WHAT IS COSPLAY? Cosplay, using the combination of the words “costume” and “play”, is the performance art in which people (or cosplayers) wear costumes and fashion items modeled after a specific character from movies, anime, manga, TV series, books, comics, Western animation, and etc.
The term “cosplay” was coined by movie producer Nobuyuki Takahashi after he attended the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention (or Worldcon) in Los Angeles.
The following is an excerpt from Brian Ashcraft’s and Luke’s Plunekett book’s Cosplay World on how Takashi came up with the word “cosplay”:
“In the 1970s, Japanese college students began dressing up as manga and anime characters. These young people had grown up on a steady diet of comics and cartoons, and when they attended manga and anime conventions (as well as school and university festivals), going in character was, as in the West, a way to express fandom.
Sci-fi conventions had existed in Japan since the 1960s, but in 1975 Comic Market (aka Comiket) launched, creating a venue for self-published comics. It was a fan convention and, in this environment, what would become cosplay in Japan started to flourish. There was already a Japanese term to express the concept of dressing up: kasou (仮想).
However, the word carried a nuance of disguise and didn’t quite capture the spirit of what cosplay had become. In the West the word ‘masquerade’ could be used to refer to costuming, but when Takahashi and some university friends tried to translate ‘masquerade’ into Japanese for a magazine article they were writing, it sounded ‘too noble and old fashioned’. According to Takahashi, ‘We needed to find another way to express the concept.’
Various terms were floating around. ‘We had heard the English word “costume” and seen events with names like “Costume Show”, “Kasou Show”, “Hero Play” and whanot,’ says Takahashi. In Japanese, English and other foreign words are often combined and/or shortened, for brevity’s sake. For example, the Japanese for ‘remote control’ – rimooto kontorooru – is shortened to rimokon. ‘So we started to think of different combinations,’ Takahashi says. ‘Finally, we came up with “cosplay”.’ The term was a portmanteau of ‘costume’ and ‘play’. It was perfect.”
WORD ORIGIN OF COSTUME:
Early 18th century: From French and Italian costume ‘custom, fashion, habit”. From Latin consuetudo, which means custom or useage
WORLD ORIGIN OF PLAY:
Old English pleg(i)an ‘to exercise’, plega ‘brisk movement’, related to Middle Dutch pleien ‘leap for joy, dance’.
HOW DID I DISCOVER COSPLAY?
G4 Tech TV’s G-Phoria 2003 award show:
One day in 2004, I came home from summer high school to discover that my dad brought new channels on the cable box – G4 being one of them. The first show on G4 was G-Phoria 2003 award show (in preparation for the 2004 live show). Never seen an award show for video games, so I sat down and watched. After a few gaming presentations, there was for Kingdom Hearts – featuring cosplayers doing a skit based on a scene from the game (One of them in black face. Dunno how they let that one slide on TV).
After that, they brought out around 15-20 cosplayers on the stage, each posing and showcasing their costumes and props. I never seen this kinda shit before. I never knew people made costumes based off fictional characters for fun. Went online and saw that people cosplay at conventions and how there were anime cons all over America were people do the shits. I was blow away to say the least. It made me wanted to go to conventions.
…and then I played a romhack of Final Fantasy 6 (FF3 in the USA) called “Awful Fantasy 3” where the romhackers made fun of cosplayers, the art of cosplay, and how cosplayers are highly immature and love causing drama at conventions.
Thanks Something Awful for that reality check. I never went to a convention since.
WHO COSPLAYS? People of all races, backgrounds, nationality, and ages cosplays. From Teenagers wearing their first store-brought cosplay online to 20 and 30 something professional cosplayers who craft their own cosplays from hands and brought shame and embarrassment to their family, to even old ladies in wheelchairs rockin’ schoolgirl uniforms, everyone cosplays. No matter how old or young, people cosplay. And they cosplay whoever they want to.
Now, you do have those in the cosplay community who think certain people shouldn’t cosplay (i.e.; racist white elitists cosplayers who think dark skin and Black people shouldn’t cosplay as Asian people even though these white boys and girls are cosplaying as Asian characters), but that’s a topic for another day where I make low-self-esteem having racist cosplayers by attacking their insecurities rooted from childhood until they commit suicide by blowing their brains out in their Sailor Moon or Goku cosplays.
WHERE CAN YOU COSPLAY? Well, you can cosplay anywhere, but keep in mind that cosplaying outside of convention events will mark you as a weird ass socially awkward idiot unaware of social cues. With that said, the world is your backdrop for your cosplays. Go dress as Marisa Kirisame from Touhou high off shrooms in the woods. On casual Fridays at the gig do homage to Urien’s pin stripped suit from Street Fighter V by matching his grey pin stripped suit, purple oxford shirt, cognac colored belt and shoes. Dress as Junko Kanno from ZombieLand Saga while completely coked out like any other 80s pop music star at your college’s music hall.
Cosplay anywhere you want.
For the rest us who have common sense and understand the rules/norms of society, save the cosplay for conventions or do them subtly in public or in the workforce. If you live in a society where public cosplay in frown upon or even forbidden outside of events (i.e. Japan), don’t wear your cosplay to the event. Pack it in a small carry-on bag and don’t put it on until you get to the event.
Sources on the Japan’s negative views on public cosplay:
How Do You Cosplay in Japan by the Cosplay.com Community?
WHERE AND HOW CAN YOU BUY AND GET COSPLAYS CREATED
There are options.
If you’re cosplaying as a character who wear everyday clothing (examples includes Shirou Emiya from the fate series with his grey and white baseball v-neck shirt and blue jeans or Reigen from Mob Pyscho 100 with his suit and tie) then it’s just as simple as going your local clothing store (such as Goodwill, JC Penny, Nordstorm, Jos. A Bank, Tom Ford, etc.) and buying the clothes there. You may have to do some alternations, but they’re minor.
For cosplaying characters with unique clothing that you can’t find in stores (certain school outfits, armor, body suits such as Solid Snake’s sneaking suit), then you going to get them custom made. Amazon and eBay have stores where vendors sell pre-made cosplays or you can go online for website that specialize in creating cosplays. Please keep in mind that online cosplay shops tend to be a little on the cheap and mass produced side of the game, so the quality may not be of that of a professional made cosplay.
If you do not want to go on the cheap side of the cosplay game and you want high quality, then you will have to pay a decent amount of cash to get your cosplay created. Don’t know anyone who creates cosplays? Then check your local convention city scene for cosplay creators (such as anime con Facebook groups).
And if you really want to do it yourself, you can learn how to.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COSPLAYS
With so many people of different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and creativity it’s nearly impossible to list all the different type of cosplay within the realm of cosplay. With that said, here are the most common type of cosplays you will find at conventions.
The classic anime schoolgirl. Easily ID’d by her (or his) sera-fuku, pleated skirt, penny loafers, white blouse and ribbon. On the the preppy side of the school uniform game , the schoolgirl cosplayer wears a blazer, button-down shirt, v-neck sweater, tie, etc. Commonly seen at anime cons.
Armored cosplay. A cosplay that revolves around armored characters (fantasy characters, giant robots, mech suits, etcs.) Can be found at sci-fi, comic, and anime cons
Superhero cosplays. Leaping out the colorful pages of American comics into the real world, these cosplayers focus on the larger-than-life heroes from Marvel Comics, Darkhorse, DC, and more. Can be recognized by their long capes, one piece zentai suits, and hero emblem. Often seen at comic book conventions but have been making their way into anime cons.
Closet Cosplay. Cosplays that uses everyday clothing (as mentioned earlier) that can be found at stores or in your own closet. Very simple and easy to pull off – but, in order to stand out from other closet cosplayers – you need to put in the effort (mixing high and low cost items, using a high quality wig, etc.)
Genderswap cosplay. As the name states, it’s cosplays in which the cosplayer switches the canon gender of the character. Example: a grown ass man with a full beard gender swapping Shouko Komi (form Komi-San Can’t Commicate). Instead of wearing her red skirt, he swaps them out for red chino slacks. For the vice versa: a woman cosplaying as Goku (Dragon Ball series).
It’s crossdressing, but in cosplay.
WHY COSPLAY? Because you have no personality whatsoever and nobody loves you unless you put on an outfit based off a fictional character.
Plus, ever dressed up as Oishi from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni doing Hennessy shots with a dude cosplaying as Keiichi while his homegirl cosplaying as Rena Ryuguu gotten into a drunken fist fight with an Ai Enma cosplayer over some internet weeaboo con drama while a Terra Brandford is grinding her ass on a Celes Chere cosplayer at a hotel party on an average day?
Didn’t think so.
Until next time! -Yuki The Snowman
I arrived at my hotel. I went over to my table where my crew’s bottles of liquor and mixer were. I took two shots of my friend’s E&J (sorry Rath!). After that, I grabbed a glass and specific bottles and mixers: Vodka, Captain Morgan Apple Smash, Midori, Pineapple Juice, and Sprite. One-by-one, I pour the liquids in the glass. Thanks to the efforts of the Apple Smash and Midori, the drink gave off a lovely green color. Perfect.
Just Monika I said to myself.
Just Monika is a cocktail I created for a party that I was going to throw at another hotel I had reversed (which was canceled due to unforeseen events). Initially, I was going to debut it at the party to celebrate DDLC’s first anniversary, but shit happened and I decided to do it for a friend’s party I was bartending for. I started sipping on it, letting the alcohol enhance my dark side and get me further in my zone (more on the dark side and “the zone” at the end of the chapter)
I hopped in the cold shower (cold showers help me stay awake when I’m tired) and kept Saiyan Pride on repeat. All my focus was on being the best genderswap Monika I could be (and in the world). I want people to recognize me. I want racist DDLC cosplayers to be mad at me for being a black man cosplayer a white/Asian character. I wanted to install fear in any other males doing a genderswap DDLC cosplay at the con. My aim isn’t to compete with other Monika cosplayers: Most are either women or dudes wearing skirts. I want(ed) to stand out (which I will explain in about five paragraphs below)
(Also, not gonna lie: There was a Monika cosplayer – who knew she had an ass and wasn’t shy about showing it off in a very short skirt who walked past me as I was returning to my hotel. I lowkey was thinking of shooting my shot with her in my cosplay if I saw her again.
Thank God for Atlanta.
Thank God for thick women.)
I got out of the shower, put on my Monika cosplay, and hit the con floor. And of fucking course, my legendary bad luck in cosplay had to hit me hard. I was the only Monika on the con floor. Awesome! But there weren’t any other DDLC cosplayers about. This always happen to me: Whenever I decide to put on a cosplay from a fandom, nobody is around. But when I am in not in cosplay it’s like everyone wants to wear their shit (hell, back in 2016 at Anime St. Louis, there was about 3-5 Umineko: When They Cry cosplayers in a group; a year where I decided to not wear my Goat Butler cosplayer, but I digress).
Maybe I should do my cosplays in the morning instead of in the late afternoon/night.
Not only that, nobody knew who I was cosplaying as or from. I had this problem at Anime Expo when I first did my Monika cosplay and I was doing it solo. I figured that the reason why I wasn’t being noticed was that I didn’t have her ribbon. To fix that mistake I went ahead and ordered one on Amazon for AWA…expect it was small as hell and wasn’t the size of Monika’s gigantic bow. Now that I think about it, I think I might just forego the hair ribbon and get a white headband without a bow and wrap it around the ponytail of my wig (imagine Ryu’s white headband from the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero series). Plus, I refused to wear a skirt for reasons.
