Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What In the World Do You Do At an Anime Convention???

The following is a bit I did for school...frankly its supposed to be about me and stuff but its just ramblings about I will probably have to do it over again later...anyway, I think its insightful so here you go!

First off, let’s be brief with the history, as I have explained it many times. I have wanted to go to this convention for ages. I had to wait an extra year to go because my dad scheduled a trip over the 07’ convention and I was out of town (“whoot” for colonial Virginia). A year passed and the time finally came. I was sick. I was stressed out. And those three days were probably some of the best I have ever had. Okay more explaining….The con was scheduled for the last weekend of March. This was really bad timing as it was in between two school breaks (mid winter and spring) so the teachers were merciless with the work load. I had been busting my butt to keep up with the work, when what I wanted, was to get ahead so I could enjoy the convention without homework. Yea right.
Well, it sure was stressful, and I will tell you that my immune system is broken by one thing, and one thing alone. Stress. But the cold died down enough for me to enjoy it, and luckily for me, my already bad sinuses plus the dying cold meant I didn’t have to worry about the dreaded “con-funk” (13,000 people in one building plus body odor).

So great, I got to my convention and had a blast, but still, a lot of people don’t seem to understand what you do at these conventions. Well, frankly if you don’t like anime you will probably be a little lost if not completely bored. If I was to go back to the Emerald City Comic Con I would probably be bored as heck because I don’t really like Western Comics (except the Tomb Raider stuff). I went once, at least five years ago, but that was just for merchandise and to get Jhonen Vasquez’s autograph (Jhonen Vasquez is the creator of Invader Zim, a cartoon that aired on Nickelodeon for a short period of time but was canceled due to its dark nature) which were probably the only things I could have done anyway.
You have to like anime, yes, but it’s not essential because there is so much there for you to do. Panels with manga artists and voice actors (both English and Japanese), workshops on how to draw for example, concerts, dances (the only place in Seattle you can rave it up without fear of drugs), photo shoots (where you learn to expect the unexpected), merchandise, cosplay contest (cosplay being short for costume play, and the cosplay contest usually designating funny skits and “walk-ons”), anime music video (AMV) contests, karaoke, and on, and on. But it’s surprising how many people skip the big events and still find things to do. Just walking around, making new friends, taking pictures, watching random dancing, playing spin the bottle outside (glomp style, A.K.A hugging) all can make your con experience more memorable.
The atmosphere of each con is also a deciding factor on what you do. Each one is a little bit different in terms of what to expect. Cons like Kumoricon (down in Oregon) are much smaller then Sakuracon so there is more down time to do the relaxing stuff. Some Cons like Anime Expo, the biggest con in The U.S, are high speed, and you may find your self rushing around to the next event.
Now here’s something everyone needs to know about the taboos of anime conventions. Always shower everyday and wear deodorant. Bring food as there may or may not be available (or just reasonably priced) food. AND NEVER, EVER, watch anime, at an anime convention. My friend Jen confessed to have had a crummy time because all she did was watch anime in the theaters they had. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to watch something to sample it or soak up some extra time, but defiantly do it sparingly. Believe it or not a convention is about the people. It’s about interacting with people who share a common interest and appreciate the culture and art forms presented at the con. In other words what you do is have fun.

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