Here in Allendale, Michigan JAFAX (Japanese Animation, Film, and Art Expo) is celebrating its 16th year this weekend. JAFAX is an unusual convention in that it is entirely free. It is held on the beautiful campus of Grand Valley State University on the outskirts of Allendale, Michigan.
There are plenty of beautiful areas for photoshoots and cosplay outdoors, a fashion show today (Saturday 6/26/11) at 6 p.m. and a Costume Contest Sunday 6/27/11 at 5 p.m. Picnics are randomly popping up in the shade too!
Other events include the premiere of High School of the Dead, an AMV contest, Anime Jeopardy, Anime Dating Game, Anime Name that Tune, several video game tournaments, How to Make Your Own Plushie Mascot with the folks from Otakumals.com (become their fan on facebook for 20% off for life!) and other fun events.
Special Guests from the Anime industry include Kyle Hebert, Robert Axelrod, and Doug Smith.
Kyle Hebert gives his voice to various anime including Dragon Ball Z, Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club, Full Metal Alchemist, Various video games including Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and X Men Arcade.
Robert Axelrod stage, screen, and voice actor, writer, director, musician, including the voice of Lord Zedd and Fenster of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, voices in Digimon, Cowboy Bebop, Captain Horlock, and others was in the Michael Jackson video Stranger in Moscow, and was in over 30 feature films including four with Charles Bronson.
Doug Smith has voiced various Anime videos for Funimation and ADV and, additionally, is a very talented artist. I attended part of his panel, Digtital Art 101 and had hoped to sit in a bit and maybe even take a little video (with his permission, of course!) but the panel was so well attended that there really wasn’t a good spot for me to do so. Suffice it to say, he really knows his stuff and made it almost look easy enough for me, but I don’t think I will be competing with him any time in the near future.
Other artists include James Dawsey, an artist and writer for the Role Playing Game industry, and Joseph and Kristene of Dragon Spirit Studios.