Saturday, November 22, 2008

AnimeNebrasKon 2008

Guest Report by Rodney Ruff

Anime NebrasKon (, held November 14-16, 2008 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union, was my first anime convention, and it was a good one.

Put on by Otaku Jinrui (,, Anime NebrasKon is in its fifth year and has grown large enough to look for bigger quarters. Voice actress Tiffany Grant returned for her fourth year, bringing along her husband, ADV Films founder Matt Greenfield, and fellow voice actress Kira Vincent-Davis. Other guests were the husband-wife team of writer Richard and artist Shannon Townsend and webcomic creator James Hatton.

I attended Anime NebrasKon on Saturday with friends and anime afficionados John Schlosser and John Russo. As anime fans tend to be younger than other fen, the con was infused with more youthful energy than other cons I’ve attended; also more of those attending were dressed in costume. (Unfortunately, due to its starting during the dinner hour and because I had to prepare for the “Anime Gyparody?” contest I hosted after it, I missed the cosplay contest. However, I did talk to many of the otaku in costume and got pictures of the ronin, schoolgirls, maids, and video game characters that peopled the crowd.)

I attended panels on Japanese myths and legends and how they were represented in anime, a “Name That Tune” contest of anime theme songs, and the ramen-eating contest (as a spectator, not a participant). I caught bits of the anime concert and would like to have witnessed the cosplay chess game had it not been scheduled opposite other panels and to have taken part in the date auction had I had the disposable cash. (One young lady, dressed as the bunny girl Fran from Final Fantasy XII, fetched $110.) I also attended the late-night karaoke, confining myself to being a spectator, as I have yet to filk any anime theme songs. (I did, however, entertain the crowd by performing an exorcism on one idol singer whose song seemed dedicated to the crowd Devil Hunter Yohko fought.)

The dealers’ room saw plenty of traffic during the morning and into the afternoon, offering a mixture of books, manga, video, foodstuffs, and other paraphernalia. (Anime fans are fond of such snacks as Pocky, a sticklike candy, and Ramune bottled soda.) Outside the dealers’ room was Artist Alley, where the Townsends and James Hatton shared the room with such local artists as Jeff and Diana Delgado, Nick Dinges, Dana Gutierrez, and Kimberly White. (I collected contact information from most of them, which should soon be available on the OSFES website,

Non-anime fans had plenty of things to interest them as well. The Society for Creative Anachronism put on a demonstration in the morning, Isis of Bellevue’s Anime Hoshii and her Bedouin Star belly dance troupe conducted a workshop in the afternoon, and members of the 501st Legion and the R2-Central Builders Club were in attendance. Cosplayers even included Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker and Hiro Nakamura from Heroes.

The con staff was helpful overall, both in providing assistance for Anime Gyparody? and in providing a workaround for a problem caused by our ad being printed too small to be readable in their program book. There are a few things I’d like to see done differently or better, but my biggest regret was only being able to attend for a single day instead of all three.

This entry to the Omaha Sci-Fi Scene blog was written by OSFES Publications Officer Rodney Ruff. For more of Rodney's AnimeNebrasKon 2008 photos go to the OSFES’ MySpace page at

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