Gotta Break ‘Em All: SunnyCon Anime Expo attempts to break Pokemon Guinness World Record

Credit: PA Images

The North East’s biggest anime convention, SunnyCon Anime Expo, is trying to break a Guinness World Record at this year’s event.

The convention takes place in July 2017 at St James’ Park in Newcastle. In previous years it has also been held in Sunderland. The team are hoping to beat the current record of 250 people dressed as Pokemon characters at a single venue.

Partly inspired by this year’s guests voice actors Michele Knotz and James Carter Cathcart, who voice antagonists Jessie and James in the long running Pokemon anime, the idea for the attempt belongs to SunnyCon Ambassador Michael Tuckwell, as SunnyCon Expo chairwoman Donna Yeoman explained:

“Back when [Michael] was chairman he always wanted to break a world record but never quite thought of one to try, and this year he applied back in July when we confirmed Michele and James and the world records people approved it.”

“The attempt will tie in with us having the voice actors of Team Rocket for their first UK appearance as guests and a lot of attendees will of been cosplaying as Pokemon characters. Second is we’re always looking at ways to stand out from similar events and to offer a world record attempt will give our attendees a chance they won’t find at any other event this year.”

chunkypenguin cosplay as Giovanni, the leader of bad guys Team Rocket at last year's SunnyCon
chunkypenguin cosplay as Giovanni, the leader of bad guys Team Rocket at last year’s SunnyCon

Cosplay is short for costumed play and refers to the practice of not only dressing as characters, but also incorporating aspects of a characters personality into a performance. And although there is a long way to go until June, Miss Yeoman is looking forward to this year’s convention.

She said: “With it being an official world record attempt there are a lot of guidelines and rules to follow and with us looking at 250 plus cosplays to check and organise, but we’re quietly confident we can do it.”

In the month since the attempt was announced, over 100 people have registered their interest in the event. The President of Sunderland University’s Gaming Society, Polly Lovell-Parvin, has already got her costume planned.

She said: “I am planing on cosplaying a Team Rocket grunt. I always look forward to SunnyCon, seeing all the people I know and enjoying the experiences you can only get at a convention.

“The very first cosplay I attempted to make was an Eevee Gijinka at Nemacon when I was 14. I was really proud of it and still am but since then my skills have improved.”

If you are interested in helping SunnyCon’s attempt to break the world record, visit their Facebook page.

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