Anime comes to life at Otakuthon

Robyn Fadden

Anime stars and fans come out to play at Montréal's Otakuthon, the second-biggest convention of its kind in Canada, celebrating the stories, characters and artistry of classic and cutting-edge Japanese anime, manga and games.

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Bold and bright style

Otakuthon transforms the Palais des congrès de Montréal into a colourful, fantastical cosmos of its own, August 4-6. Similar to July’s Montréal Comiccon, Otakuthon features an exhibition space of colourful merchandise and artwork, a roster of talent ready to meet fans, and a series of panels and workshops by artists and other experts. Yet at Otakuthon  “cosplay” plays an even bigger part of the weekend, with thousands of fans bringing characters to life in ultra-detailed costume. See the best costumes on stage at the evening Masquerade event on August 5 and the World Cosplay Summit competition on August 6.

High-energy shows

Along with all the incredible costumes, Otakuthon adds live performances: this year see Japanese half-man, half-wolf band Man With A Mission, composer Eric Roth orchestrating A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy, virtual artist brought to life IA's Party a GO-GO, Montréal's Arashi Daiko drummers and Komachi Montréal Japanese dance group,  East2West K-pop cover crew, plus the unique and hilarious BurlesGeek Show.

See the stars

Dive deeper into the wide world of anime at talks and workshops populated by artists, actors, writers, academics and fans. Guests this year include prolific anime, film and games voice actors such as Ayako Kawasumi (Fate/Stay Night), Amanda Miller (Boruto: Naruto the Movie), Cherami Leigh (Ribbit) as well as internationally known cosplayer WindoftheStars. Throughout the weekend, watch all kinds of anime in the video rooms and play video games and board games in a festive, enthusiastic atmosphere.

Contests and parties

For pure, rollicking spectacle, don’t miss Otakuthon participants doing what they do best on stage. Cosplayers are the chess pieces in Cosplay Chess while others show off their talents in singing contest Otakuthon Idol, the Cosplay RPG Battle, the Otakuthon AMV anime music video contest screening, the Gunpla Builders World Cup, a fashion show and more performative skill-testing contests that both impress and keep everyone laughing. Wild Otakudance parties on Friday and Saturday night fill the dance floor. And even the Otakuthon food stays on theme: choose from a Japanese menu and a variety of bubble tea at the Cosplay Café restaurant and terrace – where, naturally, you can sing karaoke too.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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