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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Con draws costumed Aggies

 
 

More than 20,000 attendees packed the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston Friday through Sunday for Anime Matsuri 2014, an annual three-day anime convention featuring fan panels, celebrity guests and merchandise galore.
Several Aggies attended, including Spring Garcia, freshman biomedical sciences major, who said the event is a personal tradition.
“Anime Matsuri 2011 was my first con,” Garcia said. “Matsuri is my baby and it’s tradition to come every year.”
Garcia said she went to meet one of the featured celebrity guests, Reika, a famous Japanese cosplayer.
“It was a very astounding experience,” Garcia said. “She’s internationally and Internet famous and making her U.S. debut at Matsuri, so I was flabbergasted coming out of the autograph session with her.”
For some, the event was their first-ever convention, including Peter Hutchings, sophomore political science major, who attended as part of a ‘Star Wars’ cosplay group with his fellow Corps of Cadets members.
“This is my first con and so far so good,” Hutchings said. “I like all the people dressed in costumes and the atmosphere. We’re getting more attention in our cosplays than in our Corps uniforms.”
Hutchings and his group, which included sophomore general studies major, Juan Santibanez; sophomore landscape architecture major, Francisco Campos; and sophomore industrial distribution major, Nash Levan, said they were fairly popular with convention-goers.
“It got to where sometimes it took half an hour to get upstairs because everyone wanted to get pictures with us,” Campos said.
Santibanez said the group chose ‘Star Wars’ because they were all fans and thought it would be a fun experience.
“We ended up watching all six episodes after early badge pickup,” Santibanez said.
Conventions are nothing new for Santibanez and Levan, but for the rest of the group the convention was their first experience with Anime Matsuri.
“I went to Ottacon back in Baltimore, Md., and I kind of expected Matsuri to be the same,” Levan said. “The setup is the same.”
Levan said he didn’t attend Matsuri for the panels. Instead, he was mainly there for the cosplays.
“We’ve had little kids coming up and asking to hold our lightsabers and to see Darth Vader,” Levan said.
The convention was not without its problems, however.
Andy Brown, junior history major, said he was disappointed by the cancellations, delays and postponements of panels.
Garcia said she found Matsuri to be very disorganized this year, but what she was most upset about was Matsuri’s decision to make one-day passes unavailable.
“It’s a big disadvantage to people,” Garcia said. “My high school friends were really upset that they couldn’t buy a one-day pass and had to spend $65 to get in.”
Brown said he still enjoyed Matsuri and that the best experience for him was meeting the celebrity guests.
“The best part was being able to meet and get a picture with Caitlin Glass,” Brown said. “She’s one of my all-time favorite voice actresses.”
Agatha Molski, sophomore biomedical sciences major, was a participant of the “This Panel is Supernatural” fan panel on Saturday, answering questions as the angel Castiel.
“It was a lot of fun,” Molski said. “I got a lot more questions than I expected, but it went well and people laughed like I was hoping for, so it all went smoothly.”

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