Note: I am about to burn some bridges with people in the St. Louis anime convention and cosplay scene with this post, ain’t I? Bet.
Second Note: This is a freewrite. There’s no order of my paragraphs in terms of flow.
“You should all pay attention to me! I want people to take pictures of my cosplay! I work hard on it!”
An annoying, feminine voice behind me rang out in the halls of Gateway Convention Center during the morning hours of Archon St. Louis The owner of the voice is a bit of a…what the word I can use that won’t (easily) offend people of the LBGT community? A fairy. A very narcissistic, attention whore, drama starting fairy. But I’m used to him and his attitude. This guy, whom I shall call “Narcian”, is a well-known, highly egotistical, arrogant, eccentric (shit-tier) cosplayer (in our area) who believes he has magical, spiritual powers (trust me; that’s just 1% percent of his issues).
(And I thought my ego and narcissism problems were terrible)
His parents never gave him any attention or love; so he grew up seeking and demanding attention from others. I spent a good year and a half avoiding this man thanks to traveling to other conventions outside my hometown; helping me forget that he existed. As he tried (and failed) to get people to notice his cosplay (even photo-bombing a Marvel Comics cosplay gathering), I realized something:
“Wow! I haven’t missed shit while I was away from this con scene!”
Between Anime St. Louis 2018 and Archon 2018, I skipped out on other St. Louis conventions to work on myself, traveling(to Los Angeles and Atlanta), and to have a little extra money in my pockets. When I came back to the St. Louis convention scene, I was reminded – thanks to Narcian – that I truly wasn’t missing out on anything that St. Louis had to offer for their nerd culture cons. It was a reminder on why I decided to say fuck this con scene and explore other scenes across America.
The weeaboos here who never left the St. Louis area (or at the very least, aren’t bettering themselves) were doing the same shit: Bitching about how much they hate their current low paying 9-to-5 jobs, being stuck in the rat race, looking forward to going to the bars and clubs and conventions on the weekends, causing/starting childish drama and beef with people, and refusing to level up.
They love to complain about how their lives aren’t going anywhere, but won’t put forth the effort to make a change.
And don’t try to convince them to leave St. Louis for a larger weeaboo festival with superior guest lists (featuring Japanese voice actors and creators) and more to do that they love to fantasize about attending. They’ll hit you with excuses such as “I don’t want to travel by myself”, “traveling cost too much money” (but wasting money at the club/bar isn’t for some odd reason), and – my personal favorite – “You’re just going to do the same shit out of town you do at home!”.
Please. I’m doing the same shit at conventions outside my hometown (like exploring and spending more time in Downtown L.A. as opposed to Anime Expo itself) and yet you guys are okay with repeating the same things in your lives.
To them, being in a state of everlasting comfortable mediocrity is an amazing and great thing. Why apply yourself with self-improvement when you can have the same things you’re used to every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – hell, don’t even upgrade it because there’s no reason or logic behind it! That’s how St. Louis runs; may it be politics, entertainment, or weeaboo shit.
Let’s take Anime St. Louis for example.
Anime St. Louis has been around for thirteen years (if we’re counting Kunicon: their first convention). Naka-Kon, another Midwestern Convention held in Kansas City Missouri/Kansas area, started around the same time as Anime St. Louis Naka-Kon brought in guests straight from Japan (such as the J-Rock band ALSDEAD, Nobuo Uematsu, Junko Takeuchi a.k.a the voice of Hinata’s husband, and Takashi Kisaki.
Anime St. Louis? I mean, they gotten voice acting legends and icons such as Richard Epcar, Keith Silverstien, and Troy Baker. But you can see them at any convention across America. Naka-Kon. In bumfuck Kansas. Can land guests. Straight from Japan.
And yet Anime St. Louis can’t do the same?
My grips with the St. Louis con scene don’t end with the convention either. The community itself is filled with toxic, drama causing, pathetic otakus who have nothing going on with their lives outside of playing dress-up as their favorite anime Chinese Cartoon Characters. As a result, they attack Black cosplayers for cosplaying outside their race, playing favorites during cosplay contests (and by playing favorites, the cosplayers and judges are probably fucking and sucking/eating each other out the night before the cosplay contest), and even spread their drama to other Missouri conventions: harassing anyone who aren’t in their clique and make them feel unsafe.
Don’t get me wrong: There’s drama in every convention scene around the world. You do need to learn how to deal with it and not get involved (and never create it). But there’s a feeling of joy when you go to a new con scene outside the hometown one and have a fresh start. Nobody knows who you are – making you automatic neutral to any conflicts. You dealt with drama and know how to read people so you can sense any drama-makers in a new con scene. Sure, once you’re cliqued in with a group drama might arise, but you can leave said clique.
This isn’t to say that all St. Louis cosplayers and con-goers have this loser, drama mentality. One of the first people to leave this scene grew popular outside St. Louis with her cosplays despite her haters here. I saw her recently at Archon and she looked incredibly happy with her life after St. Louis. Another major cosplayer from the St. Louis area (who’s a master of using duct tape and 24 hour cosplays) left town and blew up. He networked with some major players of the YouTube scene and is doing great with his life.
Hell, recently an associate of mines made a status about how they were felt discouraged on cosplaying at Anime St. Louis because the judge allows past winners (a.k.a their friends) to use the same cosplays that won them cosplay contests years previously. This inspired the associate to leave the St. Louis area to explore other conventions with their cosplays. Others have agreed with them and want to explore other conventions with the associate. Folks are giving up on the St. Louis and starting to understand that there’s more to the cosplay world than this small ass shithole city’s scene.
And to be honest, I am happy for them. I am glad to see people bettering themselves.
To conclude this rant of a freewrite, the St. Louis convention scene sucks outside of Archon (thanks to their old-school style of not playing the bullshit game). If you’re a seasoned con-goer who travel across America (or the world) for conventions, don’t come to St. Louis (unless its’ for Archon or work).
There is no progress here and you’re better off skipping over STL. If you’re a rookie con-goer, I do recommend coming to Anime St. Louis to get your feet wet and dip off once you earn enough experience. To the con-goers who keep doing the same old bullshit: Stop it. You niggas are Level 5 Terra and Locke off Final Fantasy 6 playing around in Narshe while we got people about to raid Kefka’s Tower at levels 60-100.
I’m about to get blacklisted from Anime St. Louis because of this I bet.
Oh well, I’ll show up to the con without a badge drunk as fuck next year and throw a giant room party (doubling as my Birthday party) as a final farewell to the St. Louis anime con scene on May 4th, 2019.
You guys are invited!
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Yuki The Snowman