While many people spent Memorial Day weekend celebrating the “unofficial beginning of summer” by the pool or at a BBQ, more than 14,000 fans traveled to Atlanta, Ga. for the annual Japanese animation and gaming convention, MomoCon. Many even dressed up as their favorite "anime" character. 

What is Anime?

The term anime (pronounced "ah-knee-may") refers to Japanese animation productions, with a particular focus on the genre's distinct artistic style and stylized animation approach. Anime productions most commonly include video games, full-length movies and animated series. However, anime also includes card games, collectable figurines, painted or printed art, and fashion. Much like any other art style or medium, anime is not limited to a specific genre and can be used to express artistic feelings, create interactive digital experiences, or tell stories. The fact that anime creates multiple opportunities for content contributes to the continued growth of the anime fan community. 

A MomoCon attendee in Atlanta.

The global impact of anime on popular culture has become more apparent in recent years, too, thanks to the emergence of anime-inspired fashion, contemporary art, music videos, children’s TV shows and blockbuster movies.

Since anime is originally written and produced in Japanese, a process called dubbing is used to record the audio in a different language. Quality English dubbed productions require a high level of collaboration between the original Japanese writers and professional script writers. This ensures that the original wording is translated in a manner that maintains the intent, tone and style of the original script. Professional voice actors are chosen for their acting abilities as well as their ability to fully portray the original character and storyline with the use of their voices alone. The use of great voice actors and script writers has dramatically impacted the quality of dubbed anime in both the U.S. and other countries. High-end anime productions can be as engaging as traditional TV shows and movies.

With the never-ending possibilities of anime content for fans to share and discuss, conventions such as MomoCon provide great opportunities for people with similar interests to meet, connect and make friends.

“The great thing about fan conventions is that they provide a way for people to make friends on common ground and these friendships tend to last for life," says Dan Carroll, senior director of media relations for MomoCon. "Sometimes these friends are from out of state or even out of the country. Additionally, on-site activities such as video gaming tournaments, costume sewing circles, and roundtable fan discussions make anime conventions are great way to enjoy hobbies with newly made convention friends."

Cecilia Holman provides lifestyle and event coverage for the comic, gaming and anime communities. For up to date “nerd lifestyle” news, follow her on Twitter @KittiNinja.