Karoshi-Con to bring cosplay to campus

By David Stenger

Don’t be surprised if you happen to see people on campus dressed up as colorful characters this Saturday. It’s perfectly normal.

Anime Association NIU will host Karoshi-Con from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Holmes Student Center.

“Karoshi-Con 2013 is the Anime Association’s fourth annual convention,” said Tayler Shields, treasurer of Anime Association and junior English major. “We are a free, all-age convention with a variety of attractions, including video game tournaments, a vending room and a cosplay contest.”

The Anime Association created Karoshi-Con in 2009. It was created because there were no anime conventions in the local area and members of Anime Association NIU wanted to bring fans of anime together. Since then it has grown in attendance every year, and in 2012 Karoshi-Con had more than 300 attendees.

“Being in DeKalb where events like this don’t happen often, especially being free, it would be something interesting to go to,” said Mykal Rodriguez, junior theater studies major.

The convention will host 10 panels and five gaming tournaments. Cosplay and tabletop gaming will feature all sorts of prizes. A masquerade will take place in the afternoon. Anime Association members will judge the cosplay contest, as well as a series of skits and performances.

The event will also host a Pokémon tournament. Participants will have the chance to win battles in “Pokémon Stadium” for the Nintendo 64 with an Elite Four challenge. All of the tournaments will have prizes.

Three panels will have special guests. Doug Walker, of That Guy with the Glasses and the Nostalgia Critic, will host a Q&A. Walker will also host a panel called “Movies Everybody Loves to Disagree with You On.” During it, he will discussmovies everyone loves to hate but can’t stop watching.

Lucas Schuneman, a NIU alumni and video game voice actor, will host two panels about voice acting, and he will share tips for those interested in such a career. Both are alumni, and their panels will run for about an hour.

In addition, there will be a viewing room where a number of different anime will be available for fans to watch.

People of all ages may attend the event, whether attendees are students or not. Registration can be completed online ahead of time or by walking in. For those who want to learn more about the convention or register to attend, visit Anime Association’s website at animeclub.uphero.com/.