KotoriCon, the "Little Anime Con with a Big Heart," will return to Rowan College at Gloucester County's (RCGC) campus to celebrate its tenth anniversary on Friday, Jan. 11, from 4 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Hosted by RCGC's Japanese Anime Guild – a popular club on campus – the convention celebrates Japanese animation and culture while giving back to local and international charities. The theme for this year's convention is Mecha, a genre that focuses on giant robots or machines controlled by people, and those who attend can cosplay (dress in costume) to match that theme or to pay tribute to their favorite anime characters. Festivities will include live music, panel presentations, famous voice actors, live-action roleplaying, screenings of Japanese animated series and various crafting dealers and artists.
Entertainment is just around the corner at KotoriCon, which boasts a wide array of musical performances. Hoh Daiko, a Taiko drumming group from the Seabrook Buddhist Temple and a KotoriCon favorite, will be starting off Saturday's festivities with energetic rhythms and beats. New York based Japanese rock band Gelatine and Canadian band The Koopa Troop are slated to take the stage both Friday night and Saturday. New York based string quartet Spellbound Strings will also be returning to KotoriCon for the second year with their unique arrangements of anime and video game based pieces.
Music is not the only entertainment to be found at KotoriCon. At this year's event, participants will have the opportunity to laugh along with some comedy "For Nerds, By Nerds" provided by traveling comedy troupe Show Us Your Pokeballs. The ever-popular Drexel Jedi Dragons will return to wow audiences with their choreographed lightsaber duels, and special guest Kiba the Cosplay Corgi will delight young and old with his wide array of costumes.
Fans of all ages can participate in panels featuring national and international vocal talents including James Carter Cathcart, Michele Knotz, Jamie McGonnagal, Daman Mills, Paul St. Peter, Megan Shipman and Brad Swaile who use their talents in numerous dubbed anime, games and other projects. Alongside these panels are various workshops, fan panels, live role-playing and games.
An annual cornerstone of the event is the Charity Auction, run by popular comedian Uncle Yo, where dealers, artists and guests donate items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Proceeds from the Charity Auction, alongside vendors' fees and ticket sales, will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Fischer House, Liberty in North Korea, Samaritans Purse and the KotoriCon Scholarship Endowment.
Convention organizers sought to offer something truly special for KotoriCon's big, tenth anniversary event, and their first-ever Hebocon will provide just that. A Hebocon is a robot fighting competition for the technically ungifted. This fun event will allow con-goers to try their hand at constructing their very own low-tech hunk of junk to compete in one-minute, sumo-style matches to see who the ultimate loser truly is.
Tickets are on sale for $36.89 per person (including eventbrite fees) at kotoricon2019.eventbrite.com for online purchase prior to the event. Tickets will not be available at the door. Children 8 years old and younger will be admitted free of charge. Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
KotoriCon is a proud member of the IOEA, the International Otaku Expo Association, which recognizes conventions for their dedication to Japanese culture. For more information about KotoriCon and a full schedule of events, please visit their website at kotoricon.org and follow @Kotoricon on twitter. For inquires, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rowan College at Gloucester County's 250-acre campus is located at 1400 Tanyard Road, just off of Exit 56 of Route 55