Many moons ago, my friends and I — having long since burned through all of the Studio Ghibli offerings—found an ad on the back of a newspaper for a place that promised a large selection of anime titles. When we arrived at the windowless building just outside the city limits, they carded us at the door, and as we were being led to the anime section we determined that indeed, this was not the kind of anime we were looking for. My point is this: It used to be way hard to procure the delightfully misty and surreal Japanese features. Obviously, today it’s right at our fingertips, but more important, there’s a whole culture accessible to fans. Anime Fest, from 9 a.m. Friday until 3 p.m. Monday, is the ground zero for the genre’s enthusiasts, bringing together thousands of Japanophiles and celebrating everything anime. Cosplayers, film buffs and manga lovers alike will have the run of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., for four days of panels, art shows, contests, gaming, autographs, merch, workshops and social events. Guests include director Kenji Kamiyama, producer Tomohiko Ishii and scores of voice actors and artists. Immerse yourself in 23-hour-a-day programming by procuring a $50 pass for the whole thing (or a day pass for between $25 and $35) at animefest.org.
Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2013