The thing about these types of cosplay as a male is that every male fucking wears a skirt. If I was to wear one, I would be no different. Sure, I have my race as an advantage, but that is something I was born with that I can’t control: easy mode. I rather work smarter and harder to be different. I much rather have a blazer tailored made to fit my body type than to get a generic DDLC school blazer off some cosplay site.
I also am not a fan of competition. There are more female Monika cosplayers than male. I can’t compete against them: they’ll win. The average male Monika cosplayer wears a skirt as previously mentioned. Again, won’t compete against that. I rather dominate by taking a different route; making you Monika cosplayers study my style once I master that cosplay and get in known on a global scale.
You male Monika cosplayers can wear a skirt and be like every other males.
You guys can get your Monika cosplay outfits off ebay and Amazon.
I’m going to stand out – like Monika herself.
(My version of Monika is inspired by the Business Casual fashion look, so that’s why I wear jeans instead of a skirt. The example pictured below):
After being disappointed that nobody knew who I was cosplaying as, I headed back to my room out of discouragement (plus, a friend of mines told me he could smell the alcohol on my breath [I had taken more shots with a friend in his room prior] and advise me to get rid of it, rest up, and sober up. Thank you, John, for being real), a Froppy-Chan (My Hero Academia) cosplayer along with two of her male friends spotted me. “Are you Monika?” she said with a smile. I took off my sunglasses to make eye contact with her, replied with a smile, and said “yes”. We started talking about the game, the themes of it, and our favorite characters – although short because I was drunk as hell.
Man, she was cute. Maybe if I wasn’t drunk I could have more of a deeper conversation with her about the game’s themes. Maybe shoot my shot with her and make her male friends jealous at and hate on me.
Is it horrible for me to be inspired to sober up in order to either take somebody’s else woman or make her male friends mad at me cuz we were vibing a little bit? Yes. But it did awaken something deep inside me: What if I just not use a strong substance like liquor and have fun cosplaying as Monika and talk to women naturally who know the character? Even if I don’t get “physical activities” at the end, I still had done these things:
1. I made somebody happy that I was cosplaying as their favorite character and that would have brightened their day.
2. I could have made a female friend that was based on mutual, platonic interests and learn what makes women click and get advice on women by women.
3. It’ll be on some self-improvement shit. One Percent Better.
Maintaining my smile, I held my head up high and marched back to my room to recover and freshen up for the night. Even if one stranger knew who I was cosplaying as; that was it for me. Well, not really. I wanted more people to know me for my cosplay. It was motivation for me to keep doing it. Keep improving. Find flaws and errors in my cosplay and work on them. Always seeking to better myself.
This time around, I was going to do and act better. Don’t you fucking dare drink any liquor tonight, Benjamin. You don’t need that shit to talk to women or anyone else. Be you even if you’re cosplaying tonight.
Let me tell you guys something: This worked in my favor. More on that in a later chapter.
Way later in the night, I was walking around in my Monika cosplay, scanning the scene after the late night parties ended and the “secret panel” proved to be a bit boring for me without my friends around (who had retired to the hotel after a few conflicts and bullshit among us). I am about to leave when I hear a girl with a few male friends say “Hey Monika, come over here!” I walked over to her direction and she was all smiles and giddily about seeing a Monika cosplayer.
We started talking about DDLC and about our favorite characters. I remember her saying like how she likes Monika because of how it looks like she sticks her ass out when she talks to you (in her sprite) and how she wanted to select Monika but she didn’t have a route. I wanted to chop up some game with and spit but I didn’t proceed for a few reasons:
1. She looked underage. Which, now that I think about it at the time of this writing, she probably wasn’t; Given her and her crew were sitting outside the 18+ secret panel room (and the area the blocked off for anyone under 18) and they had beers. I blame myself for being an idiot who didn’t take a power nap to regain my mental focus after being up for 17+ hours with only 5-6 hours of sleep the night prior.
She had about three guys with her. It’s not that I’m scared of any dudes around their female friend(s), but given my mental fatigue, there was no way I could have an advantage for myself to spit game with her and beat out the competition (this is going to sound pretty fucked up but trust me; usually if a woman has a few dudes around her, they’re trying to get in her pants. This isn’t always true, however).
Oh well. A lesson that I had to learn to apply in the future (but at least I’ve gotten over my fears of talking to women and I accepted the fact I don’t need liquor to talk to them and be the best version of myself when I’m interacting with them)
Going back to the visual novel panel, I remember Chris saying how the Fate series completely dominated the visual novel anime genre (as it is the most popular VN anime of all time with how strong it’s going). Which is funny, because last year, I was attending a panel ran by Kana Ueda – the voice actress for Rin Tohsaka from the fate series. She talked about how for her, attending Anime Weekend Atlanta with her fellow voice actors and reuniting with a veteran Japanese voice who was once her mentor was “fate” (for them meeting there). Hearing Chris words on the VN scene, seeing people who still have a passion for it, and cosplaying as Monika, I couldn’t help but reflect on Ueda’s statement on fate.
Perhaps it was fate for me to go to that visual novel panel, network with him (being unaware that of his work Anime News Network), talking to people about how visual novels made them happy and being upset that the genre is on the decline. Was it fate that I saw that Hanyuu cosplayer after having two When They Cry related dreams? I guess. Did fate lead me to that Floppy-chan and that girl who was happy that I was cosplaying as Monika and made me want to do better with it and inspired me to not throw in the towel? Who knows?
As I am finishing this chapter out, I am reminded of a Facebook post I made about how I remember when the fate series was a bit of an obscure VN series that was popular in Japan, but didn’t get much traction in the Western otaku market beyond your hardcore VN fans. This wasn’t on some hipster, “I knew about the series before it was popular” shit: It was me being in awe that a game made by people of humble background reached heights that nobody could imagine for the genre or in anime fandom in general.
Some dumbass accused me of being a hipster and stated that “nobody gives a fuck about shitty visual novels”. I laughed. A week later, I was in Los Angeles for Anime Expo. I was walking around the Downtown area where my eyes met this massive Fate/Grand Order poster hanging over a bank. I was with my friend (whom I told him about the dumbass saying that bullshit) and we laughed. I wanted to post a picture I took of the poster and replied to his comment saying If nobody gave a fuck about shitty visual novels why they got this poster out here? on some petty shit.
To the dumbass who said that here’s something for you:
My unforgiving pettiness aside, I really do hope the visual novel genre does make a comeback. I’ll do more cosplays from it. Hell, even if it doesn’t, I’ll keep doing it – no matter what.
Continued in Chapter 3.
In the book Relentless by Tim Grover, Tim speaks on two accepts of the human’s psyche: “The Zone” and “The Dark Side”. The Zone is the dark, quiet lonely place within your mind. You shut everything in the world out to be in your own. It’s a calm, relaxing, and focused place.
The Dark Side is that: The darkness part of your mind where only you know your deepest, true desires – your true self (Persona lol). Rather than let your dark side control and ultimately – destroy you – you control it. You use the darkest parts of your personality to push yourself towards you end goal(s).
JUST MONIKA COCKTAIL:
1oz Light Rum
1oz Captain Morgan Apple Smash
4oz pineapple juice
Top with Sprite
Combine Ingredients sans Sprite in a shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour mixture in a Collins glass. Top with sprite. You can also rock the ingredinets with sprite and then pour the mixture into a Collins glass.
(The only reason why I used vodka in this story because my dumbass left my light rum in a homeboy’s hotel room the night before)
Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) left me starving. Starving for more. More networking opportunity. More ways to get my name out there. More ways to improve myself. On the final day of the convention, my crew and I went to smoke a blunt on our hotel’s garage parking rooftop before leaving our city for an eight-hour trip back home to St. Louis. As we smoked, we spoke about our successes and “failures”. Wins and losses. Triumphs and disappointments. Out of my team, I had the most wins; since I set my sights to hit the majority of my goals (such as making money bartending at a friend’s room party, networking with people within the industry, etc.).
They congratulated me for success and were happy for me.
But I wasn’t.
Sure, I hit a few goals. I went out and did what I was supposed to do build my brand. You’re not supposed to be praised for doing your job like everyone else. I wasn’t happy that I didn’t do more. I was disappointed at myself for allowing myself to get sidetracked and play myself. However, these disappointments, combined with my success started to fire me up. Disappointment turned into desire. Desire turned into drive. Drive turned into action and planning.
For once in my life, I was excited to go back home after a vacation. I needed to go back so I could plan out the next year con season, write about my adventures. And of course, work my ass off for the next con season and come back completely dominating it.
Anime Weekend Atlanta left me starving.
On Friday, I went to a panel that caught my attention weeks prior: “Whatever Happened to Visual Novel Anime?”. I have a slight interest in the genre and was wondering why visual novels and anime based on the niche have been on the decline for the past 3-7 years. I went; seeking knowledge from somebody who was much wiser than myself.
The panel started. The host introduced himself, spoke about his passion for visual novels ,and revealed an amazing fact about himself: The panelist – Chris Adamson – is a writer for Anime News Network.
I had to network with him; no matter what.
I was in awe by the deep knowledge Chris dropped on us about the history of visual novels anime and why they were not as popular as they were back in the 2000s. The answers were “simple”, yet layered with complex facts. The facts included the following: the lack of effort and innovation from VN creators. Long-time fans losing interest. Animators struggling to add every minor detail form the visual novels into the anime version. There were also the lack of sales of products relating to the anime and visual novels.
Chris broke down every little detail with graphs, pictures, videos, audio, cited sources, sales figures, you name it. He was armed and prepared to attack us with knowledge and education. Clearly, he studied this genre with depth. Clearly, he was passionate about visual novels and wants it to see it recover from its slump.
At the end of the panel, he left the floor open for questions. I shoot my hand up high in the air before anyone else (if you’re ain’t first your last) and asked him this question:
Do you think there will a renaissance of visual novels and anime based on anime, and if they the VN industry does crash, do you see it rising from its ashes?
I’ve since forgotten most of Chris’s reply (thanks to smoking weed all weekend and being an idiot for not recording the panel), but he brought up an interesting point: He does believe that visual novels could come back, thanks to the success of the American visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) with its innovating meta-narrative (he even suggests that a DDLC anime could work through streaming services with Monika going through your watch history, fucking with the audio/video, etc.). Chris also mentioned that with more Americans entering the VN fray that could lead to the niche revival from a Western’s standpoint.
After the panel, I was completely floored and astonished by his wisdom. I had to network with him. Deep down in me, there was a fire building up. The fire of craving more knowledge. There were other guys with me who also had that fire in them. Out of the 20-30 people in attendance, only five of us stay after the panel (to speak with Chris). Two were working on their own visual novels, two were fans of the genre and also hungry for more knowledge, and of course, me; who was moved by this.
As we were finishing talking, a Yuri and Natsuki (DDLC) cosplayers walked past us. We all smiled as we were just talking about DDLC earlier. I smiled even harder; as it got me excited to rock my Monika genderswap cosplay the next morning on Day 3.
And by the next morning, I mean I decided to have shots of rum for breakfast and plotted to wear my “No Coonin’!” shirt to The People of Color (I fucking hate how black people us that term as a black man) Photoshoot in hopes of offending any self-hating Uncle Toms/Coons/Nergo Bed Wench nigga nerds with it at the shoot instead of cosplaying as Monika at the shoot.
