ANIME, JAPAN’S distinctive form of animation, and manga, Japan’s long tradition of comic books, will be celebrated in Galway at Akumakon 2014.
Akumakon 2014, the largest convention for Japanese anime, manga, and culture in the west of Ireland, takes place in Áras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway, from Friday January 17 to Sunday 19.
The festival will explore Japanese culture, animation, fashion, food, live-action film, martial arts, music and the art of cosplay (costume play).
The weekend will include a bus tour of Galway city for cosplaying attendees; a fire-show, cosplay/fashion events; a maid cafe, run by the Wa Cafe, serving Japanese cuisine; panels discussing Japanese language and literature of Japan; model robot building; video and card gaming events and screenings; and a variety of special guests.
The award winning Japanese composer, music arranger, conductor, orchestrator, and pianist Kaoru Wada. He has worked on music for animes and games such as Samurai 7, Ninja Scroll, Hakuoki, Princess Tutu, and Gilgamesh, and on musical arrangement for the soundtracks to Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.
Michihiko Suwa who works for Yomiuri TV and has been involved in the planning and production of anime for many years, will also be in Galway. He was worked on Detective Conan, InuYasha, Black Jack, City Hunter, and Rinne no Lagrange.
Writer and anime producer Hirokatsu Kihara from Tokyo will also be at Akumakon. He has been involved with Studio Ghibli and Topcraft, worked on Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbour Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. He has written stories for manga and his first story was about Inis Mór.
Fans of ‘fan-dubbing’ and series abridging can look forward to MasakoX who have been involved in the production of popular abridged series Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Rosario + Vampire.
Cosplayers Calsarra from Germany and Elffi from Finland will also be joining the festival as panelists and cosplay judges.
Akumakon is also concerned to give back to the local community. In 2013, the festival donated €1,000 from its profits to the Galway Simon Community. This year its charity will be JIGSAW Galway, which provides a free and confidential support service for those aged between 15 and 25 living in Galway city and county.
Sub City Comics and in Dungeons and Donuts will bring their products to the convention for attendees to buy.