime Expo 2004.

Anime conventions are gatherings of the community of fans (commonly called otaku) of various forms of anime and manga. Historically the focus has been on the written form rather than audiovisual media representations, but this may be changing. People in attendance at an anime convention are traditionally known as members of the convention; invited celebrities including authors are commonly known as guests of the convention, though many professionals including authors will simply attend as members.


Anatomy of a typical anime convention

Getting Started

Although wide variations exist between different conventions, there is a general pattern that most adhere to. The typical convention is held on a holiday weekend where three or four days can be devoted to events.

The first night of the convention "Opening Ceremonies" are held, where organizers and marquee guests are introduced.


Panel-led discussions, or Panels, usually fill up the daytime hours of most conventions with typically one-hour discussions of topics related to anime, manga, cosplay and fandom in general. Some larger conventions, such as Anime Expo and Otakon, have had well-attended, scheduled panels starting as late as midnight.

Evening entertainment often includes a combination of official and unofficial events, including dances, formal invitational dinners, and fandom themed room parties. A bid party includes advertising for the location of future conventions.

Many conventions also feature an anime music video (AMV) contest, where AMVs submitted to the contest are screened for the public and judged, usually by both a judging panel as well as the general public. Videos are usually (though not always) grouped into categories, such as "Drama," "Comedy," and "Action/Adventure," and prizes are awarded to the best video in each category, as well as an overall "Best of Show" video. These prizes typically include anime DVDs and box sets, anime soundtracks, and various other anime/manga collectibles.

A costume contest called a cosplay contest is often held where persons go on stage and compete for nominal prizes based on their skill in assembling and presenting genre-inspired outfits. This is truly more a "talent show" rather than the "fancy dress ball" that the term suggests. Science fiction fans might refer to cosplay as a masquerade, but there are notable and subtle distinctions between the terms.

Specific Rooms

A Dealer's or Huckster's Room is available, where merchants sell wares of interest to fans. These include books, action figures, prop replicas and t-shirts. Similarly, there is often an Art Show where genre-inspired art is displayed and usually made available for auction or purchase. Smaller conventions may simply have an informal Dealer's Row, a section of hotel rooms from which dealers sell goods, while larger conventions may have both an official dealer's room and an unofficial dealer's row.

Many conventions have video rooms in which genre-related audiovisual presentations take place, typically anime series and movies; in some cases, similar genres such as Japanese live-action films may be shown as well. If there are multiple media rooms, each one may have themed content.

Typically, Game Rooms are also available for attendees to play a variety of genre collectible card games like the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game or role-playing games like Big Eyes, Small Mouth. Anime-related video games are also popular.

The Convention Hospitality Suite or Consuite is often provided as a room reserved for light refreshments, a quiet conversation, and a place to briefly rest. The refreshments typically include coffee, tea, juice or soda, and light meals appropriate for the time of day. Depending on local liquor distribution and liability laws, the suite may serve alcohol. At conventions in the United Kingdom, the provision of cask ale is generally considered essential.

Ending the event

Often the "Closing Ceremonies" on the convention's last day are dispensed with entirely. This omission is because such ceremonies would logically be held after scheduled events are over, and convention members are occupied with packing up and checking out of the hotel.

Ceremony or not, a dead dog party or post-con party is usually held. This is the traditional winding-down party where few of the attendees are likely to have huge amounts of energy. This party is an attempt to ease people back into the real world outside of convention and can be an effective method of warding off the depression, which is often associated with the end of a major event. Analogies can be drawn to the decompression parties following large events such as Burning Man.

External links

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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