Just about every sort of hobby, media, and form of entertainment has a convention that is associated with it. From experience, I must say that going to a convention is sometimes the best experience for someone who is a fan of anything. Some of the best, and sometimes outrageous, yet fun conventions are anime conventions held throughout the United States. If you have the knowledge and experience of attending any sort of convention, not just anime or comics, you are absolutely going to love reading Svetlana Chmakova’s manga series, DramaCon.
Volume 3 Cover of DramaCon
The entire manga series takes place at an anime convention, and chronicles the hilarious and outrageous events that occur around Christie. Christie is a girl who is attending an anime convention for the first time, along with some of her high school and college friends. The story about the different events that happen to Christie can at times be funny, romantic, and emotional at various points, each showing the kinds of things that go on during an anime convention. The story is dynamic and can be unpredictable at times, it is a real treat for people who have been to anime conventions in the past.
Walking through the Convention
There are many characters involved with Christie’s story, as is the funny thing with all anime conventions, there are tons of characters running around. Besides Christie, other important characters involve Christie’s boyfriend Derek, their room-mates and school friends, and the mysterious Matt. There is just enough characters that give something to overall story, with very little amount of characters wasting space at all. While there are some questionable attitudes and motives of some characters at different points of the manga series, most doubts are over shadowed by great pacing of the story, and good development and growth for key characters.
Christie and Matt
One of the strongest points of DramaCon is it’s use of convention references and situations that plays a key part in the story. From the Paki packs and Artist Alley, to the cosplay and J-Pop dance club, DramaCon definitely has a lot references Con-Goers are going to recognize. What is even more gratifying, and humorous, is the response Christie has to some of the more stranger events that take place during an anime convention, for example the idea of screening a Hentai anime with other convention attendees. What is also interesting about DramaCon is the references to other modern pop culture icons and media. For humorous effect, and copyright protection, Sventlana Chmakova changes the spelling and pronunciation of different stars and shows that are recognizable. An example would be Justin Timberlake being spelled as Tustin Jimberlake, or Marylin Manson refered to as Narylin Nanson. These are changes that are silly but convey the message of who the person she is using as a reference as really is.
Excerpt from Dramacon
There are only a few low points to DramaCon. The main one being just how short the manga actually is, completing at only just three volumes. The story is real short compared to most manga out there, but never the less, the story is complete and not left as a cliff hanger by the final volume. The other small problem this manga has is the quick completion of some characters’ involvement with the main story. Because the manga itself is very short, some arcs feel a bit rushed, including the portion about Christie’s ex-boyfriend meeting up with her again towards the ending. Christie and other main characters however, are not given a rush job and develop fully by the final part of the manga.
What happens when you oogle a girl at an anime convention
DramaCon is really a love letter to anime conventions packaged up as a manga series. There are plenty of references and nods to different aspects of attending a convention, and much exploration about attending a convention for the first time. It is a fun read and, although short, is a great publication from TokyoPop manga. It is a shame that this manga is such short lived because it would have been great to explore other aspects of other types of conventions, not just strictly anime conventions. For anyone who has never been to any sort of convention before, you might feel a bit confused at first, but will quickly and easily begin to enjoy this manga. For anyone that has been to a convention before and knows where this manga is coming from, you will absolutely love what you read here.