An Extension of Halloween

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Many people love Halloween for its spooky atmosphere, or if you have a sweet tooth, for all the candy, and for others, they just love to dress up in costume. But then October 31 comes and goes and the costumes are put away for another year, right? Wrong! For some, it’s costume season all year round and none are more excited than the anime fans who will come from near and far to go to Youmacon.

Youmacon is an anime convention hosted in Detroit, Michigan, and this year it happens to fall on the weekend of November first, the weekend after Halloween. For the uninitiated, anime refers to Japanese cartoons, and this convention is held in order for fans of anime and manga (Japanese comics) to gather and gush their love for their favorite shows, books, and video games. Many will be dressed in colorful costumes depicting their favorite characters, and there are even contests to judge the craftsmanship and acting abilities of some brave souls who want to put their sewing skill to the test in front of a panel of judges. And it’s not just the cartoons from Japan that people pay homage to. From Star Wars to Dr. Who to The Avengers and Batman, if there is a genre or show that has a thriving fan base, it will probably be represented.

Special guests are often invited to anime conventions like Youmacon. Anime voice actors, professional cosplayers (or the people who dress up in costume), and even stars of the internet will host panels where their fans can meet them, get autographs, and ask questions.

While it is not as big as some of the west coast comic book and anime conventions, Youmacon is one of the fastest growing conventions in the United States. Youmacon was born in 2005, and hosted only one thousand guests. Eight years later, the convention guests and staff fill the whole of the Detroit Marriot and Renaissance center to capacity, with an overflow of guests staying at two other hotels in the area. Detroit city may have its economic woes, but Youmacon is definitely thriving.

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