By Micheál O’Brien
Anime and Manga, Japan’s distinctive traditions of animation and comic books, were celebrated in NUI Galway last weekend.
Akumakon, the West of Ireland’s largest convention for Japanese culture took place from 16-19 January in Áras na Mac Léinn.
Organised by the Anime and Manga society in the college, the convention boasted over 800 attendees and events which ran daily from 10am to 10pm such as screenings, signings, video game tournaments, workshops, a cosplay contest, Japanese and nerd culture-related events, a pub quiz and special guests.
The special guests in question were Yutaka Yamamoto, the founder and director of Studio Ordet which also produced Fractale, an anime series set in 22nd Century Ireland and used familiar Galway landmarks as a setting for a number of episodes.
He gave a talk on the Saturday on how the animation industry works in Japan and how Galway inspired his work in general.
Another special guest was Patrick Seitz, a prolific Voice Actor, Script Writer and Director from California who has worked in the anime and gaming industries in America for almost 15 years. He has voiced characters in several animes like One Piece, Bleach, Attack on Titan, Naruto and video games World of Warcraft, League of Legends and Mortal Kombat.
Also in attendance were Spike Spencer (Evangelion, Bleach,Vampire Knight, Durarara!, Nura) and Cosplay star Giada Robin from Italy who judged the cosplay competitions.
Public Relations Officer of the convention, Conor Roberts said that “the weekend was absolutely brilliant. We had more attendance than any other year, which is amazing. People had a great time, meeting the guests and going to panels, and the atmosphere was really down to earth and relaxed. We were really happy with how the weekend went in general”
Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to Jigsaw Galway, a free, non-judgmental and confidential support service for young people (15-25) in Galway city and county.
Image courtesy of Google Images