Matsuricon 2018

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Description from the Matsuricon website:

Matsuricon is an annual Japanese pop-culture event that focuses primarily on Japanese animation (known as “anime”), manga (Japanese graphic novels), and video games. We also showcase both American and Japanese popular culture, due to the natural overlap of fandom from both genres.

We are considered a “family friendly” event. Most of our panels are all ages unless otherwise stated. We do showcase certain events that are not appropriate for attendees under the age of 18, and our convention staffers check the IDs of all attendees before they enter these events. Because of our “family friendly” image, our mascots are a “traditional” Japanese family consisting of a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, and a dog.

Matsuricon’s goal is to promote the cultural awareness of Japanese pop-culture through related events, special guest speakers and cultural presentations.

Below, we waited outside and saw several eager attendees walking through downtown Columbus to enter the Convention Center and begin their Matsuricon journey.


Those that have followed us for a long time know that we love cosplay, anime, science fiction and all the cons that go along with it.  We’ve covered Wizard and Ohayocon many times.  This was our first year at Matsuricon.

My initial impression is that this is not an overly large convention, which is a great thing if you have a desire to go, but do not want to be inundated with large crowds.  Matsuricon used the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Greater Columbus Convention Center for their panels and events.  This helps spread the activity around.

Unlike other conventions, we never felt cramped, jammed, or rushed.

What you do get is the same great cosplay, panels and cultural events that we have come to love at events like this.

One of our first events was the AMV Contest or Anime Music Video Contest.   At this event, you watch and vote for your favorite anime video clip paired with a song.  These entries are submitted by Matsuricon lovers for the viewing public’s consideration.  This was our first time at this kind of viewing, and we can say that there are some very talented editors out there!!  Great job to all who submitted.

Here, we can see an example of the viewing facility as well as fans watching and enjoying the videos.

And what would an anime convention be without the awesome work and dedication of the cosplayers!

Check these out!

We next took a trip into the vendor area.  Here you find all your favorite videos, manga, costumes and cultural items you won’t find at your local WalMart or Target.   Not going to lie, we did find some stuff we wanted and bought it (we are suckers for DragonBall – even after all these years).  Good thing we are the bosses and can take breaks whenever we want!   😀

Now, before we wrap up this Visual Ohio Matsuricon, let us express once again our admiration for those that participate.  They put in countless hours on their costumes and their performance routines.  You can tell they really have found a passion and an outlet for their creativity.

This young lady really can play the violin and well.  It was not just a prop for her cosplay outfit.
I remember hearing her start playing, and thought it was a bit out of place where we were.  I looked over and saw the crowd starting to perform.

She had her eyes closed for most of the performance.  When she completed the piece and opened her eyes, she was greeted by applause and cheers from the other attendees that were blessed with her spectacular performance.

This blondie was part of a duo that performed a choreographed dance to some of their favorite anime themes.

We had wrapped up our coverage for the day and were about to leave, but when we got right to the door we heard lots of cheering and applause.  Of course, we had to investigate what was going on.  Walking into the meeting room in Section A, there were about 30 people sitting around and cheering on their friends as they performed.

This is a great community and everyone bonds together to support each other in their performances or just being there for each other in general.

I’m very grateful for organizations like Matsuricon that provide an outlet for these creative minds to express themselves.  Visual Ohio is grateful to Matsuricon for providing us the opportunity to cover the event this year and hope to return in the future to expand out coverage now that we know what it is all about!

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