Anime Iowa is an anime convention run by the not-for-profit Mindbridge Foundation and is held annually[2]. The convention offers anime screening, videogames, an art auction, guest panels, cosplay, and many of the other events typically found at an anime convention.[3]. It was held again at the Coralville Marriott, August 15-17, 2008, although at least 45 sleeping rooms had been transferred to the nearby Hampton/Holiday Inn across Interstate 80 due to extended stays from persons associated with the recent floods of 2008.[4][5]

Many AnimeIowa attendees cosplay throughout or during part of the convention, and various events are specifically for cosplay participants.[6][7][3][8] AnimeIowa is a three-day event, operating for 72 straight hours during its three-day weekend.[3]


AnimeIowa lasts three days, which include several events for its visitors, and admission to any event requires the conspicuous display of an AnimeIowa badge.[9][3] A writer for a popular Anime news website (Anime News Network), described how shocked she was to find more than "cows, crop circles, and farmers named Jeb" at AnimeIowa. [10]

  • Game Room - Includes video games, such as DDR, and a few other games
  • Dealer's Room - Outside vendors sell their products, including mostly video game or anime-related goods and Japanese snack food.
  • Artist's Alley - Artists have the opportunity to sell or display their artwork
  • Guest Visitors - Famous visitors from the Anime world come for autographs and to talk with convention visitors
  • Official Dance
  • Video Rooms - Video rooms play anime throughout most of the convention, often including Anime that is hard to find in the USA
  • Music Video Contest - Visitors can show off their music video creations
  • Cosplay Contest - Visitors can compete to see who's costume is the best. [11]
  • ConSuite - including a small selection of Japanese and American foods (Anime Iowa is lauded by many guests as having a wide array of non junk food items to sustain the con-goers )


AnimeIowa began in 1997 as a small convention gathering 150 attendees at the Highlander Inn in Iowa City, IA, featuring only two guests, Steve Bennett and Kuni Kimura[12]. Events were also fairly limited, featuring an Artists' Alley, Video Games, and a Dealers' Room[12]. Attendance doubled for its second year, which also included the addition of Robert DeJesus to the guest list[13]. AnimeIowa has since been held yearly for 13 years, while both the attendance and guest lists have grown each year.

Attendance at AnimeIowa, along with the guest list, has grown every year that has so far been documented, and there were reportedly more cosplayers at AnimeIowa 2003 than the total number of fans who attended the first AnimeIowa[citation needed]. As a result, the convention has occupied several different hotels and convention centers, in an effort to continue expanding to find room for all its attendees.

Event history

Dates Location Atten. Guests
September 19–21, 1997 Highlander Inn
Iowa City, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">150</td>

Steve Bennett and Kuni Kimura.[12]
September 18–20, 1998 Highlander Inn
Iowa City, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">300</td>

Steve Bennett, Robert DeJesus, Amanda Wynn Lee and Kuni Kimura.[13]
September 3–5, 1999 Collins Plaza Hotel
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">420[14]</td>

Steve Bennett, Robert DeJesus, Hiroshi Aro
September 1–3, 2000 Crowne Plaza Hotel
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">700[15]</td>

Steve Bennett, Robert DeJesus, Toshi Yoshida, Toshifumi Yoshida.
August 24–26, 2001 Collins Plaza Hotel
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">900[16]</td>

Steve Bennett and Robert DeJesus
August 23-25, 2002 Collins Plaza Hotel
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">1270</td>

Steve Bennett, Robert DeJesus, Tiffany Grant, Lea Hernandez, and Stan Sakai.[17]
August 22–24, 2003 Collins Plaza Hotel & Convention Center
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">1,608</td>

Greg Ayres, Steve Bennett, Max Allen Collins, Robert DeJesus, Lea Hernandez, Jay Hickman, Kevin Lillard, Rob Mungle, and Jan Scott-Frazier.[18]
September 17–19, 2004 Hotel Fort Des Moines
Des Moines, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">1500</td>

