On Oct. 18, the Ace House of Dyson College joined their efforts and co-sponsored a massive event, Qirin Con, with the Office of the Dean of Students, the Seidenberg School, the OASIS program, and the Syndicate of Fanology to bring an enormous amount of fun filled activities to many students. Qirin Con can be described as a convention that caters to those interested in Japanese culture, anime, and gaming. It was able to bring in an audience from around the city to join in a mini-Comic Con that was run entirely by University students and alumni
This free, one-day con featured interactive and discussion-based workshops on the art, craft, and enjoyment of anime and gaming culture, plus guest speakers on how to develop professional skills for anime and gaming related careers. Qirin Con also included a gaming tournament, a cosplay contest, a small marketplace, an after party, and special entertainment provided by the Triforce Quartet.
The break away rooms had much to present. Some of the highlights of these rooms were things like the “Voice Acting 101” class, the “Inside Look at Convention Press Coverage”, and the “Intersectionality of Gender, Race, and Class in Anime”.
One of the well-attended session was the cosplay lecture where the ways of making costumes and preparing in time was taught. This lecture finished by letting those who were in attendance make their own stuffed plushies. In this case, everyone there was able to sew, stuff, and decorate their own stuffed dumpling based on a tutorial given by the lecturer.
There was also a room where various video games were set up around screens in every wall of the room. This event also created a day long competition for those who were interested. The players in the competition battled out to see who could win on Smash Brawl, a popular Nintendo video game. In the end, there were final winners left with prizes provided by Performance Designed Products.
Separate from these sessions there was a room reserved for movie viewing. Various films were screened throughout the course of the day for people to enjoy and rest with while waiting in between sessions or to sit though entirely.
Another large event at Qirin Con was the cosplay costume competition. The costumes were very elaborate and anyone in attendance had the opportunity to enter. The winner was elected by those in attendance, in order to keep things fair. The people who were in costumes were introduced half-way through the event, allowing the voters to take their time and deliberate who would win. Costumes ranged from original characters, such as the steampunk pirate and the new Princess Tutu character, to well-known characters like Ash Ketchum from Pokémon and Black Widow. The winners in this completion left with a few months’ worth of a Lootcrate subscription.
Some of more notable Qirin Con attendants included the SoHo Host Club, who formed from the idea of the show “Ouran High School Host Club.” The SoHo Host Club describes itself as “establishments [where] the servers go above and beyond the call of duty to serve [their] customers. The emphasis is on making the customer feel very important and relaxed through the attention and servicing of the worker.”
The convention was also able to service the attendants with a small booth set up that allowed anyone and everyone to have their picture drawn in chibi form, a popular Japanese drawing style for just a small tip. And for those interested in merchandise, there was a small marketplace with many items up for sale.
The convention closed off with a bang, going from a performance by the Triforce Quartet- a traditional string quartet that plays video game music from fan favorite games, including Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy- and finishing with a dance in the Student Union for all attendants. All that is left now is to look forward to next year’s Qirin Con, which promises many more surprises.
This article originally appeared in the November 13, 2014 edition of The Pace Press.