Anime Detour 2011

Moinarc spent the weekend at the annual Anime Convention. Anime, as many may know, is a Japanese cultural phenomena – yes, plural, for Anime has many different strands, including Manga, which is published Anime (ie, graphic novels).

If that is a tortured first sentence, it is nothing compared to the tortured hair Moinarc saw at Anime Detour. Not just hair, costumes, weapons, props – well, you really had to be there. Moinarc’s kids are “total Anime nerds” – an honored title among Anime followers  – but even they did not recognize who everyone was dressed up as. When Moinarc says “dressed up”, he is understating things considerably. Total body paint, costumes that surely cost hundreds of dollars apiece, and characters from this world and the next.

In addition to the myriad of Anime/Manga characters, there were Revolutionary war soldiers, American Indians, a couple of wandering Jesus’, and a lot of guys wearing dresses. But they weren’t in drag, they were just guys wearing dresses. At the Karaoke contest Friday night one of the guys in a dress sang “I have a man crush on Jack Bauer“, taking pains to add ” a totally heterosexual man crush”. Moinarc isn’t sure who Jack Bauer is, but he is now duly warned.

The boys in skirts isn’t surprising. Anime is notorious for mixing, blending, and even obliterating gender differences. The badges required to get in had either a male or female face on it: the boys got badges with girl’s faces, and vice versa. It’s a whole ‘nother world, Dorothy, a bit like Oz on acid. Moinarc’s kids, who do not have sexual identity issues,  loved every minute of Anime Detour,

especially buying merchandise. Anime merchandise is very expensive, and generally pretty well made. There were many artist tables at Anime Detour, and much of the product was professional. A weird time was had by all, even Moinarc who, instead of being reminded of what an old crock he was, extended himself and had several pleasant and interesting conversations with the younger, total Anime nerds. Same time, next year, except that Moinarc’s crowd will be getting a hotel room – and cell phones to keep track of the young’uns.

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