Anime convention Tekkoshocon VII opens
In the past decade or so, Japanese animation -- or anime , as it is popularly known -- has gone from a small cult following for science fiction fanboys into a cultural tsunami, influencing American comics, film, television and video games.
Tekkoshocon, Pittsburgh's annual anime convention -- starting Friday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center -- has exploded in popularity along similar lines. The name Tekkoshocon comes from a variation of the Japanese character for "steel," reflecting Pittsburgh's heritage.
"The idea was to get together to enjoy Japanese animation -- this very niche, very particular form of art, and then expand out to everything associated with it," says T.J. Condon, a Tekkoshocon organizer. "The first Tekkoshocon in 2003, we only had 600 people attend. Now, before we even open the doors, we have pre-registrations that exceed the total attendance for Tekkoshocon II. We're projecting 3,300 to 3,500 attendees this year."
It's driven by an audience that's getting younger and younger.
"It used to be just college students and the stereotypical middle-aged men who would get together," Condon says. "Now, since it's becoming more and more prevalent in American culture, we're getting a lot more college students, a lot more of those middle-aged men who are bringing their kids now.
"Part of it is just the cultural acceptance. I started out in video games, the Nintendo era. It seemed like translators and localization teams would take every step they could to remove any influence of Japanese culture from a video game. Whereas today, with anime getting so much airtime on American television, the anime aesthetic even influences American animation."
Lots of Tekkoshocon attendees come dressed in elaborate costumes, based on their favorite characters. The three-day event features panels, special guests, a video game room, a fan-created anime video contest and live bands.
"We have a band called Otokage, a Japanese band, that are a 'Visual K' style of band, which doesn't have much of a parallel in Western culture," Condon says. "They have a very complex stage show and very deep personas. I don't want to say the music takes a back seat, but it's more about the band and a celebration of this idea they have.
"In this case, that idea happens to be 'Ninjas are awesome.'"
What: Pittsburgh's annual anime and Japanese culture convention.
When: 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Admission: $35 today; $40 Saturday; $25 Sunday; 3-day pass $50. Free for age 6 and younger.
Where: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers; Marte injured
- Don’t remove history’s lessons
- Residents return from church to discover fire-damaged Greensburg home
- Man charged with passing counterfeit bills at Rivers Casino
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Padres, July 6, 2015
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Police: Maine man shoots off firework from top of head, dies
- Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis promising, study shows
- Measles carries risk of deadly complication for young