SANDUSKY, Ohio — A major anime convention is making its return to northern Ohio.
What You Need To Know
- Colossalcon is a major anime convention held in at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky
- The event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19
- Colossalcon will have a 7,000 person attendance cap this year
Everything was set up inside the convention center at the direction of Victoria Albarn.
“When you’re at the airport and there’s like the huge overall and it’s like ‘go this way, go this way,’ they’re all the signs that show like what each room, each area is, that way you can see exactly where you are,” explained Albarn.
The 25-year-old is the Con Chair for Colossalcon — a culture a friend introduced her to when she was a teenager, and she’s been in love ever since.
“And we sat on their like computer and floor watching this anime and I was like ‘this is great! Love this!’ Binged the rest of it without them, and then it just kind of went downhill from there,” Albarn said. “I was like ‘oh, there’s this whole genre that no one’s really opened my eyes to.’”
Colossalcon allows fans of anime and other cosplay to escape into the culture. That didn’t happen in 2020, when the event was canceled due to COVID-19. A tough experience for everyone involved.
“Not having a date that said like, ‘confirmed, like, everything will be good by this date and you’ll be back to normal by this date,’ it was like, how are we going to support our community,” said Albarn. “That was the biggest problem. The people who use our shows or cons in general to make their living, how are you going to support them when you don’t have a venue for them to make their income?”
The event is back in 2021, where Jessica Becker is one of the workers bringing the event to life. The Kent State University grad was in anime club through high school and college before getting involved with the con.
Now, she’s happy to give fans a welcoming place.
“As I got older and doing conventions and stuff, it was nice to find other people who were also unabashedly like, not afraid to admit they liked anime, they liked video games, they listened to K-Pop or C-Pop, all these other things that like in high school, I would not tell people that I liked because I was afraid of being made fun of for,” said Becker.
While at a reduced capacity of 7,000, compared to the more than 20,000 the event usually draws, Albarn is just happy to be back to doing what she loves.
“Seeing a bunch of people in their cosplays, like, taking photos and playing around and like doing entire photo shoots, that’s the part that I’m so excited about,” Albarn said. “Because like, seeing people be like ‘you!’ and then ‘you!’ back is like, awesome!”
An in-person return to cosplay, where no outfit can hide the joy of being back.