Walking into the 2012 Nan Desu Kan convention is like entering a completely different dimension filled with colorful characters with neon hair, outlandish props, and crazy costumes.
Nan Desu Kan (translated from Japanese to loosely mean ‘what is it’) is the largest anime convention in Colorado and was held at the Marriott DTC from September 14 to 16.
This three-day long bonanza, now in its 16th year, was packed with cosplay competitions, video gaming rooms, art shows, and all sorts of anime merchandise. This convention is so popular that it draws in up to 21,000 anime fans a year, and this year, NDK sold out on Saturday—over 7,000 attendees. Famous guests included Masao Maruyama (co-founder of Studio MADHOUSE), Osamu Kobayashi (director, animator, and illustrator), and more.
For every event, lines wove around the whole convention as attendees waited patiently to see their favorite voice actor, get a signature, or watch the cosplay contest. On Saturday, convention goers ended their night with a rave, full of glow sticks, neon costumes, and endless electronic dance music.
The cosplay competition lasted a few hours long and featured dozens of hopeful contestants. As each new character entered the stage, the audience applauded and screamed their support. In a flurry of metal, feathers, and cloth, each contestant tried to not only portray the character through appearance, but also through action.
One cosplayer dressed as a ballerina from Princess Tutu actually performed a short ballet number on stage. Avid cosplayer and anime enthusiast Emily Mehregan said, “It takes anywhere from a week to several months to create a cosplay costume… I have made a costume in under a day, and I have a costume that has taken more than eight months to complete.” Talk about dedication!
When asked about her favorite part of NDK, Mehregan could not name just one. Instead she enumerated three, “meeting up with old and new friends, cosplaying, and attending panels with voice actors.”
After attending NDK, I can honestly say that I am excitedly looking forward to next year’s convention!