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Tsubasacon convention finishes events Sunday

Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:04 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Your eyes weren't deceiving you -- that was a giant Hello Kitty walking down the sidewalk near the Big Sandy Superstore Arena on Saturday afternoon.

A host of anime fans dressed as characters from Hello Kitty to Doctor Who to "Gothic Lolita," better known as Marshall student Alicia Lewis, took in the seventh year of Tsubasacon at the arena's Riverfront Ballroom and Conference Center along with more than a thousand of their closest anime friends.

"I wanted to come to Tsubasacon, first of all, because I love anime. I've always been a fan of Japanese culture, and I have a lot of international friends," said Lewis, 21, from Charleston, who is studying culinary arts and education at Marshall. "I'd seen photos from other cons and done theater performances with people who go every year, so I thought I'd come check it out."

An annual celebration of Japanese animation and comics, Tsubasacon also draws video game enthusiasts, costume designers and aspiring artists. The convention was established in 2004 and took place in Charleston before moving to Huntington in 2006. Highlights of each year's convention include an elaborate costume contest, a music video competition, video game tournaments and a variety of anime screenings.

"My favorite thing so far has been meeting voice actor Patrick Seitz, the voice of Germany from 'Hetalia,' which is my favorite show," Lewis said. "It was really nice to get to meet him and just seeing everybody in costume is really cool.

"There's such a sense of community because everyone here loves the same things, share the same interests and enjoy the same sights and sounds of anime," she continued. In addition to the activities of the day, Tsubasacon is hosting a canned food drive and raffle for the Huntington Area Food Bank. Tsubasacon continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15.

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