Victoria’s Tsukino Con honours all things anime
February 5, 2014 by Jayden Grieve, contributing writer
Set in Japan, big eyes, crazy hair: sound familiar? No, it’s not Mothra. It’s anime, Japan’s number one television medium since a medium only held twelve ounces. From its inception, anime has spread far and wide, becoming a common feature in the lives of many North Americans.
It’s even made it to our very own Vancouver Island, which makes sense geographically since Japan isn’t that far away. Perhaps anime can swim. Regardless of how it got here, an event called Tsukino Con will be celebrating all of its animated glory.
“We basically are a celebration of the culture around Japanese anime. We have a bunch of dealers that will come and sell merchandise, we have artists from here and Vancouver, and there are a significant number of people who will dress up in cosplay,” explains conference chair Adam Park. “We have two main auditoriums and three panel rooms that are filled with events continuously running throughout the weekend. All together we have about 80 events, that’s like the programming of a convention that’s four or five times the size.”
The convention’s staff members have set their hopes high and are putting all they’ve got into making it an enjoyable weekend. For instance, Park, who says, “You’d be hard pressed to find an anime fan that doesn’t love video games,” has lent his entire personal collection of videogames to the convention’s game room.
“We have an entire wing that’s all game stuff. There are cards games, a PokŽmon league, Dungeons and Dragons, and a videogame room set up with every system imaginable,” says Park. “We’ve been told that the quality of our video games room is what you’d expect to find at 10,000-person convention.”
Last year’s convention saw an impressive 1,700-plus visitors, but this year it’s expected that a whopping 2,000 people will attend. Park hopes that the wide array of programming will draw people from all walks of life.
“A lot of people think it’s only for teenagers, but, definitely, it’s not. We have a lot of people in their twenties and older. Often parents will bring their kids and then even the parents will end up enjoying it,” says Park, who claims even those that are unfamiliar with the anime genre will find something to entertain themselves. “We even have a lot of panels that are aimed at those people who have maybe never seen anime before. Last year we actually had a panel called ‘I’m an Anime N00b.’”
As with most conventions, there will be prizes for those who sport the best costumes based on their favourite anime character. This year the convention is scheduled to fall on Valentine’s Day, which provides a unique situation.
“Every year our convention has a themeŃlast year it was magical girls, like Sailor Moon, and everything that came from that, and this year our theme is love,” says Park, who hints that there may even be a special Valentine’s surprise at this year’s convention… who says anime can’t be romantic?
$20 (student rate),
University of Victoria