Five Reasons Animate! Miami Is the Place to Be This Weekend

A new year brings with it a new round of events for the South Florida geek scene. First on the docket is Animate! Miami, which takes over the Miami Airport Convention Center for the second year this weekend. $50 gets you a three-day pass (or $45 for just Friday and Saturday), which--let's face it--is way cheaper than any shenanigans you were going to get into across the 395. And the eye candy's way better too.

Need more reasons to make Animate! your choice for weekend festivities? I got five for you after the jump.

5. You might get some TV screen time.

SyFy's Heroes of Cosplay, which took viewers into the world of master cosplayers, is going to film an episode at Animate's Saturday night costume competition. Your creation could either make it onto the show, or you can rub shoulders with the cosplay elite, including show star Yaya Han herself. Either way, it's worth a look to make sure the show reps our scene accordingly!

4. It's Adventure Time!

Adventure Time is Cartoon Network's smash hit, and Animate! Miami is the place to exercise your fandom. Cast members John DiMaggio (Jake the Dog), Jessica DiCicco (Flame Princess), Dana Snyder (The Train, Ancient Sleeping Magi of Life Giving), and Olivia Olsen (Marceline, the Vampire Queen) will all be there for Q&As (Saturday and Sunday) and autograph sessions (Dana Snyder--all three days). Put on your best Fiona and Cake outfits to meet them!

3. There's something for everyone. Seriously.

Into video games? There's a whole freeplay area and slew of panels for you. If you lament that Jeopardy! doesn't ask all the right questions for your breed of fandom, you have plenty of game shows that test your brand of geek knowledge (Animate Wheel of Fortune, Friday 8:15 pm) . If you're a fan of animation and anime then this con was absolutely made for you! Anything from Disney to Adult Swim to My Little Pony--it's all there. That's not even counting the vendor area full of toys, comics, candy, video games, and all manner of cosplay accoutrement available for purchase.

2. Improve yourself---through panel attendance.

The panels this year definitely have some range. You have the insightful (Cosplay is Not Consent, Saturday 4:45 pm) and the...entertaining (Get That Booty: Yo Jeff's Hop Hop Dating Academy, Friday 7:00 pm). For those that want to turn fandom into a career, there are quite a few panels that can help you do so: learn how to become a voice actor (Saturday 2:15 pm), publish your own indie comic book (Friday 4:30 pm), or be a better paranormal investigator (Sunday 12:30 pm).

1. The cosplay, of course!

Animate! Miami boasts cosplay competitions all three days--that's three times the eye candy for non-cosplayers, and three opportunities for competitors to take home a prize. Friday has the Masquerade competition (8:30 pm), which is combines cosplay competition and talent show. Saturday's is the main competition (8:30 pm), which boasts a $500 prize for Best in Show and an appearance by cosplay queen Yaya Han herself. Unlike the previous two, Sunday's show (3:00 pm) is a little more laid back--there is no pre-judging, and store-bought costumes are welcome. Dust off that Halloween get-up and give it one more stomp down the runway--you might walk away a hero/ine of cosplay yourself!

Animate! Miami takes place January 17-19 at the Miami Airport Convention Center (711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami). To buy tickets or plan your schedule, visit animatemiami.com.

Send your story tips to Cultist at cultist@miaminewtimes.com.

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