This year’s Zenkaikon takes place March 22-24, 2013 at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, PA. Zenkaikon is an anime convention that began in 2006 to promote Japanese art, animation, and culture as well as science fiction and fantasy literature, and films of all origins. This three-day event includes special guests such as John de Lancie (Star Trek, My Little Pony) and Richard Epcar (Bleach, Naruto, Lucky Star), and music by The Slants (first all-Asian-American rock band).
If you’re new to anime conventions, don’t be surprised by the outrageous costumes. Everything from full-body paints to ten-foot monsters—all are inspired by the anime these “cosplayers” love. (I once shook hands with the notebook from Deathnote–an awkward interaction to say the least.) Also adding to the atmosphere are the games, of course. You’ll find people everywhere playing card games, arcades, and video games throughout the weekend.
Whenever I have free time at an anime convention-usually when I’m waiting for something else to start-I like dropping by the anime viewings to watch some of my favorite shows on the big screen. Some are dubbed, some are subbed, so no matter what your preference, all can enjoy.
Where I spend most of my time though is with the panels. The panels are pretty cool. Let’s face it, it’s always pretty cool when you can chitchat with someone in the industry. And many times there’s a Q and A and signing afterwards. (Just don’t forget to bring something for your celebrity to sign!)
But in general, it’s the anime convention crowd that I enjoy the most. They’re a friendly bunch-passionate about all things anime and all things Japan. Just like me. Hope to see you there in March!