In 2003, about 100 people went to Santa Clara University to attend a fledgling anime convention known among its fans and attendees as AOD. Ten years later, Animation on Display stands the test of time as plenty of attendees plan to attend this convention celebrating anime, cartoons, cosplay, music, and various other elements of geek culture this weekend on February 16-17.
Held at the Hotel Kabuki located in San Francisco’s Japantown, Animation on Display is an anime convention that is more than just anime. Guests of Honor for this convention span various of animation such as “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” voice actresses Christine Marie Cabanos (Kaname) & Cristina Vee (Akemi) as well as “League of Legends” voice actors Erik Braa (Draven and Jax) & Adam Harrington (Shaco, Mordekaiser, Ryze, Karthus, and Kassadin). Talented writing guests include film & television writer Eric Rogers (“The Simpsons” comics and “Futurama”) and script writer Ken Pontac (“Happy Tree Friends” and “Octonauts). Artist guests include “The Lounge” webcomic creator John Noseco and PMBQ. The full guest list can be found on the Animation on Display site.
Music is an entertaining element of conventions and geek culture and Animation on Display has several musicians ready to perform this weekend such as Team Hideo performing Hideo: Counterpoint as a continuation to AOD 2012’s Hideo: Overture. Video game musical group Random Encounters will have a couple panels discussing how games are great musicals as well as turning a video game into a music video. Energetic dance performers include Mari Watanabe’s AnimeMyu, IDOLM@STER Agel Hearts, and Ti@Mi. There will be a Vocaloid animation concert courtesy of Vocalekt Visions. And anyone wanting to try their singing talent can do karaoke Sautraday night.
Guests and fans alike will host various panels focusing on their work, hobby, and fandom this weekend. Some are fun little get-togethers where attendees can meet fellow fans of a subject and discuss it among themselves—occasionally with the creators or talent of said subject—like the Pleasant Interlude with “Happy Tree Friends” featuring Ken Pontac & Warren Graff or Art Hour with PMBQ. Some are educational like going From Fan to Pro with Steven Savage. And some are informative that cover topics like cosplay photography and fabric for cosplay.
Speaking of cosplay, no anime convention is complete without cosplayers showing off their costumes based on their favorite characters of video games, animation, or geek culture. In addition to the Masquerade, the streets of San Francisco’s Japantown will be a bit more colorful and fashionable—and crowded from the number of attendees.
While enjoying this weekend at Animation on Display, make sure to take in some of the restaurants and shops of San Francisco’s Japantown. Highly recommended is the Suzu Noodle House but the place gets bloody crowded—a sign of good ramen. Daiso is great for cheap Japanese goods. And don’t forget to get taiyaki at May’s Coffee Shop for a sweet treat.
Registration for the full weekend is only $35. Saturday and Sunday only passes are available as well. So for a good time among fellow fans of animation, cosplay, and geek culture in San Francisco, visit Japantown and hit Animation on Display.