Central 2015: Fun Event to Meet Friends
• The biggest anime convention in the Midwest, “Anime Central 2015”, was held May 15 to 17 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and the neighboring Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. Since its inception in 1997 Anime Central has grown bigger, and 81,325 people have come to the convention, including 29,675 cosplayers last year.
• The joy of the convention is not only wearing costumes, but also participating in concerts, shows, and parties. This year, a girls band SCANDAL, Final Fantasy composer Naoshi Mizuta, 07th Expansion of “Higurashi When They Cry”, fashion designer Mika Takeuchi, boy-style model AKIRA, DJ Taku Takahashi, and other artists came from Japan as special guests.
• Cosplayers in Anime Central
• Sarah Madura from the Chicago area
was wearing a costume of Saruda in Final Fantasy XIV. She interpreted
the character design and created the costume from scratch. It took her
two months to complete it.
• Ellen Merecki from Michigan started
cosplay three years ago after her friend had introduced it to her. She
said, “Since then, I’ve just snowballed.” She has 15 costumes now.
• Sisters Alexandra and Elizabeth Schutt
participated in Anime Central from Rockford.
• Arthur Garcia from Chicago was enjoying
cosplay with a costume of Ruby Rose from UWBY. He said that he started
it in 2005, and this was the 11th year of participation in the convention.
He has a veteran’s status.
• An Interview with SCANDAL
• SCANDAL is an all-girl-Japanese band
that formed in August 2006 in Osaka. Since their major debut in 2008,
the group has surged to the tops of the Oricon charts and became the fastest
girl band to perform at the Nippon Budokan.
• Q: How has the world tour been?
• SCANDAL: We’ve performed at an anime convention in Paris seven years ago, but this time we performed in a club with live music. Besides our fans in Europe, patrons of the club were interested in our girl band, so we were very pleased. Besides, the audience was excited with our new pieces rather than anime music.
• Q: Do you enjoy your tour in the U.S.?
• SCANDAL: We had an American tour with
another Japanese band seven years ago. This time, we are alone, so we
are very excited.
• Q: How is the American audience different from Japan’s?
• SCANDAL: We had a concert in Rosemont
yesterday. We’ve recognized that the American audience is excited before
we get on the stage. On the other hand Japanese get excited after our
appearance on the stage.
• Q: What kind of anime music do you want to play?
• SCANDAL: We didn’t watch much anime,
but the people from the anime industry approached us to collaborate with
our music. When we write a piece for anime, we studied about the anime
deeply. We love to play anime music; especially, we are proud to perform
the Pokemon song because we watched it since we were children.
• Q: What was the breakthrough when you made a success in Japan?
• SCANDAL: When we formed the band, we
performed on the street, but had no audience. We never gave up because
we wanted people to watch us and wanted to improve our performance. We
were always making every effort to be successful, so we could overcome
• Q: Have you encountered hardships as a girl band?
• SCANDAL: We haven’t encountered any
hardships in Japan.
Sisters Alexandra and Elizabeth Schutt