In the upcoming weeks a large convention known as Animazement is coming to Raleigh, North Carolina. From Thursday May 26 at 6 p.m. to Sunday May 28 at 5 p.m. Animazement will be at the Raleigh Convention Center. This particular convention has been around since 1997, when they originated by hosting a 36-hour anime marathon. Since then, the convention has grown and developed into a large event which celebrates Japanese visual culture. The convention tends to attract an array of cosplayers from numerous genres and fandoms such as Kill la Kill, Bleach, RWBY, and Attack on Titan amongst countless others.
As the name suggests, Animazement has a strong focus on anime. Anime is a style of Japanese film and television animation which can be intended for children, adults, or both. The convention is run by a collection of fans, and volunteers as well as there being organized events, and panels throughout all four days. The events and activities range from video games to martial arts, with anime, J-pop, traditional food, a dozen other things in between and there is always at least one location where anime is playing throughout the entire duration of the convention.
Every year Animazement brings in an array of impressive guests, and this year the lineup is exceptional. Voice actors such as Linda Young from Dragon Ball Z, Kira Buckland from Blue Exorcist, Eric Vale from Dragon Ball Z, and Hiroaki Hirata from One Piece will be attending, as well as cosplayers such as Yukari Shimotuki, Jez Roth, and Avianna. Keep in mind that while I listed one of each of the voice actors’ roles, they each are incredibly talented with countless other roles and accomplishments. Some of the musical talent attending is the band Noiz, a techno band with a reputation as beneficial to the community and peace oriented, Mari Iijima, an accomplished Japanese singer with 10 albums released in Japan, and Diana Garnet, a versatile singer and voice actress.
The dealer’s room and artist’s alley are another large draw for Animazement. The dealer’s room is a market full of anime, video game, and Japanese goods. The artist’s alley is where artists, and studios, sell their work and wares, which are non-professional and made without being mass-produced. Artwork, hand-crafted items and many other incredible wares populate the alley while many of the artists work on commission, meaning that if they don’t have exactly what you want, you can pay them to make or modify something to your specifications. To enter the artist alley, dealer’s room, or any of the events or panels however, a pass must be purchased at the door if one hasn’t already been purchased online. Prices vary by day, ranging from $25 to $65.
The convention is one preferred by anime fans, and as such is comparable to conventions such as Ichiban rather than Heroes Con. However, it is a fun convention with much to do and it is one of the largest in the area. If you have only attended a small convention, or two, before and want a fun, party-oriented convention I recommend attending Animazement. It has a lot to offer, and tends to draw in a very sizable crowd. It is a well-run convention, and often considered a fan favorite by frequent con-goers. It is not as suited for those without any knowledge of anime, or Japanese culture, and Animazement is not for everyone. Keep that in mind before making the decision to pass or to attend. Also keep in mind that Animazement tends to be a very loud, crowded environment, and it does not end until 2 a.m. on friday and saturday. All in all, Animazement is one of the better conventions that Raleigh and the surrounding areas has to offer.