In Arts & Entertainment

Anime Milwaukee runs all weekend at the Wisconsin Center.

10,000-plus geeks expected to attend Anime Milwaukee

This weekend, Anime Milwaukee – the largest anime convention in Wisconsin – celebrates its 10-year anniversary. For those not completely sure, anime is Japanese hand-drawn or computer-generated animation.

Almost 10,000 people attended Anime Milwaukee in 2016, which runs again this weekend, Feb. 17-19 at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave. A record-breaking crowd is predicted.

"It's definitely a unique experience that brings all kinds of people together," says Vic Walter, the media division director for the event. "Like many other Anime Conventions around the U.S., we have grown into more of a general geek culture event."

Anime Milwaukee features video gaming on various consoles and arcade style games, a tabletop gaming area, a rave, a charity ball, anime viewing rooms, panels and more.

"We encompass a lot and provide a safe place for people to be able to express themselves in their own way, freely without judgement, and means a lot to people," says Walter.

Anime Milwaukee started as a club at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"It was started as a safe place for like-minded 'geeks' of anime and Japanese culture to hang out," says Walter. "Evolving the club into a not-for profit event created so many opportunities to do great things and grow into what we are today."

Anime Milwaukee fans range from, aptly, anime enthusiasts along with video and tabletop gamers and cosplayers – which is when attendees dress up as their favorite fictional characters.

"We also bring in an array of guests," says Walter.

This year, the expanded event will occupy all three floors of the Wisconsin Center which will allow for a larger video gaming room and extra space for panels.

View the three-day schedule of non-stop action here.

Thanks to the help of the UWM Japanese program, new panels include"Learning Basic Japanese," "How to Draw Manga," "Lecture on Kyudo" – which is a Japanese form of archery – "Manga of the 18 & 19 Centuries," Japanese calligraphy and more.



Last year, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported that over the weekend Anime Milwaukee brought $1.2 million into the city.

"It's not just about filling up hotels, but our attendees walk Downtown, go into the restaurants and take in the great city that is Milwaukee. I myself make sure I find time to step out to The King and I every year for a quiet dinner," says Walter.


Talkbacks


Post a comment / write a review.

Facebook Comments

Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.