Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Forget the Oscars, Japanese animation reigns at Zipcon in Akron, February 20

It's fair to say now that a college education these days is futile. Students at pricey 
universities/academies/institutes/whatever rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, now at jacked-up interest rates, all to earn a diploma and degree that will never get them work able to pay down the huge sum. They will slave in permanent debt at miserable minimum-wage Mcjobs (if they are even lucky enough to find one of those at all in Ohio). Or default in bankruptcy - and slave away in permanent debut at miserable minimum-wage Mcjobs without a credit rating. They will never get out from under the crushing expense of so-called higher education. College took it all, picked their pockets clean and stole their futures. And it was not worth it, unless one counts paying bloated salaries of the faculty and elite administrators riding this gravy train-con game. 

But that is not the fate of the students at glorious University of Akron, oh no! They will NOT face a bleak future owing money that they will never earn back in a climate of low-pay hopelessness and no-benefits malaise.

No, they will face a bleak future owing money that they will never earn back in a climate of low-pay hopelessness and no-benefits malaise...WITH the pleasurable memory of having enjoyed the annual Saturday anime marathon, Zipcon.
This is a full day and evening of Japanese animation and tie-in events, only in its second year and in full bloom like the cherry blossoms at the foot of Mount Fuji, grasshopper.

Zipcon will bring to the Summit County campus some of the latest and hottest Nippon cartoon theatrical features, TV serial spinoffs or direct-to-video releases (or "OVAs," in the language of the "otaku" fandom). The schedule mixes them with trivia contests, panel discussions, Japanese food, Japanese-style sketch comedy, Japanese-language lessons, cosplay and live musical entertainment with anime themes (yes, karaoke included).

And there will even be anime royalty in attendance, in the form of English-language voiceover celebrities Amber Lee Collins (HELLSING ULTIMATE, DEAD ISLAND: EPIDEMIC, DUST: AN ELYSIAN TAIL) and Daman Mills (the latest Pokemon TV series, LADIES VERSUS BUTLERS), and `Kerry the Kimono Lady,’ proprietress of Toledo-based Ohio Kimono, the state’s only conduit of authentic Japanese kimono, direct from Kyoto.

While much of the presentations are family-friendly, well, anyone who has been exposed to anime for any length of time knows that there is something called “fan service”; better watch out. FYI, panel discussions on the actual truth of “geisha girls” and “yaoi” (gay-themed Japanese comics and cartoons) are rated 18 and over.

Anime being screened include some much-hailed theatrical cartoons. WOLF CHILDREN is a modern fantasy-tearjerker about the last two semi-human offspring of Japan’s last werewolf, being raised in the rural countryside by their widowed human mother. SUMMER WARS is a blockbuster about a high-school senior math genius framed for a virtual-reality sabotage actually committed by a dangerous software intelligence.

Events all happen from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 303 Carroll Street in Akron. The entire day is free and open to the public. Unlike college itself, which is ruinously expensive…but we’ve gone over all that.

For a full schedule and more goodies, http://zipcon.weebly.com/
has all the information.

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