On Saturday, costumed Canes reveled in Japanese culture, food and music at the Anime Club’s first Hurricon, a convention that focused on anime, manga, and video games.
Anime is short for animation and refers to a specific style of television cartoons that originated in Japan. Manga refers to comic books that also have Japanese origins.
The event featured live music, karaoke, vendors, video game competitions, card game tournaments, panel sessions and cosplay contests. The convention was free and open to the public. Approximately 700 people attended.
Many of them dressed up in costume, which is called cosplaying.
Cosplay is short for costume play and refers to dressing up as a specific character or idea from anime or manga. Most are intricate and handmade.
“Our guiding principle is to spread awareness of anime,” said senior Angela Bousalis, the president of Anime Club. “As a club, we wanted to fight this aversion to our hobbies, like anime and video games.”
Throughout the afternoon, different bands took turns playing video game songs and opening numbers of anime.
On the Rock, students had set up a maid café, where girls dressed up in French maid outfits and served baked goods. These cafes are popular in Japan.
“These lovely little girls in maid outfits come to you and give you tea, hot chocolate and cupcakes,” said junior Jonthan Bulgini, who attended the event. “It’s a kind of fetish.”
Attendees also dined on food from Lan on the Go, an Asian food truck.
The panel sessions were one of the highlight of the convention.
“We’re trying to provide our students with was to express themselves, like most of our panels are student-led,” Bousalis said.
One session played a series of opening numbers of different anime.
Another discussed the evolution of Japanese fashion.
“We went through all the different styles of Japanese street fashion like Gothic Lolita and Mori-girl,” said junior Sophie Trautschold, a speaker on the panel.
Gothic Lolita is a style of fashion that features Victorian clothing in dark colors with religiously inspired accessories.
Mori-girl is another style that focuses on earthy colors with loose, vintage clothing and quaint accessories.
Another panel featured Martin Billany, also known by his screename Little Kuriboh. Billany is the creator of the YouTube sensation, YuGi-Oh Abridged Series, which parodies the YuGi-Oh anime.
The parody puts together clips from the original anime but instead of the original dialogue, Billany uses his own voice to provide most of the dialogue.
He has created 188 videos and amassed more than 90 millions views.
“He spoke about his experience as a quite famous YouTube series creator and how he’s gone in to listen to panels on his show and fans within the crowd recognized him,” said junior Carlos Barrientos, who attended the panel. “I think he’s super awesome.”
Other organizations also participated in the event. The Video Game Club hosted a video game tournament and the UHack hosted a panel on how to create an application for a phone.
For next year, incoming Anime Club president Ashu Joshi hopes to attract more participants.
“I just want to be more proactive in bringing vendors and have a more guerrilla ad campaign,” he said.
Daniel Cepero contributed to this report.
To Get Involved
What: UM Anime Club’s weekly meeting
Where: LC Room 194
When: Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit umanime.comule.com