People from 22 different states and even other countries, attended Tsubasacon, Huntington’s annual anime, gaming and cosplay convention.
The three-day event was held in the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The convention had video rooms, video games, including imported arcade machines from Japan and activities such as a dance competition and fashion show.
“A lot of it is anime-oriented,” said Chris Helphinstine, volunteer. “It’s a good atmosphere for kids and gives them an opportunity to be comfortable,” Helphinstine said.
Cosplay attracts many visitors to the convention year after year. Attendees wore hand-made costumes dressed as characters from their favorite shows, movies or video games. However, some chose to wear costumes that did not represent anything. One attendee, James Mills, said he didn’t dress as anything specific and just wanted to look medieval.
Mills is an active Live Action Role Player or LARPer. “I LARP in the local park,” Mills said. “I’m here to recruit people.”
Chibi Moon, another attendee, was a character from anime, Sailor Moon for the day. Moon has been involved with cosplay since 2008.
“I like meeting people and making new friends,” Moon said. “I also like to learn how to make costumes.” Moon hand-made her costume.
Professional cosplayers, such as veteran of 10 years, Bunny Bombshell, made appearances.
“I’ve been cosplaying since right after high school,” Bombshell said. Bombshell is a cosplay model and has traveled to cities such as Detroit and Boston for conventions. Bombshell has modeled as Catwoman, Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and various other famous characters. “I also do birthday parties as Elsa,” Bombshell said.
Bombshell modifies her own costumes. “Most of my stuff is free-lance,” Bombshell said. “I like having control in what I’m doing.”
“What I like most about conventions is trying to get out all the work I’ve done,” Bombshell said. Bombshell has been drawn by four different comic book artists throughout her Cosplay career.
Tsubasacon hosted voice and musical guests such as Kyle Herbert from Dragonball Z, Keith Silverstein from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Canadian voice actor Matthew Erickson and Greg Wicker, a gameshow host and producer. Japanese rock band, Kazha, also made an appearance.
Tsubasacon also hosted a variety of vendors. “It’s like stuff you can’t by anywhere else,” Helphinstine said.
Casey Adkins can be contacted at [email protected]