If you start seeing a large number of people in downtown Tampa sporting pink, blue or purple pigtails, here's the reason: Metrocon returns to the Tampa Convention Center today and runs through the weekend.
The focus of Metrocon is anime, the style of flashy Japanese animation and artwork familiar to anyone who has seen Speed Racer or Sailor Moon. Now Florida's largest anime convention, Metrocon has grow into a four-day extravaganza where more than 10,000 attendees are expected to dress in costume and do some serious shopping.
There will also be artists, a video game room, comedy shows, an anime human chess match at noon Saturday and Sunday, a Fire Show on the Riverwalk at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and lots of cosplay. Voice actors Cristina Vee and Robbie Daymond will sign autographs and talk about their experiences in creating the world of Sailor Moon Crystal.
Also signing autographs: Kirby Morrow, who is best known as Goku from Dragon Ball Z, Cyclops from X-Men: Evolution and Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Tickets are only available at the door now: $10-$40 for children 12 and younger, $30-$70 for single and multi-day tickets. Schedule at metroconventions.com. It starts at noon Thursday and at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday with events running into the wee hours at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 517-1171.