Which, said plot was used against me.
I arrived at the shoot. Since it was a multi-media shoot, the host had people take group photos by genre (movies, anime, comics, etc.). Of course, you had cosplayers from comics, video games, and anime. Mainstream shit. However, nobody was cosplaying from any visual novels series (a testament of the decline of interest towards visual novels). I was sad and angry. Sad because there aren’t many Black nerds who are into visual novels. Angry at myself for deciding to (unsuccessfully) troll people with my shirt and not going to the shoot with wearing my Monika cosplay.
This is me being utterly arrogant, but I don’t give a shit: If I would have gone with that Monika cosplay, I would have been the only Black cosplayer in that group doing a visual novel character cosplay. Is Doki Doki Literature Club a normie tier meme visual novel? Yes. But it’s still a visual novel. And I would have earned that honor and respect of doing something out of the norm. A black man. Doing a gendswap cosplay. Of a visual novel character. A piece of media which black people don’t really fuck with.
I could have spoken good game about the visual novel niche and get my fellow Black nerds hip on it. I could have introduced people who never played a VN before into a new world; which in turn could have gotten people into playing them.
But I’m a fucking idiot.
(By the way, there’s going to be more of my arrogance later. Please leave if you’re offended by people having pride in themselves and their passion).
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
I left the POC shoot and decided to take a few pics inside the convention center. As I’m wandering around I spot a black woman wearing a shrine maiden outfit. Red pants, disconnected sleeves, white top, and purple hair. For a split second, I thought she was cosplaying as the PC98 era Reimu from Touhou (Highly Responsive to Prayers, Lotus Land Story, etc.) and I was smiling from ear-to-ear at the “fact” that there was a black woman cosplaying as the old-school version of Red Sanae.
Upon further inspection, she wasn’t wearing Reimu’s trademark red bow, but rather black horns with cracks in them.
Wait, is she cosplaying as Hanyuu from Higurashi I asked myself.
I poked her on her shoulder and asked. She smiled and I started to geeked out. Somebody still has love for Higurashi and is cosplaying at the con; (to my knowledge) she was the only Higurashi cosplayer at the con. Either way, I was just fucking happy to see somebody cosplay as a character from one of my favorite visual novel anime series.
I took her picture of course and told her that her cosplay was lovely. My only regret is that I didn’t tell her I appreciate her for cosplay as a Higurashi character and that it made me want to do a When They Cry cosplay again (I used to cosplay as Goat Butler from Umineko for a while). I should had left my friends behind and let them go back to the hotel while I chopped up some game with the woman.
It’s funny because days prior to AWA, I had two When They Cry related dreams. The first dream was of me at Anime Weekend Atlanta. I was cosplaying as a genderswap Bernkastel, but I got kicked out from the con for being too drunk (Bernkastel drinks wine and gets drunk so I had to play the role you know even in my dreams), not wearing my badge, and telling con staff that I don’t give a fuck about having a badge.
The second one was of me at Anime Expo. I was wearing a way better version of my Goat Bulter cosplay. As I was walking out and about there was a group of Umineko cosplayers. A Bernkastel cosplayer spotted me and asked if I wanted to join them for a few photos, which I agreed to.
And then I woked up.
Back to reality. I marched back to my hotel. I started listening to an interview with Tim Grover (author of Relentless, the trainer of Basketball icons such as Kobe Byrant, Dwayne Wade, and Micheal Jordan). I was trying to think of a plan as I prep for my Monika cosplay. I was overanalyzing and overthinking. I remember in the first chapter of Relentless Grover stated the best don’t think,
They act. On instinct. And let their instincts do the work.
From that thought, I turned off the interview and started to listen to Saiyan Pride from Dragon Ball Super on repeat. The echoing piano notes. The percussion building up to the arrival the horns, strings, and bells. I was entering my Zone. I was inviting my Dark Side to do the work. Tunnel vision and laser focus.
I wasn’t going to allow myself to fuck up further.
“Competition” is a dirty word in the world of cosplay. It scares and angers some; as they dread the idea of “elitists” approaching cosplay with such a mindset. Recently, I came across a tweet by @0Becki expressing concern towards those with this mentality. They felt that cosplay is a hobby and not a competition, that they should share tips with others, and they should hang out with cosplayers (who are cosplaying as the same character).
I’ve mixed feelings about this. I agree; cosplay is a hobby. People should share tips, be friendly, and help others. But they aren’t entitled to do such things. People have the right to be competitive with their passion. Competition is natural in any field. Competitive cosplayers enjoy it as it pushes them to work hard on their skills and talent to become the best. As long as it’s not toxic, competition isn’t bad.
We need competitive cosplayers.
Competitive cosplayers have the driving need to win and outperform everyone else in the niche. To them, every little detail matters to ensure victory. The perfect wig. Professional grade makeup. The exact color contact lens. Superior craftsmanship. They have no tolerance for error. It’s the difference between being just a cosplayer and becoming the cosplayer. First place or second place in a cosplay contest. And trust me: nobody remembers the second place winner. For the hobbyist cosplayer, this might be hard to understand. That’s okay: you lack the competitor’s spirit. Unless they attack you, don’t hate on these people.
It’s who they are – they can’t help it.
It’s funny how hobbyist cosplayers get angry at the “elitists” for their competitiveness. Yet, they love these high-performing manga artists, ruthless anime directors, passionate game designers, what have you. Why it’s okay to praise those people for their high levels of desire and drive but it’s wrong for cosplayers to act the same?
You’re a hypocrite if you praise one group but shame another for the same thing.
Competition is great. It drives others to better themselves. It forces you to become innovating. It encourages change. If a cosplayer above your skill level trashes your cosplay, instead of being mad and pissed, use that as inspiration to prove them wrong and better your cosplay.
They talk shit about your wig (or lack of)? Buy a high-quality wig. A snobby cosplayer thinks your skirt for your cosplay is trash? Hire the best seamstress in your community to make you one better to prove that asshole wrong. Better yet, study the best cosplayers in your community and learn how they won rewards, got their fame, and so forth. Use that anger, the power of the dark side as you will, to better your cosplay game so that one day, nobody will ever talk shit about your cosplay again.
Yes, be competitive but only compete with those at or above your skill level. Simply acting arrogant and prideful towards those below your skill level will only stir up hatred and anxiety against you. Nobody will want to work or be around you if your attitude is nasty.
If you know a group of cosplayers are having fun, don’t ruin it for them. Suggest ways to help them improve their cosplay skills in a friendly, loving tone. Don’t mock a cosplayer for something they can’t control (such as race, color tone, gender, disabilities, etc.). Remember: you too were once a hobbyist cosplayer who didn’t know any better. So spread the knowledge (but not too much of it)
Sometimes, it’s better to feared than loved. Sometimes, it’s better to be loved than hated.
In my eight years of traveling to conventions and browsing through convention social media pages/groups, there is one ailment that tends to impact many an otaku: Post-Con Blues. Post-Con Blues is the feeling of depression and sadness at the end of a convention. Many will have to wait a year or so to see their cosplaying friends and weird ass costumed brethren, dealing with the “normies” of the real world. I’m going to be real: I do not get this post-con blues thing. It sounds goofy to me. Ever since my first convention (Anime St. Louis 2010) I never felt this feeling of sadness. Did it suck that I had to return to the real world after my first convention? Kinda.
I say kinda only because I figured years ago if I go back to work, spend and save my money wisely, I could continue and traveling to conventions and write about my experience on them (althrough seven years later after my first convention but whatever, I’m lazy). Going to conventions weekend after weekend would burn me out and destroy my bank account. Seeing the same people and cosplays would bore me quick.
Another counter messaurement I have for post-con blues is my hobbies outside of anime. I love reading books (business, self-help/education, money, etc.) – so I focus my attention on those things. I kick it with my friends when we’re free. Watching anime helps as well…when I have the time (being an adult working 60 hours a week is brutal).
Something to help keep my mind off cons for a bit.
If I do get upset after a convention, it’s more so I’m leaving a more cultured city and returning to the hellhole that is Saint Louis, lmfao. I remember being treated with so much love at Atlanta when my crew went to Anime Weekend Atlanta back in 2014. People were friendly, polite, helpful, and not on some bullshit back in St. Louis. I love St. Louis, but we are fucking backwards. We are too slow to catch trends and by the time we do get trends, it’s too late. I’m not saying Atlanta is perfect, but when you know your city barely has any culture and you go to a city full of it, it changes your mind about your hometown.
Now, my next statement will be harsh. Cruel even. But you guys know me – I don’t care for the feelings of others (for the most part). I personally (again, I) think if you have post-con blues, that simply means you have no life outside of your anime hobbies. Sorry, but that’s how I feel. If your life revolves around whacky ass Japanese cartoons (and you’re not making money or major moves off it), you live a sad life. If you use conventions to escape your problems rather than reward yourself for solving them (that you can control mind you), you’re an idiot.
To conclude this short little essay or freewrite or whatever, I don’t’ get post con blues. Never have and never will. I feel that I have means to avoid that shit and do better myself, but that’s just me. If you have post con blues, then do something about it rather than whine about it.
Note: This is merely my prediction of the convention scene based on my seven or so odd years of experience a member of the anime and sci-fi convention scene. As such, these predictions may not hold weight. Please do not hold it against me if my theories or predictions aren’t right in 2022.
Browsing through the East Coast convention group “Casual Uncensored Congoers Kindred Society”, I encountered an interesting question asked by the administrator of the group. He asked how do we see the convention scene changing within the next five years. He then followed up with if we think American voice actors will still remain as the dominate guests, if cosplay remain a money generating commodity, and if there will be new content featured at conventions based on upcoming new ideas and trends.
Replying with my thoughts, I stated that I don’t care if people make money off cosplaying/cosfame (while realizing that bubble will burst). I also predicted that the type of guests that we will see a shift from voice actors to social media personalities, cosplay guests, etc. As I typed, I started to deeply think about the future. Things will change in five years; I have no doubt about it. Personally, I believe we are starting to see this new change of the future today. With social media growing each day, it’s easier than ever before to communicate with fellow fans – as well as the ability for content creators to showcase their talents and gain attention.
Cosplaying and attending conventions are both niche hobbies. As niches, it’s natural for the two to evolve and change overtime. What changes do I personally think hold for the future of these hobbies? Well, let’s talk about it!
PART 1: The Current Scene
We cannot discuss the future without addressing the present, and how it’ll shape the upcoming years. From what I’ve noticed, the current state of the convention scene is run by four major elements: Social media (the umbrella for both cosplay and personality fame), money (such as businesses and corporations), the mainstream (such as the “nerdy is cool” trend” and the general convention public and corporate influences. As stated earlier, I could care less if people attempt to make money through social media and cosplay. You should take advantage of both cosplay and social media – as it’s a useful tool to fill your bank account (if you’re smart and work smart – not hard)
If you have to do a lewd cosplay version of Reimu from the Touhou series to get a stack, go for it. If you have to perform goofy acts as Deadpool at a convention for your social media platforms, go for it. Money and fame attract people. Attention follows the money. The Money pays attention. I’m sure you heard the story of the Japanese cosplayer who claimed that she made over $100,000 in a course of two days during the Japanese anime convention Comiket a few years back. I bet you that many are attempting to emulate her success once that report came out.
