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Somers Library Hosts Japanese Mini-Con

SOMERS, N.Y. -- The Somers Library was like a real-life cartoon on Saturday afternoon as a group of Somers teens celebrated a Mini Anime/Comic Con.

Anime is the Japanese art of animation. It is created both by hand and by computer and is used for films, video, video games, commercials and printed fiction.

The anime event included raffles, prizes, games, food, skits, an art contest and a costume contest. The winner of the costume contest was Jacob Adler, dressed as an anime character from Tsubasa. The judges for the contest were Shane Aiello, a library employee, Jack Sullivan, a neutral party and Jamie Kay, the teen librarian who got the whole thing started.

“I used to watch anime when I was younger,” Kay said. “It’s not just one genre. It can be funny, or there can be action, or it can be a fantasy or it can be real. It’s not just for children, adults enjoy it too.”

Although the event was opened to all ages, Somers Library has an anime club for high school students that meets every other Monday. The club has had a steady membership since Kay started it in 2008.

“Kids come and go but we average about nine members,” Kay said. “Anime is a sub-culture kind of thing. Back in the day it used to be goth. If you like anime, you tend to be enthusiastic about anything Japanese. The food, the language.”

Although Japanese language is not offered in Somers school curricula, some of the kids are learning it on their own, Kay said. Refreshments at the Mini-Con included snacks from Japan, Pocky Cookie Sticks, other cakes and cookies and a special Japanese dish prepared by sisters who attended the event.

Watch the video to learn more about anime.

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