Anime Matsuri hosted its eighth convention of Japanese culture, anime and related arts on March 14, at George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Anime Matsuri was recently named the 10th largest anime convention in North America. The event hosted approximately 20,000 attendees over the three days of events, contests and shows.
Among the most anticipated events of the convention was the chance to meet famous cosplayers from Japan Reika and J-rock’s band, Nightmare. Both of these artists made their American debut at Anime Matsuri. There were many Q&A panels featuring popular voice actors from various anime, including Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Sasuke from Naruto.
Fans waited for hours in lines that wound up and down the convention center, anxiously awaiting events. Some of the most anticipated events such as the J-fashion show and the Nightmare concert were delayed for over an hour. However, the wait was not in vain as all the events went on as planned despite starting late.
The convention also provided a large vending room full of booths with vendors from across the nation selling their merchandise. J-fashion brands Baby the Stars Shine Bright and PUTUMAYO were in high demand as lolitas flocked to their booths, anxious to purchase their unique garments. There were numerous booths selling anime merchandise, cosplay accessories, swords, jewelry and even handmade art. Many artists sold their handmade wares in the artist alley section of the vending room. The vending room remained a bustling area for fans looking for unique treasures to take home.
Anime Matsuri provided artists, cosplayers and fans alike with memorable experiences and helpful opportunities. Between contests, educational panels and theatrical shows, there was something to be gained by all in attendance.