Über-fans of Japanese pop culture have just the right mix of creativity and weirdness. Coming up with the perfect Zelda or Final Fantasy cosplay (a portmanteau of costume play) is pretty cool, but seeing folks wearing ears and tails can be strange. The sixth annual Saboten Con has a little bit of everything, making it one of the largest anime conventions in the Southwest. Voice actors like Yuko Miyamura, Travis Willingham, and Laura Bailey will participate in panels between the cosplay masquerade and J-fashion show. The real fun comes with the special events, such as a Pride & Petticoats tea party led by the Arizona Lolitas and cafes dedicated to sexy maids and the NERV crew from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Get your nerd on at Saboten Con through September 2 at the Glendale Renaissance Hotel, 9495 West Coyotes Boulevard. Convention hours are 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 31, through 1:30 a.m. the following morning. Single day tickets start at $35. Call 480-428-2776 or visit

Sat., Aug. 31, 8:30-midnight; Sun., Sept. 1, 8-midnight; Mon., Sept. 2, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 2013
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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum