Cosplay crucial for MetroCon Tampa

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Lovers of Japanese anime and video games are flocking to the Tampa Convention Center for the annual MetroCon event, now in its 16th year.

"They'll see dance shows, wigs, costumes, lots of people having fun, fire spinning," said organizer Heidi Reeves.

More than 10,000 colorful event-goers will attend through this weekend.  Everywhere you look there’s something to see.

"I’m a huge nerd so I’m in heaven right now," said Megan Ariel, one of the vendors.

Olivia Reynolds spent 30 hours on her outfit. Cosplay is crucial.

"It was a lot of time. It took way too much time," Reynolds said. "Cosplaying, it really helped me bring out self-confidence."

"I like meeting people with similar interests to you and being to wear whatever you want without getting weird looks," said Micaela Osborne, another of the many cosplayers.

Artwork, toys, and other odds and ends that you won’t find anywhere else are also at MetroCon, and that’s barely scratching the surface.

"You never know until you try something new it’s always interesting you meet new people you find things you might be interested in," said Reeves.

MetroCon runs through the weekend. For information, head to their website,