The fastest route for some (mainly female cosplayers, blessed with great generics) to make big bucks is through lewd cosplayers: a rather controversial career path within the cosplay community. If done right, a lewd cosplayer could easily make $10,000~$13,000 a month through Pateron, sales, etc. Sex sells and people are buying. There are some (mostly jealous, insecure women and beta male virgins) who believe that lewd cosplayers are ruining the community. They think that the focus should be on cosplayers who have craftsmanship skills – not tits and ass. Non-lewd cosplayers are vocal about their hatred for sexy cosplayers. It doesn’t help that most of these sexy cosplayers are involved with some form of controversy – which will slowly ruin the image of this trend if not taken care of.
Assuming if these controversial lewd cosplayers and cosfame people continue to generate controversy (and if people stay in their jealous, hating feelings), then I can see this trend’s bubble bursting. Too many people will enter this bubble in hopes to make it big. While sex sells and attention pays out, you still need a great (and marketable) personality and brand. Jessica Nigir, whom some consider to be one of the founders of the lewd cosplay trend in the West, still makes money – despite she doesn’t do lewd cosplays as often as she used to; Thanks to her brand.
With the “nerdy is cool” trend, there’s an increase of attendance from those who may not be true nerds. With nerd culture and hobbies becoming more acceptable each day, people are hopping on the bandwagon to take advantage of it. More people (may they be real nerd or not can be ignored here) means more money for conventions – especially for conventions who’re profit. Corporations are taking notice; therefore, they want in through sponsorships. This leads to conventions becoming corporate. This isn’t necessary evil, but one must understand that few may not accept the idea of larger conventions going corporate.
From my personal research and experiences, the general convention and cosplay public community is divided on the upcoming changes. There are some who view the corporate changes, the (lewd) cosplayers who cosplay for money, and conventions going corporate as great things for the scene. Opposite, the old-school nerds are fighting against these changes in hopes that it won’t ruin and “corrupt” the traditional, imitate homely feel of conventions they’re used to (and thus, will be driven out). They refuse to accept the fact that things change. Will the corporatization of conventions become a problem within the next five years? We must wait and see then.
Discussing the future is impossible without addressing the present. Lewd cosplays and social media personalities are cosplaiyng for the money. Nerd culture is slowly becoming accepted in the mainstream. Fans fear that the convention spirit will be lost overtime, while some see this as a great idea. Or there may not be any changes. Only time will tell us in the future.
Part 2: The Future of the Scene.
The trends of today will influence the trends of tomorrow.. We’re seeing the seeds of the future planted today. With the advent of easier access to information on anime series , fans can research creators and artists of their favorite series effortlessly (thanks to the Sakuga community providing comprehensive information on these creators). Because of this, I predict that these creators will become the main guests for conventions. Now note that larger conventions such as Anime Central and Anime Expo were ahead with this, but mid-size conventions will follow suite once they increase their budget to emulate this.
Social media has impacted this new era. Like it or not, social media personalities/”celebs” are becoming more known – so much that they’re too are becoming guest of honor. Digibro – the prolific (and infamous) anime vlogger was a guest at Anime Expo 2017. Veteran Dragon Ball historian YouTuber Geekdom 101 is hosting his own convention (KamehaCon). Social Media is the superior choice for content creators in this community to become known. The more you’re known (because of your content), the more likely one could become a guest at conventions.
Social media has also created the lewd and non-lewd cosplay money boom. As with any major boom, this bubble will burst Once that happens, I imagine the following scenarios:
1. The majority will be out of work and money. They’ll be too scared to make a move and give up.
The minority will take advantage of the bubble burst (as well as a few others). They will work harder and smarter to stay relevant and make money during this time. Think Amazon during the Dot Com bubble burst and how they survived it through smarter tactics.
It will be a hard time for the cosfame people to recover and find work during this burst. But the smart ones will rise. Besides, sex sells. People love seeing their waifus being lewd up by a sexy woman. The bubble will recover and the trend will start anew.
Larger conventions will become corporate. They will increase prices on badges and will become stricter to appeal to a boarder consumer. The possibility of these conventions losing their homely, fan feel is high. But do not dread! If there’s a positive to this then it’s the fact that these corporate conventions will have more money to bring in bigger names from the industry. Not every convention will go with the corporate flow. Smaller cons will still have their welcoming, personal home-like vibe and will refuse to do this.
Finally, we will see the end of the norimes who are bandwagon “nerds”. I see them out once either nerd culture becomes a part of everyday culture. They will stop caring after this. You already know that this will make the gatekeeping elitist nerds happy: seeing the normies whom once bullied them for liking anime out of their nerd club. Do I think this will bring us back to the old, golden days of the conventions? Possibly not.
Trends come and they go. The cosfame trend bubble will burst. We’re seeing upcoming social media personalities as big guests. Trust me: Do not sleep on them – social media is the new television. Conventions will become cooperate, and some will lose their classic fan feel. And the norimes who were on that fake nerd shit? They will go away.
Part 3: What Will Remain?
Tupac famously said that “some things will never change”.
We can say this about the convention community. Despite this community changing every day, (for better or for worse), there are some accepts that will never change. Humans are social creatures who thrive to connect with others. Conventions will always be a place for fellow nerds to come together. With that said, this also brings in drama. Drama will never end. People will always start shit and bring their beef to the conventions. Smaller and mid-size conventions will refuse to grow big and corporate. Those conventions will remind fan run. There will always be those who want to cosplay because they love to: not because they want money or fame. Opposite to that, cosfame and lewd cosplay will be hot; given that sex sells and people love money and will seek to gain it by any means in this capitalistic society.
Finally, what will remain are the various guests of the industry ranging from voice actors, online personalities, artists, creators, and so forth. We appreciate the people who gave life to our favorite characters through their vocal talents. We give much respect to the personalities who sit in front of a camera and passionately analyze their favorite series. We will continue to celebrate our favorite creators whom dedicated their lives and time to create such marvelous creations. Our love for these creators will never change.
Our love for this hobby is forever.
It’s interesting to speak about the future of the convention scene as we’re seeing the changes of the present impacting the unseen future. Currently, the cosfame appears to be a dominating force with the prize of money behind it. Larger conventions becoming corporate seem unavoidable, but some already saw this coming and accepted this. The unseen future reveals that social media stars of nerd culture could become major guests; as they’re growing ever popular. Change can be either scary or great – some will embrace it and work with it., Others will attempt to fight against the change and either become successful, or lose.
YouTuber’s illacertus’s states this about change in his animation summary of Robert Green’s book The 48 Laws of Power, and this is my closing statement:
Don’t fight change. When you catch yourself in the futile attempt to resists a new order, remind yourself that did you not only missed the opportunity to predict it, but to adapt to it in time.
The 2018 convention season draws near. You’re always broke from spending $500 on half-naked anime girl figurines. You love to spend $300 on anime Blu-rays, but somehow, you don’t have enough money for a convention. Do you think your mommy and daddy are going help you pay for your weeaboo dress-up festival? Of course, they’re not! You’re a grown man (or woman) now. Just like your friend whom you borrow money from for cons, they’re tired of funding your hobbies. Maybe you’re not broke, but you suck at money management. You’re the type of person to not have their priority together and splurge your cash on useless crap.
Because I’m a nice person, I’ll teach you how to get your money right. I’ll promise you that with my guide, you’ll have more than enough money saved up for you next convention adventures. It’s my duty and ethical obligation to help my fellow nerds stack money for their passion.
My guide is not for you begging ass, broke ass nerds (who always mooch off their friends). This is not for people who refuse to make money on their own. This guide is not for skeptics who believe saving money is impossible. Go away. You’re wasting my time and yours – but mostly my time. Do you tend to blow a check, or dip into savings for wants, rather than needs and raining days? Good. Get the hell off this guide – people like you will never learn. My advice is only for those who are serious about saving and getting their money right. I only help people who are willing to better themselves.
If you’re still here then that means you’re serious about wanting to save for conventions. Let us begin.
Obtaining a hotel room should be your utmost priority (next to buying a badge/pass). There are two categories for convention hotels: The main hotel(s); where most of the action takes place, and the secondary Hotel(s); for those who want a cheaper option and/or avoid crowds. The main hotel’s full price can range from $230-$1500 depending on the convention, location, hotel brand, days etc. Secondary hotels range from $180-$1000.
Most conventions hotels will accept room bookings about eight (8) months in advance (before con starts). Normally, the convention’s social media team will provide an update on when this will happen. Once they give the dates for room bookings, you want to start stacking up immediately.
Let’s say that you want to book with the Waverly Hotel (the host hotel of Anime Weekend Atlanta [AWA]). The hotel will allow room registration on October 3, 2017,* (the time of this writing) and the convention starts on September 20, 2018. The total cost of staying at the Waverly for four days is $700. This gives you about 50 weeks (or about almost 12 months) to stack. Ignoring assets and other forms of income, let’s say you get paid bi-weekly. You’re given 24 paychecks prior to saving if you’re working a regular 9-to-5.
Let’s do some math.
$700/24= $29.16. $29.16/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $14.58 $14.58 is how much you need to take out of your check a pay period. Put the $14.58 in a savings account (or any other accounts you do not have normal access to). If need be, consider opening a new bank account separate from your main one. If you bank at Bank of America, open an account with Commerce Bank, and then deposit the hotel money in that bank. Destroy any and all credit/debit cards linked to the bank – you do not want to spend any money on that account. Repeat until you reach your target goal.
(Please note that many banks are different with their savings account. Some may require you to have a minimum amount of savings to keep the account open.)
What if you’re splitting a room with four people (you included in this four)? Well, that’s simple! $700/4 people = $175 per person. Take your $175 and divide it by 24 checks. That’ll equal to $7.29 a check that you need to put aside.
Regardless if you’re alone or with a group, keep taking the money out of your check and stack it up until it adds up to the total amount of what you need. Remember not to touch it until it’s time to transfer your funds into your checking account, or when you need to give the money to whomever the name is on the hotel’s bill.
With the hotel taken care of, it’s time to tackle your badge situation. Now, should you save up for a badge, or go all in and buy one ASAP? That is dependent on you and your situation.
(*NOTE: AWA has yet to accept room bookings at the time of this writing)
Is it better to just go all in on a badge and pay for it now? Should you stack up for badge overtime and buy one in the future? Let’s go over each option and decide which is best for you.
Let’s say the badge is $45 at its cheapest (usually the first tier of pricing). If you can spend $45 and not be hurt by it, then go for it. Yes, you’ll lose money, but you won’t lose time waiting for your badge in line at at-door registration. Trust me: Losing time is worse than losing money. Money, we can gain back – time, we will never recover. You’re investing $45 in extra time – extra time you can spend on panels, autograph lines, chilling with friends, etc. To be quite honest, that’s a win-win.
Losing both time and more money is lose-lose.
So you can’t afford to invest in a badge quite so soon. That’s okay; you can stack up to the desire tier pricing. Maybe you want to save up for the second tier that’s coming up in two months. Or perhaps you want to wait and save for the final tier before online registration ends in six months. That’s cool. I can work with you on either or.
The second tier badge price starts at $55, the price increase will start on December 3rd, 2017. This gives you four paychecks until December 3rd. 4 paychecks divided by $55 equals $13.75 ($55/4=$13.75)
For the six months option (October 3rd to March 3rd): 12 paychecks/$75 = $6.25 a check. Again, just like your hotel money, place this money in your savings and do not touch it until you hit your target goal.
