Area residents are invited to experience one of the region’s largest Japanese animation and cultural gatherings as Owens Community College serves host to the second annual GarasuNoShiCon (Glass City Convention), July 17-18.
Presented by Owens’ Anime Convention and Gamers United clubs, GarasuNoShiCon will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the College’s Audio/Visual Classroom Center, Student Health and Activities Center, Math/Science Center and Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Toledo-area campus in Perrysburg Township. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
The event will feature an array of activities highlighted anime screenings, video gaming, an electronic music dance, a cosplay competition, a fire show and entertainment panel discussions, as well as a number of vendors and featured artists.
Owens’ anime convention will commence with an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in the College’s Audio/Visual Classroom Center. Following welcome remarks, convention attendees will have the opportunity to participate in several video, card-based and tabletop gaming activities to include a Pokéwalker Meet-Up, Living Forgotten Realm Adventure, Pathfinder Society Adventures and Dungeon Delve.
In addition, individuals will have the chance to experience life as a video game character by participating in an interactive game in the Cosplay Arena. A video game room will also be available for those interested in competing in array of unique Japanese and domestic games.
The convention will also provide three screening rooms in the Audio/Visual Classroom Center for attendees to view various anime feature presentations throughout the two-day event. Additionally, special screen presentations of “Slayers Revolution”, “Fist of the North Star TV” and “Slayers Evolution” will occur during GarasuNoShiCon.
Featured guests at the Owens convention will include voice actor Robert Axelrod, voice actress Cassandra Hodges, voice actress Julie Jensen, musical performer Gavin Goszka, independent comic artist Alex Heberling, the musical tribute group The Salad Time Soldiers, kimono specialist Kerry Porter, actress Cindy Chu and independent video game developer Galloping Ghost Productions.
Axelrod is best known as the voice of Lord Zedd and Finster from the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” series. He has also lent his voice to a number of anime features such as “Digimon”, “Robotech” and “Akira”. Hodges performs in a number of different media, but anime enthusiasts may recognize her voice from several FUNimation productions including “School Rumble” and “Glass Fleet”. Ohio native Jensen has provided voicing for a number of Disney animations such as “Phineas and Ferb” and feature films.
Returning to GarasuNoShiCon for its second year is acoustic soloist Goszka. A fan of anime and Japanese music, Goszka’s latest project has him working on a CD with Vocaloid Megurine Luka. Also making a return for the convention’s second year is featured local artist Heberling who is known for crafting original web comics, including “Garanos”, and is responsible for most of GarasuNoShiCon’s original art and mascot designs. The musical group The Salad Time Soldiers will also make a return to Owens. While the Ohio-based musical group won’t perform on stage, band members will be showcasing their handmade cosplay outfits and hosting informational panel discussions during the event.
Porter, who was exposed to the kimono and Japanese culture as a child, will be offering a large collection of kimonos for viewing and attendees will be able to interact with select kimonos during workshops. Chu has worked as a wardrobe assistant and featured extra in “Whip It”. Her next big-screen appearances will be as an alternatively giggling and screaming Chinese clerk in the remake of “Red Dawn” and a graduate student who analyzes blood in “Salvation Boulevard”.
Galloping Ghost Studios is located in the Chicago area and will join the GarasuNoShiCon guest list as the video gaming guest of honor. Galloping Ghost is an independent video games developer currently in production of its first arcade release “Dark Presence”. The studio is also opening its first public arcade later this year and will be showcasing some of its video game production equipment for convention attendees.
In addition, over 25 regional and national venders and artists will be on hand for individuals to purchase DVDs, anime figures, jewelry, prints, bookmarks, posters, T-shirts, manga, kimonos and other merchandise and accessories.
For more information about the event, call (567) 661-2586 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 2586, or access the website at www.glasscitycon.com.