This past weekend, I went to my second Anime Convention. It was Triad Anime Convention, to be precise, and I have to admit, I’m in love. Being a sheltered black girl, growing up with a deep love for all things anime, it was surprising that I never once thought of visiting a con. I don’t think I even knew things like that existed until high school. So when I came across the concept of cosplay, I was definitely intrigued.
I drooled over things in the dealer’s room, squealed with delight at the sight of some of my favorite characters and tried to attend as many panels as I could in just a day.
At times it was hit or miss. I felt the creepy suspicion of judgement surge up but I was quick to remind myself that cosplay is for everyone. I did skip out on a panel, or two, kind of early because of bad public speaking (they just droned on and on and wasn’t prepared at all to present) but I overall I had a good time.
It was tiring but extremely satisfying. I just kept thinking, “I could do this! I want to do this!” I adore dressing up and transforming into another person for a day or two. Problem is, I have no zero skill in makeup, wig styling, sewing, putting in/taking out contacts and I’m no photogenic. All things that would come in handy. I’m not even crafty enough to make weapons! However, I’m up for the challenge. I my personal life I’ve come to the decision to outsource what I can’t do. Not only does it save me time and stress, but I get a better finished product.
There are a few more conventions I want to hit up this year, one in particular I’m excited about. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on my travels and progress. I hope I can pick up some tricks and tips to share along the way.
Here is my review!
I heard murmurs that this was the first year this con was held in a hotel. I don’t know how true that is, since I’ve seen past pictures of it being in a hotel but the location was new. It was big and spacious and they had signs pointing to every spot you would need, like where to register, where the different panels would be and the dealer’s room. They had some “hideaway” spots like the gamer room which took a bit exploring to find but nothing too impossible. The hotel offered friendly guides, various cafes and restaurants (bit on the pricey side) and you couldn’t beat the curious looks of out-of-towners who had realized they booked a room at a hotel that was hosting a 3 day long cosplay event. There was plenty of room for pictures, resting, networking.
I’ll be honest, my first con (Fayetteville Comic Con) had some awesome panels. I got to meet voice actors, get straight to the point information on current shows and hear about real life stories and advice from some of the cons most overlooked communities. The Triad anime convention didn’t really offer that. Some of the titles were down right misleading, a common complaint I’ve heard from pro con goers, while others were lazy or lacked interest. One that stood out me the most was the weapons and props 101 panel. We went to get first hand information on how a newbie could make their own weapons and props and to see some great work up close. The hostess of the panel brought zero work (aside from pictures) and didn’t seem all that upset that she “forgot them all” in her room since they didn’t go with her current cosplay she was wearing. I left half way in the middle because she was literally reading off the powerpoint and got defensive when others had more questions about her method then she liked. The whole thing seemed like a dry brag rather then the informative panel I was hoping for.
Other panels I popped my head into varied from just sitting and watching episodes of the host’s favorite anime to more prop-less tutorials. I did hear the voice actors showed out though and some of the skit heavy ones were good. All in all I would be more selective about which ones I attend next time instead of just hoping for the best.
The Dealer’s room was pretty far from the rest of the con. It was quite a walk to make it over there. It was small compared the other con I went too but I did like all the local artist who showed out. They had some awesome art but were a bit overshadowed by the more corporate feel vendors who bought up a lot of booth space. The great thing was a lot of the vendors accepted cards so it made buying much easier this time around. They had some high priced items (250.00 figures and such) so I just settled on buys so I wouldn’t lose my shirt.
I was actually blown away by how many games were featured in the game room. We got there on the second day and it was packed to the brim with gamers. They also had running competitions and offered prizes for the winners. There was a long line to wait for an open game and the winners stayed close to their favorite titles but if I had more time to burn I would give it a whack next time around.
I was very happy to see so many characters I loved at the con. Not only were the cosplayers sticking to the script of their character, but they were very nice and generous with the picture taking. Everyone looked great and seemed to be having a good time. And the level of commitment some of them have! Whew, it was a trip to see. I did my best to bypass all the professional shoots that were going on, and always asked before snapping a pic. It was a really great crowd and I could def feel the acceptance if I would have dressed up.
Overall I had a great time at this con. I would go again and recommend it to those in the future. I hope that they will expand the dealer’s room to include even more local, small time artists so they can showcase their work a bit more. Be sure to vet the panels you’re interested in seeing and do meet some of the voice actors that attend.