How you will get to the convention is up to you, and it will be different from person-to-person. Sadly, humans cannot teleport, so you must figure out a mode of transportation. This section will be broken down into four sections: Air, Road, Rail, and Public Transportation/Ride Share
Admittedly, I have never traveled to a convention by air. From what others told me, it’s best to book your flights as soon as your hotel and/or badge. I would personally put aside around $100-$200 a check for about 8-10 months if you have 100% confidence that you’re traveling by air. You might go a little over your target goal for the tickets, but it’s better to have more cash than what you think you need. Do not delay as airline tickets will increase their price as your departure date draw nears.
It’s not wise to wait.
In general, you want to book your rail tickets (such as Amtrak) months in advance. I say that you want to buy your train tickets around the same time you booked your hotel rooms and/or badge. The sooner, the better. Why? Because you don’t want to waste more money as time passes. Use the same method for booking and saving money for an airline flight as you would use for plane tickets as mentioned above.
CAR: This will depend on how far you’re traveling, your car’s MPG, and how many people you have riding with you. A trip to STL to CHI will cost you around $60-90 in gas. From STL to ATL will cost you $90-120. Again, this is dependant on your car and the people riding/driving with you. I would start saving up for gas money about three months before the convention.
Let’s take St. Louis to Atlanta as an example. When traveling with my friend to ATL, he charges me around $40 for the trip. I put aside about $20 a paycheck a month prior to us heading to Atlanta.
I really hope I don’t have to break down this simple math for you guys.
PUBLIC TRANSIT/SHARE RIDE: If you need to use public transit, taxi services, or a shared ride to get to a con, please research what bus, train, etc. you need to take for the convention. Bus and train fare will be dependent on the city you’re in, as well as share riding to a convention. In general, I say put aside at the $10-$30 for your choice of public transit and share ride a month before the convention (if need be).
If I know I’m doing a $20 Uber to get to my convention hotel, I put aside $5 from each paycheck about two months prior. So $20/4 bi-weekly checks = $5 I need to put aside.
Don’t forget to tip your driver. Don’t be a cheap ass.
You gotta eat and stay fueled up. Ever danced at a rave on an empty stomach? It’s not fun. Fast, cheap food or dine-in at a high-quality restaurant? Cook your own food if you have a kitchen suite? Again, this section depends on your budget and needs. If you’re planning on eating out in fast food places, your budget should be around $40-100. Are you planning on eating out at non-fast food places? You want to save around $130-200. If you’re cooking your own food, I say around $60-200 depending on how many people you’re feeding. Before I forget, you should have about $20-40 aside for a snacks budget just in case you’re walking around the convention center all day and you need lite fuel (such as cereal bars, fruits, etc.)
If I’m planning on eating out at fast food places, I place my budget at about $60 for the convention weekend. Knowing this, I give myself a month before the convention to put aside $30 a paycheck until I hit $60.
When I’m in Chicago for Anime Central, my friend, his crew, and I go to Hofbräuhaus for one night and dine in. Knowing that he preps for this dinner, I put aside around $40 two months prior. Two months gives me four bi-weekly paychecks. With this, I put aside $10 a check until I hit $40 and keep that $40 in my savings until it’s time to transfer my funds into my checking account.
This section is optional and you don’t need to party to have fun at cons (but it’s better that way). If you’re like me, then you’re about convention partying life. Therefore, this section is for you. In all honesty, this varies from person-to-person and their needs. If you’re just going to one party, you may need just one or two bottles, a few mixers, and a case of beer, which will run you about $35-$75. If you’re hosting a room party, then you may need to spend about $150-$1200. Feel free to check out my “So You Wanna Host a Room Party” article for more information.
I usually wait until after I check into my hotel and have everything ready before I buy my liquor. You do have those people who love to drop out of the hotel room at the last minute. That extra money could help in a situation. It does suck though.
Boy does it suck.
But you can make it not suck by stacking up six months prior to the convention if you’re 100% sure you’re hosting a room party. I’m projecting that my room party for Anime St. Louis* 2018 will run me $600 in alcohol, mixers, and other goods. Given my room party will be on that Saturday (May 5th, 2018), I must plan on saving my money aside for the party on December 5th. For two weeks up to May 5th, I will put aside $50 until I hit my target goal.
$600/6 months = $100 must be saved each month.
$100/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $50 taken from each check.
Of course, your room party budget will be different from mines. This is just an example of breaking down the math and planning.
*Disclaimer: I am not hosting a room party for Anime St. Louis 2018. Do not come up to me asking if I’m running a room party. This was just an example.
Adding it all Up
We have the numbers; now let’s add them all up. The total will be your target goal for savings. Below is an example based off my personal funds for major conventions, so your numbers will vary. Some will save more money than I. Others will save less. This is all dependent on the conventions you’re going to as well as funds and time.
TRAVEL (Road): $40 for my share of gas money
PUBLIC TRANSIT: $6
PARTY GOODS: ~$120
I’m going to take that $971 and divided by 11 months (until Anime Weekend Atlanta).
$971/11 months = $88.27 I need to put aside each month until the week before AWA for 11 months. By going bi-weekly paychecks I can put aside $44.13 per paycheck. This does exclude any forms of secondary sources of income. Applying my other sources of income to build up will make me reach my goal faster and earlier. This is giving or taking some items away (such as badge and alcohol)
Tips on Making (More) Money
Conventions aren’t cheap; that’s not a secret. I know people are struggling to make ends meet as well as putting towards their hobbies. It’s a cash drain, believe me. I understand. However, you can always make extra money to add to your funds. I’ll break down a few simple and easy ways to make extra money for you to use for the con.
WORK EXTRA HOURS/USE PTO
This is the simplest way to gain extra money. If you see that there are extra hours or shifts to be picked up at your job, jump on that chance. Does it suck that you have to give up free time to make more money at the job? Yes. Is it awesome to have a little bit of extra cash in your pockets for the convention? Yes. Go through some hardships now so you can have a better time later. If those hardship means working more hours at a job you don’t like, so you can go to a convention and escape from the workforce for a few days (or even work on your business AT the con), then do it.
If your job allows it, you can use your Paid Time Off (PTO) hours that you’ve stacked and use those hours on your off day. Then, when you get paid, put the PTO money into savings.
SELL/FLIP PRODUCTS ONLINE
Do you have old video games, comics, mangas, etc. laying around at your house that isn’t of use to you? Sell them on eBay to make extra dough! After you research and study the value of the items you want to sell, just create a listing for them on eBay, Amazon, Craig’s List, etc. You can either sell your own product if you have your own business or flip other people products. I personally flipped items from Loot Crates to gain extra cash for funds.
SELL DRUGS/INVEST IN A DRUG DEALER
Don’t do it. You’re not a dope boy/dope boy investor in college anymore. If you are a dope boy then all I have to say is be careful and watch out for the haters and fake friends.
…Althrough you could sell drugs to the partiers at conventions to make extra cash. Just a thought.
INVEST IN A LEGIT BUSINESS Your homeboy is a real estate investor or owner and has a great track record of returns on investments? Invest with him.
If you need more ideas to increase your income or have a new source of income to fund your weeaboo hobbies, I recommend the following, as they have helped me with increasing my income and manage my money:
Saving money for conventions shouldn’t be so hard. Yet, so many weeaboos struggle to do so. Sometimes, people attend conventions without a budget or money at all! Having a budget and money saved aside will help you out in the long run, as it’s nice to have extra money. Not having money at a con isn’t fun. Nobody will help you out – it’s up to you to have cash. With this how-to guide, I hope you learn how to save and manage your money for future convention events. I believe everyone should have money save up to maximize their fun at cons. Start saving now! Do not wait until it’s less than a month before the convention to save. Apply what you’ve learned from this guide for the future!
Besides, nobody will feel sorry for your broke ass. Get this money and save it.
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.
Conventions are a wonderful place to have fun and let loose with fellow nerds. However, conventions can also be overwhelming for newcomers, lacking knowledge on what to do. So, out of the kindness of my heart (and because I need to clean my public image), here are a few things to do at conventions!
Wanna learn interesting tidbits and facts about your favorite series, gain knowledge that’ll set you apart from your peers, or learn more about your favorite voice actor or creator? Go to a panel! Usually, conventions will have four types of panels: Fan, Interactive Industry, and Guest.
Fan panels are run by passionate and all-knowing fans of a series, sharing their expert knowledge to others fans and newcomers alike.
Interactive panels are panels in which you can partake in the action and/or have an hands on experience in relation to the subject. Examples include sake tasting, sewing tutorials, murder-mystery solving, cooking anime inspired foods, and hypnotism panels.
Industry panels are run by industry guests such as Funimation or Viz Media. Industry panels will host series reveals, news on upcoming projects, and the industry hosts will answer your questions about what’s currently going on in the industry. Sometimes, industry guests will reveal get exclusive news andcontent about a project first at their panels before the rest of the world get the information.
Finally, guest panels. Guest panels are of course hosted by the guests of honor. It’s worth your time going to one as you can learn about your favorite voice actor on a more personal, learn how they got their start, and even learn how they feel about their co-workers that they normally wouldn’t say in front of their face (did you know that a lot of America voice actors hate Vic Mignogna?).
One of the best experiences of a convention is meeting your idol and having them autograph their materials for you! To start, learn when and where the guest(s) that you want to see are hosting panels and autograph sessions and attend them. Did they make your favorite manga? Get that shit sign. Are they a voice actor you really love? Get your DVD signed by them! Do you want to know how your favorite voice actor got their start? Go to their panel! Be aware that popular gusests tend to have a long waiting period for autographs sessions. Be sure to have fully charged cell phone or a book to read on standby while you wait!
Higurashi and Umineko cosplay meet
Met new friends within you fandom and show off your cool (or trash) cosplay!! You can find information on meet ups in the program booklet or on the convention social media and website. Showcase your cosplay or just chill and kick with fellow fans and make new connections.
The dealers room is a hall or room full of offical merchandise, fanmade items, wigs, cosplay materials, etc. They’re open all weekend but it’s best to wait until Sunday for the best deals and discounts on products, as merchants want to reduce the amount of items they have to take back home Sunday or Monday.
Play video games here with other cons goers (or be that one asshole who hog ups the console all day because you couldn’t even make friends at an convention) Setups can range from the old school, current games, arcades, or a mixture of all three. Tournaments (such as Street Fighter, Project Diva, Mario Kart. etc.) are often held here, so you should try to join in a tournament if you’re confident in your skills.
Relax! You’re with like-minded people! Cons are a great place to make new friends and networks that can last for life (or a few years until some petty drama comes up and ruin your friendship)! You are all here for a common passion and love. By networking and befriending fellow comic book nerds, weeaboos and otaku alike, you will build a network that can help you find and learn about more conventions in the area and other cool nerd shit outside of cons. Who know what new connections can lead you in the world of convetions.
For you bloggers, vloggers, etc – make sure that you have a business card if you’re networking with others in your field (thanks for that DJ Kill Zone)
Dress up as your favorite character and join the cosplay gatherings and meet. Take pics taken of you in your cosplay, never to find them online! Cosplay is a wonderful hobby that will bring joy and new people into your life! At least do one cosplay in your life if your curious about it!
That wraps up my “What do do at cons” post! I’ll hope our tips will help you enjoy the con!
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?
