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Otakuthon is Quebec's largest anime convention promoting Japanese animation (anime), Japanese graphic novels (manga), related gaming and Japanese pop-culture.[2] It is held annually for 3 days in Montreal during a weekend in the summer months. It is a non-profit, fan-run anime convention that was initiated by Concordia University's anime club, named "Otaku Anime of Concordia University" (Otaku Anime for short).[3] The name "Otakuthon" is a portmanteau of the Japanese word "otaku" and "marathon". Otakuthon strives to be a bilingual (French and English) event, having programming, the masquerade, and the program book in both official languages.[4] The first edition of Otakuthon was held in 2006 in mid June, but later moved to early August / late July from 2007 onward.

Programming

As with most other anime conventions, Otakuthon offers a wide range of programming, exhibits, and other events. Otakuthon's programming consists of cosplay events, masquerade, vendors, artists alley, panels and workshops, game shows, anime video screenings, dances, karaoke, and music concerts. New to 2008 are a photo booth, a garage sale[5] and a manga library.[6]

History

Otakuthon evolved from the annual Animethon anime marathon presented by Otaku Anime of Concordia University. The anime marathon had over the years, used one or several screening rooms, over the course of one[7] or two[8] days, and had included ancillary events. In 2005, the 10th edition of Animethon was renamed Otakuthon.[9] In 2006, Otaku Anime joined together with other anime clubs and individuals to turn the annual anime marathon into a full blown convention.

While convention membership at the 2006 edition was free, admission fees were introduced from 2007 and onwards.[10] There is a pre-registration option for the paid memberships, and attendees who have pre-registered could arrive on Friday afternoon to receive their membership badges in order to gain instant access to all convention events on the same day at opening time.[11] Admission for the Masquerade and J-pop concert is included in the membership fee.[11]

The 2007 edition's outstanding success prompted Otakuthon to move its venue from Concordia University to the Palais des congrès de Montréal in summer 2008.[12] This allowed the convention to increase its capacity, concentrate the main attractions on a single floor instead of multiple floors at the university, as well as free itself from restrictions imposed upon by the latter.

With a great number of out-of-province Guests invited in 2009, Otakuthon has been upgraded from a regional-level convention to a national-level one. 2010 introduces a Thursday evening badge pickup option for pre-registered attendees, which should alleviate the long lineups on Friday as well as provide them immediate access to the convention area when the doors open on Friday afternoon.

Event history

Dates Location Atten. Guests
June 10–11, 2006 Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec

<td style="text-align: center">1,872</td>

Boxed Rice Productions, Joany Dubé-Leblanc, Matt Hill, Irulanne, Gisèle Lagacé, Delphine Levesque Demers, Christopher Macdonald, Sara E. Mayhew, Claude J. Pelletier, Emru Townsend, Sukoshi Yoshi and Tamu Townsend.[13]
August 4–5, 2007 Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec

<td style="text-align: center">1,946</td>

The 404s, Arashi Daiko, Boxed Rice Productions, Sirkowski, Irulanne, Christopher Macdonald, Les Major, Dawn "Kaijugal" McKechnie, Tim Park, Claude J. Pelletier, Scott Ramsoomair, Lucien Soulban, Mark Sprague, Mandy St. Jean, Sukoshi Yoshi, and Venus Terzo.[14]
July 26–27, 2008 Palais des congrès
Montreal, Quebec

<td style="text-align: center">3,250</td>

The 404s, Maral "Sarcasm-hime" Agnerian, David Coacci, Disorder, Sirkowski, D.S. Gannon, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, Gisèle Lagacé, Delphine Levesque Demers, Les Major, Dawn "Kaijugal" McKechnie, Tim Park, Claude J. Pelletier, Lucien Soulban, Spike Spencer, Mark Sprague, Mandy St. Jean, and the Ontario Anime Society.[15][16]
July 31–August 2, 2009 Palais des congrès
Montreal, Quebec

<td style="text-align: center">5,500</td>

Johnny Yong Bosch, Stephanie Sheh, Kevin McKeever, Pikmin Link, athenaWaltz, The 404s, Claude J. Pelletier, Dawn "Kaijugal" McKechnie, Sirkowski, Maral "Sarcasm-hime" Agnerian.[17]
August 13–15, 2010 Palais des congrès
Montreal, Quebec

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

The 404s, Maral "Sarcasm-hime" Agnerian, David Coacci, Lar DeSouza, Aaron Dismuke, Quinton Flynn, Sébastien "Sirkowski" Fréchette, D.S. Gannon, Caitlin Glass, Jacob Grady, Mohammad "Hawk" Haque, HIMEKA, Irulanne, Kyowa Québec, Stu Levy, JoEllen "Lillyxandra" Elam, Sara E. Mayhew, Dawn "Kaijugal" McKechnie (canceled), Scott A. Melzer, Vic Mignogna, Ananth Panagariya, Claude J. Pelletier, A.E. Prevost, Ryan Sohmer, Mark Sprague, Yume Mirai.[18]
August 12–14, 2011 Palais des congrès
Montreal, Quebec

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

Mascot

File:Yurika Otakuthon 2006 Kimono Theme 2.jpg

Yurika, a fictional blue-haired teenage girl, serves as Otakuthon's mascot.[10] She appears under many forms on Otakuthon booklets, badges, website, clothing, and other wearables. She was originally created for the convention by local artist Jessie Rong.[10]

References

  1. "Otakuthon homepage". The Quebec Anime Committee is a joint committee composed of Otaku Anime and other anime clubs and individuals. Incorporated with the Quebec government in January 2008 as a non-profit organization, it has been formed shortly after the decision to change the convention venue from Concordia University to the Palais des congrès. The "Quebec Anime Committee" name can be seen at the bottom (footer) of every page of the Otakuthon website. 
  2. "Protoculture at Otakuthon". Protoculture News & Updates. 2006-05-30. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  3. "Otakuthon set for Hall Building". Concordia Journal. 2006-06-01. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  4. Otakuthon English & Otakuthon français
  5. Attractions - Otakuthon 2008
  6. Manga Library - Otakuthon 2008
  7. Animethon 1998 (Google Groups)
  8. Animethon 1999 (Google Groups)
  9. Otakuthon 2005 webpage
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Otakuthon 2007 :: FAQ
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://www.otakuthon.com/en/faq.php?view=reg
  12. http://www.otakuthon.com/pdf/Otakuthon-PR-2008-01-29.pdf[dead link]
  13. "Otakuthon 2006 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  14. "Otakuthon 2007 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  15. "Otakuthon 2008 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  16. "Otakuthon Editions Information". TekNews.net. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  17. "First Round of Guests Announced!". Otakuthon 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  18. "Otakuthon 2010 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 

External links

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