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AniMinneapolis brings anime characters to the fans

Anime Voice Actor David Vincent
Anime Voice Actor David Vincent
AniMinneapolis

AniMinneapolis

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This past weekend over 3,500 fans of Japanese animation, arts, and culture gathered together for what is the second largest anime convention to happen annually in Minneapolis.

AniMinneapolis is an exhibition of "anime," a term that applies exclusively to Japanese animation. At this weekend-long event, participants dress up in cosplay costumes; some do it for fun while others compete for prizes in a Masquerade contest. More than half of all of these 3,000 unique individuals attending wore a costume to the event. Cosplayers included everything from Alcoholic Luigi to Aeris from Final Fantasy VII.

The largest draw, besides costumes, for the weekend's attendees were the featured guests. AniMinneapolis brings anime characters to life by inviting the voice actors who play some of these popular characters to sign autographs - free - and take photos with fans.

Among these guests were David Vincent, who plays one of the most popular characters on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim's Bleach, and Eric Stuart who played Brock on Pokemon. Each guest appeared in Q&A sessions, where they answered fan's questions about their favorite parts of each show and retold stories of voice acting behind the scenes.

Another convention feature included a huge concert held every evening. The first night featured Steam Powered Giraffe who performed to a packed audience of nearly 2,000 people. Saturday's concert included a hodgepodge of performers including girl-rockband Fuzzy Machette, nerdcore performers YTCracker and Doc Awkward, and metal band V is for Villains.

In addition to these main events, the convention played host to dozens of panelists who spoke on subjects ranging from terrible Hentai to their favorite shows.

Overall the entire weekend was filled with events and costumes. Everyone attending likely had an experience to be remembered for a long time.