Saskatoon’s Ganbatte Anime Convention draws hundreds for second year

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon's Ganbatte Anime Convention, which began last year, showcases Japanese arts and culture – Jul 23, 2017

Everything from costumes to comics were on display at Saskatoon’s second annual Ganbatte Anime Convention.

Organizer Annie Shadden began the event last year in the hopes of creating community among the city’s anime enthusiasts.

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“When I was younger, I found that there weren’t many other people that were very open about liking anime,” Shadden said.

“I would have to find out secretly, [maybe] see a manga book in someone’s bag.”

The anime event, held at TCU Place, promotes Japanese media and arts.

Organizers expected close to 2,000 attendees over the weekend.

“The worst thing for a kid is to feel alone, so [it’s a great thing to have] an event where you can come and meet people that like all the same things you do,” Shadden said.
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Attendee Kelci Hopcraft and her friends decided to come to the convention in costume.

“Seeing everyone dress up as characters you’ve either watched or played in a video game is really fun,” she said.

Hopcraft has been going to different conventions for the past nine years and said Ganbatte helps support the local anime community.

“[It brings] something different to Saskatoon,” she said. “We do have such a diverse culture already, but it’s something you don’t [always] see.”

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Artist James Zintel was at the convention showcasing his artwork.

“You start out thinking, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing — nobody wants to read it.’ Then you slowly build a following and you start getting published and picked up,” he said.

Zintel has been drawing professionally for 10 years, but notes he got his start when he was quite young.

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“It’s just being a weirdo and letting that out onto the page,” he said.

Plans are already in the works for a third Ganbatte Convention next year, on the weekend of July 21 and 22.

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