EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a (cleaner) copy and paste free write of my thoughts of the evolution and history of the Western anime fandom taken from my Facebook page Yuki The Snowman. As such, I was shooting from the hip; so it is unstructured and lacks research and sources to a few statements.
While out-of-state at a friends’ house catching up on old times, we were disusing plans on attending an up and coming anime convention in their area next year named Dokidokon. During the discussion, they mentioned how cool it would be for us to report on the convention, it’s growth, and recording the events as they unfold at the con. With glee, they stated that it would be exciting to take record of what we witness there. Further into the talk, it was mentioned that we’re living in perhaps the best time period for otaku history in the West and how it is important for us bloggers, vloggers, and content creators to record such events in history.
I started to ponder.
While my friends and I enjoy attacking the otaku culture with venomous scorn, taking cheap shots against anime fans whenever the chance presents itself, and mock the culture for its many faults, we still hold onto our great appreciation for how far the anime medium and fandom has come. This is especially true given how Western otaku culture and conventions came up from (to my knowledge, mind you) the underground college anime clubs and conventions of the 70s and 80s to the massive juggernaut in which we are a part of today where the modern anime community is an indescribable melting pot of distinctive demographic coming together to celebrate our love for anime.
For those who might be too young to remember, it wasn’t that long ago when Western anime culture and fans where pushed into the darkest corners of the pop culture world. We were treated as unwelcomed outcasts by – and please note – most (meaning not all for those who are from the remedial side of the education game) nerds and geeks from different sets of the pop culture world (film, comic books, gamers, sci-fi, etcs.).
In the past, Anime (in the West) didn’t have that unbreakable grip that it has on the Western pop culture world today. Thus, us fans were mocked and alienated by outsides (both normies and, ironically, non-otaku nerds who too where shunned for their love for comics, games, etc.) for enjoying something that most people didn’t get. Maybe it was due to xenophobia, lack of understanding, or the pure pride of the ignorant who didn’t want to study why people like and watch anime, but anime fans were treated like some weird nerds who were too much in love with some whacky Japanese cartoons.
Sure, you had timeless hits such as AKIRA, Ninja Scroll, and Ghost in the Shell making noise in America; planting seeds and paving the path for what we are witnessing today when it comes to the Western Otaku culture, but they didn’t have the weight to help put anime in that sweet postion that we call mainstream appeal (Dragon Ball Z would take that honor and run with it in the mid-90s despite what the anti-entry-level anime elitists may want to argue to deal with the fact their favorite obscure anime didn’t get the job done but that’s another topic for another day).
Time went on. The influence of anime in the West grew stronger. Its popularity increased with shows such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon. Television networks such as Time Warner, The Sci-Fi Network, Tech TV and Freeform created program blocks dedicated to anime (Toonami, Anime Unleashed, and Made in Japan) in order to carter to the blooming Western anime fanbase. Online bulletin board systems (BBS) and websites revolving around anime culture sprung up on the dial-up internet side of the game. Magazines dedicated to anime such as Anierica were sent out to the mailbox of the American anime fan. Video stores started carrying anime that never aired on TV in America.
It was inevitable that anime in the West would become a huge deal.
Today, you can go on your favorite streaming website (legal and illegal) and pull up almost any anime from the past or present. Popular or obscure. Modern or classic. If you can think of an anime, there’s a good chance that you will find it online. No more wasting time and gas money traveling miles to a nearby video store in hopes you can get your anime fix. No longer do we need to call up a certain BBS to communicate with fellow fans of a peculiar anime and wait two-to-eight hours for a response.
With the advent of modern day technology and social media, we can instantly chat it up with fellow anime fans moments after an episode finished airing. Best of all, fans can communicate and interact with voice actors, creators, production studios, and distributors through websites such as Facebook and twitter – something that was once only possible at annual major conventions and snail mail.
History is being made.
As content creators, we must take advantage of this era of Western anime history. We must take part and note of the trends and the happenings of the fandom – despite the fact if we love or loathe such trends and happenings. Remember: future generations of anime fans will be curious on how their favorite shows and beloved parts of the culture became to be. They will research the roots of their favorites and find connects to the past (that is currently our present). There needs to be a record of what is going on today in the world of anime: both in the East and here in the West.
Keeping record will perverse what is happening currently. It will prevent experiences from being lost to time and history. Just imagine if nobody recorded the famous viral video of the Filipino female prisoners performing the Hare Hare Yukai dance from The Melacholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or most recent, the ever popular live-action versions Chikatto Chika Chika dance from episode 3 of Kaguya-Sama: Love is War!! by energetic otakus cosplay as Chika herself.
It would be utterly depressing.
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
The Swarthy Nerd Podcast: A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.
Yuki’s Note: This is unorganized and I probably got a few things wrong about nerd culture in the mainstream. Whoops.
I love scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing ads from companies such as Sugoi Shirts and Kaomoji. Seeing their flamboyant Japanese street fashion inspired clothing makes me smile at the expense of my wallet. But who cares as long as it could make me look good. I just wanna rock a fuckin’ shirt with an anime girl with a censor bar across her eyes in public! It just makes me feel good about myself and feeds my ever growing ego. But man, who would imagine vendors online selling stylish and fashionable weeaboo shirts on Facebook?
Nerds have come a long way since the darker days of our passion when we were shamed for simply enjoying our nerd culture. If I were to wear my weeaboo attire 20 years ago, people would mock me. Today? People (for the most part) tend to mind their business. Shit, just the other day, when I went to my local head shop the store clerk saw my shirt and we started talking about Fate series for a few minutes (he thought my sunglasses were something based off Fate). It was a lovely chat until he said that Rin was the worse girl in the Fate series and that Saber was the best.
I ain’t never going back to that headshop.
Anyway, you wanted to catch a superhero movie in full cosplay back in 1996 and you were over the age of 13? You got roasted! Now it’s the norm for people to cosplay as their favorite Marvel or DC superhero at opening night. If there was a nerd in a TV show, they were the laughing stock loser who never get the woman. They never got anywhere. But shows such as Silicon Valley has ended the stereotype that nerds are losers and that their hobbies won’t get them anywhere. I gotta say, this is the golden era of the nerd.
