Popular Anime Convention Turns 9

Kami-Con, Alabama’s largest anime and gaming convention, celebrated their ninth season last January at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. However, the three-day convention, celebrating the Japanese culture of animation, music and gaming didn’t always have a strong following.

Founded by Ray Lenzner and the Bama SOS Brigade, a student-run group at the University of Alabama, Kami-Con made its 2009 debut in the campus’ Ferguson Center. The convention would only attract 460 attendees that year. Luckily word of mouth spread and the following year’s attendance doubled.

After a four-year residency in Tuscaloosa, the growing convention relocated to the Magic City and became a three-day-event in 2013.  The big move yielded even bigger numbers. Last year, the convention brought in over 4,000 attendees.

What sets Kami-Con apart from the rest its inclusion of an ongoing story-telling format. Like a television show, each year is considered a season. Complete with its own original characters, the convention is completely interactive-based, so the attendees control the fate of the storyline. Following the opening ceremonies, con-goers are presented with a weekend-long story that can only be solved through a series of tasks.

This season’s story titled “Kami-Con SVU: Sci-fi Victims Unit” placed attendees in the middle of a court case. Following last year’s season, attendees joined the convention’s official mascots, Shio and Kosho, in embarking a new futuristic world, laced with androids and aliens in pursuit of world domination…and a mystery.

Throughout the weekend, attendees were also able to enjoy the 234 simultaneous events and panels, including the annual cosplay and dodgeball competitions. Saturday, the con’s most popular day, concluded with their highly-anticipated rave led by DJ Nash.

Season 9 boasted a myriad special guests, including Steven Universe’s Zach Callison and Deedee Magno Hall, the cast of Channel Awesome, Team Four Star and everyone’s favorite lawyer, Alexander Shunnarah.

Attendees were also treated to a special hour-long performance by Japanese Rock band Kazha.


About The Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.