Halloween is not the only day people are allowed to dress up as their favorite character from a book or series.
Plenty of people cosplay (costume play) throughout the year during anime (Japanese animated cartoons) conventions, New York Comic Con being one of the most popular conventions. Others commonly heard of are Anime Expo, Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East or even Sakura-con.
Each convention welcomes cosplayers, whether it be cosplays from video games or movies. Some conventions have cosplay cafés with a specific theme. Themes may differ between cosplayers being maids/butlers or any character they want.
Kean University's Anime Society (KUAS) held its own Cosplay Café on Friday, October 28, 2016, at Miron Student Center room 228 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., where students were encouraged to cosplay any character they wanted. The choices were endless because people could dress up as a character from the novel and movie series "Harry Potter," or from an anime and manga (Japanese comic) series like "Fullmetal Alchemist."
Megan Campesy, undeclared senior, is a member of KUAS. She attended last year's Cosplay Café and enjoyed the event, leading her back to this year's Cosplay Café.
"I like this event because it brings people together, you get to eat food from the country, listen to really cool music, overall making it really fun," said Campesy. "My favorite part has to be how geeky and accepting they can be."
The majority of the students who attended the café were either completely or partially dressed in cosplay. Characters such as Sailor Mercury from "Sailor Moon" and Haruhi from "Ouran High School Host Club" were represented by the members.
KUAS provided cosplays for attendees who did not own any, giving them multiple character choices regardless of gender. Some cosplays provided were characters from "Inuyasha," "Final Fantasy" and even included casual cosplay, like a maid costume.
Campesy wore one of the costumes provided by the club. Other students like Megan Pfisterer, junior early childhood education major, and Valencia Stevenson, freshman communication journalism major, wore their own cosplay to the café. This was Pfisterer's and Stevenson's first time attending Cosplay Café.
"Since the first meeting, I enjoyed it a lot, and I just wanted to keep coming," said Pfisterer. "I really like cosplay because it makes you feel good to be another person for a day."
Those who experienced this event for the first time really enjoyed the experience.
"I like how everyone is so enthusiastic and seeing everyone fanboy and fangirl -- I used to think I was the only one," said Stevenson. "I also like the club because you get to learn new anime and check out new anime too."
The food provided at the event mostly revolved around Japanese culture, ranging from onigiri (riceballs) to sushi to tuna rolls. Attendees also had the chance to order shrimp tempura, miso soup, salad, edamame (green beans in a pod), chicken teriyaki and gyoza (dumplings).
After eating, KUAS prepared some games that students were able to participate in, such as musical chairs and karaoke. After those games, students were allowed to request any song, not limited to Japanese music, and sing along with their friends.
After the conclusion of the event at 9 p.m., students were allowed to bring some leftovers home and get ready for the Halloween weekend.