Everything that I’ve mentioned above now leads me to this question: Are nerds trendsetters?
The obvious question is yes, of course. In fact, I even answered the question my self. So leave my page. I want to say that, but I do enjoy going deeper with my theories and exploring them. We (well, I) have come up with the conclusion that nerds are trendsetters. But why? Why are us nerds trendsetters, and how can we take advantage of this before the inevitable nerd bubble breaks and we’re back to being shoved into lockers and having our lunch money stolen by the jocks (well, you weak nerds are getting shoved into the lockers, I’m knocking anyone out who tries to do that to me).
This is my theory:
People were tired of the old shit and wanted something new. Everyone and their moms love reality TV, watching sports, drinking at the local bar, what have you. Meanwhile, the nerds were in the background; creating and working on their passion. We spent our time inside, communicating with our peers, showcasing our talent online. As time went on and technology advance bringing the advent of social media people were started to take notice of the group they once shunned away: The Nerd.
Social media lead the way for nerds to showcase their creative talent (although we’ve been doing this shit years and years before that came along through online forums, blogs, etc.) As more people gain access to the internet, the more nerds were given exposure. Yes, there were TV channels such as the Sci-Fi Channel, Tech TV, and g4, but they were only viewed by their niche target market.
Now? Well, I mean they’re still being watched by their niche market, but the normies are getting into them as well. Oh and g4 is dead. So perhaps that doesn’t count. Shows that were once for nerds with cahs (meaning they could afford internet and cable packages) are available through streaming services such as Hulu, Crunchyroll, Netflix, etc.. The video game industry makes more than the movie industry. Anime is…catching up. It still has a some catching up to do, but with anime (slowly) creeping into the mainstream, I say it won’t be long until anime in the West is treated like film.
It’s funny to think about how nerds are shaping things up. We’re like rockstars (almost). Seriously. Go on YouTube right now and you see that some of the top YouTubers are people talking about video games or streaming themselves playing games. Two decades ago folks would scream at nerds that playing games isn’t a real career. Today? Playing video games and screaming at a game for hours on end is considered a real job. Of course, you have those normies who think that isn’t a real career, but they’re just mad that they’re slaving away at some corporate or labor gig they hate while the nerds they used to bully are making hunder of thousands of dollars playing video games.
So, to anwser my own question: Yes. Nerds are trendsetters.
(Warning: Major spoilers for Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War and Doki Doki Literature Club. I’m not dealin’ with ya weebaboos and ya hurt feelings.)
I can fondly remember when my homeboy (at the time) “spoiled” the fact that Hotaru was Sailor Saturn (Sailor Moon S) in grade school. I had just finished watching my first episode of Sailor Moon (episode 117: Higher, Stronger! Cheers by Usagi) the previous day and was hooked. I expressed my love for the Hotaru character and her awesomeness. Unlike Usagi and Chibi-Usa (who had to transform in order to gain their powers), Hotaru didn’t need to transform for her powers. My dude smiled and said “You know Hotaru is actually a Sailor Scout, right? She’s Sailor Saturn. That’s why she has powers. In fact, not only is she a Sailor Saturn, she’s being controlled by somebody else.”
“Ahh!” I replied. “No wonder she could do those things like blasting a monster across a track field.” The spoilers about Hotaru’s truth identify didn’t ruin her character for me. In fact, it made me more excited to watch more Sailor Moon S. I wanted to see Hotaru’s journey as a sickly, lonely girl to the Soldier of Destruction (who ironically, would save the world from destruction).
Spoilers don’t mean shit. Being spoiled about an event in the media we consume never ruin the emotional experience. In fact, it makes it better. Some may say “But spoiling something will make you disappointed or change your mind about a character.” Okay, so what? Your views of a character are going to change regardless of you got spoiled on their actions or not. Why try to avoid the inevitable when it’s going to hit you sooner or later?
Let me change your mind about spoilers. I know I can.
Spoilers neither ruins nor replace the emotional experience that you’d otherwise witness. Spoilers are just words. They don’t provide the gut hitting visuals of seeing your favorite character die. Spoilers don’t give you the sense of anger of seeing a “trustworthy” ally betraying his best friend on screen. “But Ben! What about twists and surprises!?” Oh well. Once you consumed media for nearly 25 years you tend to get bored with surprises and twists.
Recently, I’ve been playing the popular Western visual novel, Doki Doki Literature Club/DDLC (not to be confused with the obscure PC98 visual novel Doki Doki Vacation). Through my adventures (of playing the game), people were trying (failing) to convince me not to read spoilers. They told me that it’s better to experience the game blind so I could “truly appreciate” the game for what it is.
First off, I had to laugh at those who believed I should play DDLC by their standards. Second, telling me to avoid spoilers won’t work – it’ll just make me read them. Through reading spoilers, I discovered that Monika was the true villain of DDLC. Monika was a manipulative, angry, jealous, and lonely girl who wanted someone to love her and grant her freedom (from her digital prison and self-awareness powers). Did those spoilers impacted and change my views on Monika? Of course, but in turn, it made more interested in her character (given that I enjoy manipulative/Machiavellian-type characters).
Here’s where I still felt the emotional impact of Monika’s cruel deeds despite being “spoiled”.
As Monika brags about killing Natsuki, Yuri, and Sayori, your character is forced to sit across from her in the Literature Club (now the Room of Eternity). The distorted music, dark orange tint filling the room, and Monika staring at your eye gave me a sense of unease. I felt anger as Monika casually – yet coldly – discussed how she murdered her friends. Now, do you see how spoilers don’t replace those emotions? Again, they don’t give you that visual treat.
Reading those spoilers didn’t provide me with those emotions – but playing the game did. The spoilers just enhanced my journey, which brings me to my next point.
Around 2005, I started playing Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War. I “foolishly” spoiled the game’s ultimate plow twist – Arvis murdering the main character, Sigurd. Furthermore, Arvis manipulated the nobles of Grandbell to wage war against a few nations: just so he could have the nobles kill each other. Arvis’s schemes prove successful.
Rather than being mad at myself (for “ruining” the plot), I became curious about Arvis’s “terrible” deeds and did research. I discovered the game development notes of Shouzou Kaga (creator of Fire Emblem); gaining information on Arvis (that changed my mind about him). Arvis was angry at the nobles of Grandbell who abused their power – subjecting their citizens to levels of extreme poverty (while the nobles spent their riches on themselves).
