What is Kumoricon?
Samurai fighting to the modern beats of American hip hop music; a notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written within it; old jazz and martial arts in space, in a future not so far off from our own. What am I talking about? Japanese animation, of course, better known as anime. In the last several decades, more and more Americans have been falling in love with anime and the reasons why are clear—anime can make the ordinary extraordinary in a way that few other mediums ever have.
Ever since Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, we’ve been fascinated with Japanese culture; now in anime we can delve into that rich culture again through the eyes of some of the most creative minds in Japan. Anime is not just about cartoons. They can have plots as complex as Hamlet or as ridiculous as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and they can be intended for everyone from children to exclusively adults. Anime is undoubtedly an incredibly diverse medium, with something different for everyone.
Kumoricon 2007 is your opportunity to come and explore the exciting world of Japanese animation, comics, and culture with the people who love it the most. Aptly named kumori, meaning “cloudy”, Kumoricon is the Portland metro area’s one and only anime convention. There you will find a constant stream of panels, workshops, competitions, and performances all while enjoying a friendly, enthusiastic atmosphere. You’ll also see a wide variety of costumes worn by dedicated fans known as cosplayers (short for costume players). There are always video rooms open where you can watch anime, and a gaming room where you can come and play video games, with everything from the classics to the newest releases. And, of course, there’s the dealers’ room where you can buy anything from comic books to kimono.
Some of the main events include the karaoke contest, the cosplay contest where fans who have made their own costumes perform skits on stage, the anime music video (AMV) contest where fans create short music videos using clips from anime, video game tournaments, and much more. The convention also invites guests of honor, usually well-known anime voice actors or producers, comic artists, or the like who hold panels in which they discuss their work and answer questions from fans. And there are a number of workshops for those interested in learning more about Japanese culture and anime, how to make costumes, create fan stories or art and much more.
One of the biggest attractions of conventions is the fans themselves. Kumoricon is our chance to get together in a fun, laid-back atmosphere and enjoy each other’s company. This is a great way to make new friends, meet people from all over the Northwest and even the world. Beyond just striking up conversation in the halls, there are a number of social events, such as the dance, where you can have fun with old friends or meet new people. This is a community that embraces creativity and innovation and everywhere you look you’ll find freedom of expression. By the convention’s third day, you’ll feel as though you’re part of one big, eccentric family.
Whether you’re new to anime or a diehard otaku (a word used to describe only the craziest and most obsessed of fans), you’re welcome here. Whether you come for one day or all three, remember: this is your convention. What you’ll take away from this experience are priceless memories, friendship, good times and, of course, at least a year’s savings worth of anime and comics. But some things are just worth it.
Article by Maura Lydon, winner of the information page contest.
Kumoricon 2007 will be held on the Labor Day weekend of September 1-3 at the Vancouver Hilton and Convention Center, Vancouver, WA. Registration is available at the door.
Please visit the links on the left for more information on registration, the hotel, events, and contests. Join us for a fun-filled three-day weekend to celebrate all aspects of anime—by fans, for fans!
Please visit our contact page if you have further questions.