DAVIS COUNTY, Utah – About 5,000 people in costume descended on the Davis Conference Center this weekend for a festival celebrating a slice of Japanese culture.
Anime Banzai 2013 began Friday and continues until Sunday, and thousands of Utahns dressed up and turned out for the event.
According to event organizers, the event is an educational convention that focuses on Japanese anime (animation), manga (comics) and culture. Though manga and anime are separate from comic books, many of the attendees dressed up in comic book character cosplays for the event—like Ali Arbuckle, who attended the event dressed as DC Comics' Harley Quinn.
“It's really its own thing,” she said. “Anime is more books and movies and TV shows, and Comic Con was really everything, including comic books and the movies. It can be intertwined, but it is a totally separate thing.”
The event featured vendors who sold everything from pins and art to masks. Anime enthusiast Stephanie Stork said the convention draws in a variety of fans.
“And all the nerdy fandoms that we have, there are so many events,” she said. “It's fun to know you aren't the only nerd out there."
The convention continues into Saturday night and resumes again on Sunday. Visit the convention’s website for more details.