The sounds of karaoke singers, all dressed in anime attire, replaced the UC Sunday humdrum for the second annual Miami Hurricon led by the Anime Club.
“There are people who have come as far as Gainesville,” said Ashu Joshi, the president of the Anime Club.
Hurricon celebrated the Japanese cultural art form anime, which has been made popular through graphic novels and television shows. Well-known anime includes Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Fans of other cultural staples like BBC’s “Doctor Who” attended as well.
A main experience of Hurricon is “cosplay,” in which attendees dress as their favorite characters and participate in a costume contest. Freshman Matias Stanham was dressed as Ash Ketchum, the main character from the Pokemon series.
“It was the easiest costume to put together and what I could borrow from my friends,” he said. “I went to the Pokemon trivia for the experience.”
Other events included a video game room in the iLounge, where gamers put their Nintendo and PlayStation skills to the test, and various vendors selling original crafts and fan-gear.
Angie Bousalis, the former president of the Anime Club, ran a booth and was excited to see how this year’s executive board carried out the event she helped found.
“They are much more efficient this year and fixed last year’s problems like registration flow,” she said. “And we sold quite a bit last year.”
Last year, 600 participants attended and increased to this year’s estimated 1,000 costumed fans, Joshi said. The preparation for Hurricon begins at the onset of the spring semester and involves finding sponsorships to donate prizes and provide support, finding speakers in the community to talk about trends in anime, and acquiring sources of funding.
Rachelle Mariano, the club’s treasurer, prepared the budget and was grateful for the help that the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee (SAFAC) and Florida Supercon gave.
“We received over $1,000 from SAFAC, which helped us,” Mariano said. “And Florida Supercon has a been a major support.”
Mariano believes that Hurricon’s appeal is that it is an entirely student-run event and for no profit.
“We put our heart and soul into it,” she said.