As I was reading through the comments of my post  inquiring information on the Ontario, California based anime convention Anime Los’ Angeles (ALA) and how it compare to Anime Expo (AX), there were a few comments that caught my attention.  These comments focused on the fact that ALA was a fan run convention that will never succumb to corporate greed and draw in the normies (unlike Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con according to these commentators).

Personally, I’m a fan of corporate and industry  ran conventions (or at the very least, conventions who have some sponsorship from corporations and members of the industry). Anime conventions with corporate/industry backing have the means to bring in the big name heavy hitters of the anime industry. In addition,  they also allow the major players of the anime industry to have world premiere of new and upcoming anime projects  that you  (almost) never get  the chance to see at your local small-to-medium size anime convention.

Content creators such as myself love attending conventions that feature big name guests as it gives us superior coverage and content for our brand.   It’s not to say that fan-run conventions don’t make for great content, but let’s be real: You’ll get more flies drawn towards your honey pot if your honey pot just happen to have somebody like Mamoru Miyano in it because you reported on him talking about his latest roles during  Anime Expo.

(And no, I did not attend any of his panels at Anime Expo because my Black ass KNEW any and all Mamoru Miyano related panels would be jam packed with fans and I am not willing to stand in line for 10 hours for a seiyuu I’m barely a fan of just for internet traffic).

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He’s kind of a  big deal in the weeaboo world

As nerd culture steadily enter the mainstream limelight, there is this looming shadow of fear that has been overcast on the world of nerd culture. This  fear is of both smaller and larger fan ran conventions yielding  to the all-mighty dollar offered to them by major corporations – forswearing their humble grassroots beginnings.

Can’t blame them on this one, really.  We see this happen often with  conventions grew massive in size and income. They get accused of “selling out” (note: knowing your worth and the worth of your brand isn’t “selling out”; that’s broke jealous dusty nigga/hipster talk).   Once they “sell-out”, the content of the convention becomes water down and lose focus on the fan-driven material in favor of industry related items presented on the programming.  Therefore, the loyal fans of the con since day one up and leave the con.

Now, if you’re a critical thinker, you can see where this is going and know the solution to this problem.  If people are dreading that some big conventions are “selling out” for big businesses, then that means that you are going to have people who are still in favor of fan-run conventions that won’t “sell-out”.

anime_girL_gets_slapped_with_cash.jpg
How ugly dudes get women.

Think about it: you have a market of fans who don’t want anything to do with major conventions that have corporate backing and they’re going searching for cons that are operating on the grassroots level.  They would rather spend their money towards conventions that favor fan-related content and programming over what some Japanese industry  jackass who snorts cocaine off a teenage schoolgirl’s ass while  she’s cosplaying Ichigo from DARLING in the FRANXX  in his office at nighttime  thinks what makes good programming at an anime con (okay, probably isn’t that extreme, but you get my point).

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Some scared Japanese girl who just wanted to be a cosplay model and not have some depraved shady Japanese businessman do drugs off her ass while she cosplays as his waifu.

It’s that “for us by us” mentality that most nerds crave when it comes to anime conventions.  Fan run content that shows the true passion and appreciation of fans of this medium in an event that provides the means for such fans to talk about their love for anime – in person with other fellow fans.

Fan-ran events means you have the freedom to express your fandom and love for anime through any means without worrying about an overhead busting your balls telling you what you can and cannot have in your programming (it’s not to say that fan run conventions have overheads busting balls as well, but they’re more lax than say somebody who works for a big anime business).

There’s a certain magic of fan-ran conventions that allow programming such as a room party block with free drinks, a massive cosplay parade downtown,  ribbon collecting, and cosplay stripping shows that most of your major big business ran convention wouldn’t dare allow.   This magic you can’t find at most industry ran conventions. Is it true that these industry cats understand what fans want in terms of content for their cons?  Sure, but it doesn’t mean that they’re gonna provide the means to fulfill said needs.

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Dragon Con Parade. Image source: https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/thousands-to-line-the-streets-for-dragon-con-parade-2018-saturday/825110116

So, will fan-run conventions go away anytime soon?  No. Why?
Because there will always be a need for them – no matter what.

 

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4 Comments »

  1. I do miss going to smaller, fan run conventions. Anime Expo was tons of fun but not terrifically organized for a professional convention of that size and it didn’t have many fun fan-run panels. I love industry stuff but at a certain point it just feels like I’m paying to be advertised to.

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