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The fifth annual Kami Con was held this past Friday and Saturday in the Birmingham Jefferson Conference Center. This is a convention featuring different anime characters and actors founded by University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa gamers.
Two thousand people had registered for this event, and almost every person was dressed in characters from some manga show or game. After the con-goers got their badges they were welcome to a plethora of events and rooms.
The first day started with Speed Friend-ing, a place to play games like Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots and meet new people. After the first hour, the big events started. Vic Mignonga, of Full Metal Alchemist fame, had his daily panel in which he answered questions, gave hugs, and sang Journey. After his panel, and like all of the other panels, his event was followed by an autograph session with an hour-long line.
Several other famous voice actors like Colleen Clickenbeard and Marianne Miller were present on the opening day. Several forums like ones on anime military, web comics, and Minecraft added another level of things to do.
Whether they were there for panels hosted by famous voice actors, for the Pokecenter, anime screenings, or various other events, everyone at Kamicon had something in common with other con-goers.
The Kamicon staff, the SoS Brigade from the University of Alabama, hosted the event. The opening show introduced the mascots of Kamicon and their conflict in this “season” of Kamicon. Throughout the last two days Shio and Koshu, the original mascots, had to defeat the recently hatched turtle mascot, Shoyu’s exes. Shoyu had been reincarnated seven times and had seven previous ex-owners.
Each owner is from a famous anime and had a pet in the anime itself. For example, Ed from Cowboy Beebop owned Ein, a dog, and Ein was one of Shoyu’s past lives. The other owners include Yusuke Urameshi, Vash the Stampede, Utena, Scanty and Kneesocks, and the Yami Yugi, the leader of this year’s villains.
Saturday held the two biggest events, dodge ball and the rave, along with “pro-bending” from the Legend of Korra and Poke-center that held Gym battles, the Poke-panel, and a tournament. Other interesting events such as the Homestuck panel, the cosplay contest and awards, and the Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament filled the East Exhibit Hall with excitement and joy.
Sunday, the closing day, was less populated than either Saturday or Friday, but everyone there was still excited despite exhaustion from the hours of fun from the previous two days. The day started with Vic’s third panel and after Michelle Ruff’s second panel, the rest of the guests joined in the Ballroom for a final farewell followed by the last autograph signings.
The con-goers used the time in between the last autograph session and the closing show to watch more anime, play games, take pictures, and give goodbyes to their new friends. There was something for everyone on the final day. My Little Pony fans, Bronies, gathered to listen to music from the show; Super Sentai was shown in the theater; gamers played fighting games in the, well, game room; and other events for those with other interests were also held in the various rooms.
The closing show gave a recap of the con and resolved Shio and Kosho’s struggle to defeat Shoyu’s evil ex-owners, The SoS brigade held an amazing event over the course of three days and they should be doing so for the foreseeable future at the BJCC.
Jermichael L Buckhannon