Animated anime fans take over Union

On Saturday, the Union was bustling with fans of all genres.

Animarathon XV took place from 9 a.m. to midnight and featured a place for fans to celebrate their interests.

The convention “is a family friendly celebration of Anime, Japanese Media and Nerd Culture” and is put on by the student organization Anime in Northwest Ohio (ANO). The events and panels at the convention are made to be inclusive of all types of fandoms. Alex Kidd, the president of ANO, said the attendants play a part in what is covered at Animarathon.

“We don’t cater to specific fandoms because that’s up to the fans who come to Animarathon and submit their panels,” said Kidd. “Usually, you will see a wide variety of topics covered, from specific shows and video games, to fandoms and even professional wrestling sometimes!”

Events at this year’s convention included cosplay contests, an artist’s alley, tabletop and video games and a rave. ANO tries to get special guests for Animarathon each year. Dirk Manning, writer and creator of the comic series “Tales of Mr. Rhee”, as well as a University alumni, was at the convention again this year.

“He loves coming and wants to be a part of it every year,” Kidd said. Other special guests for this year’s Animarathon included Vinesauce live-streamer GeePM and Blitzkrieg Cosplay. Kidd and vice-president William Williams actually met GeePM at a convention in Dayton.

“He was interested in coming to Animarathon for free, just for fun, because he’s a Findlay local,” Kidd said. “We still are offering him compensation, of course, as he’s quite popular and comes from one of the most popular livestreaming groups.”

Past guests of Animarathon include Michelle Czajkowski, creator of the web-comic “Ava’s Demon” and voice actress Nicki Rapp.

Though Animarathon is normally a one-day event, the plan is to make the convention a two-day event for 2018.

“Looking at our numbers, we realized that we had 3-4k attendees in the past few years, and figured that if there are tiny cons of only a few hundred people doing three-day cons, then why not bump ours to two?” Kidd said. “We always have people asking about a longer con each year, so we thought we’d test it out.”

Kidd hopes that Animarathon attendants will have a memorable experience at the convention.

“We may not be as big as Ohayocon or Colossalcon, but we still strive to offer the best convention experience that we can,” Kidd said. “We want people to remember the fun times that they had, the new friends that they met and the desire to attend more conventions in the future with those friends.”

-There were a bunch of kids there, a few of which were in cosplay (Buzz Lightyear, Pokemon).

-Game room was almost always full (video, board and role-playing games).

-One con-goer had made the two-hour drive from Dayton to go to the con that day to visit a friend’s booth in the Dealer’s Room.

-The drum group Kaze No Daichi Taiko had people come up and learn how to play taiko with them.

-Jumanji and Defenders of the Realm seemed to be the popular games for bids during the board game auction.