Seven wonders of the world…Seven deadly sins…Seven days to survive at the bottom of a well…there are many things involving the number seven ~

But more importantly, there are only seven days until Animazement 2011!

Yes, the Con that was always such a distant event in the future is right around the corner ~ and here I am still not completely ready (like any good procrastinator)!  Luckily it’s nothing a good productive weekend can’t fix! Barring of course the idea that the world is scheduled to end within the next 24 hours by brimstone and fire *blink* I think everything will go smoothly 🙂

For those of you who do not know or perhaps have never heard of an anime convention allow me to enlighten you:

Picture, if you will, a large convention hall or building (exciting and picturesque, I know)  but it’s not the building or location that matters, what is so amazing is what can be found inside. There are conventions held all over the world over a myriad of topics and hobbies; this particular type of convention focuses on anime, video games, manga, design, production, cosplay and costume design, music, and other forms of popular Japanese visual culture.

The entire weekend is filled to the brim with events, panels, gaming, and dances.  Writers, designers, artists, and voice actors from popular video games and shows often make appearances for interviews, autographs, and other events.  Concerts by popular J-rock/pop/traditional artists will also take place, often making their live US Debut with photos and autographs to be held after the show (See picture: Sound Bee HD @ Nekocon 2010). The video game room and tournament room are where you will find not only every gaming console possible, but some of the best gamers just waiting for a worthy opponent. The tournament room can get pretty intense; you may think you are all that but you better bring it if you want to stand a chance.  Many other events and panels ranging from costume design and creation to crash courses in game design can also be found.  There’s even an area for you table top gamers to see who’s best of the best. And just when you think you’re feet can’t take much more, there are dances (raves) both Friday and Saturday night (they call them “raves” but really its simply fun outfits, blaring techno/dub-step, and plenty of glow sticks and black-lights)

As if the numerous events and guests weren’t enough, there are ways of spending money that exceed your wildest dreams.  Artist’s Alley and the Dealer’s Room are always packed with people.  The artist’s alley is where people will sell and commission their own artwork.  The dealer’s room is where you will find many of your souvenirs.  Intriguing and unique shops that travel all over the country from Con to Con can be found as well as other merchants who have items you simply cannot find anywhere else.

Feel like you’re the best of the best and deserve recognition? There are a plethora contests that go on throughout the weekend!  As alluded to earlier, there are video game tournaments as well as AMV (anime music video) and karaoke competitions.  And what would a convention be without a costume craftsmanship and masquerade contest? The Masquerade is basically a talent show made up of musical numbers, re-enactments, skits, martial arts, and dances to name a few.

One of the most prominent features of a Con is probably the cosplays (or costumes).  It is one of the few times during the year you can walk into a McDonald’s with pink hair, fairy wings, fuzzy leg warmers and a tail and you’d see about 15 people dressed in similar fashion without even batting an eye.  Characters from video games, anime, cartoons, books, and even from the depths of people’s imaginations come to life and wander the convention halls.  If you’re thinking that it’s just a bunch of annoying kids running around in costume, you’re wrong.  People from young to old participate and enjoy the festivities.  The cosplay outfits themselves are not mere Halloween costume rejects, they are usually hand crafted and high quality pieces of craftsmanship; something to be proud of and makes flaunting it that much more exciting!

Well, this post got considerably longer than I’d originally anticipated.  xD Honestly I could babble on about conventions for hours.  At my first Con I remember looking around and thinking, ‘wow! I completely fit in with this crowd ~ this is awesome!’.  After all, where else could you have a debate about the most epic Pokemon team with a group of strangers and not have a single person give you a “you’re one of those people” kind of looks?

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love how unique I am from my interests to my style; but every so often it’s nice to find a group of people who know exactly where you’re coming from ~ no explanation needed. ^_^

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind” ~Dr. Seuss

For those wanting more information you can check out here: http://animazement.org/

Animazement 2011 – Raleigh, NC – May 27-30 – Weekend passes can still be purchased at the door for $55.00

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