I will admit that when I read that a Anime convention would be held for three days in Tampa, I had not the slightest knowledge of what that was or meant. It caught my attention only because it mentioned that attendees (?) would come to the METROCON Anime Convention, "Florida's largest," in full costume. Like a lot of you, I enjoy the research side of the Internet, visit Google often, and learn about new things everyday. Admittedly, there is a lot I don't know. The term Anime was a word I couldn't pronounce or define. An entire subject as it turned out that I knew nothing about. Because our convention center is minutes from my home, and I did need photos for today's posts, I grabbed my camera and gave myself 30 minutes to explore and shoot a few pictures if the convention-goers proved to be decent subjects. Well, I was gone all of thirty minutes. Door-to-door. I shot approximately 100 frames. 90 are outstanding if you're after subject, action, color, costume and fantasy. I captured it all. If it's a "What's happening in Tampa Today" kind of project, well folks, here it is. This is really what has invaded our downtown. Young people are all over the street corners, entryway and lobby of the convention center in indescribable paraphernalia, costume, gear, weapons, hoods, ray guns...the list could go on for pages just trying to provide the barest and simplest explanation and description of what I found at the Anime convention.
Because I really didn't know anything about this phenomena, here is a little peek at what's behind the cast of characters that are displayed: "The characters from other dimensions come together to the same place to meet....The Gear, the symbol of Metrocon, is put in place as a filter on reality so that ultimate evil cannot come through." Go ahead, I dare you to read that again and then, please, explain it to me. Please. As I learned, Metrocon, created by the founders of AnimeMetro.com, is an online community of over "5,000 members."
If you've read this far, here is what the "otaku," a Japanese word for the two girls in my photo, are all about. Anime is an abbreviation for the Japanese pronunciation of animation. It refers to animation that originated in Japan and is extremely popular there and in many parts of the world. It began during the early part of the 20th century, when Japanese filmmakers began to experiment with techniques of animators in the US and Europe. It has taken off and exploded. It may be hard to understand but it is, apparently, huge with a certain segment of our population.
OK, is that clear. Now, do you know why these two young and attractive Tampa girls are dressed this way? There may be someone out there who understands and recognizes the costumes they are wearing. Don't hesitate to let me know. I am dying with curiosity to hear the whole story. I've got to take a break now, catch my breathe and stop my heart from racing - That was a tough 30-minute self-assignment.