Last Night: Yasumicon 2008 at FIU Graham Center

Marco Kornfeld

Zelda comes to life -- er, sort of -- at Yasumicon 2008. Click here to view the full slide show.

On most days like Saturday, kids are racing to get away from the heat by jumping in to the nearest body of water they can find. But the anime fans that attended the 6th annual Yasumicon at FIU donned their multi-layered, and multi-colored costumes despite the sweltering weather and flooded the school.

From the second that visitors stepped out of their cars, droves of cosplayer (people in costumes for those not versed in anime-speak) could be seen making their way to the Graham Center ballroom, where vendors specializing in everything Japanese from snacks to manga set up shop. Some of the stuff seemed a bit pricy, but considering that the average cosplayer spent a couple hundred on their costumes, the prices were relatively okay. I still wouldn’t shell out $500 for a damn doll, but hey, to each their own.

Several panels were offered, most of which were attended only sparingly, as I assume most of the anime fans were busy swimming in the sea of merchandise over flooding the vendor room at the Graham Center. Those who happened to be around at 2 p.m. were treated to displays of swordsmanship, ninjitsu and even a Japanese-style maid café.

As two knights faced each other, the battle mistress, we’ll call her that because referee sounds a little out of place, explained how the armor and swords were all crafted with steel. Someone in the crowd surrounding the two fighters commented, “You can’t get that shit at Wal-Mart.”

The real highlight of the show was the costume contest. It is here were the con-attendants could see the truly fanatical. One of the most impressive costume featured Renji from Bleach with his bankai unleashed. If you didn’t understand a single word in the previous sentence just follow the link for a good idea of what I’m talking about.

Best in show was awarded to a rat. Yes a rat, well not an actual rat, but a girl dressed like Freya, a rat humanoid like magician from Final Fantasy IX. The costume was handcrafted, and I must admit it was very faithful to its source material.

A couple of people dressed up as Solid Snake, or should I say Naked Snake, complete with weaponry, and I must say that those weapons looked a little too real for my comfort. Luckily no one got hurt during the con, or at least so I assume.

- Elvis Ramirez

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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran