A girl dressed as Charizard sidles sideways through doorways to make sure her six-foot PVC pipe and felt wings don’t catch and break.
A woman screams and jumps for joy when a man dressed as James from Team Rocket hands her a blood-red rose.
Someone posing as Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán (brandishing an anti-Donald Trump sign), the notorious Mexican drug lord, takes a selfie with a young girl dressed as The Internet in a cat dress and hoodie.
At the Animate! Miami convention, nothing is normal.
Thousands of costumed (or not) conventioneers poured into the Miami Airport Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., for the three-day event, which ended Sunday. They proudly showed off their elaborate cosplays and delighted in the handicraft of others.
“It’s a safe place,” said Michael Colon, 22. “You can be who you are and wear what you love here.”
And when the carefully constructed wings, horns, tunics or tutus sport a rip, Colon’s nonprofit group, the Cosplay Medics, comes to the rescue.
Animate! Miami was a deep dive into a rainbow of cultures. Cutesy pastel outfits mixed with spooky goth wardrobes. Faux antique met super futuristic.
Professional photographers and smartphone wielders documented it all with snap after snap.
Fans can check social media at #AnimateMiami for more.