Manga, anime, costumes, tea parties, games and oh so much more make up Idaho's anime convention, and this year's installment is no exception. Anime Oasis Double One is the program's 11th annual iteration, and it all begins Thursday, May 24, with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. at the Grove Hotel in downtown Boise.
The four-day event pulls in talent from special guests like anime artists and voice actors, including Caitlin Glass, Sonny Strait, Chris Rager and Michael Coleman, who will lead discussion panels and events to explore the wide world of Japanese cartooning. Organizer Jeremy Lopett said the 2011 event attracted almost 1,200 participants.
"I moved here from out of state, and there just wasn't anything exciting," said Lopett. "Really, there wasn't anything to do here in Idaho. We had 56 paid attendants the first time, and last year, we had 1,120."
Nailing down the specifics of the event's biggest draw isn't easy. Some participants come to cosplay, which involves dressing up in costume like a favorite character. Others come for the social atmosphere, workshops on drawing cartoons or to meet a like-minded mate.
While adults and children can register for the convention, specific events are for the 18-and-older set, like the Yaoi and Yuri showings, Glitterati Gals Burlesque show and dating games.
Lopett said attendees come from far and wide to join Idaho's convention.
"We get people from 15 different states or so," he said.
With loads of activities, ranging from Wiffle ball battles, battle karaoke, arcade game competitions, dance offs, photo ops and cosplay chess matches, the program provides an event to match almost any interest.