Arvis – in his head – thought himself as a liberating hero for the common man.
The spoilers didn’t ruin the plot for me. In reality, not only did it made me want to play the game, it made me respect Kaga’s complex writing of Arvis’s character. Kaga’s notes help me understood the tragic (anti) villain archetype of media. It was the kick that I needed to see the game all the way to the end – to see how the events unfold through Kaga’s craftsmanship.
See how spoilers can work in your favor?
Spoilers do not mean shit. This was a fact that I discovered back in my childhood with Hotaru/Sailor Saturn, one of my favorite characters of all time. Being spoilers on certain characters might change my views on them. That’s okay: it was going to change either way. Reading spoilers helped me understand why villains such as Arvis and Monika had to do the things they did – and I still got emotional when I reached their villain reveals in their respected games. The spoilers got me in the head of the creator and made me felt what they felt. To me, that’s the ultimate sign of respect for a creator: understanding their works.
From my last article, I stated how nerd culture has reached popularity that rivals mainstream culture. Years ago, anything nerdy was deemed pathetic – activities that only people with no lives enjoy. Today, it’s going through a renaissance. Superhero/comic movies are now major blockbusters. Video games are treated as a serious art form. Anime is no longer viewed as a joke (for the most part). Yet, despite those achievements, there are bitter nerds angry with the newfound popularity (of nerd culture). They’re upset at the past (as they were bullied for being nerds, weren’t accepted, etc.) They continue to cry about whatever happened to them in high school. Can I say something? If you’re this type of nerd, you need to get the fuck over it.
High school is over. Nobody (but you) gives a shit.
The past is the past; let that shit go. You need to stop being mad at your peers from high school just because they rejected you (for being a nerd). The popular preppy girl who wouldn’t dare date you because you played Pokemon? She’s now fat, have five unruly children from three baby daddies, and she’s working at a dead end job. She’s hopeless. The asshole who called you lame because you wanted to study rather than hitting up the weekend party? I bet you he ain’t doing shit with his life today. He’s strung out on drugs and begging people for money on the streets.
You, my friend? You’re doing well (I hope). You’re working on your goals, dreams, making money, and life-changing moves for the better. There’s a special somebody in your life that appreciate your nerdiness. You changed your wardrobe and rocking the fresher clothes of the season; clothes your bullies never imagine you wearing years after high school.
You changed, just like trends and the people who may have made fun of you.
Here’s what you need to understand. The bullies and assholes that made fun of you could’ve changed after high school. They could have realized that they were horrible to you and others. Perhaps one day they reflected on their hurtful actions of the past, realized what they have done, and made the effort to never repeat that shit again. Teenagers are pricks. They should know better, but it takes a while for people to grow and self-improve for the future.
People need to change for the future.
Let’s talk about the future. We’re living in the golden age (of nerd pop culture). Superhero movies are bringing studios hundreds of millions of dollars (the good ones of course). Adults are playing on their 3DS in the open without normies talking shit about them. Otaku are expressing their love for the anime medium without fear of ridicule. You can talk about the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super or My Hero Academia with your coworkers. Cosplay is getting the respect it deserves. Everything nerdy is slowly becoming accepted and not made as a joke to belittle the people that love it! I can bet money that in a few years, people will no longer be mocked or bullied for liking anime, video games, comics, etc. It’ll be too deep within the mainstream for anyone to go out their way to bully people over those things. So what if there are some norimes who think that shit is lame? Fuck them! Let them be stuck the past with that old mindset.
You gotta love bitter nerds. Ever since the emergence of nerd culture in mainstream culture, pathetic, dusty nerds have come out with their sob stories on women rejecting them (for being nerdy). You may have come across such stores like “Anime was the reason why women never like me” or “Now that comic books are popular ya wanna join the hype train but ya weren’t down with me back in high school!” If these sob stories describe your experience with women, then you need to hear the truth. You weren’t rejected because you like anime or video games. You got rejected because of you and you alone. Blaming your nerd hobbies only mean that you don’t have the courage to admit that you suck.
Let me explain why – because you losers need a wakeup call.
I know it’s hard to admit fault (for your rejection), but hear me out. The rejections happened because of your flaws. You’re a boring ass person lacking charisma. The girl you wanted like men who can wow her with their confidence and social skills – which you clearly lacked. Who wants a relationship with a man whose personality is that of the mundane Yuki Nagato off The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya combined with the unbearable stoic Obi-Wan from Star Wars Episode 1.
Next, your horrid appearance landed you that denial. You fucking stink. You smell like pure unwashed swamp ass. The last time you took a bath or put on deodorant was when Half-Life 3 came out. Your crusty dry lips are begging you to apply Carmex on them. You’re out here sporting disastrous, greasy unkempt hair. That doesn’t make you look cute. It makes you look like the three-way fusion of Post Malone, Digibro, and Mick Foley/Mankind. And that’s pretty nasty my man (no disrespect to the greats Digibro and Mick Foley). And your fashion sense boy! Did you really think rockin’ a fedora, a button down Dragon Ball Z shirt, and New Balance shoes was gonna get you some women?
How dense are you?
Enough your shit tier looks. Let’s talk your blame game. That shit’s weak. Yes, people are shallow and won’t date you over hobbies. That’s okay. I doubt you would date a normie girl with normie interests. With that said, wasting your life playing video games, jackin’ off to ero anime, and reading slice-of-life manga all day long as hobbies are turn-offs to some. Honestly, that’s boring. Nobody wants to hang around with a boring person like you. Find other things to enjoy, like watching live-action television, going out to the movies, reading things that aren’t manga.
Liking nerdy interests alone doesn’t make you special: It makes you uninteresting.
Gotta love bitter nerds. I mean, really. You can’t help but laugh at them for blaming their hobbies and others for their shortcomings. Are you amazed at how they can’t see their own faults and improve on them? Because I am. Look, if you are a nerd who does these things, you need to work on yourself and stop playing the blame game. Take a shower. Have confidence in yourself. Go update your fashion game. Indulge in cool shit other than nerdy shit.
