With approximately over 28,000 visitors around the country merged into Dallas Hilton Anatole Hotel for 4 days, the A-Kon26 convention is a nerd paradise. If it’s your first time at A-Kon, it could be very overwhelming and even sometime chaotic due to the pure size of teenagers gathering, each creatively in anime character. For some of character outfits, with precious hours and days, each piece are custom-made by these youngsters with unlimited imagination. Over the 4 days event, visitors are immersed into a world of anime, sci-fy, comic and gaming.
While the focus of the A-Kon26 convention is centered on anime fandom and screenings of films and television series, many other activities take place encompassing various segments of geek and Japanese pop culture. These events include panels with American and international authors, artists, voice actors, programmers and coders, and industry experts, not to mention gaming guests, filming room, cosplay combat room, scavenger hunts, martial arts demonstrations, an artist alley, exhibit hall, dealers room and concerts by Japanese bands. This year special guest is Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (Example, 1995 and 2004 Ghost in the Shell, the Origin of Ren from Kill Bill vol.1, and Blood: The Last Vampire). The panelists included voice and director actors Caitlin Glass (Example, Fullmetal Alchemist), Kyle Hebert (Example, Gohan from FUNimation dub of Dragonball Z), Kristin McGuire (Example, her comic Enchanted), Trina Nishimura (Example, Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan), Amber Nash (Example, Pam Poovey on animated series Archer), Bryce Papenbrook (Example, Eren in Attack on Titan), Tyson Rinehart (Example, Byard from Fairy Tail), J. Michael Tatum (Example, Rikichi in 2005’s Samurai 7), and David Vincent (Example, Gun x Sword). Other guests from A-Kon26, including musical guests Seven Oops and Urbangarde, were present for this year event.
The convention also maintains a vigorous social network presence on Facebook and Twitter, having an estimated 15,000 and 7,000 followers respectively, through which they post information and run contests throughout the year. According to Meri Davis – Chairman of A-Kon Texas, USA, “The 26th year of A-Kon promises a continued rise toward greatness, brings a new pride, celebrates the previous 25 years but puts the ashes of past sadness behind us, and looks ahead toward the adventure of an exciting bold future for those willing and brave enough to work together to achieve it!”