These days anime, manga, and comic conventions only seem to be getting bigger and bigger, with some events like Anime Expo and the San Diego Comic reaching such outlandish proportions that it’s totally exhausting just elbowing your way through the crowd from one end to the other. Fortunately, at the other end of the spectrum some smaller, more personal events are starting to appear, and the Mini Anime-con, held at the Mountain Island Branch Library in Charlotte, NC on August 10th is one such example.
You may have heard on the news lately of libraries holding Guitar Hero nights or what not to bring in visitors, but this really ramps it up a notch. Attended by 150 people, the event was jam-packed with activities. A Japanese language lesson was held by a local public school teacher, and a martial arts demonstration was held by the black belt daughter of a library staff person. There were tables set up for participants to gather and do manga art and other anime-related crafts, with an art teacher present to advise them on how to improve their work. Episodes of Ramen Fighter Miki, Astro Boy, Ultra Maniac, Innocent Venus, and Emma: a Victorian Romance were shown in the library’s community room, and gaming systems were available to play Wii Sports, Super Smash Brothers, DDR, Rock Band, and there were even Alienware laptops present for LAN gaming. There was a cosplay fashion contest, with prizes donated from various anime and manga publishers (including Otaku USA), and giveaways of Asian snacks like Pocky.
The event was reportedly a big success, with many shy bookish local teens known to be reclusive suddenly coming out of their shells and making friends. Otaku USA was glad to help out and we hope to see more small anime-related events bringing people together in the future!