You know what’s awesome? Having a Hilton Hhonors membership. A Gold tier membership at that. I don’t have to pay for breakfast as a perk. And goddammit, I need the early morning fuel. Can’t make fun of weeaboos on an empty stomach ya know. I mean, I could, but I’d pass out. I’d wind up in the hospital or something . That’ll be an unfavorable position; giving the weeaboos and the ACEN community the power to make fun of my dumbass mistake.
Can’t have that. No I cannot.
I’ll spare you useless details about my breakfast and jump to me meeting up with my boy “Alan” at the Hyatt.
Alan is one of my closest and bestest friend in the whole wide big ass fucked up world we call planet Earth. We’ve been buddies since high school (or about 13 years). Honestly, he’s somebody I can call a brother. Not a lover (I doubt his girlfriend would like that) but a brother. Check out his blog and give him a follow.
Alright, fuck this sappy heartwarming bullshit.
Alan needed to use my room to prep for his cosplay. There was time left before I had to check out from my Hilton room. However, he wanted to get stoned first before working on it. I like his idea. Smoke some trees and get right before we start the day. Funny enough, my new homeboy “Bill” wanted to smoke as well! Kill five birds with one stone. I, and I alone, can perform such a feat because I am Benjamin Snow the Greatest.
(I’m so full of it it’s not even funny)
As we waited for Bill’s arrival, an Incident Response Team (ACEN’s volunteer security team, or IRT) member approached me. Goddammit. It’s only a quarter to nine, and already, I’m in trouble. And fuck, I must be in deep trouble. Like I’ve done something illegal (not yet) trouble.
“Are you Benjamin Snow? I’m here to beat your ass for runnin’ your mouth online.”
I never imagined that somebody forreal would take my offer to confront and fight me in real life. Honestly, I was shock. I didn’t know how to respond. As my mind process what I should do, he followed up with
“Nah, I’m just playing. I’m Orion’s Belt, a Facebook friend of yours.”
Whew! Okay, I don’t have to assault an IRT member today. Not that I would actually do it any other time. Perhaps I will in a few years down the road when I have mental breakdown phase due to my B-list celebrity status.
We spoke briefly about my online persona, refering to me as the (in)famous Benjamin Snow to his teammate. (I kinda sorta hate it when people say I’m famous in the convention scene because I’m really not). He praised my legendary trolling skills are (they’re nowhere near legendary).
Look, I get that that you, the fans, admire me and everything, but please; stop calling me famous and legendary.
After exchanging farewells with Orion, Alan brought up that I have at least one IRT member in my network. That’s something huh? Being somewhat known in the community, I have a personal IRT acknowledgement. May it be one guy, but still my network is slowly becoming diversify.
Still waiting for Bill and wanting to pass time, Alan and I decided to create a cosplaying drinking for the convention. I think it’s a very easy game, take a shot for X cosplay Y series you spot at the convention.
The rules were as followed (taken from my original Facebook post):
‘ACEN COSPLAY DRINKING GAME. Take a shot for:
*Sailor Moon. Triple for Galaxia or Saturn or any evil Scouts. Take a Molly for a Molly (Naru) cosplayer. *Dragon Ball. Triple for Merged Zamasu or outside of Z/GT *Virgin Killer. Wendy’s. 4x if they work at that place. *Dragon Maid. Triple for male characters. Attack on Titan. Triple for Titans. *Touhou. Triple for actual female cosplayers *My Hero Acamedia *Overwatch *Final Fantasy 15 *Star Wars. *Street Fighter *Undertale *Pokemon *Rick and Morty. Nigga you may as well cosplay as Rick. *Soul Eater *Fate/Zero 5x for Saber cuz she’s the worse girl unlike Rin *Disney’
I, Benjamin Andrew Snow, do not claim responsibility for any idiots who may had die from this during ACEN. I’m just simply cleaning out the gene pool. Following the creation of the game, Bill finally arrived! About time nigga! To the smokers’ circle we go!
Anime Cental’s infamous smokers’ circle. A grey and stone grey circular structure, divided into 4-6 separate “pocket” spaces . It winds itself around Hyatt tower, supported by featureless pillars. Early morning, it’s pretty mellow. People tend to just chill, smoke, and drink coffee while reading the news, may it be old media (newspapers) or new (cellphones).
Nothing exciting happens around this time. I like it like that. I like the peaceful mellowness of a morning smoke.
We encountered Alan’s friends in the circle, inside one of the smaller pockets, cut into the support pillar. They were pregaming since Wednesday night, and claim they had broke into the convention center late that night. Jesus, maybe I should do that next year. Day -1 drinking and partying. However, breaking into the convention center for fun and exploration? Nah. They’ll shoot my black ass.
Real shit tho, Day -1 sounds like a great idea for exploring Downtown Chicago.
Once Alan and I got our minds right off the demon grass and devil’s wax, we marched back inside to the Hyatt, meeting up with two of our other friends. These friends, I’ve known very well through a secret Facebook group chat.
Our friends “Miku” and “Scotch”.
Miku is rather well known throughout the ACEN community due to her shitposting efforts (her level of shitposting isn’t as superior as mine) and unfortunately, drawing in the (creepy) thirsty fucks towards her. Thirsty fucks, she often has to reject on the daily. People lack personal boundaries. She’s an all-around cool girl.
Scotch, as his name implies, is a huge fan of scotch liquor, and has an expansive knowledge of top shelf liquors (thanks to getting me hip on that $40 whiskey fam). He does a commission work for cosplays. He’s pretty short, and looks about 20 despite being 30. That’s dem Asian genes for ya.
Since Alan and I had most of our crew together, we decided to check into our respected Hyatt rooms. However, our rooms weren’t ready yet. More sitting and looking awkward stupid! Go us!
Speaking of looking stupid, get this; I’m looking around my surroundings when I spot this dude with a red hat, white lettings, and a certain front and format. You get where I’m going with this right? No? Its okay readers, I didn’t expect you to get it.
I’m straight giving this white boy this vicious look. Like, I can’t fuckin’ believe this alt-right edgelords are forreal wearing these hates at the cons. Great. Trump supporters at muh SJW left wing ACEN. As I’m giving the guy my infamous death stare of doom, Alan was like “Dude chill, it says ‘Make Konami Great Again!’.
I want a hat like that now. I mean, Konami will never be great again, but I want it! Granted, I would probably receive some strange looks, and black people coming up to me and asking me if I’m on some coon shit. Ah well. Thanks Trump. Thanks Obama. Seriously thanks a lot guys.
Since neither Alan nor my rooms were ready, Scotch requested if Miku and I could help in carry some drinks form his car into his room in exchange for beers and shots. I’m down for free alcohol! Plus I was getting bored.
Look, if you want me to help you out, you gotta give me great shit. Alcohol. Weed. Food. Money. Sexual favors (18+ only). Or all five! I do not care! Just pay me in alcohol and I’ll help ya out things for ya.
Well, off we go! A black man, an Asian man, and a white chick together in harmony. Racial unity at ACEN (sans my racist comments and jokes)!
A wistful tone sat in as we walked thorugh the skybridge (it connets to multiple hotels and the convention center itself). Years ago, the skybridge was decorated with creepy, disturbing surrealism paintings. The hallway hosted eerie paintings; humans starring you down and unsettling landscapes. You felt at unease walking through the humid corridors, questioning if the painitngs are watching you. It wasn’t a great place to walk about intoxicated.
Today, the Hyatt’s skybridge is bland, just like your sex life.
As we trek through skybridge, we caught a glance of the enewly located, enormous, and dully illuminated game room. We didn’t see much of it, since Miku didn’t have her badge yet.
“I do not have my badge. I wish I could get inside, but I can only look.” Miku lamented.
“I wonder how many guys have said the same line about you.” Scotch replied in jest.
We all laughed at his diss towards Miku’s creepy fanboys. Poor Miku though. Can’t imagine how she has to deal with the creepy dudes on the ACEN groups. Seriously, ya niggas need to learn personal boundaries.
(By the way I’m totally stealing Scotch’s joke. I’m getting rich off that one when I start my comedy tour in 2020.)
Eventually, we reached Scotch’s car, which surprising wasn’t a rice burner as I was expecting it to be(goddamit Ben). We grabbed the goods (cases of Monster, Root Beer, and Pepsi), and headed to his room. Miku was struggling to carry the cases, due to her props and cosplay. Some nice young, dude came along to help her out. An extra party member to help us! What a nice fellow! He did depart after we got to his room. Kinda like in Final Fantasy 2 where the fourth party member is just a temp.
(In her words : “He probably saw a cute girl struggling, and wanted to help her out, in hopes he’ll hook up.” Something like that I don’t fucking remember.)
For my peerless efforts of the Great Soda Case March of 2017, Scotch rewards me with beers and a Bloody Mary! Thank you, Scotch! I needed the 1:00PM pregame, and an excuse to support my undying alcoholism. Alright! Got my mind right for the day. Alan hits up my line, telling me that his room is ready. I end my mission with one last beer (for the time being), and proceed towards Alan’s room for a nice, warm shower. Besides, I’d be a giant hypocrite for mocking unwashed weebs, yet I am unwashed myself.
As I head back to the Hyatt lobby , my eyes caught an offensive sight. Such a sight that will even enraged even more the most chill person.
“Ya crackas are really this bold this year, huh? Blackface? Really whiteboy?!” I’m infuriated. It’s 2017, and we still have people think it’s okay to wear blackface.
“This white boy is out in public, forreal in blackface. This cracker’s really fuckin’ using blackface for his cosp- wait it’s actually a black guy with an obvious skin condition. My lord I’m a piece of shit I need to stop doing this!”
Whew boy. Ben, what is wrong with you today? You know what, just go take your shower, because you need to wash away some shame, boy. Just go!
Alright! I’ve arrived at Alan and his fiancé “Emerald” room at last! Finally, I can take a shower, and after that, belittle all the other weeaboos who refuse to! They can’t say shit, because they smell like shit, and I won’t. Besides, I gotta smell good for all the fine ass kohai who want Benpai to notices them. I can’t disappoint them at all. Okay, maybe in bed, but that’s another story.
I gather my body wash and soap, hop in the shower, and got the Drake and Big Sean bumpin’ off the Bluetooth speaker. Drake and Big Sean are my biggest motivators for the convention (besides making money), especially with their song “Blessings.” I’m at ACEN for a goodtime and not a longtime. Get my networks right, make money off bartending the homeboy’s engagement party, have a cute, shy, quiet kohai get super happy I noticed her.
Hopefully one that’s cosplaying as one of my waifus (Rin from fate/zero, Misato from Evangelion, Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon, or Sabrina from Pokemon to name a many, many few) take her back to my room, and fuck brains out from behind while she is in said waifu cosplay, moaning out my name in a hentai-like voice.
…A nigga can dream. Sigh. My luck with women is low despite my confidence (I’m so oblivious to flirting my lord.)
‘K. Out of the shower Benji. I get that you wanna be fresh and all, but that Irish Spring soap and bodywash gotta last you the entire weekend. But hey! Do you smell fresh as fuck, Ben! I’m feeling good. Finally, I can make fun of smelly weebs, and not be a hypocrite. To the con floor!
Or not. My phone start’s buzzing, the T-Moblie jingle plays off the speaker, and I pick up the phone.
“Eto…Moshi moshi. Benyamin Yuki des.” I answered in my most faux Japanese accent.
“What?” The hotel clerk responded. “Mr. Snow, you’re room is now ready! Please come by to pick up your room keys!”
