So last weekend I had my first anime expo experience. I told a friend about it in an email and she urged me to do a DC post about it, so here goes nothing. This is a slight re-rewrite of that email so its even more informal than what I generally write her.
Also remember, I was an anime expo virgin. So be gentle with me.
First of all, the registration line was crazy long. Next year, pre-register. I bet I was in line for 30-40 minutes to get in. And y’know it was a great people-watching opportunity. Lots and lots of people were in costumes of all kinds. There were women dressed in scanty outfits and guys dressed like Cloud, and there were people dressed like Moogies (? the things that LuLu carried around in FF X) and nuns and black wizards and there were moms and dads sheperding a couple of kids and looking around with an expression of shock on their faces. I think they were the most fun… just watching mom staring slack-jawed while her 12 or 13 year old kid and his/her friend were as comfortable as can be.
The vibe was….fucking beautiful. I’ve done the Rennfaire thing, and that’s pretty fun, but this was amazing. There were big girls dressed as Rikku (? the young blonde from FF X?) and fat guys dressed as warriors and they were just as accepted as the hot girls and buff boys that really had the bodies to look like those characters. No one was judging anyone on terms of body size. Instead it was all about enthusiastic encouargement and praise over each other’s costumes, and very polite requests to take a picture, with a pleasant “Thank you” after the person posed. The guys with huge swords… yeah they compared their sword sizes 🙂 but without any arrogance or testosterone. It was so nice. So fucking nice. I spent most of my time in the “Dealer room” and on display were figures of big monsters and heros from various anime and all kinds of scantily clad anime girls, and the fans, boys and girls both, examined everything carefully, with no expression of condemnation about the big boobs and stuff. It was just all part of the culture and accepted. Guys were buying 6 foot high posters of some impossibly proportioned hottie and people would be like “Whoa, that’s cool!”
I guess I didn’t realize until right now that the whole sex thing was part of what was so special. For once I was in a group of people where sex was at least as accepted as violence, and maybe more so. There was more sex than gore on display. And by sex I mean, y’know, big boobies and short skirts flying up to show panties. Or shirtless men, or the whole gay-boy thing… not deep penetration or ejaculating peni…
Anyway I bought t-shirts and an ‘action figure.’ It was some teen-aged looking waif with big boobs and a tiny string bikini top. A limited edition I guess. The salesman said “You a big Tenge fan?” and I was like “A what?” LOL He rolled his eyes and I said “She just caught my eye!” and it was a big chuckle for him, even though I think he would’ve preferred the piece to go to a die-hard fan.
Next year I think I’ll get a hotel room and stay over night. There was a lot more to see and on Saturday night was “The Masquerade” which I gather to be 1 part costume ball and 1 part stage show where all the cosplayers put on skits and get judged. Sounds like a fun thing to hang around for, but I didn’t fancy driving home from Boston after it ended at 10 pm. And I shudder to think what the parking fee would’ve been!
Anyway, if an anime convention comes to your town, and if you have an ounce of whimsy or playfulness in your heart, I urge you to go and check out the scene. You don’t have to be an anime fan to get a kick out of what goes on at these things!