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Prior to the torrential downpour that greatly affected many parts of Florida, Tampa held the 10th Annual MetroCon at the Tampa Bay Convention Center from June 15 to June 17. Various events can be found all over the convention- from anime viewings, to gaming, to tea parties, MetroCon has it all.
One of the key features about MetroCon is the aesthetics. Employees in charge of directing line traffic and guarding exits were all dressed as Umbrella Corp security operatives. This adds a very nice touch when walking around and witnessing a member of the Umbrella Corp security stopping someone from entering an “unauthorized area.”
The theme of this year’s MetroCon was Agents vs. Outlaws, in which the main featured events focused on the various agents and outlaws that can be found in various animes from Cowboy Bebop to Ghost in the Shell. Participants would also express their fandom by participating in their own personal staging out on the Riverwalk with tea parties and fan fiction street performances.
MetroCon also has a slew of special events. One of the big events that is held once a year is the Fantasy Masquerade. The Masquerade is a fantasy theatrical styled event as well as an interactive ballroom experience. The story is based around the Cowboy Bebop series.
Another big event returning to MetroCon is the Metro Star Party. The Metro Star Party is a cluster of anime and gaming characters all coming together for one big event. The participants of this event have trained for weeks prior to put on this show stopping spectacle which continues to be a huge hit with MetroCon. The other events include the Anime Chess Match, Metro Fire Show, GGX: Gear Grappling Extreme, and Rhythm City Chronicles.
MetroCon had gathered a big lineup of celebrity voice actors as well as celebrities in other entertainment and Cosplay communities. The four big voice actors at MetroCon were Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Naruto), Richard Epcar (Ghost in the Shell, Robotech, Transformers: Robots in Disguise), Scott McNeil (Beast Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Full Metal Alchemist), and Crispin Freeman (Hellsing, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Wolf’s Rain). Each celebrity guest had their own discussion, but the four of them came together for a Voice Actors Unplugged where the four of them were answering questions, bantering, and McNeil was eating cheese whiz.
Other celebrities that appeared were Takayoshi Tanimoto (Vocal Artist), Robert VanWest, also known as DJ Hellroy (CEO/DJ), David Stanworth (Snafu Comics creator), Pikabellechu (Avid Pokemon fanatic), and many other guests.
But it’s not only about the events, the anime, the games, or the celebrities which people come to see, it’s also about the Cosplay. People from all over the state and country came to check out the sites and events and cosplayers. Ranging from anime, to games, and movies, many people dressed up as their favorite characters ranging from popular anime to the more obscure ones.
MetroCon spans over three days, with many events from afternoon events to ones lasting until early hours into the next morning. With so many vendors to purchase unique and rare items, special events, and special screenings, like Woodstock, there is much that can be done during the three days of peace, music, and cosplaying. MetroCon 2012 was a fun and entertaining experience to meet with old friends and to make new friends.
Image Courtesy of Anna Fischer