Damian Zannini

Organizer Kajonk-A-Con, Dec. 5-7

What makes this different than your average gathering of Japanese-style animation fans?

The others all tend to be general anime. We'll focus on gaming, and a professor from UT who's an expert on Japanese culture and computers will speak. Most of our staff is volunteer, a group of about 20, most still in high school or in college.

What part of the conference are you looking forward to most?

The anime series Death Note has been made into two live-action films and we'll be screening both of them. One of them hasn't even come out in the US yet.

What's your favorite anime?

It's a tie between Evangelion or FLCL (also known as Fooly Cooly). Evangelion is considered a classic now. It takes a lot from Judaism and Christianity and Middle Eastern faith and a bunch of other religions and deals with a lot of psychological aspects of the characters. FLCL is a really short series, only six long, mostly just cultural parodies from Japan and America—I've watched it several times through and it really doesn't make any sense. I appreciate it, though, because I'm a graphic-design major and I like the Dada art movement and it reminds me of that: a random assortment of things pieced together, but the overall piece makes sense.

Will there be a high nerd quotient at the convention?

Probably 100 percent. There are probably people like me who are closet nerds and hide it pretty well in public, but you have to have at least a little bit if you to come to a convention like this.

Will people dress up?

Oh yes. We have a contest for that on Saturday.

What does "Kajonk" mean?

Absolutely nothing. The word is from a high school friend—he was explaining a sound made by his mother's pie maker, "Kajonk."

University of Tennessee Conference Center, 600 Henley St., Dec. 5-7, kajonk-a-con.com