Animazement is a festival of the fantastical

Weekend Animazement convention draws 8,000 enthusiastic fans of stylized Japanese animation

jshaffer@newobserver.comMay 28, 2012 

— They sported horns and rainbow leggings, showed off kilts and green hair, carried sunflowers and spigots and swords down Raleigh streets in an oddball parade.

The eye-catching Animazement convention wrapped up Sunday after a three-day run that drew 8,000 fans of stylized Japanese animation – most of them in elaborate costume.

As they checked out of hotels wearing top hats and wings, giving awkward farewell hugs through cardboard and satin outfits, the downtown streets turned a shade duller. On Monday morning, nobody will be wearing a T-shirt that says, cryptically, “I glomped your mom.”

Starting in 1998 with a showing of just 700, Animazement grew via the 36-Hour Anime Marathon, an event orchestrated by N.C. State University students in 1997.

“My favorite part was the rave last night,” said Melissa Kulowitch, who came from Georgia dressed as a lime-green venusaur from the world of Pokemon. “The rave actually moved outside last night. Man, can they dance.”

“I’m a Lugia,” explained her 17-year-old daughter, Daulton, from under a white mask. “It’s a legendary flying psychic.”

They left the Raleigh Convention Center together, passing Little Red Riding Hood on the way out the door, bound temporarily for a more ordinary world.

Shaffer: 919-829-4818

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