There are many anime conventions held throughout the country such as Otakon, Anime Expo, and Animazement. But very anime conventions few are held in New York. Founded by Marissa Wolf, Anime Tosho-Con is an annual anime convention, held at the Rockville Centre Public Library in Rockville Centre, New York, which is in Long Island. The purpose of Anime-Tosho-con, or simply Tosho-con is to allow for youths in Long Island and surrounding regions to enjoy an anime convention without having to travel across the country. Tosho-con is a fitting name since it’s a play on the Japanese word toshokan (図書館), which means library.
Go Robo Now!! Had the opportunity to attend the third annual Tosho-con and take part in some of the events. At first we were really surprised at the amount of people who were already present when we arrived, immediately revealing that Tosho-con is addressing the lack of an outlet for anime fans. Compared with last years, the number of attendees had more than doubled. Various rooms were set up with some panels and workshops that one would expect from most anime conventions. The workshops and panels included Chinese Shadow Puppets, candy sushi making, steampunk button making and Anime Jeopardy (which our team dominated by the way). Many people were cosplaying different anime and video game characters such as the countries from Hetalia: Axis Powers, Kingdom Hearts characters which inlcuded Sora and Roxas, a few Pokemon and there was even a Bobobo-bo Bobo-bo present.
In addition to the panels and workshops, there were quite a few live performances as well. Ena (http://enaproject.syncl.jp/) performed a few songs from well known anime including Evangelion’s Crue Angel’s Thesis and a song from K-on while cosplaying as Hatsune Miku. There was a live Taiko drum performance, which allowed for audience participation after the main show. One of the last events of Anime Tosho Con was the cosplay deathmatch which was pretty fun. Registered cosplayers would line up in two separate lines to square off against other cosplayers. The cosplayers would be presented in random pairs audience would then vote for the best cosplayers among the two. The winning cosplayer had to kill off the losing one, usually resulting in the use of signature finishing moves. This went on until there was one cosplayer remaining, who knew that Bobobo would win with his mighty nosehair?
We would like to thank my friend and fellow grad school alum, Marissa Wolf for inviting us to Anime Tosho-con. After talking to some of the librarians present, there were some whisperings of possibly expanding the convention to take up the entire library in the future, or perhaps to rent out a convention center. I would like to see the convention expand a little, but there is something special about it’s size as is, plus at the moment it is a free convention. If you don’t have any conventions in your area, see if you can start a small one among friends, that’s how some of the big conventions began.
The next con we will be attending is New York Comic Con. See you there.