Japan pop culture on show this evening
THE 2014 staging of Anime Nation is scheduled for the New Kingston Conference Centre in St Andrew, today, at 5:00 pm.
The event is set to be the biggest in its five-year history, as renowned Japanese animation character designer, animator and business producer Masami Suda is expected to be in attendance.
Suda has worked on many animation projects including Dragon Ball, Gatchaman and Fist of the North Star.
"Anime Nation is a part of the Japan-CARICOM 50th Anniversary celebrations this year, so the Japanese Embassy flew Mr Suda in," Zane Francis, event co-organiser, told the Jamaica Observer.
Anime Nation is the only major Japanese anime and cultural expo catering to lovers of Japanese pop culture.
Francis is one of the founding members of Jamaica Cosplayaz, a group of young enthusiasts who dress as their favourite characters from Japanese animation, comics and video games.
The event will see a costume parade at 8:30 pm, with a prize being given for Best Costume.
"We faced a challenge this year finding a venue. After having identified one and being in talks they cancelled on us saying they did not think they could accommodate the size of the event, but then we found the conference centre and things began to come right back together," Francis explained.
Anime Nation 2014 will feature a packed entertainment programme on top of Suda's visit and the main costume contest. There will be cultural exhibits from the Japanese embassy, a video game arcade, giveaways, Yu-Gi-Oh/Vanguard Tournaments, and live performances from Acmatic and The Sky Is Broken.
"We also have for the first time, a game developer presenting for our patrons his product inspired by retro Japanese classics, and the premiere of Jamaican/Japanese mash-up animated short DogCat Frenzy 3:The Final Showdown," Francis said.