NOTE:This is the text version of the audio discussion between my friend DJ Killzown and myself on the same topic. The link to the YouTube will be provide below.
A convention is a wonderful place to meet and befriend new people who share your passive for nerd pop culture. You can be yourself without being ridiculed for who you are. However, just like in the real world, you still have to obey the laws of the land, use common sense and logic at conventions. Just because somebody is cosplaying as a sexy Slave Leah outfit doesn’t give you the right to touch her. Somebody has a cool prop you’re admiring? That’s great! Just ask permission to hold and touch it first. You don’t wanna ruin the con experience for yourself or somebody because you’re on some childish crap. Don’t know what not to do at conventions or need a refresher? Well, we’re here to help! Not Taking Care of Your Personal Hygiene
Look, there’s no excuse for not taking care of your hygiene; both in the real world, and at conventions. You need to shower and take care of other hygiene issues before you hit the con floor. Take a damn hot soapy shower. Use deodorant. Brush your teeth. Comb or brush your hair.. Freshener your breath. People are sensitive to body odor. You are being selfish when you do not bathe. Again, there’s no excuse.
Disrespect Personal Boundaries.
People attend conventions to have a good time. They don’t want it ruined by some creep or somebody breaking their props. It should go without saying, but think before you act. Keep your hands to yourself; cosplay is not consent. People have worked hard for months on their costume and props. They don’t want it destroyed by some touchy grabby idiot. Please ask for a picture before you snap one. Don’t become that one creepy photographer that gets talked about within the community.
Ghost the convention Please, support the convention. If you want the convention to flourish, you must buy a badge. Ghosting hurts the convention as they lose money to stay afloat. Every penny counts. If you want better and bigger guests, convention to expand, and an overall better home con, supports the convention. Buy a badge.
Consume drugs/alcohol beyond your limit
Partying is not a secret at the convention scene, so I’m going to say this: please know your limit when consuming drugs or alcohol. Don’t consume drugs or alcohol on the convention grounds. Leave that shit in your room If you smoke trees in an illegal state, spray yourself down or cover the smell with tobacco smoke. Be aware if law enforcement catch your ass with that shit, you’re getting locked up, no tolerance. Do not drink if you’re underage. Do not serve underage people alcohol. . It’s not worth it.
I hope our tips will help you improve the quality of your experience at conventions. We wish you a great and happy convention season!
Please! Check out our audio discussion on the topic on YouTube!
Audio collab between my boy DJ Killzown Jones and myself. With the convention season well into the summer season, DJkillzown and I figure we will be nice and give nice audio guide on NOT to do at cons.
Cosplay is NOT Consent
Respecting Personal Boundaries
Creeping on Women
The other day, I was browsing through a Touhou fangroup on Facebook when I came across an topic: ZUN’s networth, and how much money he makes off his games and other products. We threw in our (not so educated) guesses out, ranging from being completely broke due to his alcoholism love for beer, really broke from snorting cocaine off the asses of Sanae cosplayers at Comiket, to being incredibly well off from the games, his day job (network programmer), and having some passive income (apparently he invested in a brewery in Japan [yay sin investments] and SONY is giving him passive income for the PS4 Touhou games, but neither statement has not yet been confirmed).
Somebody brought up an article with statements from ZUN . Zun states that even if he wasn’t making money off to make Touhou games, he would still make them regardless, as he is passionate about game design.
(ZUN reminds me of another doujinshi game designer and writer, Ryukishi07 [When They Cry series creator], another dude who loves making games just for the joy for it, but that’s for another freewrite)
ZUN spreads the lore of Gensokyo (the fictional land of Touhou), not for the love of money, but for the love of his fans and his passion of storytelling. ZUN finds fulfillment from his craft, his art. Naturally, everyone in the topic started to respect him more than ever (ZUN seems like a very cool and chill guy). This got me thinking a bit; am I doing this writing thing for fame and money, or am I doing this because I love writing and I want to share my views to the world?
Or to go a little deeper; is there a greater sense of fulfillment by working on my passion so I can spread my words to the world? Do I want to influence others and have them think about anime and otaku culture on a deeepr level? Or am I doing this for my own pride and ego?
Maybe one day I’ll find the answer. Maybe one day I’ll become just like ZUN and keep pushing out my writings because I find it fun and I want others to be happy and find joy from it. Thanks ZUN, not only for your hard work, but also inspiring me to work on my passion for the joy of it!
Okay, so I lied about taking a break from drinking. I took another shot of Viniq because I’m an alcoholic and it’s delicious. But mostly because of the fact that I’m an alcoholic. Okay, now I gotta prep and get somewhat sober for the Umineko/Higurashi meet. I checked my phone for the time. 5:20PM. Good. Just forty minutes until I have to meet up with the cosplayers. That’s more than enough time to get ready which is great, given an old friend just messaged me on Facebook.
“Hey Ben! We drinking at the Red Bar! Wanna join us?”
Tyler is an old online and ACEN friend of mine. I’ve known him since maybe around 2010 on the old Anime Central’s forums and /cgl/ (the cosplay and gothic lolita board of 4chan), way before the ACEN’s Facebook groups grew and became the shitholes that they are today. He invited me to the Red Bar, one of the Hyatt’s overpriced bar and grill restaurant (great food though).
“They’ve food down there? My dumbass started drinking on an empty stomach. I need some food badly.” I replied.
“Yea, they got a great menu. We’ll still be here by the time you get here.”
“Alright bet!” Food sounds great along with old friends and I already know I need the food for extra drinking. Well, time to make my way to the Red Bar.
I hit the Red Bar up. I spot Tyler and his crew sitting around a tall, smooth white glass table. They had already finished eating and drinking, but stuck around for my food to arrive and eat. The server gives me a menu and I look over it, trying to search for any foods with meat.
“Ben, you like pineapples and hamburgers?” Tyler asked.
“Yep, separate. Never had the two combined. What’s up?” I questioned him. What weird food entrée you’re trying to convince me to eat? Ya white people be eating some weird shit.
“Try the Tsunami Burger. It sounds weird, but trust me, it’s great. It’s a little sloppy though.”
“Hmm, it does sounds good. I’ll take it!”
