Eastern Michigan University was well-represented at Youmacon 2014, an anime and manga convention held annually at the Renaissance Center and Cobo Hall in Detroit.
“Why dress up for one day, when you can dress up all weekend long?” said Adam Kavetsky, a graduate student at EMU who attended Youmacon 2014 for the first time.
Several members of various student organizations were in attendance. Brandon Prater, the president of Coup de Gras, a videogame club at EMU, and several other members of the club donned their costumes to panels and photo shoots throughout the day.
With a combination of Japanese pop culture, engaging events, popular guests of honor and informative panels, Youmacon has quickly become one of the state’s largest anime conventions. Last year, over 14,000 attendees made their way to the Renaissance Center and Cobo Hall.
Youmacon has become a destination for cosplayers. Cosplayers are those who excel in the art of dressing up as characters from a movie, book or television series and bringing them to life. The sheer variety of costumes at this year’s Youmacon assured that fans of just about anything would get to see at least one of their favorite characters.
Various panels throughout the weekend allowed con-goers to interact with special guests, learn about various pop culture fandoms, and play games with other attendees.
“Youmacon is a cultural event with animation and literature all around you and some of the best artists,” said Lily DeRamos, an EMU student who cosplayed that weekend as Inara from the television series “Firefly.”
There were also rave dances and a concert on Friday night that packed the Main Events ballroom to capacity. The concert proved to be the most anticipated event of the weekend as the popular steampunk band known as Steam Powered Giraffe was the headline act.
In essence, Youmacon is a place where everyone can come together and enjoy themselves regardless of fandoms or cosplay skills. All weekend long, attendees were traveling between the Renaissance Center and Cobo to shop in the dealer’s hall, go to their favorite panels and spend time with friends. Needless to say, students who attend EMU should definitely give this convention a try next year.
Youmacon 2015 will be held once again in the Renaissance Center and Cobo Hall Oct. 29 through Nov. 1.