The region’s annual anime convention preps largest event to date.
This weekend the city will welcome a colourful cast a characters to its downtown Convention Centre for the 11th annual Animaritime Convention, a congress event for fans of the popular Japanese animation style known as anime. The event will also attract fans of cosplay, board games and even karaoke. It’s going to be quite a time.
“Animaritime is an anime and gaming convention originally started by the [Insert Catchy Name Here] Anime Club of Mount Allison University,” said Convention Co-chair, Kimberly Burch. “We started the convention in the buildings of Mount Allison in Sackville, NB and have since moved from there to Moncton and now to Fredericton. We needed to make the move as we were growing as a convention and could no longer support the attendees in the other venues.”
The convention is hosted by the Society for Atlantic Fan Cultures, a non-profit organization “whose primary function is to host gatherings that bring together individuals from unique fanbases”.
This year’s Animaritime festivities include a costuming competition, gaming rooms, a charity auction, panel discussions and a number of special guests and vendors. This year’s special guests include Prince Edward Island comic artist Brenda Hickey; Jennifer Cihi, known to many as the English singing voice of the popular anime heroine Sailor Moon; writer and playwright Stefanie DeLeo and Youtube fashion sensation, Pixielocks, among others.
The 2015 convention will also welcome hosts of the popular podcast Geeks Vs. Nerds.
“We get a great number of proposals from guest so we have the opportunity to pick from a really great pool of people,” said Burch. “We are so pleased to have our current line up. This is the most guests we have ever had.”
“We approached Geeks Vs. Nerds as they had wanted to come to the convention last year but were unable. We are excited to have them here this year for their 6 season 10 episode podcast. Jennifer Cihi made the greatest offer of performing a Sailor Moon concert so she is a must. We also have Brenda Hickey for all the My Little Pony fans and Stefanie DeLeo for all of our fanfiction writers. Nathan DeLuca and Pixielocks round out our guest line up with cosplay, workshops and lolita fashion.”
So, what exactly is it about anime that draws so many fans to annual events like Animaritime?
“All the emotion and feeling put into something which looks stylish and fun and sad and gloomy,” said Burch. “Anime is unique with emotions and I can’t tell you how many times I have laughed and cried, like actual bawling tears, from an anime character’s troubles. And even though the scenarios seem far-fetched at times, the character’s problems and concerns are relatable. Everyone wonders if they can be themselves without their friends hating them, have had prejudice moments where people look down upon them for who they are, what they are wearing, and what grades they get. People can relate to the feeling of abandonment, the wonder of joy, the death of a loved one, the grandness of pride and it is all there. This is why people love anime.”
Animaritime runs June 26-28, 2015 at the Fredericton Convention Centre. For more information, visit animaritime.org.
We found this video by Voice Actor and Cosplayer kleffytime that shows a few highlights from last year’s event: