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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

Animarathon celebrates Japanese culture

Senior Melissa Darnell walked through a crowd at the Union this past Saturday, blending in wearing her hamster costume.

She was at Animarathon, an anime convention hosted by Anime in Northwest Ohio.

“I have been coming here for six years,” Darnell said. “This convention is one of the main reasons why I came to BG.”

The convention had many events, booths, vendors and entertainment to participate in. Some of the more numerous events were the panels that happened all day, which ranged from lectures and singing to contests and tea parties.

“I enjoy the panels the most because most of them are about Japanese culture,” Darnell said. “They are informative and fun at the same time.”

Paige Abern, sophomore and treasurer for ANO, shares a love for Japanese culture with Darnell. It was one of the many reasons she decided to join the club, she said.

“I joined the club because I wanted to have something to do on Saturday nights instead of parties,” Abern said.

She helped put together the layout of the convention for this year and organized the Kawaii Kafe, which sold wraps, lemonade, tea and cake to the hungry shoppers.

“It’s a bit of heavy work, but well worth it,” Abern said. “I get to see people dressed up, unwind and just be weird.”

Brianna Tomlinson is the president of ANO. She has been helping plan the anime convention since this past March, she said.

“I enjoy running it,” Tomlinson said. “I work well with stress and it is well worth it in the end.”

Along with overseeing the officers in the club, Tomlinson is in charge of signing agreements with vendors that come to the convention to sell goods.

“We have many vendors and artists come in to sell things,” Tomlinson said. “They bring artwork, stickers, stuffed animals, clothes and anything else you could think of.”

Along with the vendors and entertainment, people had the option to dress up as their favorite anime, manga or gaming character. Attendees could also enter their outfits to be judged in a cosplay costume contest.

Semior,Duffee Maddox, was a judge for the cosplay contest.

“There are two sides to the contest,” Maddox said. “One is to see how well the participants sewed their costumes and how well they look. The other is a skit they have to rehearse and perform in front of judges.”

Maddox herself was dressed as a regular Pokémon nerd, sporting a ‘Staryu coffee’ t-shirt and jeans.

“I am fascinated with the gamer and anime culture,” Maddox said. “Their point of view is a unique one from the normal pop culture.”

More Pokémon fans, Kenzie Phillips and Kyle Eppard, came dressed up as Misty and Ash from the original Pokémon shows.

“There are so many different costumes to see, it’s just a bunch of fun to just site-see here,” Phillips said. “I love coming every year.”

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