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Pokemon Go highlights Edmonton Animethon

By Cynthia Kwan, August 12 2016 —

The 23rd annual Animethon at MacEwan University in Edmonton came to a close this past weekend. The longest running anime convention in Canada attracted many fans this year, as colourful cosplayers filled the campus.

The Pokemon Go trend was an influential aspect of this year’s convention, with staff members setting up lures at the eight Pokestops on the campus throughout the convention. Cosplayers also jumped on the trend with many dressed as avatars from the game and Pokemon themselves.

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“I think it has been great at getting people going out, moving from the living room to outside, as well as getting people to socialize with each other. I think it has created a great community,” says Eleanor Chen, who cosplayed as a Pokestop from the game.

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Japanese model Akira specializes in Dansou fashion — also known as “Boy’s Style” — and has graced the cover of Japanese magazines KERA and KERA BOKU. She says her rise in the style wasn’t easy.

“At the beginning it was difficult. I was a professional model for a long time. But as a KERA model, the style and posing is quite difficult. So I had to relearn by reading KERA magazines a lot,” she says.

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This year at Animethon, Akira featured at the Japanese Lolita Fashion Show to promote Lolita, Dansou and Ouji fashion.

“Compared to Japan, the Dansou fashion isn’t really spread out in North America,” Akira says. “I think it will be more difficult to spread it [here]. But Ouji fashion is easier to understand, so it might be [more popular].”

Other guests included Japanese band Another Story, internet sensation LadyBeard, DJ Lotus Juice and international cosplayer Misa Chiang. All concerts were free to the convention’s attendees along with photos, autographs, and Q&A sessions with guests.   

Andy Smith, who took to the convention in a Deadpool samurai outfit, says conventions such as Animethon bring like-minded individuals together.

“[The best thing about Animethon is] going around and meeting with people I haven’t seen in a year, really just going around talking to and meeting new people,” he says.

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Akira says bringing culture from overseas is an important aspect of Animethon.

“The most enjoyable part is meeting so many different people. It seems like the distance isn’t there and I was able to talk to a lot of people,” Akira says.

The convention will return in August 2017. Taste of Animethon, a mini-convention, will take place in January.

For more information, visit animethon.org

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