234705263840Wichita, KS survives the trauma of cosplay, as the second Anime Festival Wichita draws to a close and a reporter wonders at the ability of people with shared interests to…meet!

More than 2,000 people were expected at the second annual event, where the $15 to $30 admission price allowed access to anime screenings, a costume playing area, a children’s room and a concert of video game music played on a baby grand piano.

It’s a chance for fans of this primarily Internet- and television-driven phenomenon to gather.

“You can sit at your house and watch this stuff, but they want to come and interact with other people,” festival organizer Rachel Berry said.

People made friends quickly. Haley Bagley, a 16-year-old from Oklahoma City dressed as Rock Lee from the show “Naruto,” chatted with Andrew Lehmer of Mound City, Mo., who came without a costume.

“We just met today,” Lehmer said.

Meanwhile, the eyes of Seattle were on Norwescon where the simple joy of meeting gives way to the more complex and nuanced issues of adult relationships:

The 29th annual Norwescon, the area’s longest-running science fiction/fantasy fan convention, had just launched, and the constellations of fandom’s ever-expanding and fragmenting universe already stretched into a series of conference rooms: A retired Boeing engineer explained his work in “Survive the Asteroid!” Gamers slumped over figurines and cards and dice and arcane rules. “Fancy fencers” modeled correct costumes, weaponry and swordplay. In “Fannish Housekeeping,” folks learned how to cherish and display mounds of memorabilia with minimal clutter. In “Single Dark Elf Seeks Female,” two women gave tips on how to meet — not scare — their gender in online role-playing games. (One guy whined, “But she wasn’t a good player.”)


  1. Not Google, but the local Seattle paper, apparently. I had no time to read the Sunday paper, but I’m told they listed Norwescon in their “Weekend” section. Why they waited 4+ months to do so is anyone’s guess….

  2. waiting in line behind stage for the cosplay contest is the best (was the Alice you see in the picture and the only Alice in the contest), it’s the best time to talk with people around you and get a few laughs out to shake off any nervousness you have before you go out on stage :)