For the 23rd time, anime and video game characters are running wild at MacEwan University.

Animethon is the longest running anime convention in Canada and the fourth longest in North America.

"There are tons of people here today dressed as their favourite anime or video game character," said organizer Vicky Lau.

"It's like a Japanese culture overload."

Katherine Lam

Katherine Lam says that Animethon is a great place to meet new people. (CBC)

The three-day convention has fans in elaborate costumes streaming through the halls of the university.

"For me, it's the costumes, I love seeing all my friends getting the chance to dress up," said Laura Kelly, who was dressed as Alma Karma from D.Gray-man.

"There are a whole bunch of events that you normally couldn't share with a bunch of people, like watching the same show and playing games and stuff like that," said participant Katherine Lam.

"Basically you're here to get together with people with similar interests as you, so it's a lot of fun."


Vicky Lau, right, says the convention is 'like a Japanese culture overload.' (Rick Bremness/CBC)

The convention is put on by the Alberta Society for Asian Popular Arts.

Last year the festival garnered almost 10,000 attendees.

This year it features musical artists, voice actors and improv comics as guests. But overall, most guests say the reason they go is because of each other.

"We're just here to dress up and have fun, meet new people," said participant Lydia Warren.

It's Warren's first time at the convention and she can't believe she's never been before.

"I love it here," she exclaimed.