Beryl the ACen Chairman and his artist friend visited us today in class. Beryl was a very enthusiastic guest to have! It was great to see how much he and his colleague were both very excited about talking to us about Acen. It was interesting to hear about what went on behind the scenes. I’m so suprised that they do everything as volunteers. That is some dedication. I thought that maybe some of the higher level staff actually ran the Acen as their full time job, but I guess I was wrong. It’s amazing that such a huge (12,000+!) convention can be run by purely volunteers. That shows how much passion and devotion these fans have for anime/manga/games. I think it’s a great philosophy that they stick to, run by fans, for fans!

They showed us interesting pictures from ACen and Beryl told us many funny stories from past Acen’s. His story about how he had to sit on the shoplifter was really interesting. It was also amazing that his cosplay costume was one too realistic (it had weapons) so the police/security had to come and tell them to disarm themselves!

Wow, Got Soap? That is an amazing campaign. It is odd that they must remind people to shower everyday! Nevertheless it’s very creative. I really liked the way Beryl defined Acen. He stated that Acen will always be “a celebration of culture”. I really think it’s great to bring a mix diverse group of people to one place to celebrate their appreciation for culture. I also was really intrigued by the word “mundane” that anime fans use to describe people like us, that are not part of that world. It is really suprising that J.K. Rowling got the inspiration of “muggles” for her Harry Potter books from overhearing the word Mundane. I guess anime is an inspiration for many different media. It is also interesting that they are branching out to Jpop, and trying to attract various kinds of people that all have some type of Japanese pop culture to share. I enjoyed today’s class, and their special visit. I really thought the artist’s Chibbie Chubbies(sp?) was super cute! However I still felt a bit overwhelmed whenever Beryl and his friend started talking about specific anime series. I guess that’s just somethin I will not understand until I myself start reading anime as Beryl suggested.

Thank you for coming to our class !

– Miho


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