By Jer’Mykeal McCoy
Phresh & Professional
Thousands of fans came out this past weekend for the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention at the Nashville Convention Center. According to its website, MTAC produces events related to anime, manga and relevant popular arts, providing enthusiasts and the public at large with a forum for patronage and education thereof.
Anime are Japanese animated productions featuring hand-drawn or computer animations that are made into television series, short films and full-length feature films.
This year’s events included: costume contests, Ramen noodle eating contest, a rave, a bar crawl, and a talent show.
This year’s theme was “Devil’s Dozen” a play off “baker’s dozen,” referring to the number 13. Highlighting this year’s event as the 13th MTAC.
“Anime is more available to the consumer now that it has ever been before,” Told FUNimation voice actor and director, Chris Cason, Saturday in a press conference over the current state of anime in his debut appearance at MTAC.
FUNimation is an American television and film production company that produces and distributes English dubbed versions of various anime from Japan.
Cason, 38, who is a Dallas native and has over 10 years in the industry, got his start in anime when he auditioned for the hit anime series Dragon Ball Z in 1998.
He credits the DBZ series as the “Gateway drug to anime” in regards to the success of the series and various anime afterwards in the United States.
The first MTAC was in Dec. 1999 with 300 in attendance, last year’s event had 7,200 with this years attendance reaching around 10,000.
At the rate of growth in the convention’s attendance, MTAC should have the numbers next year to be host at the new $585 million Music City Center which opens next month.