I placed my order. As we waited, we reminisced on our wild days of /cgl/ and the ACEN message boards. One topic that was brought up was whiny old ass, entitled ass nerdy crybabies who blamed the rave for the parties and bad things happening. They would spend hours from the precious day to bitch about how ACEN focused more on the raves and parties, than the actual anime related content. Each rant ended with the following:
“I’M NEVER COMING BACK TO ANOTHER ACEN AGAIN!”
“IF ACEN KEEP THEIR FOCUS ON THE PARTIES THEN I WILL GO TO ANIME MIDWEST INSTEAD!”
“Can I get a 420 hook up for next ACEN?”
“Who was that cute guy I blew at the rave you had such a huge dick I need it inside me again”
I tend to reply with a smartass remark such as “So we’re seeing ya next ACEN?” or “Nobody cares. You’re coming back next time.” I tend to get blocked bythe butthurt nerds as an result.
As we finished the story, my Tsunami Burger arrived. As a proud, card carrying member of the FatAss Hamburger Eaters Society of America (FAMESOA for short), this burger gets my personal rank of “Top Tier Burger”. Visually, the burger has a vivid aesthetic as supported by the chopped bright yellow Pineapples, flashy green from the green peppers, teriyaki paints the buns coast-to-coast, which overlaps the veggies and fruits toppings.
The sweetness from the pineapples and the light spice from the peppers work in synergy to provide a salty and sweet flavor from each bit- fuck this burger the buns are falling apart too much sauce and water based veggies and fruits. 0/10 this burger is banned from FAMESOA. I do not recommend it to any other members.
Seriously, it was a great burger but again, tomatoes, pineapples, and teriyaki sauce weakens beard, thus creating a finger food mess.
Fuck, its 6:00. Gotta head out! I paid for my food and bid farewell to Tyler and his crew, and head to the smoker’s area, which the Higurashi/Umineko photoshot was taking place.
Wow. Fuck, there’s only six When They Cry (WTC) cosplayers this year (Beatrice, Battler, Willard, Tohya, [Umineko], Rena, and Mion [Higurashi] cosplayers) compared to years past (I think there was about 15-20 WTC cosplayers in 2015 when Ryukishi07 was a guest). The fandom is dying in the ACEN community. It’s disheartening to see a cosplay group I’ve supported for about 5 years fading away. Maybe I should had brought my Goat-Kun cosplay with me this year despite years of damage on it. Oh Well.
Sniff, sniff, sniff. No. That’s not me crying at the eventually death of the Higurashi/Umineko cosplay community. I’m sniffing some good kush. Normally, I’ll be okay with people smoking tress, but around an area where there are photoshoots going on? You know ,there are young kids and non weed smokers around my dude? Come on now! At least wait until after sunset when all the straight edge baby nerds are gone. If you gotta smoke, at least get a vape so you won’t have that loud smell carrying over or go to the woods by the Hyatt.
Goddammit you fucking stupid idiots are ruining this shit for everyone else.
After the photoshoot (which was literally 10 minutes), we spent the reminding 50 minutes talking about the When They Cry series, Touhou, and general otaku shit that I forgotten over the course of a week due to alcoholism. Tohya, the leader of the WTC cosplay group, brought up the Umineko fighting game “Golden Fantasia”, and my face lit up. I have the game on my laptop, and I haven’t play against a human opponent in years. Chance time!
(If you do not know about Golden Fantasia, imagine Marvel Vs. Capcom 1 meets Guilty Gear, but with Umineko no Naku Koro ni characters throw into the mix. It’s a fun but obscured anime fighting game, but with a very small community. It is getting an official English release soon, and I hope it’ll revive the community.)
Seriously, I want more people cosplaying from Umineko at ACEN next year. If you’re an Umineko or Higurashi cosplayer reading, please cosplay as a character from the series next year. I won’t though ha ha ha!
Tohya and I headed back to my room. Upon arrival, he was impressed by the alcohol I had laying around the room.
“Are you planning to make a bunch of screwdrivers tonight?” I had some vodkas and a giant bottle of orange juice on the table of my room.
“Nah, just have them around for a friend’s party tomorrow. Although having some Screwdrivers don’t sound too bad right now!” I laugh while setting up my laptop and the game. God I got a problem with alcohol.
Alright! Game is booted and we’re ready to roll! I gave him a fair warning that I wasn’t going to go easy on me, in which he replied he won’t do the same for me. I like that! The respect between two fighting game players that understand you must play at your full best. We chose our characters, me with the sibling team Battler and Ange, and him with the “Oh you piece of fucking shit you’re making me hate you” team of Dlanor and Ronove.
So, Dlnaor and Ronove. Fuck them. In Golden Fantasia’s meta, the combination of these two gives the player a pure defense heavy team, as they’re consider to have the best defense in the game, and it doesn’t help that their already large health stack up with one another. Yay.
And then we have their godddamn synergy of their fucking skills. Jesus. Dlanor’s skill is “Armor Boost”, which does what it says on the tin. It increases her and her ally’s defense by 50%. Ronove’s skill is Counter Boost, which increase damage from counter hits. Dlanor has great poking counter tools, and Ronove, who’s already a fucking walking brick wall can do stupid bullshit by having Dlanor’s Armor Boost on him. It’s annoying.
So if you ever play this game I hope you enjoy fucking fighting a loli tank with a sword and a butler tank with a sexy mustache. Because I did not for the first match.
We’re playing, getting into the fight. Tohya’s jamming to Jay Z’s “Dead Presidents 2”, which I “modded” into the game’s music soundtrack (I just simply replaced the audio track of Ange’s stage). During our first match of the game, I combo into Battler’s grope special from his bread-and-button combo. Tohya’s friend Battler (the Battler cosplayer who I also invited) made a funny in-fandom joke.
“Why is Battler trying to grope Dlanor? There’s nothing there! Also, I wonder what happens if he tried to grope Ange, his sister, with that move?”
I replied “Well, I’m pretty Ange would enjoy being groped by her own brother. She has a pretty heavy brother complex.” We all laughed because it’s the truth.
(One of her in-game endings has her stepping and grinding her shoe on Battler’s head, demanding that he calls her “Mistress Ange” each time she spanks him. See, that would be incredibly hot if it wasn’t her brother. Maybe if the sub was either her friend Lucifer or best friend Mammon, then it’d be totally hot).
