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Anime Oasis Saga


It's time to dust off your leather bustiers, neon wigs and oversize bows for a chance to do the electric slide with Adam Park, the Mighty Morphin Black Power Ranger himself--in roller skates, no less. Starting Thursday, May 27, Idaho's ninth annual Japanese animation convention, Anime Oasis Saga, will take over the Grove Hotel and Qwest Arena for four days of unconventional competitions, games and anime-fan hysteria.

A wide range of events is scheduled, including cosplay chess, ninja competitions and roller disco. Seriously. Anime fans looking to find the Li to their Sakura need look no further than the anime dating game. Or in preparation for the anime swimsuit competition, attendees can break a sweat on one of the many DDR machines.

Jeremy Lopett, convention chairman, said the largest event is the Cosplay Challenge, which offers a total of $4,100 in cash prizes.

"In cosplay, people make their own costumes based on a character from Japanese animation and then perform a skit with a group of people," Lopett said. "Cosplay gives those interested in Japanese animation the opportunity to compete and have a unique experience in winning, losing, having fun and making new friends that they wouldn't get in their day-to-day life."

Expect to see a large number of anime actresses and actors at the convention, such as Johnny Yong Bosch, who is better known as the Black Power Ranger, and Sonny Strait from the Dragon Ball series. Portland, Ore.-based Asian dance-rock group The Slants and Seattle anime and video game rock group Soul Candy are also scheduled to entertain the crowds.

Though last year's convention drew about 700 attendees, Lopett expects between 2,000 and 3,000 this year due to a location change from the Boise Holiday Inn. With a larger venue, attendees can expect larger scale events, such as the formal ball that takes place in the Qwest Arena.

Thursday, May 27, 7 a.m.-Sunday, May 30, 6 p.m. (Yup, straight through). $17-$43, Grove Hotel and Qwest Arena, 245 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-794-2076,