The finicky mix of winter and spring weather on April 2nd, 2016 did not keep 70 attendees from AnimeChicago’s second symposium. Hosted at the Japan Information Center in the heart of Michigan Avenue’s fantastic stores, both AnimeChicago members and non-members alike enjoyed discussions all focusing on transformation in anime, manga, and culture.
The event’s presenters covered a wide variety of topics on the theme of transformation.
Lindsay Stevens encouraged people to support racial diversity in both characters and cosplayers.
Ruben Rosario enthusiastically showed how beautiful and frightening both outward and inward transformations are animated.
Shaun Kelly thoroughly examined the relationships and agency of the main characters in Kill la Kill, and how they are empowered, and more importantly, how they are not.
Benjamin Edmonds connected the decline of rural Japan with the feelings of isolation within both slice-of-life and horror anime, and how that reflects a change in the mindset of the country.
Perhaps the best thing about the event was the discussion and socialization that attendees engaged in during the event’s intermission. It’s always great to see anime fans involved in serious conversation.
Of course, fueling the discussions was a fantastic selection of beer brewed specifically for the event and presented by local home brewers Adam Asher and Josh Simanskey.
AnimeChicago’s second symposium was a rousing success in both scale and scope and sets the bar for future symposiums. The AnimeChicago team would like to thank the Japan Information Center for their hospitality and our sponsor Arda Wigs.