Animarathon to take over Union Saturday

Jess James and Jess James

A convention jam-packed with musical performances, video game competitions and giant robot action movies, Animarathon 2010 will capture the imagination of every anime enthusiast.

On Saturday, Anime in Northwest Ohio will be hosting the 8th annual Animarathon. The convention is the second biggest event on campus behind Dance Marathon and is expecting more than 2,000 attendees. Starting in the Union at 10 a.m., the free event will go until midnight and will feature a wide array of prizes and activities.

Sophomore Caroline Coates and president of Anime in Northwest Ohio said raffle drawings and 50/50 tickets will be sold to help raise money for future conventions.

“We openly take donations and the raffle is the biggest portion of our profits,” Coates said. “Students will be able to use their BG1 cards for purchasing raffle tickets, but they must spend at least $5. Animarathon pays for itself essentially and always ends up bringing in a good crowd.”

Among the prizes will be a Nintendo Wii, anime DVD series and T-shirts. The Union will be rented out to Animarathon all day to accommodate the performances taking place.

One of the entertainers is Niji, an anime dance group based out of the Cleveland area. The group specializes in Vocaloid dancing, a performance style that uses synthesizers to create distinct japanese sounds.

Junior Amanda Hull is the vice president of Anime in Northwest Ohio and a committee member for Animarathon. She said the Niji dancers are a branch of anime sub-culture that incorporates interpretative dance with upbeat music.

“The Niji dancers are anime-style dancers that dress in Japanese Lolita costumes, which is a fashion and cultural movement from Japan in the 1980’s,” Hull said. “The movement stood for the norm against Japanese traditions that said men and women upon graduating from college had to get jobs and get married.”

Other musical performances will be the University’s Game Anime Music Ensemble. The group of more than 50 members is dedicated to video game and anime music and will be performing from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Their diverse sound ranges from a collective mix of rock to jazz.

Junior Michelle Lehr, the secretary of Anime in Northwest Ohio and a committee member for Animarathon, said the diversity of music present is important to the anime culture.

“We play music that is from anime or from video games. There will be people from all different musical backgrounds performing together as a unique ensemble,” she said.

Hours of operation will be extended at the Falcon’s Nest to provide dining options to the large crowd. Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be divided into four categories based on age to help censor younger attendees from more adult anime showings. The event is open to the public and the group members encourage all anime lovers to come and support Animarathon 2010.