DEPTFORD TWP. — KotoriCon, the little anime con with a big heart, returns for the sixth year to the Rowan College at Gloucester County campus Friday, Jan. 9 and Saturday, Jan. 10.
Hosted by the RCGC Japanese Anime Guild — a popular student club on campus — the convention is a celebration of Asian culture, particularly that of Japan. This year’s festivities include live music, stand-up comedy, panel discussions and meet-and-greets with famous voice actors, gaming tournaments and screenings of recently dubbed animated entertainment. The theme is space as Kotori embarks on intergalactic adventure.
Kicking off the “con” is a professional wrestling cosplay. Trained athletes dress up as favorite characters from various anime series and comic books, providing a unique event sure to keep audience members on the edge of their seats.
The tournament is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 10 a.m. when Kyo Daiko Taiko drummers from Philadelphia will put on an exciting performance. Musical guests also include New York-based Japanese punk bands The Asterplace and The Ricecookers, and local musicians One Night Stand and High Council. Enjoy the geek comedy of the popular Uncle Yo and the rising Ian Rubin, a student at Rowan University.
Otaku enthusiasts can also participate in panel discussions with vocal talents from across the country including Sonny Strait, Greg Cipes, Jamie McGonnigal, Michele Knotz and Lisle Wilkerson. Strait is the voice of Krillin in the animated TV show Dragon Ball Z and is a published comic illustrator. Cipes is the voice of Beast Boy of Teen Titans as well as the Teenage Mutant Turtle Michangelo. Knotz and McGonnigal are best known for their roles on Pokémon. Wilkerson has voiced several video game characters, including Nina Williams and Christie Montero from the Tekken franchise and is willing to play Tekken against attendees.
New to KotoriCon in 2015 is academic programming in the areas of physics, astronomy and creative writing. Ted Williams of the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society and Ray Villard of the Space Telescope Science Institute lead panel discussions on the possibility of life on other planets and findings made by the Hubble Space Telescope. Award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail shares her experiences in the publishing industry during the C.J. Henderson Memorial writers’ roundtable. Additional writers are being added to the schedule in memory of CJ Henderson, who sold his books at KotoriCon for many years.
Most attendees wear colorful cosplay and fill the karaoke room all day. Saturday will end on a high note with a singing contest. KotoriCon also hosts vendors, artists and crafters selected through a competitive process.
Tickets cost $30 per person and are on sale now at kotoricon.org. Admission is free for children 8 years old and younger. Participants younger than 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Don’t miss our Charity Auction of unique items. Proceeds from the Charity Auction, vendors’ fees, and ticket sales will benefit Doctors Without Borders, Liberty in North Korea, Able Gamers and Pets for Vets.
Rowan College at Gloucester County’s 250-acre campus is located at 1400 Tanyard Road, just off of Exit 56 of Route 55.