Anime Central 2014: Fun Event to Inspire Creativity
• The biggest anime convention in the Midwest, “Anime Central 2014” was held May 16 to 18 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and neighboring Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. Since its inception in 1997 Anime Central has grown bigger, and 79,310 people came to the convention, including 28,692 cosplayers last year.
• The joy of the convention is not only wearing costumes, but also participating in concerts and parties. This year, music unit Angela; game-music composer Nobuo Uematsu; manga artist Yoshitoshi Abe; voice-actress group Wake Up, Girls; anime director Yutaka Yamamoto; anime producer Hiroaki Takeuchi; fashion designer Naoto Hirooka; and creative DJs came from Japan as guests of honor.
Cosplayers in Anime Central
• Renee Werth and Lauren River-Haire were in perfect costumes
of Catwoman and Sailar Moon. Werth works for a theatre as a seamstress and
has made costumes for Les Misérables, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain,
and more. Regarding the costumes they were wearing, she said that Catwoman
took two to three months and Sailar Moon took a few weeks to complete. “I
picked the character based on if I like the design of it and if I think it
is fun to make,” Werth said.
• Kevin Blanchard first attended the convention three years
ago and decided to do cosplay the following year. This year, he chose a character
from Final Fantasy. He ordered a suit at a store where his friend was working,
and looked for matching sunglasses.
• Patrick, Krystle, and Gemerl were in costumes and welcomed
visitors posing for a photo together. The three attended the convention last
year with simple costumes and thought that they wanted to do something the
• AKB0048 has become common in the U.S. Mary Linbarry, Mikayla
Taylor, and Erin Ritchie masqueraded as AKB’s Sae, Acchan, and Takanami.
• Dance party “Hardcore Synergy” was held on the first night,
and more than a dozen of Japanese DJs set music. The party drew 3,000 participants.
Angela: atsuko and KATSU
• A press conference room at Anime Central was different
from the usual ones. Many reporters came with their costumes to interview
a music unit Angela. Rival musicians atsuko and KATSU finally came together
and formed the unit in 2003 after each of them came to Tokyo from Okayama
city, the west part of Japan. Since then, they have written many anime-theme-songs
and lyrics and performed them with fantastic anime images.