He looked as though he was a woman and would be difficult to ascertain if he was indeed a man or woman. The joy and anxiety that filled his heart can’t be quantified nor evaluated as he posed for different photographic sessions. He and other attendees looked different in their regalias. The rush and juxtaposition of masculinity, femininity, and characterization flared everywhere and made the contention more engaging and worthwhile.

There were varieties of costumes on display as each of the attendees paraded around in colourful dresses, just in celebration of Anime, a Japanese cartoon. Each and everyone wore their costumes just in approval of the character they approve of based on the Japanese cartoon. “I can’t imagine how happy they are, filled with fun and love, I used to be like this but not anymore,” said one of the volunteers at a recent event.

Anime is a Japanese cartoon that is widely watched by a large population in different parts of the world. Its origin can be traced to Japan, but over the years, it has gained widespread recognition and attention from people of different continents and countries. The Japanese cartoon has diverse vigorous and flexible characters with an elevated and energetic setting. The content of the colourful cartons is directed toward both the young and old, as it caters for different genres of arts. The popularity of Anime is nowhere near extinction and that is why people of different age groups are so much fascinated by the colourful cartoon. It has no age group nor rank as regards the content because it seems rich in highly resourceful contents and production. It also has the room for diverse audiences, based on what you might find appealing or attractive.

The high recognition of Anime has however led to comparison to Manga. Manga is a Japanese Comic book. Although some of the episodes of Anime have been inspired by characters of Manga, Anime has now germinated into being a force of its own, where original characters have been developed though creativity and originality. The main difference between Manga and Anime is the production and layout. Manga is produced in black and white format, which is in contradiction to Anime that is colourful. Over time, Anime has also drawn inspirations from other areas of creativity and content and this has been able to make it a formidable force among its contemporaries. This also has enhanced capability of the cartoon to be widely accepted, symbolised and adored, by a larger population of its audience.

The popularity, love, recognition and enthusiastic celebration of the Japanese cartoon is not a surprise. Over the years, students of the Dublin Institute of Technology have organised an annual convention in celebration of the cartoon. During the event, you tend to see the committees and volunteers who are all students of the Dublin Institute of Technology and other people who are in different costumes in celebration of their popular Anime character.

Caption :Anime Character
photo credit: Rasaq

An array of costumes were worn, with each of the attendees gladly taking pictures to have as a memory. “This event is Anime and gaming convention, and it is charity based,” said a volunteer. All proceeds go to the charity. The average attendees are 22 years and below and people come to celebrate their passion and hobbies. “I have volunteered this event for years and now it has paid off, I am now working with a tourist company that runs events. A lot of the skills I have gotten from this large event have helped me get the job and thing I do at the tourist company,” a volunteer said.

Before the event, which took place in Griffith College, participants used to be in contact via an online platform and this event served as an avenue for each of them to meet in person. The online platform is a large community, where each and everyone engages on things of interest, which is Anime. The major difference was that they have their love tied to different characters of the Japanese animation.

The opportunity for a physical meeting has enhanced the participants chance of meeting one another. The event tagged Shurikon has made it possible for the participants and volunteers of the online community come in physical contact. Over the years, the event has created a bond of togetherness among the participants, who come from different backgrounds, cities, and tribes. Without stimulating an interest in the Anime cartoon, none of them might be able to form a bond of friendship nor intimacy. Their different cultures, values, beliefs, languages and norms have become enshrined though a similar thing of interest, which is Anime. This has then moulded a connection that might stand the test of time, due to increasing development in the animation.

The downside of the participants getting to meet one another is the distance they might need to travel, just to meet in person. Some of them stay as far as Cavan and Carlow. These places are somewhere in the woods of Ireland and this alone might be a discouragement from getting to come for the event. When you think of the hours you might need to travel just to meet the people you have been engaging with online over a period of time, you might be reluctant to embark on the journey.

Nevertheless, the opportunity of the event makes it possible for the participants to meet and they all feel it is worthwhile, that is why some of them take the trip down from far places to meet people who are of like minds and interest, in the Japanese animation.

This event is an avenue for them to meet one another and has created a long lasting friendship and intimacy among people of shared interest. “You could see how they are happy, filled with so much joy and love, I can’t imagine being like this, I use to be like this,” said a volunteer. “Some of them came from far places like; Drogheda, Galway, and Limerick. I am from Carlow the end of nowhere.”       

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