Kia Asamiya, Greg Ayres, Ron Kaulfersch, Dr. Susan Napier, Monica Rial, Harou Nita, John Opplinger and Mike Schwark.[19]
September 9–11, 2005 Hotel Fort Des Moines
Des Moines, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">1500</td>

Greg Ayres, Johnny Yong Bosch, Keith Burgess, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Tricia Dickson, Bamboo Dong, Taliesin Jaffe, Zarah Little, and Felipe Smith.[20]
August 4–6, 2006 Crowne Plaza Hotel
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">1800[21]</td>

Greg Ayres, Steve Bennett, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Kyle Hebert, Lea Hernandez, Richard Kekahuna, Shawn Kleckner, Rob Mungle, and Carrie Savage.[22]
August 10–12, 2007 Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

Chris Ayres, Greg Ayres, Taliesin Jaffe, Carrie Savage, Richard Torrance, Richard Townsend, and Shannon Townsend.[9]
August 15–17, 2008 Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">2468</td>

Chris Ayres, Greg Ayres. Steve Bennett, Kyle Hebert, Carrie Savage, Clarine Harp, Richard Townsend, and Shannon Townsend.[23]
August 14–16, 2009 Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

Greg Ayres, Emily DeJesus, Michael McConnohie, Melodee M. Spevack, Robert Axelrod, Richard Townsend, and Shannon Townsend.
July 30 to August 1, 2010 Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center">2800</td>

Chris Ayres, Greg Ayres, Kyle Hebert, Helen McCarthy, Maxey Whitehead, Evan Miller, Richard Townsend, and Shannon Townsend.
July 29–31, 2011 Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville, Iowa

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

Greg Ayres, Cassandra Hodges, Jan Scott-Frazier.

Organizational structure

AnimeIowa is run by The Mindbridge Foundation, a not for profit corporation also responsible for ICON (Iowa science fiction convention) and Gamicon[24]. The organization was a branching off of the Science Fiction League of Iowa Students, which was founded by award-winning author Joe Haldeman.[25][26] AnimeIowa was first a production of the "SFLIS Wing of Anime and Manga People" (SWAMP), which later merged the convention into Mindbridge.[27]


Since 2006 the mascot for AnimeIowa is a cosplaying pig named Buu-chan created by Shawn King for the AnimeIowa forum mascot contest. The anime pig is a play off the fact that the convention is held in Iowa and Iowa has a lot of pigs[citation needed]. The original mascot was an original female anime character.


  1. "Thousands Turn Out For Anime". Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  2. "Gamers Unite at IMU". The Daily Iowan. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "AnimeIowa Events". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  4. "AnimeIowa". AnimeIowa. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  5. "Location". AnimeIowa. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  6. "AnimeIowa Author's Notes - 2003". Fan's View. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  7. "REVISED AnimeIowa 2006 Cosplay Rules". AnimeIowa. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  8. "AnimeIowa 2006 Photos". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "AnimeIowa 2007 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  10. "Children of the Con". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  11. "Cosplay Information". AnimeIowa. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "AnimeIowa 1997 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "AnimeIowa 1998 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  14. "AnimeIowa 1999 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  15. "AnimeIowa 2000 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  16. "AnimeIowa 2001 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  17. "AnimeIowa 2002 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  18. "AnimeIowa 2003 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  19. "AnimeIowa 2004 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  20. "AnimeIowa 2005 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  21. AnimeIowa Forum post by forum moderator
  22. "AnimeIowa 2006 Information". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  23. "AnimeIowa 2008 Information". Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  24. "Projects". Mindbridge Foundation. Retrieved 2008-08-11.  Text " Mindbridge Foundation " ignored (help)
  25. Michael Swanwick Online: Profile of Gregory Frost
  26. DMSFS Links
  27. Pearl, Steve. "Anime/Manga Convention Guide". Retrieved 2007-03-04. 

External links

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