First held in 2010, Comic Con Okinawa was brought to life for the 8th time Oct. 15 as the Foster Fieldhouse filled with thousands of costume wearing, artistic members of the local and military communities on Okinawa during the open gate event aboard Camp Foster.
Comic-Con is an annual event that highlights comic books and pop-culture, bringing fans and artists across the island together to bond through their interests.
“During my meet and greet, everyone was extremely nice,” said Phil LaMarr, a voice actor for “Samurai Jack.” “I was amazed at how many people, despite the heat, were in full costume. I was like, ‘God bless you.’”
The event featured gaming tournaments, performances from the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band and cosplay contests.
Fans were able to meet voice actors Phil LaMarr and Masako Nozawa. LaMarr is known for his role in “Samurai Jack,” “Futurama,” and “Justice League,” as well as several video games. Nozawa is known for her roles in “Dragon Ball Z” and, “Dragon Ball Z Kai.”
Fans lined up with souvenirs in hand, excitedly waiting to see their favorite voice actor.
“Coming out and meeting all of the service members is a cool feeling,” said LaMarr, a Los Angeles, California, Native. “It’s always great to meet my fans, but there’s another level when I visit the military community because they’re fans who I feel have given me something.”
This year’s Comic-Con had something for everyone with free go-cart racing, rock climbing, bounce houses, and food venders from across Okinawa.
“I’m amazed by all the working parts that went into this whole thing,” said Cam Mangels, the club events coordinator with Marine Corps Community Services. “From the Provost Marshal’s Office to the coordination, all of the venders that came in, all of the people who came to visit and dressed up, I’m completely amazed by how everyone came together and made it fun all around. I’ve seen a lot of happy faces here. I’ve seen a lot of happy families come and enjoy the food, and the whole atmosphere.”
Over 18,880 people attended the open gate event.
“This is my first Comic-Con and it’s a blast, everyone is enjoying themselves. All I see are smiles,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Rumbaugh, a ground communications systems repairer with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan, who volunteered at Comic-Con Okinawa. “It’s cool to see both communities come out and bond. I’m a huge anime fan, and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Story by Lance Cpl. Danielle Prentice