One experience I haven’t been able to check on my secret bucket list is going to an anime convention dressed in costume. I’ve been to the gaming portion of SXSW in Austin, which features a bit of cosplay, but the sub-conference doesn’t come close to being immersed in anime culture.
The 2017 Anime Matsuri Japanese Culture Convention attracted hundreds of cosplayers and anime admires to Houston for the weekend — some from as far away as Hungary, and of course, Japan!
Flaunting unique costumes, elaborate props and colorful wigs, attendees flooded the George R. Brown Convention Center to experience the event’s 250,000 square-foot showroom featuring popular manga comic books, anime-themed video games, figurines, trading cards, Japanese fashions and also decorated cars.
A friend and I was able to catch up with a few Anime Matsuri guest and ask them about their costumes and props, most of which are do-it-yourself projects. One cosplayer we talked to spent nearly four days crafting a giant — and we mean HUGE — syringe for her costume, and another showed us how his costume spits fire whenever he snaps his fingers.
The convention attracts both professionals and amateurs, and most said Anime Matsuri is one of their favorite annual anime events and one of the largest they’ve ever been too.
The attractions offer more than pop-up tents and vendors. Anime Matsuri also includes photography sets, arcade gaming, Live Action Role Playing, special guest and a fashion show the latest in Japanese fashion.
While popular anime and American cartoon characters were abundant, some guest rocked their own designs and characters names.
I was covering an event at the Marriott Marquise, which is connected to the GRB, and was able to take pictures crossing over to the convention center via the crosswalk. Hopefully, I’ll be to join in the fun firsthand next year.