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In Milwaukee Buzz

An Anime Milwaukee Convention goer dressed as Asuke from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Photo by Michael Mol

In Milwaukee Buzz

Mother and Son, Naruto Uzumaki and Kakashi Hatake from Naruto. Photo by Michael Mol.

In Milwaukee Buzz

A crew of festival goers get into character as Bridget from Guilty Gear, and Black Mage, Monk, female Thief, male Thief from Final Fantasy Tactics.

Anime Milwaukee Convention returns, doubles attendance

When you think of anime you might instantly think of the Pokemon phenomenon that is popular with children these days, but the world of anime is so much larger, deeper and diverse with ninjas, magic, demons, steam technology, cute animals, fantastic worlds, big eyes and even bigger hair.

The Anime Milwaukee Convention, Wisconsin's largest anime gathering, is returning for a fifth year to prove that with a three day celebration of Japanese comic culture. The event will be held February 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Frontier Airlines Center and will focus on Anime that is, Japanese animation Japanese comic books (called manga), plus video games fashion and many other aspect of the East Asian culture.

Special guests will include popular anime voices such as Spike Spencer, Monica Rial, Christopher L. Cason, and subculture clowns like the nostalgic movie reviewer Doug Walker and comedian and master of ceremonies, Uncle Yo. The event promises to have informative guest panels, a charity character auction, cosplay contests, Lolita fashion shows, table top gaming, an all night rave and video game room.

And of course what kind of anime convention would be complete without cosplay? Attendees can create and wear costumes of their favorite characters to the event for some added fun. There will be a cosplay contest to see who has created the best costume, a Lolita fashion show, a photo-op area with a free professional cosplay photography booth and photoshoot meetups. So if you and your friends are one Cowboy short of a Bebop you still have an opportunity to find your match.

Anime Milwaukee has proven to be popular as attendance has doubled every year since its inception five years ago; this year is no exception. With some 4,000 fans anticipated to descend upon the city the convention had to be moved off of the UWM campus and into the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Frontier Airlines Center. A representative of the convention, Crystal Hampton, is pleased: ìThis will allow us to run programing for 24 hours, which is great for areas that stay open all night, such as the video game, table-top, and video viewing rooms.î Also new: a children's programming room, open each day and run by parents.

Spike Spencer, Monica Rial and Christopher L. Cason comprise the event's voice talent. You wouldn't recognize them in the streets, but their voices would be unmistakable. They can be heard in hundreds of English language anime including Evangelion, Vampire Knight, Bleach, Full Metal Panic, Full Metal Alchemist, Crayon Shinchan, Dragon Ball Z Kai, and School Rumble, among, many, many others. Rial and Cason are also script writers.

Doug Walker is best known for this character, The Nostalgia Critic, who has reviewed nearly 200 bad television shows and movies from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Jingle All the Way to the Batman and Robin trailer (not the movie...the trailer). Uncle Yo is more of a renaissance nerd who will be leading panel discussions with geek oriented stand-up and a giant 20-sided die.

And if that's still not enough for you, Anime Milwaukee presents an additional tier of access: VIP. Attendees have responded positively to the VIP registration, Hanson said. VIP badges grant the attendee special access to main events, autograph sessions, the latest t-shirt, and a VIP lounge.

With all of the action, colors and comic books it will be tough to find a boring moment at the Anime Milwaukee Convention.


hifilofi | Feb. 15, 2011 at 10:15 a.m. (report)


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