|Photo by Sarah Hayes / Forum|
By Sara Hayes of The Forum
Local anime convention in Illinois returns to do what it does best: entertain and be strange.
During summer break, while most students were busy enjoying not having classes, local anime fans took to the convention center in Collinsville, IL as the anime convention, known as Natsucon, celebrated its fourth year running in the Midwest. This event, which ran during the weekend of August 10 - 12, featured a variety of events and informational panels for the discerning otaku - a person who enjoys Japanese animation and popular culture. Most of Natsucon's attendees were in costume, as it is often the custom at conventions to dress up as one's favorite fictional character (or even a popular Internet meme, judging by all the Nyancats spotted during the weekend).
For those who attended the full Natsucon weekend, there were a variety of things to see and do. The vendors' room - where shops set up booths to sell otaku-related goods - was bigger than ever, as was the gaming room where multiple game systems were set up for free use by anyone with a Natsucon badge. The guests of honor, anime voice actors Brina Palencia and Micah Solusod kept the crowd entertained during their multiple panels on their careers and the roles they've played. Returning guests Samurai Dan and Jillian held demonstrations on how to accurately swing a samurai sword, while The Nerdfit Network's quirky brand of humor kept attendees laughing all three days.
Natsucon is scheduled to return in 2013, although their exact location and dates have yet to be officially confirmed. Interested parties can inquire about their next event at the Natsucon website, www.natsucon.org, or at their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NatsuCon.