Animazement is an annual anime convention that was held in the Raleigh Convention Center from May 23-26. The convention features an assortment of people cosplaying a range of characters from popular japanese anime or even beloved podcast shows.

Ayu Crews, 32, who cosplayed as Saber from the anime “Fate/Stay Night,” spoke on what the convention was about to her.

“Animazement is a convention in Japanese animation and the relevant community of comics, manga, video games, but it encompasses a lot of geek culture as a result because there’s a lot of bleed over,” Crews said. “It’s pretty much a gathering place for geeks with events that are relevant to them and events that they put together. There will be panels and all sorts of cosplay."

Animazement holds a host of events and panels from popular animators or voice actors as well as cosplaying tips for those who wish to try their hands at it. Kimberly Jaimet, 15, who cosplayed as Ken Kaneki from the anime “Tokyo Ghoul,” talked about some of her favorite things at Animazement.

“I like socializing,” Jaimet said. “At home I’m introverted, shy, so to be at a place where I’m hiding myself with makeup and being happy with other people, just meeting new people.”

As Jaimet said, Animazement is more than just an anime convention. It is a place where people can branch out and socialize in a more comfortable atmosphere. Spencer Crouch, 15, who cosplayed as Nishiki from “Tokyo Ghoul,” also talked about the social aspects of Animazement.

“It’s like an escape,” Crouch said. “Like for example cosplay; doing stuff to escape the real world and meet a bunch of new people who are interested in the same thing.”

There is a large sense of community at Animazement. People can be seen taking pictures with one another as complete strangers or asking for tips on how they made their props for cosplay. There is an overwhelming friendly atmosphere that seems to be built around Animazement.

For some people, Animazement has become more than just a Japanese animation convention. Barrett Bond, 31, who cosplayed as Shunsui from the anime “Bleach,” spoke about the importance of Animazement to him.

“At its root, [Animazement is] a gathering place for like-minded individuals to share their interests and their hobbies, but to me, it’s a little bit more than that,” Bond said. “It’s really become a yearly tradition. It’s become a big part of my life. I look forward to it every year, I plan for it all year long, and I’ve been going to Animazement for well over half of my life now and it’s just like a mile marker every year."

Bond also commented on the growth and expandment of Animazement over the years.

“I remember when Animazement was a much, much smaller convention,” Bond said. “That’s just going to be a matter of course with the popularity of Japanese culture and anime being on the rise. But really, I think they’ve done a really good job keeping up with the times and trying to get different guests to come in throughout the years.”

To find out more information about the event and keep up with its schedule for next year, visit their website.