We went on for a few more matches, and talked about how deep and fun the game is. He also shared my hopes that MangaGamer’s English release will bring back interest to the series to the West, as we are passionate about the Umineko series and want the community to strive once more.
Okay, enough of that heart felt sappy side of me and my weeaboo longing for my favorite fanbase to be revived. You guys are here to read about my tales of debauchery and I promise to deliver! As Tohya and I were finishing up some final matches, my boy “Bucket Wave” (fake named inspired by his love for vaporwave and bucket hats) came through with his giant Bluetooth speaker, lights, trees, and Whiskey!
Yea, it’s turn up party time! It’s Friday night of ACEN and we’re getting fucked up.
Fair warning: The following is straight up pure debauchery. Some debauchery I may have forgotten over the course of the aftermath of ACEN. To remember some things from the ACEN weekend, the following paragraphs were written with me under the influence of alcohol pre-editing. Took some shots of the reminder Martell I had and some UV Blue mixed with sprite while watching Otaku no Video (it’s a great OVA). Hopefully it’ll give me drunken recall.
You’ve been warned.
Alright, so drunken memory recall did not work. It only made me drunk. Fuck it, here’s what I can recall from Friday night up until I had passed out around 5 in the morning the following Saturday (which was more of an exciting day).
Bucket Wave and I took some shots of whiskey, waiting for my boys “Bowser”, “KW”, and “Yakuza” (he’s not an actual Yakuza, he’s a fan of the Sega video game series) to come up and pre-game with us. I owed Bowser some money for a blunt, Yakuza is an old internet friend of mines from the Persona group “Shin Megami Tensei Network” (who apparently members of said group were helping co-hosting the Persona orgy at ACEN) and I promised JW I’ll drink with him and do shots to help get us right for the night.
Following the whiskey and Hennessy shots (provided by Yakuza), Bucket Wave suggested we do some dabs off his wax pen. Usually, dabs get me incredibly fucked up. Like you ever seen the Truth Commercial with the girl “Sara” straight up melting into the couch, stoned the fuck outta her mind? Yeah, that’s me off dabs.
Oh well, it’s Friday night of ACEN, and we’re getting fucked up at 9:00PM. I plan to be fucked up throughout the night. You think I’m just gonna end with 3 shots of Hennessy, 3 shots of Whiskey, an alpha version of my Sailor Saturn cocktail, and hits of dabs? Nah fuck that! We’re about to head to the smoker’s circle and smoke some blunts too!
The Smoker Circle is already bumping. Nigga, there are half naked ravers and cosplayers walking about and shaking their asses and doing cool tricks with the raver sticks (I don’t know nor care about what they’re actually call), some young college-aged nerds doing keg stands (how the fuck did these white boys manager to sneak in a keg I dunno), s a d b o y s sippin’ lean and listening to vaporwave, crazy cosplayers snorting Special K, and us smart niggas smoking trees and drinking alcohol because we are good noodles.
Fuck that lame ass rave. The Smoker’s Circle is where it at.
My crew settled at the little cut inside the stone pillar (the cut that has the door that leads into the maintenance center of the Hyatt) and sparked up a blunt. Maybe two blunts? I can’t remember, I should have made notes as I went along. Just know the kush was making me feel good along with whatever else I had in my system. I get a message from my boy “Flash” asking if I was still pregaming and if I wanna kick it with “Bgod” (actual nickname) their crew. Of course I’m down.
So, here’s a funny story about Flash and I. Around pre ACEN 2015 (or 2014, can’t remember), me and Flash had an online beef. I was doing my usual shitposting and trolling on the groups when I had went after Flash. Flash got mad and wanted to meet up to fight in Chicago, so I could back up my “internet tough guy” talk in real life. I was like “Alright. I ain’t from Chicago, but meet up in ACEN wit that shit nigga”.
ACEN 2014 or 2015 came about. I’m at my boy’s party smoking a Black and Mild on the balconey. I spot a group of young cats breaking down trees, upset they forgot to grab a rillo (White Owls, Game, Zig-Zag, etc.) beforehand. Me being the utter asshole I am, I gave them my last Black and Mild so they didn’t have to walk 20 minutes to the Moblie station for a rillo.
As I gave a random guy form the group a rillo he asks “Are you Ben Snow?”
“Yes.” I replied back.
“I’m Flash. The guy who wants to fight you. I didn’t know you were actually nice and chill in real life! Sorry about that whole shit, it just that people love to run their mouths online around Chicago and not back it up in real life.”
This dude wasn’t an internet tough guy as I originally thought. The dude was well built as well as looking like he can legit fight physically. We talked about nerdy shit for about an hour and clicked well, and ended our online beef right there. Back to the present, I’m up in their place smoking one of my blunts with his crew, just chilling and talking about our own ACEN plans and trying to find more parties to kick it. As we are trying to figure out our next move, something told me to check my phone.
‘Room 10xx. Throwing a crazy party like last year.’
“Ayy, ‘Sid’ is throwing a party at his suite again this year. Let’s hit that up!” I suggested to everyone. So Sid and his legendary parties he hosts at ACEN. Oh man, holy hell! For the past five years I’ve known Sid and attending his parties, they always are so lit and wild. There’s a 90% chance that it’ll get shut down by the police, hotel staff, and convention security because of noise complaints. And I don’t mean his next door neighbors bitching. I mean, the entire floor in which he host his parties tend to rant and bitch about the noise levels. When you go to this man’s parties, it’s standing room only. Good luck trying to find space to sit down and chill, because you won’t.
Well, time to go to one of the ACEN’s masters of lit parties.
As always, Sid’s party is packed and wild. Even with him having a two story vast suite, the room is jammed with people. Music and voices are sounding thunderous, dominating all other noises. Do not try to speak over the music, you’ll lose. That’s how lit Sid’s party can be.
While chatting with people I know who’re already at the party, Sid comes up to me and we reunite for another night of alcoholic and drug fuled madness. He jokingly tells me that he was hosting one of the many ACEN origies on the top floor, and that I should join in. I laughed, and headed up there with Bucket.
