HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Von Braun Center hosted the Rocket City Anime Convention. And according to Rebecca Starrett, the director of programming at the convention, there's a lot happening.
"This is where people of all ages, all backgrounds, get together to celebrate Japanese animation cartoons, manga, tv shows, all of that. And we dress up, we get to spend time with our chosen family."
Starrett shares that this is a special group.
"This is a really important community because it's typically a lot of people who get into anime, get into subcultures…are more niche people, they may be rejected by the mainstreams of society so they come here to feel at home."
At the convention they welcome "cosplay" where people come dressed in outfits that match their favorite characters. And a lot of times these outfits can be handmade.
Amber Self, and attendee of the convention shared who she dressed as, "I'm Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maxima from Marvel of the Universe."
And another attendee, Anthony Mills dressed as, "a general ninja from the shinobi army from the anime called, 'Naruto'"
Mills has been doing cosplay since 2010 and says that even though this costume isn't handmade this time, he often creates his own outfits.
"I actually started building stuff with my hands and I make armor, I make stuff out of foam, fiberglass resin, things of that nature, 3D print…"
The convention has a cosplay competition, a game room, different keynote speakers, and a whole vendor section.
But a big thing about this place is that it's a welcoming environment.
"What I love about the community is probably the positivity, there's a lot of talent from everybody….everybody is always so nice and it's very inviting."
And if you're interested in joining this community, Amber Self encourages you to attend an event and to, "just go for it, if you don't want to dress up, don't dress up, if you want to dress up, dress up, ya know…nobody's going to judge you."