Big round eyes. Tear/sweat drops on foreheads. Mecha. Magical girls. Talking Animals. Shoujo. Shounen, Hentai, Yaoi, Shoujo Ai, Shounen Ai.

What does it all mean?

Darned if we know.

Ask a group of anime fans to explain any or all of this, and you will get as many explanations, if not more, than the number of people you ask. It's sort of like Macs vs. PCs. It's quasi-political/religious in nature.

In a nutshell, some of the definitions are:

Anime covers a broad spectrum of themes and issues. From comedy to romance. Hard SF to D & D Fantasy. Heroic self sacrifice. Tragic love to … well, you get the idea. And, of course, waiting in the wings is the ever-present, what can we do for a buck, merchandising — "The kids will really love this … we hope!"

At Noreascon 4, we hope to present several of these themes and conventions within the genre, and screen examples of what's new and what's classic, while carefully avoiding a few.

We plan on showing complete series as well as the standard potpourri of anime theatre.

We're aiming for a cross spectrum of

If you've got suggestions or requests, we'd be happy to hear about them at, but we'll warn you that we've got lots of strong opinions of our own. (Ready for some of that fanatical debate?)