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Lahore Hosts First Anime Convention Gathering Cosplayers

Lahore Hosts First Anime Convention Gathering Cosplayers.

Anime and Manga Fans Take Over Lahore in Pakistan’s First Animaykon Convention

On February 18th, 2024, Lahore witnessed a unique gathering of passionate fans as the city hosted its first-ever anime, manga, and comic convention, aptly named Animaykon: Mission Lahore.

This event brought together around a thousand enthusiastic individuals of all ages, united by their love for these vibrant forms of entertainment.

The open-air convention boasted a whole day of exciting activities, with the highlight being the thrilling cosplay competition.

Participants brought their favorite characters to life with meticulous attention to detail, transforming themselves into iconic figures like:

  • Obito Uchiha from Naruto
  • Hange Zoe from Attack on Titan
  • Makima from Chainsaw Man
  • Scarlet Witch from the Marvel universe
  • Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII
  • The Predator
  • Hatsune Miku (strawberry version)
  • Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan
  • Luffy, Nami, and Sanji from One Piece
  • Satoru Gojo and Toji Fushiguro from Jujutsu Kaisen

The elaborate costumes, meticulously crafted accessories, and striking makeup were a sight to behold, transporting attendees to the fantastical worlds of their favorite stories. But the true magic of the event lay in the camaraderie and sense of community it fostered.

Connecting Over Shared Passions:

Beyond the visual spectacle, the convention provided a platform for strangers to connect over their shared passion for anime and manga. Attendees, many of whom confessed to being introverts, found themselves feeling comfortable, safe, and understood amidst fellow enthusiasts. They eagerly exchanged stories, discussed their favorite moments, and reveled in the opportunity to pose for pictures together.

Beyond the Costumes: Anime’s Impact on Lives:

For many of the participants, anime and manga were more than just forms of entertainment; they were sources of refuge, inspiration, and joy. Several cosplayers shared personal stories about how these media had impacted their lives, offering solace during challenging times and fostering a sense of belonging.

  • Aliza, cosplaying Power from Chainsaw Man, discovered anime as a source of comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic and has developed a deep connection to it ever since.
  • Miral, a book writer dressed as Raiden Shogun from Genshin Impact, spoke about how anime helped her navigate difficult phases in her life. Attending such events allowed her to celebrate the beauty of this medium and connect with other passionate fans.
  • Farah Zia, an introvert cosplaying Hange Zoe from Attack on Titan, found the convention to be a space where she felt accepted and understood. For her, anime has been a source of confidence and motivation.
  • Monam Saleem, a fashion design student dressed as Hatsune Miku, spent months meticulously crafting her elaborate costume, all for the joy of immersing herself in the supportive and inclusive environment of the convention.

More Than Just Entertainment: Breaking Stereotypes:

The event also featured a unique cosplay choice by artist couple Shayan Inzi and Alina. They chose to portray Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza and a Palestinian flag respectively, highlighting the importance of recognizing real-life heroes and challenging the perception of anime as solely focused on fictional worlds.

A Growing Community:

The organizers of Animaykon, like Danyal Farooq, are excited about the growing interest in anime and manga in Pakistan.

They plan to expand the event to other cities like Karachi, aiming to create a platform for fans to connect, celebrate their shared passion, and contribute to a vibrant and inclusive community.

Beyond the Cosplay:

While the cosplay competition was a central attraction, Animaykon offered a variety of activities for attendees to enjoy. This included:

  • food court offering delicious food options.
  • Vendor stalls selling a diverse range of anime, comic, and gaming merchandise such as posters, stickers, figures, keychains, and books.
  • gaming tournament featuring the popular fighting game Tekken 7.

Animaykon serves as a testament to the growing popularity of anime, manga, and comics in Pakistan.

It provides a platform for fans to connect, celebrate their shared passion, and experience the joy and creativity offered by these unique forms of entertainment.

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