(Ayesha Sheikh/MJ)


It’s that time of year again where fans of anime, video games and nerdy pop culture gather together in downtown Detroit for Youmacon. The convention, which is held annually around this time of year, missed halloween just by a bit. This didn’t stop anyone from dawning their cosplays for this four day event.

Starting on Nov. 3 as a free night, the convention kicked off with a bang with lines spanning at least a mile for badge pick-up. If you weren’t fortunate to buy the three-day badge online, you could stand in line to buy one of the $65 badges for the whole weekend or single day badges for $25-$45. Registering early could get you a platinum badge that’s limited to 500 people for the event and included priority position for main events, admittance into the Maid Cafe or Charity Ball and more.

Like any convention, YoumaCon had it’s ups and downs this year. One of the positives, due to it’s immense popularity, the maid cafe was open two days instead of the usual one. The downside to the convention was the cancellation of five panels on the schedule. It wasn’t too bad, however, as most con-goers worked around it and were still having a great time.

An attendee, Ross Post, hadn’t even noticed the cancellations, as they barely affected him.

“I think it was a shame that they cancelled a few panels,” Post said, “but things happen and I understand that some things happen beyond control. Luckily, none of the panels that I wanted to go to were cancelled so I count myself thankful.”

Like Post, others weren’t deterred from the con by things out of their control. The construction happening in the Renaissance Center didn’t stop the crowds from gathering all over. People in costumes roamed the walkways and some were even off to the sides having photoshoots. Others opted to do outdoor photoshoots as the weather was perfect this weekend for some of the more scantily clad cosplays. As YoumaCon attendees walked between the Ren Cen and Cobo Hall, many photoshoots could be seen taking place.

The other half of the convention, taking place in Cobo Hall, included a variety of panels as well as the Dealer’s Room where one could buy various items ranging from art to sculptures to steampunk clothing.

Alongside the Dealer’s Room was Artist Alley where artists sold their own artwork along with handmade items. Artist Alley also hosted a few autograph booths for celebrities like Team Four Star of youtube and steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe.

If you weren’t attending a panel or shopping in the Dealer’s Room, you could attend one of the many cosplay contests. First time competitor Courtney Hoak enjoyed her experience and walked away with the Judges’ Choice award for her Princess Peach cosplay.

“I really enjoyed YoumaCon this year,” Hoak said. “I didn’t go to a lot of panels but the Dealers Room/Artist Alley was good this year and I saw a ton of great cosplayers. It was definitely a new experience entering the hall costume contest and I was able to meet some talented cosplayers who have been competing for years.”

Despite a few mishaps, YoumaCon still brought in plenty of fans with costume parties, raves, and talent competitions.