Anime is not just for geeks anymore. In fact, what was once an esoteric cult of Anime and Manga fans has become more mainstream than many people realize. Anime began as a Japanese influenced form of animation with hard to track down videos and dvds. It is now everywhere, supported by a huge, enthusiastic and diverse assemblage of incredibly imaginative fans and fanatics.
Anime is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of “animation.” In English-speaking countries, anime refers to a style of animation originating in Japan, characterized by colorful graphics, sometimes with adult themes. This writer thinks that the popularity is due to the rich and fantastic stories and characters anime utilizes, which are invariably far from the mundane and coarse offerings of commercial television and movies. Survivor and Big Brother may be “reality” television, but those shows are tepid amusements compared to the places Anime shorts and Manga comic books can take you.
“Comic and anime conventions are like a sleeping giant,” says Jon Wynn, Berkshire Anime organizer and owner of MediaCrash, one of the main sponsors of the convention. “There’s always been a subculture that is interested in comics and animation, but it has really exploded in the past few years.”