NEW DELHI: Anime is the Japanese term for animation, which includes all forms of animated media. Keeping in mind its rise and popularity in India, the Anime Convention,a flagship trade event was started in the year 2010 with the active support of the Embassy of Japan and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and it was the first of its kind and the biggest in India.

Anime Convention India organized for the first time AnimeCon Regional Circuit in Itanagar from 23rd -24th June at Siddhartha Hall Itanagar.

The Citizen spoke to Nitesh Rohit, Founder of AnimeCon India and talked about all things regarding Anime, its rise and popularity in the recent years and his future aim and plans which are as follows.

What was the idea and brainchild behind The Anime Convention? Why the need of such a venture in India?

“I’ve been an ardent follower of Japanese Pop- Culture since childhood and it largely shaped my aestheticism which has become part of my oeuvre. The emergence of New India in the late 90s with its combination of: cable television and internet created a larger pool of people (a subculture) that fell in love with Anime & Manga and like any other belief and faith they all needed a temple to congregate with likeminded community. So AnimeCon in 2010 filled the gap in the market with its first event in Delhi and that is where and how our journey began.”

In your opinion, how popular and influential is Anime among the Indian audiences and youth? How much demand have you seen of Anime in India in the recent years?

“It’s very difficult to quantity the influence of Anime & Manga culture here in India. But from my little over a decade experience in travelling to schools, colleges and remotest part of the country hosting such events- I can confidently say that it has become an ontological part of our local culture - It’s expected as a norm. This is evident pan-India. Secondly, local Animeclubs have mushroomed across the country and celebration of Pop-Culture has become part of a cultural& heritage celebration for the millennial - there is sense of kinship.

Furthermore, we Indians have taken Anime & Manga and are creating a new- world order that is a confluence of our local folklore and aesthetics. To me this is an important step in establishing a new grammar for the future of this medium in India and that can further be carried globally with our own stories (mythology, folklore, modern) on the foundation of Japanese aesthetics.”

How successful was the first AnimeCon Regional Circuit ? Were the people and audience receptive?

“ The audience at each Regional Circuit hovers between 500- 1000 people in a day and its focused on building a grass-root programme to further integrate the medium with local culture and the same encourage local entrepreneurship. So with each passing year we are witnessing a holistic growth in all aspects of the Regional Circuits in areas of our core focus and there is great love and enthusiasm from audience across India.”

What are the future aims and goals of AnimeCon?

“Unlike, Western Pop-Culture that has had longer histories and reaches within the Indian market as a sub-culture and now closer to a mass-market acceptance the Anime & Manga market is a decade away before we witness this short of phenomenon. So we’ve lot of work hard work to do at all level of the market. Our immediate plans are to continue strengthening our local programming through the Regional Circuit, build 2-3 major Conventions in key cities. And at the top of our whish list is to one day see an Indian Anime & Manga reach the global market.”

There is a huge rage of Anime among the Indian youth and yes the popularity and fanbase is definitely on a rise.The AnimeCon India is trying to spread the awareness and provide a platform and a kind of push in the country.