Venturing into Anime

Ikkicon returns for fifth New Year with Adult Swim star

Dean Venture of The Venture Bros., as voiced by Ikkicon guest star Michael Sinterniklaas
Dean Venture of The Venture Bros., as voiced by Ikkicon guest star Michael Sinterniklaas (Image courtesy of Adult Swim)

Central Texas anime fans are probably feeling pretty smug around now. While everyone else is pulling together last-minute New Year's Eve plans, they're probably putting the finishing touches to their cosplay costumes before the annual Ikkicon Japanese animation and pop culture convention.

Last New Year's weekend, Ikkicon IV attracted 4,200 anime, manga and cosplay fans over its three days. This year, event founder and co-chair Michael Loredo said he's aiming for over 5,000 attendees.

It's not just sitting in darkened rooms watching Japanese animation (although with two dedicated screening rooms across all three days, there'll be plenty of opportunities to catch up on missed episodes of Nicktoons mainstay Dragonball Z Kai or more obscure fare like Oh! Edo Rocket.) The established Ikkicon mix of US anime industry insiders, cosplay workshops and vendors returns, mixing practical costume design session more abstract panels ("Is Airship Piracy right for you?") and some thoroughly NSFW discussions of hentai and Yaoi. As for the live entertainment, Loredo said, "If you liked the main events [stage] last year, you're going to love it this year."

There's a few names on the guest list that will be familiar to previous Ikkicon attendees, like voice-over talents including Carli Moser and brothers Chris and Greg Ayres, pop culture vigilantes ninjaHELL! and prize-winning competitive cosplayer Yaya Han. The big late addition to the line-up is anime ADR mainstay Michael Sinterniklaas: The founder of NYAV Post and a prolific director and scriptwriter for translated Japanese shows and films, he's probably best known to non-anime fans as the voice of Dean Venture from Adult Swim's action-satire The Venture Bros. Truly, go team Venture!

To distinguish Ikkicon from other anime-cons, even the ones in Central Texas, Loredo said, "We really like to focus on putting on a great musical performance." This year, that includes convention circuit favorites like St. Louis' sci-fi pub rockers the Browncoats and two-time Austin Music Award winners One-Eyed Doll, as well as Austin's self-proclaimed premier video game tribute band, Descendants of Erdrick. "They play a lot of gaming tunes," Loredo said, "but put their own rocking spin on them."

Ikkicon V, Fri. Dec. 31- Sun. Jan. 2. The Hilton Austin, 500 E. Fourth. Three day badge $45-$75, single day tickets $30, nine and under free.

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Ikkicon, Anime, Michael Loredo, Manga, Ikkicon V, ninjaHELL!, The Venture Bros., Greg Ayres, Chris Ayres, Michael Sinterniklaas, Yaya Han, One-Eyed Doll, The Children of Erdrick

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