Otaku Anime Society commemorates 15 years at first “TowerCon”

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Nicole Nunes, winner of the cosplay contest.

By Gabrielle Gale Prendatt-Carter

Kean University’s Otaku Anime Society (OAS) hosted the first annual, TowerCon at the University Center on April 19, to commemorate its 15-year anniversary.

TowerCon activities were held on floors one through three of the University Center with a respectable turnout.

The convention gathered Kean students, faculty, alumni, and the public, under one roof to fellowship and enjoy the many events of the day. One can find that many of the attendees of the TowerCon shared other similar interests and hobbies besides Japanese anime.

“The convention has been more than just anime,” said faculty advisor and Kean librarian, Craig Anderson, “I presented something on live action role playing games. There’s been something on video games and Magic, the gathering card game.”

Much like a standard anime convention, Kean’s TowerCon had table panels, an artist alley, a cosplay fashion show, an outdoor DJ segment, and a guest speaker; voice over actor Mike Pollock, most notably recognized for his roles in “Pokémon,” Russian cartoon “Smeshariki,” and videogame “Sonic Lost World.”

“The cosplay fashion show was actually the basis for this entire event,” said OAS president and student, Justin George.

“They wanted to do this a couple of semesters ago but, they just couldn’t get enough people interested. So when I became president, the e-board figured the best way to give this the attention it deserves is to base this—during the day with other events,” said George.

Anime is not just an interest however; it is a culture.

“It’s basically animation, but the term anime has come to mean [specific] animation that’s come from Japan, from Far East countries, or by extension, any anime done in that kind of style,” said Anderson. “It’s almost anything that falls under the nerd or geek subculture.”

According to George, it’s “all about the culture.”

“We’re talking card games, video games, comic books, and that’s where you get a lot of these people that come to these events such as the one today,” said George.

“We welcome everyone here and we’ve learned a lot of things from this con that we hope to expand on making the event much bigger and better.”


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