There were people on the top floor, but no fucking. One very small (perverted) part of me was low-key hoping there was an orgy going down. However, I’m socially awkward and shy around people I do not know, so I wouldn’t get any action regardless.
Poor me I blame society and Christianity for making me like this. Especially Christianity
I’m on the top floor, talking to Bucket, drinking beers and what now when our friend came up to us. They’re clearly distressed, upset, and scared. Something happened. Something that pretty much made me want to fight. Somebody who I thought was a friend did something to another friend of ours ( I won’t go into details because I don’t wanna stir up drama).
I was furious. How could somebody who I called a “friend” for years could do this to another friend? Nah, nah, nah, fuck this nigga, I’m killing him in front of all these people for what he did. How could you do that to a friend man? Before I lost wheatver sense I had left, I decided to leave the party. Alcohol+my temper+that bullshit = me being arrested for murder. Somebody in our crew suggested to go to one last party. Good. Because I can’t be here any longer.
My boy heard word about a VIP suite party going on in the Hyatt. A VIP suite party must be banging as hell. I mean, it has the word “VIP” in it, so it must be a great party. Let’s head there! We get to the room, and it’s mostly dead. I can’t really be too upset, it’s almost 3:30 in the morning, and most, if not all parties were wrapping up. There were a few stragglers partying about but nothing major really. Eh, nothing is really going on here, the alcohol and weed is getting to me, and I’m tired as all hell. I’m gonna head back to my room and past out.
I get near my room, and outside of it I see my friend “Goro” either getting in or out of his cosplay (Goro from Persona 5), I dun care, I just wanna past out (and finish this part of the story). I get in our room and crash on the bed.
“4:00am? Fuck, I’ve been out that long huh? Fuck it, I’ll get up the morning and go to a few panels or something.”
Oh, Ben. You’re cute.
Stay tune for Night 2! Wait, night 2? You mean Day 2 right Ben?
Gotta love room parties. Where else can you find a normally socially awkward Uthena cosplayer drunk off shots of Hennessy flirting with other women, a Future Trunks cosplayer high off coke that he snorted off a Hex Maniac cosplayer’s ass, and two stoned Persona fans talk about who’s best girl(s) in Persona 5? (the answer: Tae and Ohya)
Yea, you could visit multiple room parties. That’s cool and all. But, what is cooler is hosting your own room party. You can become the source of otaku debauchery! I’ll teach you how!
To host a room party, you obviously need a hotel room. Make you have booked a room. Location is key. You want to host your party at the primary convention hotel. Hosting at the secondary hotel isn’t bad either, just as long as it’s not too far from the main hotel(s). Ain’t nobody gonna drive 20 minutes to your lame ass hotel party. A suite, a large single king-size room, or two rooms that are linked are best choices for room partying (depending on how the size of the party you’re planning).
If the convention hotel has a dedicated floor/wing/etc. for parties, request a room on that floor. Some hotels will move your room to the party floor for free, while others require an additional fee (around an extra $100 a night).
Anime Nebraskon (Omaha), Anime Midwest (Chicago), Anime Weekend Atlanta (Atlanta), DragonCon (Altanta) , and Archon (St. Louis) are conventions that I’ve personally attended in which they have a select floor or wing for partying.
The job of a host is showing as much hospitality to your guests as possible. Greet everyone with a smile. Show them respect. Make them feel comfortable and welcomed. This means cleaning the room hours before the party and throughout it, having liquor, juices, soda, food, and water available (which I will cover later). Talk to as many of your guests as possible. Be friendly. Trust me, doing these things will net you repeat visitors for future parties.
Spills and party fouls happen. It’s unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean up (plus, you don’t want cleaning fees on your bill). Cleaning supplies will help you in the long run, and plus, cleaning goes hand-in-hand with hospitality.
Here what you’ll need:
Trashbags: Hotel trashbags are small, weak, and will overflow quick. You want something that’s heavy duty, like Hefty trashbags. 3-7 heavy duty trashbags should be more than enough for your party. Tie a trashbag on the door handle for easy access for trash and waifus alike.
Paper Towels: Paper towels are godsend for messes. Get something strong and absorbent like Brawny or Bounty.
Tip: Don’t use the hotel towels. You’ll need them to dry yourself off , after you’ve washed off the shame of sleeping with that Black Lady (Sailor Moon) cosplayer after the party ended. You know, the one who was way into character calling you “daddy” while you were raw dogging her from behind.
Dish Soap: For difficult stains. Plus the best dish soap smells good.
Disinfection Wipes: Great way to kill germs and reduce con pluage from unwashed, unhealthy virgin nerds.
Febreze: Because people don’t fucking shower at conventions.
Having these simple cleaning products will help you in the long run. You don’t need everything on the list, but it’s useful to have at least trash bags, dish soap, febreze, and paper towels on stand by.
Food and Drinks:
What’s a party without food or drinks? A rather boring one, run by a host who’s most likely a freeloader, expecting others to bring things but not providing anything in exchange. Nobody likes those type of people. You gotta have your own set of food and drinks at your party.
Here what you’ll need:
Alcohol (LEGAL DISCLAIMER: DO NOT SERVE ANYONE UNDER 21)
3 Bottles of plain Vodka
2 Bottles of plain White Rum
2 Bottles of Dark Rum
1 bottle of tequila
1 bottle of gin
1 bottle of Triple Sec
1 bottle of Schnapps
1-3 bottles of Liquer (Peach, Sour Apple, Midori, coffee, etc.)
1 bottle of Rumchata
1 bottle/box or red wine
1 bottle/box or white wine
Case of beer (24-36 pack work best)
1-6 bottles of fruit flavored vodka/rum (pineapple, mango, raspberry, etc.)
Sweet and Sour Mix
24-36 case of bottled water
On the food end, pizza and chicken wings work well. You can order 1-3 pounds of wings and 5 boxes of cheap pizza for an entire party. Convince party goers to put in on the food. Don’t let others mooch off your shit.
Nobody will come to your party if they’re unaware. You must promote it. Create a Facebook event. Speak to people at the convention. Networking is key. Now, if room partying is against hotel rules, keep it on the low. Only tell a very select few people that you can trust.
Besides, you don’t want your party shut down because you let the wrong people in.
