Naturally, many anime fans dream of spending a day at a Japanese animation convention, dressed as their favorite characters and meeting droves of other like-minded people in costume.
At the same time, not every fan has the dough or transportation to travel to Baltimore, Md., to hit up Otakon, one of the top anime conventions on the East Coast.
So the staff at the Dover Public Library, through its local anime club, the Funtom Company, held its first cosplay event on Friday evening.
"They can't go to the Comic-Con or different things like that so we wanted to bring a little bit of that to them this year," said Dover Library assistant Kerri Hollyday, of Hartly. "We've had a really great response and hopefully next year we'll do something even bigger and get [anime] artists to come to us and even have some vendors."
The event saw more than two dozen cosplayers, ranging from around the age of 8 to 24, of which most showed up in flashy threads. Some came dressed as ever-popular Japanese characters like Sasuke and Naruto from "Naruto," while some paid homage to characters from American cartoons like "Futurama" and video games like "Saint's Row: The Third."
Siwa Versnel appeared as the female cyclops Leela from "Futurama," placing third in the library's mini-cosplay costume contest.
"The final season of 'Futurama,' I believe, is this year and I do really like that show," Versnel, 15 of Marydel, explained as to why she dressed as Leela.
The winner of the costume competition came dressed as the blue-haired Hatsune Miku, a digital avatar in the guise of an anime girl that sings with Vocaloid software. Hatsune is basically like the 2Pac hologram, except in cartoon form. She is a big deal in Japan, said cosplay costume winner Alexandra Eckenrod, 13 of Dover.
"I love listening to the music, so I wanted to cosplay as [Hatsune]," Eckenrod said.
Although Otakon was going on the same day as Dover Library's cosplay event, the local cosplayers didn't seem down about not being in Baltimore.
"I thought it was really fun," Versnel said of the library's event. "It's something local and it's real cute. You don't have to go all out and buy all these expensive props. And it's practice for next year's Otakon."