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More than just Pokémon: Plenty to celebrate at Anime Banzai
Oct 16, 2013 | 1448 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A COSPLAYER from a previous Anime Banzai convention.
A COSPLAYER from a previous Anime Banzai convention.
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BY JENNIFFER WARDELL

Associate Editor

LAYTON – Get ready to watch animation come alive.

Anime Banzai, a convention celebrating Japanese-style animation, video games, is coming to the Davis Conference Center Oct. 18-20. Voice artists from shows such as “Pokémon,” and “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” will be on hand, and panels will discuss everything from the video game “Metal Gear” to webcomics.

“At our convention, there is something for everyone,” said Kennedy Reiter, head of advertising for the convention. “Whether its panels, dances, events, guests or something else, there is something that everyone can enjoy.”

The convention originally started in Salt Lake several years ago with what Reiter describes as “about 20 people in attendance.” It later moved to the Davis Conference Center in 2010 to accommodate its ever-increasing size, and hasn’t stopped growing.

“This year we are expecting just shy of 5,000 people to attend the convention,” she said. “It has grown to include hundreds of activities, esteemed guests, and hundreds of man hours going into the set up and running of the convention,” he said.

Several of the featured guests are voice actors, many of whom have done work for both well-known anime series and video games. A small sampling of the lineup includes Christopher Robin Miller (“Professor Layton”), Jamie McGonnigal (Barry on “Pokémon,” among others), and Laura Post (“League of Legends,” among others).

Some of the voiceover actors will host panels at the convention, focusing on everything from creating character voices to how to break into the field. Other animation-related panels focus on disabilities in anime and manga, fan myths and theories, and the history of “Gundam.” There is also anime roulette, anime Jeapordy, and an open discussion called “Anime That Scarred Me For Life.”

For those who want to do their own creating, there are also workshops and panels for artists, writers and those looking to make their own cosplay costumes. Other discussions focus on Japanese culture, including Japanese ghosts and Batman’s history in Japan.

If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, the convention also has a massive list of activities ranging from karaoke to a dating game. There will also be a formal dance and an interactive “Doctor Who”-themed mystery.

No matter what you’re interested in, Reiter recommends getting to the convention center early.

“The line to get into the convention can get really long sometimes, even if there is something going on outside,” she said.

She also suggests having some cash on hand, since the artists and dealers who will have tables set up are often only equipped to take cash.

“There will be so much to look at,” she said.

Registration, which can be done at the door, costs between $15 and $30 for one day or $40 for the entire weekend.

For a complete list of panels and activities, visit animebanzai.org.

“I want everyone to have fun,” said Reiter. “That’s what the convention is really about – being able to have fun and celebrating the anime culture.”

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