As a host, you gotta have rules. Yeah, parties can be chaotic, that’s a given. But you need to lay down some rules and have order to ensure a safe and happy party for you and your guests.
My general rules:
Respect the host and host’s room
Don’t be a creep and make others uncomfortable
Don’t fuck/sleep on my/our bed
Don’t steal. You steal you’re getting your ass beat and booted.
Keep noise at a reasonable level to prevent noise complaints.
No smoking unless it’s a smoking floor, 420 friendly hotel, etc. Also match me. I’ll match you too.
No one under 21 (if serving alcohol)
Just simple universal rules that should work. You can add your own rules for your party depending on the nature.
Hope these tips help! Feel free to apply them to your own parties. Be safe and have fun this con season! If you have any suggestions and advice, please post them in the comments section below!
With the spring/summer con season rolling, there’s something goofy I’ve noticed within the community recently: online con season drama. I know online con drama is a long running thing. It’s nothing new but I feel like this season, it gotten out of hand. People are getting way too bold with their beefs and shit talking.
This morning, a Facebook friend did a live video on how there’s so much silly ass drama prior to the con. One topic she touched upon was that on how niggas love to talk that good shit on convention groups; talking about meeting up to fight con and cause conflict.
Yet, they’re super quiet and scared to do to their target. At most, they’ll just give the person they don’t like a dirty look, or come up to them with that fake friendly (as if they weren’t on any childish shit prior). I just simply told her that I agreed, given I’ve noticed this trend for a while.
Like, folks plan all year to go to an event for 3-4 days to chill, network/do business, showcase their cosplay, party, etc. Nobody (sane) wants to meet up at a con just to fight and cause conflict over something pitiful. People invested way too much money, energy, and time into goin to a con, just to fight. Just to start drama. I don’t know how or why this trend got started but I just find it goofy.
I mean, I have a theory: ever since nerd culture and social media got popular and blew up, folks egos grew with it. I’ve also noticed for about the last five of the seven years I’ve been in the cosplay and convention community, people love to talk that good shit online about meeting up.
It’s kinda sad because back when I was younger, if you were caught talking shit online or in person to start drama, you got your ass beat and/or blacklisted. Simple as that. Or folks will make fun of you, and tell you that they’re not your personal army if you were trying to rally against somebody for no reason. Nowadays people support this sorta thing in the nerd community. Supporting physical fights and clowning on somebody over something minor or silly they said online.
That’s my little rant for today. Just something I wanna get off my chest. Ya need to chill out this con season.
We nerds are goofy. You’d think that from experiencing rejection and exclusion by non-nerds, we would be welcoming of our fellow nerds nerds. But nah, we’re not. Some indulge in repeating the same exclusion and rejection cycle they faced in the past to other nerds. Elitist nerds will play the gate keeping game; allowing certain “real” nerds in their circle.
Others will quiz people who they deem fake; asking questions and checking if a person is knowledgeable to their personal level. This essay will explore gate keeping, quizzing, and understanding the causality of such acts.
Gatekeeping is common, yet old practice, existing before the social media and nerd culture boom. Gatekeeping is the act of not allowing certain people into the community; fearing that they’re fake, attention seeking fans (nerds blessed with good looks are often accused of being fake), or casual fans who don’t appreciate the source material.
Example: Some Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) fans believe you’re not a real fan of the SMT series if you started out on Persona, or haven’t branched out to other games of the franchise. Some hardcore SMT fans have belittle, mock, and excluded the newcomers; judging them for not starting or being interested with the archaic (but fun) early games such as SMT 2 or Megami Tensei.
Elitists feel that to be a real fan, you must have outlandish amount of experience and knowledge before joining their ranks. It’s really just their insecurities speaking. They’re afraid of the inclusive.
But hey! What’s a great way to cope with your insecurities? Showcasing your superior, yet unimportant knowledge by quizzing folks! Elitists quiz others on topics that only the truly hardcore (virgin) nerd knows. They’ll ask things like “Who was Akira Toriyama’s first editor”, or “What comic issue did Raven (Teen Titans) debut”? It’s a test to prove you’re worthy to call yourself a real fan. Honestly, it’s stupid and it makes you come off as an asshole.
You know some useless nerd trivial. Congratulations. Nobody is trying to play your quiz game. Nigga you ain’t Alex Trebek.
When compared to their male counterparts, female nerds are more likely to be subjected to quizzing. These beta ass males can’t believe that women have nerdy hobbies and interests, so they gotta drill them to see if they’re not “fake”.
Oh, you’re a pretty girl at a comic book shop who takes care of her personal hygiene, rock a My Hero Academia snapback, and wear a Captain America shirt because you’re a legit fan of the comics before the movies because your dad passed down his Captain America comics to you? If you’re a real Captain America fan, then name the main staff who worked on the June ’97 issue of Captain America!
Can’t answer? You must be a fake nerd girl. Girls don’t read comics!
I mean, I get that these dudes are (probably) still mad about being bullied and rejected for being nerds by girls back in their high and middle school days, but let that shit go. Don’t become the bully fucking with a chick just because she’s a nerd and you assume she’s not a real fan. Go get help or something bruh.
While I do not agree with the gatekeeping, nerd checks, and quizzing, I can somewhat understand why they do such actions. Nerds were/are ridiculed, bullied, and mock for their hobbies for decades. Prior to the recent nerd boom, nerds weren’t accepted by the mainstream. Having nerdy interests was considered weird; nobody wanted to fuck with you. People were on that “Oh I’m a nerd!” game, only to play the real nerds and hurt them for being nerdy.
When you’ve been bullied and teased for your hobbies, you tend to be defensive. It’s a shame that people are like this, but it happens.
Maybe if these elitists weren’t so hurt. Not saying what they’re doing is right though.
We nerds are goofy. You’d think we would be more welcoming of other nerds to our circle. Sadly, with elitism, quizzing, and “nerd checking”, this isn’t the case in our community. Quizzing and nerd checking may leave out some and expose “fake” nerds, but is it worth making newcomers feel excluded?
I can understand why the elitist do this due to ill experiences, however, you got to let go of the past. Past experiences shouldn’t’ determine that everyone on that fake shit based off assumptions.
I would say it’s possible to end this but that would require humanity to end as well.