Pasco News

Fans to converge on anime-manga convention

Japanese art and entertainment is popular in the United States, especially the animated shows called “anime” and the graphic novels called “manga.” A local convention this weekend will showcase the creativity and background of both art forms.

Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, in conjunction with the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Center, will draw fans far and wide to the 2014 Library Anime and Manga Enthusiasts Convention, or LAMECon.

In its sixth year, LAMECon is a two-day anime convention that celebrates Japanese animation with free admission.

More than 700 people attended LameCon 2014, and the committee hopes to break 1,000 this year.

“We are trying to make it the biggest, free anime convention in the state,” said Paul Stonebridge, the teens services manager at Land O’ Lakes Branch Library.

Stonebridge said the event teaches creative teen volunteers and attendants the skills such as how to market their own art and how to organize and lead events similar to LAMECon.

Christian Powers, 17, is a three-year LAMECon veteran. “I’ve learned about new anime,” he said, adding his favorite part of LAMECon is the panel rooms.

The convention will have more than 20 panels, 10 vendors, 14 artists, a Maid Café, a foam sword pit, a video-game room, a silent auction, anime trivia, and more.

One of the most popular features at LAMECon is the cosplay costume contest, where the attendants dress up and perform as their favorite manga and anime characters.

On Saturday night, LAMECon kicks off with a festival dance. The attendants hit the dance floor to J-Pop and K-Pop, which is Japanese and Korean pop music. Costumes are also encouraged, even though they are not required. The dance will be 7-10 p.m. at the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes.

Sunday is convention day that showcases a variety of artists, vendors, and panels that focus on Japanese animation. The convention will take place from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Center, 3032 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes.

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