Hey cool cats! Jake Flo here, haven’t been around in a bit due to life bein life, but alas here I am fam! A couple weeks ago I managed to make a trip over to Bowling Green, Ohio to hit up Animarathon 2017! This was year 15 for this local convention but only the 3rd year I have attended but let me tell you, just in the last three years, the amount of growth this con has seen is immense. More attendees, More panels, bigger guests, a better merch room and its organization just keeps getting better.
Animarathon takes place every year on the Bowling Green State University campus in the students union. Compared to a lot of other conventions, this one would probably be considered a bit of a smaller sized one but thats where a lot of the charm comes from. They have Cosplay Competition, live bands playing video game musics, a manga library, a videogame room, tabletop games, a retrocade, a cute maid cafe, a raffle where they gave away a Nintendo Switch and even a neato rave at the end of the night!
This years coolest addition in my opinion would be the Retrocade. Pretty much every console new to old set up in a single room with a sizable library to choose from and they even had a lot of these games for sale! They even had a Sega CDI with a few games but of course everyone just wanted to play the infamous Legend of Zelda CDI games when they got the chance.
Abundant with talented cosplayers, amateur to professional all looking to socialize and show off their hard work put into their costumes. I went as Steven Universe and played my ukulele for people here and there.
Some of the special guests included voice actor Ben Diskin who has voiced various characters from Codename Kids Next Door, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sailor Moon, Naruto, Kingdom Hearts and Fire Emblems series. Dirk Manning, creator of the comic book series Nightmare World and Tales of Mr. Rhee was there showcasing his works and providing advice about breaking into the comic industry.
The whole day was packed full with panels for all ages such as “Kimono 101”, Cosplay Intro courses, “So You Want To Work In Japan” and even some 18+ panels like “Waifuism and You,” “The Ins and Outs of Yaoi,” and “Shrekology: The Science Behind Shrek.” There were Japanese Club and Gaming Society meetings along with taiko drum performers.
I had loads of fun at Animarathon as I usually do and Im super excited to see whats in store for next year! I grabbed me a couple chubbo Magikarp plushies in the merch room and met a bunch of cool people! Ima try to make it to more cons this year and get better at taking pictures and stuff!