“Please stop sir. You’re not Japanese.” The clerk hung up.
Damn. I was hoping to impress her with my fake Japanese accent, and butchering of the language. She sounded cute. That what I get for trying to flirt with everyone, including hotel clerks. Well, my room’s ready. Adrian and I need to drop our shit off, so off I go.
I enter the check-in line. Thankfully, it’s short. Good. The quicker I go through the line, and get into my room, the quicker I can make fun of nerds, to build my massive ego and arrogance up. Alright, finally it’s my turn! . I step up to the clerk, a cute woman with a purple wig. Awesome! Purple’s my favorite color! And hell, she sounded just like the woman whom I was failing to impress over the phone. Maybe if she notice how handsome and fresh I am, she’ll be sworn by my fake Japanese.
“Hi! I’m here to pick up my keys to my room!” I don’t know how to say that in Japanese, so I went for the English route instead.
“Here’s your keys Mr. Snow! You’re in the Executive Wing rom 2432! Enjoy the con!”
She hands the key over to me and send me on my way.
Wait, did I hear her right? Executive Wing!? As in, the exclusive large rooms only reversed for the most balling of niggas? And I only paid low tier room pricing for it? Fuck yea, this is gonna be a great ACEN! Let’s make it greater by flexing on niggas on Facebook (even though I didn’t pay full price for the room, and I had to stack, invest, and save money for the convention with extreme discipline)
Hooray for lying like I got it!
I’ve arrive at my room. It’s slightly larger than the normal rooms. The room featured two queen size beds, a nice marble table, an Eazy-Boy type chair, and shelves. Hey, at least the area is quiet; it’s not too far off from Alan’s room. Plus, I don’t have to deal with the infamous congested elevators of the main wing. I take this unexpected upgrade and it’s benefits!
My phone goes off again. It’s Adrian. He informs me that Alan, Emerald, and he were off to some store I don’t care about, and that it’ll take them a while to get back. Oh. I was hoping they’ll come with me to the liquor store. Guess I go myself. Back to theworld of weebs and normies.
I leave the building, ready to walk for twenty-four minutes for booze. Hold up! That black Nissan mini SUV parked out front with the Punisher logo on the back. Don’t tell me that’s…nah. That can’t be my boy “Punisher” (I’m running out of fake names to protect my friends). Holy fuck, I can’t be that lucky!
“Hey Ben what’s up man!” Yes! It’s my boy Punisher indeed! Cool country white guy from my home area. Man, I really am lucking out this year. If I can just throw him some gas money, I can totally not have to walk in the rain like a sad, lonely alcoholic nerd, and have him take me to the liquor store!
“Hey bro, could you take me to the liquor store? I’ll throw in some gas money or something!”
“Sure man, I didn’t want you to walk in this rain in the first place!”
Thank god for great friends.
Back to Rosemont Liqour. Now, common sense would had your boy to get all, it not, most of my alcohol when Joe had took me up there the day before, but I was waiting for extra money that I was owed to me from various people. Plus, I didn’t wanna spend any cash I had in my bank from the other day (just in case ya know).
Time to go shopping!
I have a main quest, and two side quests. The main quest requires me finding the indigents for an fishbowl-type drink Alan and Emerald requested me to make: Mermaid Water, a cocktail created by popular YouTube bartender “Tipsy Bartender”.
Here’s the details of the drink from his website:
‘The Mermaid Water Cocktail is the type of drink that will have you asking if you ever feel like a pirate. If you want to feel the gentle breeze of the ocean punch you in the mouth, then this is a drink for you. It is basically a bunch of delicious alcohol mixed with delicious juice. The exact sort of thing that pirates need when crossing vast seas of water in search of various forms of plunder.
Main quest easily completed, sans Punisher and I having difficulties finding Blue Curacao (which was in front of us, just on a lower shelf). Alright! Now onward to my first side question: the indigents to my new cocktail creation: Sailor Saturn.
Prior to ACEN, I planned to create a cocktail based off the Sailor Scouts from the anime and manga series “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon”. I already made one based off my second favorite scout; Sailor Mercury (UV Blue Vodka, Blueberry liqueur, Sprite. Might throw in Blue Cuacao next time I make it. BTW OC dough nut steel), so I figure why not make one based off my first fictional crush favorite Sailor Scout of all time?
With the Sailor Saturn cocktail, I was thinking of going with aesthetic look; I needed either a purple colored liquor or liqueur to match her visual design. Next, I wanted to play off her powers of death and destruction, so I need liquors that represented destruction perfectly: 100 Proof Vodka and Hennessy.
(I was originally going to go with Everclear, but I also didn’t want niggas to think they’re a Solider of Destruction. I get that Hennything is possible but I didn’t want people dying off my shit. Ya can’t rebirth like Saturn)
Unfortunately (or fortunately), the store didn’t have 100 Proof vodka on stocked. Goddammit. But they had Hennessy! Go me…or I would say that, if I didn’t saw Martell Cognac for under $27 (special deal), as opposed to the $40 of Henny. Hennything is possible, including a discount on a competitor’s product! GO ME INDEED! I love saving me money and acting like a cheap ass! Plus, I never tried Martell before.
You gotta try new things. It’ll get you far. Trust me.
Next, was finding a purple colored liqueur. I wanted Hpnotiq Harmoic, which is an uncommonly known version of the original Hpnotiq. If you never had Harmoic, it’s congac, vodka, mixed berries, and I think lavender extracts. The lavender (and possibly mixed berries) provides Harmoic it’s purple color, which would had been perfect for the Sailor Saturn cocktail. Sadly, they also did not carry that version. Fuck. Looks like Saturn won’t be destroying anyone soo- hey what’s that beautiful purple glowing bottle with the white swirls liquor over there in the vodka aisle?
“Viniq? Oh wow, you’re so pretty.”
Yeah no, I’m using this for the cocktail. If you do not know what Viniq is like, here are some details from the official website (please sponsor me Viniq I’ll be your spokesman for the alcoholic weeaboos niche): ‘Sweet refreshing, and glamorous, VINIQ’s purple shimmer cathes your eye before you hit your glass. Bursting with peach, berry, and citrus flavors, it’s the perfect complement to any occasion’
(Viniq has mosacto wine infused with it, but the website forgot to mention that. Thought I throw that lil tidbit in there)
Cool. I’ll take it. Throw it in the basket with the rest of my booze and onwards to the second and final side mission: Dirty Princess Peach, a drink I created at ACEN 2015.
Dirty Princess Peach, (as the name suggest), is named after Nintendo legendary princess, Peach. Ya know, the woman who has a thing for giant Koopa cocks, had both kidnapping and imprisonment fetishes, and enjoys wearing, and showing off her lacy thongs while playing Tennis. There’s a reason why I’m calling her dirty.
I’m just going to post a link to the cocktail repiece below because I’m wasting time and I wanna get to the next scene asap.
Alright, got everything I need for the weekend. To the checkout line! Let me tell ya something; If you have a cart full of booze at the liquor store, you’re gonna get some looks and question. No lie: I love this part.
“Are you guys planning for a wedding party?” One guy asked in the check out line.
“Nah. Planning a party at a comic book convention.” I replied.
”Wait what? Comic book convention? Ya drink and party at those things?” The dude was bewildered. I blew his mind, man! I love it when people are surprise that us nerds party and drink heavy. I can’t lie; When I first got into the cosplay and convention scene, I was shocked that nerds drink, smoke, and party. The revelation changed my entire point on view on the nerd community.
I legit enjoy explaining to non-nerds how there are after parties, and many crazy shit that goes down during the conventions. Things that people would not associate nerds with. It legit get people interested in what we do.
Hey, if I can change one person’s bias about our community, then I guess I’ve done some good.
After paying for our stuff, Punisher and I headed back to the Hyatt. He had to go do something, so I was left alone with a heavy box of mixers and booze. Fun. I get to carry around a box of booze throughout the convention hotel with thousands of eyes on me like I’m 2pac. All eyes on me. Me and my box-‘o-debauchery!
Yes, I want all your attention! Watch me be Mr. Stongman carrying this heavy box with no effo- okay ouch there goes my back. And my legs are cramping up. Fuck I’m old. Oh great! Service carts! This will be easy! Just place this heavy ass box down and…
“Sir. We are a full service hotel. We have to carry your things for you.” An older black gentleman looks over at me as I attempted to lay my booze box on the cart.
‘Fuck.’ I thought to myself. I don’t have cash to tip him, but this is super heavy. Oh well.
“I can help you carry your alcohol up to your room if need be.”
“Sure.” Sigh. He’s gonna expect a tip, ain’t he? Don’t get me wrong, I tip service workers. Just that I don’t have cash, and I’d feel like a piece of shit if I didn’t tip him. I let him carry the cart through the hotel to a secret exclusive elevator for ballin’ niggas like myself (stay jealous). We hit the elevator from the bottom floor to the main lobby.
“So, how much this all run ya?” ‘Make up a complete lie Ben.’
‘Benjamin, you’re fucking stupid. He’s gonna press you for a tip you know how this game works.’
“I see you got Martell . That must have run ya .” Yep. Here’s the begging ass nigga asking for a tip in a few. Sigh. Broke niggas I swear.
“Yep.” I just replied back. Here we go.
We reached the main lobby. He took me over to another attendant. Before he took me over to him, he finally pop the question. I’m the luckiest man in the world!
“So, you gonna tip me?” He begged.
‘Nigga. What kinda bullshit is this? If I was a white boy you wouldn’t be on this crabs-in-a-bucket shit.’
“Yea…where’s the ATM?” He just points behind me towards the ATM. I follow his finger to the ATM, and withdrew a $20. 10 for him and his coworker, an older white gentleman.
“Ya got change?” I asked. The white attendant had change alright. And by change I mean some bands. Like 1s, 20s, a few 50s. I take it he gets all the tips. I doubt he’s on some begging shit. He gives me two 10s, allowing me to tip them both the 10. The second attendant helps me to my room with the booze.
“Which room are you in?” He asked
“2432”. I replied back.
“Ahh, you must have a party room huh? No wonder you have so much alcohol.
“Heh heh yeah! I’m just having a smallish party with some friends, nothing major.” I replied with a sly smile. Boy, I’m helping my friends host a rager old man!
Back on the trek to my room! We head to another secret side elevator, pasting the mess of the overflowing elevators. An older white IRT lady caught a quick glance of my box-o’-debauchery, and gave me the most “I fucking parties like you” look I’ve ever received from a con staff. I dunno if it just she was jealous she had to work all weekend, or she thinks I’m gonna get caught slippin’ with my party, but holy that bitter white woman death glare man!
Bitch you’re getting mad! I’m having fun!
Finally, after that bullshit, we arrive at my room! I thank the guy and we went our separate ways. I pull out the Viniq first. I want to taste this alluring, enticing, sparkling violet liquid. I take a small shot. My lord, the taste of Viniq is astonishing. Delicate and sweet like Hotaru Tomoe. And yet, destructive and dangerous like Sailor Saturn.
…My weeaboo ass just fucking compared alcohol to a fucking Japanese anime character. Whew lord I need Jesus. Or another shot of this Viniq, this is good as fuck. Wait hold up, it’s almost 6:00PM. As much as I wanna get a little tipsy, I gotta meet up with some very old friends from my first Anime Central. My day ones from my first cosplay group: The Umineko and Higurashi cosplay group.
