Ready your swords and shields, it’s time for Matsuricon!

Matsuricon 2018 is happening this Friday Aug 24 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday Aug 25 from 10 a.m. -10 p.m. and Sunday Aug 26 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Columbus at the Columbus Convention Center (350 North High Street Columbus).

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

This event is considered a “family friendly” event. Most of the panels are all ages unless otherwise stated. It does showcase certain events that are not appropriate for attendees under the age of 18, and convention staffers will check the IDs of all attendees before they enter these events. Because of the “family friendly” image, the 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. To view the full schedule of activities at this year’s event, visit http://www.matsuricon.org/schedule.

For more information on Matsuricon, including guidelines and explanations for the Friday night State Dinner, visit http://www.matsuricon.org/.

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Tess Abney is a writer and artist from the Quad-Cities who enjoys writing on a variety of topics.