Ninja-Con had a blast this year! Bringing a variety of Guests of Honor to Little Tokyo, and inviting everyone to enjoy events, like the Nendoroid Challenge, SouLandScape’s live performance, and many more! Though Cosplayers flooded the halls, and the music was attracting newbies to the festival, the highlight of this year’s Ninja-Con were the fans themselves. Brimming with excitement, the attendees sought out for new and fresh entertainment. What they found were Fan Panels and Artist Alley.

Cosplayer: Lily Lovely
Cosplayer: Lily Lovely

The Artists had unique selections from anime to Lolita fashion. Midway through the day, business cards ran out, and the fans couldn’t get enough. Many mentioned that the Salt Mines gaming tournament was great, and the stage performances, including the martial arts choreography and music was spot on; but foot traffic kept increasing in Artist Alley. Shoulder to shoulder, families and veteran “Con-goers” circulated between each table, scavenging within corners and piles of fandom paraphernalia! The true geek within was bursting at the seams.

Gay-mer: Xander Jeaneret

The Fan Panels were rich with an array of content, pertaining to non-anime related topics. Some about YouTube, Stand Up Comedy, and even Wrestling. Although, one panel stood out with a very touching message: Anti-Bullying. With Xander (representing the LGBT Geek community), and representing the female Cosplay scene are Lily Lovely, Chise-Chan, and Dustbunny. These ladies brought perspective in their respective positions. Covering issues ranging from racism, sexism, and homosexual discrimination, these brave individuals took a stand in making the public realize that bullying is too real online and at the conventions, in the guise of elitism. Cosplayer: Dustbunny Lily Lovely made strong statements of the misconceptions of Christianity, and reviewed even the value of human life within its text; Dustbunny sympathized with the crushing truth of Cosplay harassment problems today, in comparison to five years ago – when accuracy to a costume did not cause sexual harassment; and Xander, whom advocated for gay gamers, also known as “Gaymers”, as when the closet opens, the raids break into homophobia. The pressure caught on fire with the audience, as they brought questions to the table: Where do they find their confidence to Cosplay? Are we safe from discrimination within our own community? Is it worth being a Geek in public? The discussion expanded to transgender issues and cyber bullying. The list continued, and the attendees were able to end with a lovely resolve: Love yourself, and respect will come naturally. A heartfelt gratitude exchanged between fans and speaker, with hugs and sisterhood among fellow geeks – a true community, like no other. If only more festivals were like Ninja-Con… For more information about Ninja-Con, visit:

www.ninja-conla.org

photo by Mad Calamity Photos
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