I’m gonna save that for the next post. Eleven pages and nearly 4700 plus words is more than enough for night. Day 1 will be split into two parts (with this being part one of course). Stay tune in the future in which I take a short delicious food detour before meeting up with the Higurashi and Umineko cosplay group! Following that, I will introduce ya to one of my favorite Chicago citizen and I’ll treat ya to my wild partying lifestyle! Oh and the part on how hard I really had to chill out before killing somebody who I thought was my friend.
All that, plus not that much more, next time! I’ll post a link the Part 2 once I am finish with it! Be good ya’ll!
Ahh Anime Central. Chicago’s ultimate otaku convention for partying and debauchery. It’s a great convention to find hard drugs like coke and acid. There’s alcoholic beverages flowing about. Take a few shots for liquor courage to dick down that Cecilia cosplayer! Hey, Gotta celebrate Fire Emblem Gaiden’s 3DS remake somehow. There are also Persona orgies hosted by a kinky Shadow Rise cosplayer hunting down guys to run a train on her. ACEN has the great shit for ya if you want it.
Oh yea, they have cosplaying nerds who ain’t fuckin each other in orgies and industry panels. That shit is boring. As an (somewhat) honest person, I’m gonna tell you what really goes down outside the panels and normal convention shit. Autograph and photo sessions? Pfft. I rather waste time on my grind, writing passion, and networks. Why? So the anime and video game industry can notice my hardwork. I want to become lifelong friends with the niggas you stand in line for hours just to talk to them for twenty seconds out of your life.
Look, fuck all that lame boring shit that the average con attendees will tell. I’m here to too you the the real grimy shit. You can trust me on keeping it real. I’m a real nigga.
My friend “Adrian” (name changed because I’m the star and he’s not) and myself arrived in Chicago at 2:00pm Thursday afternoon after a long 10 hour trip from St. Louis via Amtrak. You see, Amtrak was running a special deal. Riders will have to suffer through delays and constant route changes with no explanations!
Something about a fatal train derailment was thrown in, but we didn’t get that option. Oh well. Public transit is better than Amtrak. You don’t get that fine Chicago-style piss smell on the Amtrak unlike Chicago’s CTA public transit. CTA ride was nice, sans some homeless diabetic begging money for heroine. Or was it insulin? I dunno I don’t do (hard) drugs, and I’m not hip on the new and upcoming drug trends.
Following that 45 minute ride, we arrived at Rosemont, Il! Home of Anime Central. Yes! Finally I can make my grand announcement to my haters that the guy they secretly want to fuck but can’t has arrive! The guy who they want to fight, but are too pussy to step up because they can’t carry their keyboards around.
It’s me: Benjamin Snow. I am the greatest otaku to have ever lived (one day I’ll snatch the Otaking title away from Toshio Okada) . I am the promised child of otaku culture niche, whom the prophets once warned the basement dwelling beta white cuck virgins weeaboos. I am the main character of my haters’ lives. I am the anti-hero protagonist of this tale.
I’m honored that you, the reader and haters, are focused on me. All eyes on me.
Adrian (I almost forgot about him) and I checked into our hotel, the Hilton, which is right across from the Hyatt, the main Anime Central hotel. Hilton’s a nice hotel chain for lodging space. Not a nice company to work for however unless you’re a masochist who hates their life. Oh wait I forgot you ain’t supposed to talk shit about shitty companies you used to work for. Actually, I take that back. Hilton’s 3rd party contractors can be hit or miss. Not the company itself.
Fuck you, Lodging Hospitality Management.
Grudges and come up revenge aside, my boy and I got a top floor room. We’re top tier men so we gotta be at the top. After showering (not with Adrian, that’s pretty gay), I decided to head to the Hyatt to scan the place for anyone I know. Encounter another homeboy, “Joe”. Joe’s a cool guy who I really wish I could hang out with more often despite we live in the same city. Big black guy fighting game fan such as myself. After some small chat we decided to roll out to Rosemont Liquor, a super nice liquor store in Rosemont that you already know is gonna love the money they racked in from us alcoholic weeaboos.
Went in and brought a bottle of pineapple New Amsterdam, a pack of 312 Goose Island Wheat, and big boy beer: My first 12% beer in my life. Trust me, drinking 12% beer is like smoking some fire ass kush after smoking that weak ass reggie for years on end. Forgot the name of the beer but they’re not sponsoring me nor this blog, so it doesn’t matter.
Following, Joe and I drove back to my hotel. During the drive, we spoke about fighting games, with Casual Player Neglect Fighter V being the main topic (Street Fighter 5) and how garbage it lowkey is. I brought up how for some reason despite not playing in months, I was able to beat my friendes who play nearly everyday with Karin.
Oh Capcom. I hope one day, you guys figured out why nobody enjoy this game.
Joe dropped me off at my hotel, as he had prior plans with a friend. Cool with me, given I had plans to kick it with another friend, “Vance”, and his Touhou cosplay crew at Hofbrauhaus. I “met” Vance back at my first ACEN in 2013 as he was cosplaying as Momiji (from Mountain of Faith or whatever idunno I don’t play Touhou like that). His outfit and the craftsmanship of it was amazing, and (at the time) Momiji cosplays were rather uncommon, so your boy had to take his pic. I would not realized I met him at ACEN until later.
I officially met and hung out with Vance at Anime Crossroads 2013, at his Touhou Panel he was hosting. We spoke about the series, our love for alcohol, and the convention scene in general. We naturally clicked and overtime, he became a good con friend. On some real shit, I wouldn’t mind being friends outside of cons with the dude…if I didn’t live in St. Louis but there’s always non-con traveling plans. Enough of my longing for networking with folks, to Hofbrauhaus
Hofbrauhaus’s food is amazing. I could tell you the fantastic variety selection of dishes and drinks they have , but my black ass is too lazy to look up their menu online. Settle with a picture of one of their dishes I that cannot for the life of me pronounce. I’m an American. Not German. We speak American in America.
After showcasing my quietness to people I don’t know outside my established friends in the group (I’m lowkey shy around strangers) and appropriating German culture (because I’m slightly racist), I walked back to my hotel and holy fuck! It’s fucking cold and windy as fuck outside! You see, my dumbass thought it would had been a great idea to wear a light T-shirt and shorts earlier in the day, despite knowing the fact the tempts were dropping..
I’m pretty sure some folks saw me walking around shivering in shorts and a t-shirt and were like “This stupid ass nergo.” Okay, I hope not. Rosemont is mostly white people, and they don’t have the right to say Nergo. Kinda like how I don’t have the right to make racist jokes about the Germans in a German restaurant (inside my head of course). Das boot! Big titty thick Germans girls wearing those Dirndi dancing with giant beer mugs! I swear I’m not racist towards Germans!
…fuck I’m racist.
I arrived back to my hotel to change into some warm clothes. Perhaps the harsh winds were karma for my inner-racism, but oh well. To help prove to myself I’m not a complete racist, I took up an offer to kick it with my white friend, “Beared Chibi-Usa” at ACEN’s infamous smoker’s circle. Great source for debauchery. And drugs!
Bearded Chibi-Usa, as his name implies, is a guy who has a beard and cosplays as Chibi-Usa from the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon series. Maybe he’s actually cosplaying an alternate timeline of Chibi-Usa, who is actually a female-to-male transgender, and they have a beard. Who fuckin’ knows. All I know is that this man is cool ass businessman and has his own online advertisement company. Make that new money young nigga.
During our chill and smoking (tobacco) session, we overheard a rather interesting conversation between two guys talking about a stillborn dead ass baby. So, this loud ass guy was broadcasting how he may or not had been cucked by his (ex?) girlfriend at the time, and how his girlfriend felt so bad about it that she let the guy have pity sex with him. Like, raw dog busting all types of nuts inside the girl’s pussy pity sex with a creampie ending.
As we all know, sex makes babies. Sometimes, stillborn babies. Hey, that’s life. Some win. Some lose.
Despite people giving this guy confused looks and laughing at him, he kept going with the damn story. Bearded Chibi-Usa and I exchanged “what the fuck” looks and walked away, trying to contain our laughs to no anvil. We needed to drink after that, man. That was too much for us and this was day zero. A fuckin’ Thursday night.
People; keep your personal business about being a cuck with a stillborn baby to yourselves. I will laugh at you.
To keep your mind off how much of a fucked up piece of shit person I am for laughing at that poor guy, let’s go back to a certain point of this story. Remember how I told ya Beared Chibi-Usa is a businessman? Well, some non-nerd businessman got on my boy case for being him; a nerd. I don’t remember much of the details due to the alcohol and drugs, but I recall him shutting their ass down, talking about how he’s a businessman himself and that his company has clients from the companies the non-nerds work for.
Needless to say, he shut their ass down. Ya non-nerds should really let go of the stereotype of the broke basement nerd still in their parents’ basement. But hey, they’re old fucks. They have about what? 20-30 years of life left, and us young folks are gonna take their jobs overtime. No big deal.
We settle back to my room and we spoke upon various topics, such as grime rap, weight lost, and business. Grime rap. My god, no wonder it has that name. Angry. Aggressive. Blunt. Take what you know about (real) hip-hop culture, give it steroids and make it British. No, not fucking high class sip tea and eat crumpets British. I’m talking the low income, brutal lifestyle of the the British. Rap battles taking place inside decaying buildings and under bridges. Harden street rappers going berserk with their personal attacks against rivals and enemies. You got your feelings hurt? Fuck you, you’re a grime rapper. Suck it up.
No wonder my boy got me hip to this genre. I can see myself bumping this type of music and applying the story behind the music in my writings. I get inspired easily ya know. Speaking of, his talk about business, and how his networks pretty much inspired me to work on my grind, hustle, and brand. Here’s a young dude around my age with his own company, out here making moves and great money. I’m sitting here listening about his work. I’m like “man, if he can do it, so can I.” Granted, it takes hard work, dealing with self-doubts, and overcoming both haters and personal failures to reach what you want in life. This shit doesn’t come overnight.
I’m dragging this story with nonsense filler and I pretty sure you guys want me to talk more about partying and less about my sappy self being inspired. A couple of more folks came over to pregame (who I won’t mention because my uncreative ass can’t come up with fake names). I think we played the godawful broken Sailor Moon Super S fighting game on my laptop, as well as a real fighting game like Super Street Fighter 2. I got bodied in both because alcohol. One of my friends noticed my Sailor Saturn sticker on my laptop and we had a nice chat about why we like and relate to her (socially awkward but love having few but very close friends). Come to think about it, I honestly forgot what happened from between me light partying and when I woke up the next morning.
Fuck it, onto Day 1. A day in which gave me more inspiration from dudes doing better than myself, an convention and hotel staff hating on my alcohol collection, and me having to control my temper to prevent killing somebody who I thought was a friend.
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!
For the convention season, please take a shower or bath before you head to an anime/comic/sci-fi con. Nobody is trying to smell your nasty, unwashed, unclean ass because you refuse to take care of basic personal hygiene. Body odor is not cute and nobody isn’t trying to get sick because your ass do not wanna hop in the shower for 15 minutes and put on some deodorant.
Trust me, I legit had asthma attacks from overpowering B.O. from unwashed nerds at cons. It ain’t fun.
It is 2017 and i should not tell people this but this is the state of the convention community as of this writing. Hell there’s even a debate on the Anime Boston Facebook group on if people should shower before heading to a convention. An convention group. Having a debate. On if you should shower or not.