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In the past seven years, Lansing has shown that not only has trees bloomed or snow melted in the spring, but also thousands of anime lovers strolled through the city’s waterfront – awesome or angry, bewildered onlookers By.

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“We went to the local university and said ‘We are working on an animation conference. You should come!’ We expect to have about 300 people, and we ended up with 1300,” said Stefanie Shall, founder of Shuto Con, reviewing the convention in 2011. Debut of the year. Lansing’s eighth annual Shuto Con opened at the Lansing Center on Thursday.

What is anime convention? If you are familiar with any typical comic fan party, you will leave. The main difference is the exchange of Batman for Pikachu.

Shuto Con’s costumes include wearing clothing – in this case called cosplay – video game competitions, the prosperous market of Japanese toys and electronic products, dance parties and various panelists. In essence, this is the sensory burden of the Lansing anime fans for three days.

“I’ve always been interested in animation conventions, but I don’t know that there is a place very close to where I live,” said Kelsea O’Meara, 24, of Shuto Con frequenter. “My husband said, ‘You should go with me!’ We went and I have been obsessed since then.”

Conventions like Shuto Con appeal to many people because they provide fans with the opportunity to meet the talent behind the animation industry. This casual interaction between fans and creators or actors is not as common as other media, helping to make animation more of a lifestyle than just a hobby.

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Talking with Congoles shows that Shuto Con not only provided a space for crazy weekends. According to people, Shuto Con can resonate with their deepest personal emotions. Many Congolese describe their favorite animation convention as a second home.

“It’s kind of sentimental. I called my ‘family crooks’, ‘through my husband, I introduced my brother and his children, and now my mother is attending for the first time this year,’ O’Milla said.

The Anime Convention was described by certain Congolese as one of the few places where they felt completely unrestricted by society. Masquerade-like environments provide a powerful social lubricant that allows wallflowers to eventually feel less conscious.

“Part of the reason is that we don’t appear in our capacity. It takes a certain degree of insecurity because people don’t see our true self,” said 20-year-old Rachel Walkowski, Mr. Shuto Con. “They see a character. When someone shouts out your character’s name and sees you with great excitement, this special satisfaction and satisfaction.”

“I can’t just yell at the people in the street, ‘Hey green girl, you look cute!’ And in a scam, this is a more open atmosphere,” added Walkowski.

For all types of social interactions, having a spacious, open and free environment will give people a sense of unity.

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“Whoever you are, no matter who you are, there will always be a very strong sense of community and desire.

I have become more accepting people to do all sorts of interesting things, “said 41-year-old Shume Con manager Jaime Peralez. “If you have fun, why not enjoy yourself? When I was there, this was the spirit that I felt. There is a great friendship. “

Since 2014, Peralez has started from South Dakota and joined Shuto Con with his wife, Sarah Vaa, where they took time out for their joint love of cosplay and animation. Like Peralezes, many Congolese fanciers’ love relationships have either developed in the animation convention or they have developed.

When Shuto Con’s community Facebook page asked the question “How did you meet your important person?”, there was a surprising answer in Shuto Con. These couples explain how their chemical reactions evolved, and they are often as simple as enjoying the same animation. In last year’s Shuto Con role-playing game, Congolese player Alex Kearns recommended to hundreds of people on the stage of his girlfriend Brandy Kaye Kearns. .

For some Congolese, role play is the only important thing. Many participants only visit the convention to show off their cosplays or to appreciate the works of others.

Those with special talents can use lines and needles to even find a career in role playing, similar to an Internet celebrity who makes a living from social media.

From a tourism perspective, they seek out profitable top prizes in role-playing competitions. Or they just earn cash through anime fans’ commissions, hoping to impress people. “I made Wholesale Halloween Costumes with friends based on a program that we all liked and entered role-play,” said 36-year-old fanatic rival Kristie Good. “Then I discovered that you can go for years of dress up and others dress up. I’m like ‘this is the best!'”

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Good does not choose clothing made solely from aesthetics, but through the degree of association with the character. This aspect of clothing becomes a gorgeous expression of personality and identity. Although outsiders may be able to dress in poorly constructed clothing, and these clothes are often many, it is difficult to hate homemade mecha clothing and it seems to have come straight out of the comic page.

“Some people will say, ‘Oh, if you haven’t succeeded yourself, it’s not really cosplay’, but a large part of the community says, ‘You’re in a costume, have you had fun? Then, yes, you’re Cosplay,” said so. “For me, it’s all for fun. Role playing is for everyone. Even if you can’t sew or think you’re not the right figure, you can still play the role. Don’t let anything stop you.”

Shuto Con has a firm security space policy, which allows anyone to feel uncomfortable under any status, be it race, gender or sexual orientation. However, the 18-year-old black told Yagichi Gist that the community can still be improved.

“While we have grown up in people with different shapes and skin tones in cosplay, there are always a few people who dismiss their role play because they are not the correct height, weight or colour,” Ghist said. “When I played Mercy from Overwatch, I had a lot of enthusiasm, but someone said, ‘Isn’t she white? Isn’t she a Caucasian? Why do you want to play her?'”

Shuto Con is also well-known in its supplier room, where more than 50 merchants from across the country trade commodities. Some suppliers live on conference circuits, such as Shawna Bourne of Geeky Endeavors. “This life is definitely not for everyone. It’s very difficult. From long trips to not knowing if your show will succeed, and if you need to tighten your belt for some time,” said Bourne. “The convention is very popular, and oversaturation is a real thing. We pay close attention to the economy.”

The animation community was originally an extension of the interest of Stefanie Shall, the founder of Shuto Con, but with the development of Shuto Con, it actually took over her life.

However, just like most of those who have engaged in passionate careers, she did not complain. Her loyalty may be the best concept, directly in her heart’s con mascot, a cartoon named Sumi-jaki. Because Shuto Con can continuously attract thousands of people, she and her staff are doing the right thing.

The original figure for 2011 was 1,300, which has climbed to nearly 6,500 paid participants since 2017. It is not too impractical to count on one day, especially when the country is drawing more and more attention. Therefore, Shuto Con may surpass 10,000 – as one of Lansing’s biggest annual events.

In the University of Jacksonville, Florida, her passion for comics was formed. After she returned to Central Michigan, she was surprised by the lack of similar scenes to the north.

“Every weekend I have a meeting in the Florida area. This is what I’m used to. When I moved to Michigan in 2009, the situation there was not that much. Youmacon in Detroit and JAFAX in Grand Rapids,” explains Road. “What I want in Lansing, because there is nothing in the country.”

After the original idea has been conceived, as long as her meeting does not create schedule conflicts for potential participants, you should consult the organizers of Youmacon and JAFAX and accept their blessings.

Her experience of running animation clubs in her school in Florida kept her in close touch with the heads of several conferences in Florida. She already had a photo of how she had stripped herself off.

“In business clubs, I got to know a lot of organizers and they are holding events there,” Shall said. “When I started forming a small employee to run Shuto Con’s different departments, the leadership I learned from the club helped me out of trouble.”

The team successfully rented the Lansing Center and booked a series of guest entertainment programs for the day without too much trouble. However, they found themselves caught in an uncontrollable situation and in a crazy environment, when they expected to appear more than twice the number.

“We have been arguing because we don’t know how to deal with everything. But what happened to us is indeed a happy thing. Because of this, we can continue every year,” Shall said.

Although Shel was the face of Shuto Con, she knew that this agreement would be impossible without her staff.

“My staff really strengthened this year by helping me deal with the many aspects that I would normally undertake myself,” Shall said. “I cannot thank you for this. We are all committed to this year’s development.”


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