Anime-SPARK! 2011 Sparkles in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The Opening Ceremony at Anime-SPARK! 2011

The Opening Ceremony at Anime-SPARK! 2011

In the mid west and wondering what to get your otaku valentine? 

A trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa is the clear choice. 

It is turning out to be an exciting weekend of celebration and celebrities, costumes and cosplay, anime action and art, and excitement all around. 

This evening the show opened with Ryan Kopf, the Con Chair, MC, and wearer of many hats, introducing the stars of the weekend. 

The headlining voice actors are Quinton Flynn and Chris Rager. 

Quinton has held many roles including Axel from Kingdom Hearts, Reno from FF7:Advent Children, Doctor Riddles from Zatch Bell, Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four, Raiden in Metal Gear Solid, Iruka-sensei, and appearances in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, King of Queens, Animaniacs, Robot Chicken and others. 

Chris Rager is a voice actor for FUNimation with such roles as Mr. Satan, and King Youma on Dragonball Z, Arlong in One Piece, and has had done voices for Full Metal Alchemist, Yu Yu Hakusho, Samuri 7, Sargent Frog, Case Closed, Black Cat, Desert Punk, Blue Gender and roles in such video games as Bloodrayne, Battle Street, and Roadkill. 

History of Samurai Swords

History of Samurai Swords

Samurai Dan and his lady Jillian held multiple panels, including one on the history of Samurai weaponry. 

They displayed some of their personal collection, including centuries old swords and knives. 

For those without their own Otaku this Valentines day they had Otaku Speed Dating and the Anime Date Auction. 

Proposal

Proposal

To end the Anime Date Auction with a wonderfully, unexpected surprise, the MC/Auctioneer was interupted by one of her auctioneering assistants before she could auction herself away as the final prize. 

Instead he offerred up a price higher than anyone would have expected at such and auction as he dropped on one knee and proposed he marry him. 

The auction ended with a kiss and the young couple running off before the audience fully realized what had actually happened. 

Dance lessons and then a formal ball followed the auction and then the evening ended with a rave with rave though ended is a misnomer as it is 4:45 a.m. as I write this line and their are still Otaku in the lobby and corridors basking in the warmth of one anothers company in the cold, Iowa winter. 

Stay warm and drop by if you can make it as the weekend is just getting started! 

For more photos go to http://artydawgz.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=33627