Anime enthusiasts nationwide will gather in Midwest City for Izumicon 

events and gaming tournaments are slated throughout the weekend. Special events director Angela Mullens said even she had a tough time cataloging all the things going on just in her department.

"We'll be doing three different tea parties. We'll be hosting a formal masquerade ball and a reibu, which is Japanese for 'rave,'" Mullens said. "We'll be doing a maid cafe where people can come in and be served by the Lolita party, as well as pajama parties where people of all ages can come in and play kids' games, which are always a lot of fun."

According to the Izumicon Web site, panel discussions include costume building, weapons and dancing, as well as classes on Japanese language, culture and mythology.

ANIME GAMING
Saif Khan will represent the local-based gaming Web site OKgamers. He will focus on anime gaming such as "Bleach," "Naruto" and "Gundam." He said the style and action of modern video games have long been influenced by anime.

"From anime-styled opponents and machines, to plotlines that seem taken straight out of existing anime, gaming definitely has shared roots in its Japanese cousin medium," Khan said.

Mullens is involved in several different types of events and conventions through her company, FoxMoon Productions, and said that she approaches each differently, depending on what it is celebrating.

"The demographics are different from convention to convention," she said. "We are sci-fi people and generally know the kind of people that go to a sci-fi convention, but with an anime convention, it's kind of a mix with a mesh of genres. A lot of the people are younger, though there are some older guests that are old-school anime fans."

Mullens anticipates large crowds, even though anime might not be as mainstream as sci-fi/fantasy or comic books. Fans from as far away as St. Louis, Atlanta and Hawaii have registered for this year's event, and she said the convention's appeal stems from how dynamic the medium of anime is.

"Anime is not just for kids," she said. "My mother watched soap operas religiously when I was little, and when I described anime to her, I said, 'Anime is my soap opera.'"

Izumicon 2009 takes place from 1 p.m. Friday-6 p.m. Sunday at the Reed Center, 5800 Will Rogers in  Midwest City

"?Charles Martin

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