It's not Halloween, but hundreds of Penn State students and others from the region will be in costume this weekend.
Saturday marks the start of the fourth annual Setsucon anime convention, hosted by the Penn State Anime Organization (PSAO).
While the group boasts a listserv of about 390 people and 90 active members, PSAO President Dan Cicconi said they are expecting about 600 people -- the same amount of attendees as in 2009. The convention draws attendees from as far as Florida and Indiana.
"It's pretty humbling that people are traveling that great of a distance to come to our convention," Cicconi (senior-interdisciplinary digital studio) said. "We have a reputation of having very friendly staff members. I'd like to build off that so they tell all their friends and come back."
But Setsucon President Tom Morris (junior-history) thinks there may be more to it than just helpful volunteers. Most conventions are run by corporations, he said, while Setsucon is solely a student affair.
The convention will feature screenings from a variety of anime genres, various panels discussing Japanese culture, demonstrations in Aikido and karate, game tournaments and a dance on Saturday night.
"I'd like to see as many people leave with smiles on their faces as possible," Cicconi said.
Cicconi is excited for guests from the industry to appear at the convention, especially musical performer Vic Mignogna, who is associated with the anime "Fullmetal Alchemist."
Morris said he hopes the convention continues to grow.
"Anime is a big thing, but there isn't a huge demand in Pennsylvania for it," Morris said.