Anime Japan 2014

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Confession time. Until just recently, I had never been to an anime convention. That being said, I can now say I have. On March 22nd, I attended Anime-Japan 2014 in Odaiba, Tokyo. It was crazy. Having never been to a convention before, I was invited to go with a friend who has been to conventions in the USA and even volunteered at some. This was her first convention in Japan. She was very surprised at how normal everyone looked. There were very few cosplayers.

The entire convention was highly organized and no one was just laying about. I was just excited to be in Odaiba. We were directed completely around the convention center to the back doors, which happened to be the entrance to the event.

DSC00471There are some experiences you never forget. One is riding in a crowded subway or train in Tokyo. Another would be the experience of being pushed around inside of a Japanese convention. It was hectic for a introvert like myself, but I was amazed at the number of people who came. I traveled through the entire convention, avoiding certain sections I did not feel comfortable with. I struggled to take pictures in the crowd, but still I found many wonderful things.

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I discovered Super Heroes

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and Robot Boys

DSC00517and Mechas

DSC00522and drawings from the artists at Bones

DSC00530Sabers

DSC00557and Tachikoma

DSC00549a storyboard

DSC00493these guys

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and a robot cat.

However, the thing I discovered that was by far the best wasn’t robotic, 2D, or even popular. It was time spent with a friend on an adventure, getting confused by the trains, crushed by currents of people, and fighting lines in konbini. It was a wondrous adventure. I recommend going with someone, because even if you don’t like the madness, you can enjoy the company.

I loved seeing how much people appreciate anime, but the event itself reflected a loneliness that I have often sensed here. Thousands of people in two gigantic rooms and almost all of them looked like they felt alone. In a way, this event is about more than anime. It is about money, but it works because of a longing in people to be drawn to other people who value what they value.

If there is one thing I regret about this event, it is that I was so worried and focused on my own thing, that I forgot to look at the value of the people around me. I forgot to look at them the way God does. God loves them. I let my fear rule me for a time, but I am not supposed to live in fear. I am not supposed to feel alone, and neither is anyone else who was there. I wish now that my focus had been on the people instead of the event. Next time, I want to go to meet people instead of just seeing anime booths.

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zeroe4

Artist with a heart for Japan.Student at SPU. Blogger and Nomad. Formally with YWAM Tokyo.Portfolio @ arxyuki.com - Blog @ zeroe4.me

9 thoughts on “Anime Japan 2014

  1. For future reference for you and your friend, all cosplaying occurs in a designated area outside the convention center (the ones inside are hired cosplayers). It’s just another one of the things that makes it so organized.

  2. “…She was very surprised at how normal everyone looked….”

    hahahahaha….. how should Japanese look like? Don’t tell me some people really believe Japanese looks like people in anime.

    1. Haha, I’m guessing that maybe she figured outrageous cosplay would be the norm? I might have that preconception as well.

  3. Like you, a large part of the reason why I go to conventions is to meet with people that I know. I find the experience more meaningful and end up enjoying it all much more than if I were to go by myself. I’m glad you were able to go with a friend your first time 🙂

    1. You’re so sociable, Marina! I think a lot of attendees have that shyness that precludes them from going with others. Or, they’re like me, and don’t have RL anime fans with whom to attend!

  4. I agree, when I went to Animate! Miami, I felt the same thing. I just saw God’s love on the people there, that He loves all of them. Through all that loneliness that I also felt when I went here in Miami, I was just thinking “where is His Kingdom in this place? How can the power of Christ be in this place?” I’m the same guy that e-mailed you previously about doing a panel? It must have been pretty cool though to go to a con in Japan. Did you go there to visit?

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’m the one who received your email, though the writer of this article is Zeroe4, who’s in Japan for long-term missions. We actually have eight writers in our site.

      1. Wow eight writers, very cool. That’s great, that you guys have people on the ground in Japan bringing the gospel. Thanks Zeroe4, praying that God’s glory show up in all that you guys do over there.

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