Akai-Con In Nashville Off to A Good Start
Nashville, TN – Akai in Japanese can be roughly translated as “Red,” as in the autumn colors or as “Love Song.” Last weekend in Nashville, the Otaku community saw the launch of a new Autumn Love Song to Japanese Anime and culture appropriately named Akai-Con. This brand new Anime Festival/Convention was held at the Millenium Maxwell House Hotel on October 11-13, 2013, and welcomed over 600 anime fans to Music City. “We were so thrilled with the turnout,” said Akai-Con Chairman Devin Adkins,”With any first year effort it’s hard to know what to expect, but these crowds were excited and enjoying themselves thoroughly.”
In every category the convention was a success. Akai-Con provided a wide variety of activities including gaming, over 200 hours of programming, five musical acts, and a number of guests from Anime and the Convention Community. A game room provided tabletop gaming and and an extensive array of Using nearly every square foot of convention space. Programming included diverse topics as classic anime, Homestuck, My Little Ponies, and even geek lifestyle panels. Vending was provided in a dealers room where attendees could buy anime and general pop culture gear.
Music from local acts Professor Shyguy and The Manpower played every evening to dancing and appreciative fans. Other musical acts rounding up the event were Project: Leviathan, The Eric Stuart Band, and K-Pop specialst Chris Davis. Guest of Honor Tiffany Grant, from the seminal anime NeoGenesis Evangelion lead the field of voice actor guests. Joining Ms Grant were Eric Stuart (Pokemon), Josh Grelle (Kenichi), Lauren Lamda (Madoka Magica), and photographer Chase Lawrence (Affliction Cosplay Photography).
Devin Adkins, himself only twenty-one, represents a new generation of convention leadership who grew up going to conventions and actively involved in costume play or “cosplay.” The volunteer crew were a stand out for a new convention. Consisting of many veterans of conventions in the Southeast, the young but dedicated staff of volunteers managed to organize a solid show that delivered entertainment. Said Adkins, “we had experience that ranged from local conventions to large theme parks. In the end the whole gang delivered to put together a great event.”
Preparations are already underway for Akai-Con 2014. The convention is looking to expand on it success and projects significant increase in both activities and attendance next year. There will be opportunity for vending, panel participation, musical acts, and guests. Watch the website for future announcements. (http://akai-con.webs.com/) Reporters interested in covering the event should contact the convention chairman.