Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh
Various times, $55-70, www.animazement.com
Another Memorial Day weekend, another massive influx costumed folks (fourteen thousand, according to the website) into downtown Raleigh for a celebration of Japanese animation and culture. Trying to explain Animazement, the largest homegrown genre-fandom event in the area, to the uninitiated is like trying to explain the backstory of Game of Thrones or the Marvel movies. The convention’s guest list is dominated by animation voice actors, anime merchandise dealers, karaoke, cosplay, and panels. Some of the ones that seem most accessible to newcomers are “100 Years of Anime” (Thursday), in which three veteran anime creators examine the history of the form; “Beyond Miyazaki: Anime Creators You Should Know” (Friday), which focuses on some of the newer voices creating films and television; and “What the Heck Are You Watching?: Parents’ Guide to Anime and Cons” (Saturday), which kind of speaks for itself. I think my parents could have used it when I was younger. There are also appearances by J-pop group 9nine and international double-dutch champs J-Trap.