If you happened to be in downtown Tampa this past weekend, things may have appeared even more strange than usual, what with strange looking creatures wandering around, many of whom carried large, exotic-looking weapons. No, it wasn’t a sudden political convention, it was the 10th annual Metrocon, Florida’s largest anime convention. Organizers expected up to 10,000 visitors this year, most of them elaborately dressed young people, but also more than a few parents and middle age people taking part in the fun. Anime is essentially a form of art, originating in Japan, that roughly refers to animation.
For the Metrocon visitors, it allowed them to mix a little fantasy with reality for a weekend — and the result was something very clearly enjoyed by all. Metrocon included a wide variety of events over the three-day convention, including a large vendor display area (trust me, stuff you can’t get at Walmart), speaker panels and the Original Anime Human Chess Match. Perhaps the best part of all was just seeing the costumes — and how much fun people had showing them off. For a brief few days in downtown Tampa, fantasy definitely became reality in a good way.