A Weekend of Anime Wonder at Anime Onsen

Author: Jorge Perez

Anime is an up-and-rising form of entertainment based in Japan, and it features popular shows such as One Piece, Naruto, and Demon Slayer. I have been watching anime since I was fourteen years old. Dragon Ball was the first anime I’ve watched. I fell in love instantly because of the creativeness of the story, with its masterful storytelling and a vast array of genres such as fantasy, sci-fi, and even drama. There are many fans of anime, and this past weekend, I was able to attend an anime convention. Anime Onsen is a Colorado Springs-based anime convention. The convention hosted many fans from May 3rd to 5th in the Colorado Springs Marriott. Fans sharing their love for anime arrive to attend panels, check out vendors selling their wares, and possibly make new friends.

Anime Onsen is still a young convention starting in May 2022. I arrived at the location and noticed how small it was, but I was not bothered by it because of its welcoming atmosphere. I noticed anime fans dressed up in their different cosplays. The directions to the reception desk were easy to follow, and the staff and volunteers were very accommodating and willing to help anyone who needed assistance. The venue did not appear to be overcrowded, and it was pretty easy to navigate. The vendors selling their wares were welcoming, adding to the comfortable atmosphere. The panels provided ranged from trivia games, learning how to draw anime, and panels featuring celebrity guest discussing their work. They even had medieval fighters perform their prowess with weapons. They also hosted a foam sword fight tournament for the public.

One of the things I loved about the convention was the feeling of it being a judge-free zone. People could express their love for anime and did not judge what show they liked. There were even people from a specialized car club where their members had anime characters displayed on their vehicles. They had “wrapped” (a process in which the car is covered in a gigantic sticker to give the vehicle a customized look) with anime-themed displays. The car club is called the Colorado Itasha Alliance. They are a car club that loves to deck out their cars in crazy designs that are anime, manga, or video game-themed. Not only do they have unique clubs present at the convention, but Anime Onsen provides late-night events tailored for adults. It ranged from the official after-party karaoke, an anime rave, and an inter-dimensional anime tavern called KANPAI!

The celebrity guests that appeared at Anime Onsen were simply amazing. They were approachable and were easy to talk to. I even interviewed one of the guests, voice actor Aaron Campbell. He is known for providing his voice acting talents in anime shows such as Campfire Cooking in Another World, One Piece, and My Hero Academia. He was very pleasant to talk to. Listen in on the interview here.

I had a great time attending Anime Onsen. Though it was a small convention, their atmosphere was simply enormous. I see this convention growing and being in bigger venues to house even more fans. Did you attend Anime Onsen? Share your memories and experiences! Every post helps keep the excitement alive and brings our community together.

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