When you think of Alaska, you probably think of fresh-caught fish like salmon or cod or knives called ulus, but believe it or not, there is a large base of cosplay and anime fans here in the last frontier. Case in point, Senshi Con, an annual convention hosted here in Anchorage, Alaska. While not everyone outside of the 49th state knows about the convention, it’s been around since 2005 with a large amount of success, especially after becoming the only major anime convention hosted in the state.
This year, I got the opportunity to go there and experience it in all its glory. Let me tell you, it was a mixed bag. Now, for starters, I was surprised at how different the convention was from just as early as last year. They had to switch areas since its previous location reportedly wanted them to up their ticket prices. To counter this, they chose to rent out the second floor of the Hilton this year and one room from its old location for the main events such as its cosplay contest, guest signings, Q&As with its multiple guests, and its dances.
The main attractions, though, are its guests, which included My Hero Academia‘s Justin Briner, Borderlands 3‘s Ciaran Strange, and Persona 5‘s Xander Mobus. Pro cosplayer Leon Chiro and voice actresses Natalie Hoover and Erica Lindbeck were also there as guests.
They were, however, not the only thing to gawk at. Tons of cosplay-clad individuals were around, from Sirfetch’d to the obligatory Deadpool. The con was filled with people eager to show off and even more so to get their picture taken.
The con also held events for fans to watch episodes of anime in one of the rooms. Shows that were showed during the con included The Melancholy Life of Haruhi Suzumiya, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and more.
Now, here’s the thing, even though Senshi Con was founded as a place primarily for anime, it grew into other aspects of pop culture. Much like a few years in the past, one of its sponsors hosted a Twitch livestream tournament. There, people could watch fans duke it out in Tekken 7. Now, I took my fair share of pictures. Saturday was by far the day I took the most pictures, Sunday I did do a bit of hanging out around the convention’s halls to relax where I got a chance to record a group of congoers in what they dubbed the “Cringe Corner”.
Am I to believe the Cringe Corner was exactly as described? Yes, it was cringey, but hardly anyone batted an eye at this. This is the beauty of conventions, you can let yourself be you or be someone you absolutely aren’t. Imagine it like a chance at another life.
Next time you’re in Alaska in September, you should really consider jumping on the chance to experience just how far and wide pop culture spreads.