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TOKYO, JAPAN — Saturday morning welcomed a long line of fans waiting to get inside Tokyo Big Sight for the first of two public days at the 9th annual Tokyo International Anime Fair. This year’s exhibition featured 244 anime-related businesses and was expected to draw close to 130,000 people.

“This was one of the first things I wanted to go to when I got to Japan,” said Seaman Sal Quintana, who serves aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington at Yokosuka Naval Base.

Anime is a popular form of Japanese animation influenced by Japanese comics known as manga. Anime covers all genres of fiction and is found in a variety of media.

“It’s awesome,” Seaman John Villamarin, 21, said of the fair. “I’ve always wanted to come to Japan, the birthplace of anime. I’ve been a fan of anime for 16 years.”

Villamarin and Quintana said anime is more than entertainment, that they’ve actually learned from the animation form while in Japan.

“Watching anime, you pick up many key Japanese phrases,” Villamarin said.

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