An appeal to nearby cosplayers (and/or anime convention goers)

Comments are welcome here, but if you have any negative comments, please don’t leave them here, as they will be deleted.

First, let me go directly to why I’m writing this: I’m looking for people/group to go to anime conventions with. So, let me introduce myself:

I am a 24 year old Rutgers University graduate student that is planning to graduate next year. I went to my first convention in 2008 (NYAF) with several friends. I’ve always wanted to go to a convention before then, but I was and still am very timid. I’ve conventions ever since. Here is a list of conventions I’ve been to:

NYAF: 2008-2011

Mokucon (Rutgers): 2008

AnimeNEXT: 2009-2011

Anime Expo: 2011

I started going alone to conventions in 2009 when I went to NYAF. I was okay with that but as I continued to go to conventions alone, I started wishing that I could go with other people. Even though I have many friends, few of them are interested in anime, and even fewer of them would go to conventions. This is why I’m looking for people to go to conventions with me. As I’ve said, I’m very timid guy, but once I know someone, I can talk to them.

I’m also looking for people to cosplay with. I’ve usually cosplayed alone (I say usually since I’ve started going to cosplay gatherings) since very few of my friends cosplay. Why do I like cosplaying? I cosplay because I really like wearing the things that some anime characters wear. I particularly like to cosplay is Kagamine Len (VOCALOID) and lately, I started cosplaying Ciel Phantomhive (Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji) and I would like to continue cosplaying as those two. I’ve also cosplayed Kotarou Inugami (Negima!), Hibiki Tokai (Vandread), and Genis Sage (Tales of Symphonia).

I know that there are some people that like to create their own costumes, but unfortunately I rarely do that. I know that some people might cringe about what I’m about to say but I buy my costumes. I would like to create my own costumes but due to lack of time and skills, I cannot do that. What I will say is that I respect people that cosplay, but I respect people that create their costumes even more.

So back to the point. I’m not very good at approaching people, but I’m good with people after I know them. This is why I’m trying to do this online. It has proven to be successful during Anime Expo, so I’m trying to do this again. If you are interested, let me know! I don’t mind going to small local conventions with other people (maybe up to 50 miles from Central NJ like MangaNEXT), but more interested in going to AnimeNEXT, Anime Expo, and NYAF.

My Experiences in NYAF: 2008-2011 and Future Plans

I’ve wrote this before, but I’ll say it again. New York Anime Festival was my first convention. Unlike a lot of convention goers, I didn’t start going until I was 21. Why? Because I had no one to go with. Then a couple of friends decided to go to a convention. It was the 2008 New York Anime Festival. I only went for one day, but a lot of things happened. I made a friend and I started to wear nekomimi (cat ears). It was also the first time I’ve seen people cosplay in person. I was interested in cosplaying before, but going to that convention inspired me to actually cosplay.

The 2009 New York Anime Festival was my first convention when I went alone. It was also the first time I cosplayed (outside Halloween, when I cosplayed Vandred’s Hibiki Tokai during high school). I cosplayed Negima’s Inugami Kotarou. It was a costume that no one noticed, but I’m glad that I did it. This convention was particularly special because right after the first day, I went to see my first baseball game. Other things happened which I will not go in detail on. The next day, I went to the Makino Yui concert. Her songs were very emotional, especially Amrita, which got me a bit teary-eyed.

The next NYAF was the first one that was combined with NYCC. Unlike some people, I had no problem with the combination at that time. I mean, there was a smaller focus on anime, but there were a lot more cosplayers and a lot still happened that year. They showed The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi and Nagato Yuki’s seiyuu, Chihara Minori, was in attendance during that screening. She also had a concert the next day and just like in the Makino Yui concert the year before, one of her songs, Yasashii Boukyaku, made me cry (yes I get it, I get too emotional sometimes). Vocaloid and Crypton Future Media also made an appearance and hinted in an Miku English voice.

Before I go on to this year, I do have a bit of a disclaimer. How I felt about NYAF will most certainly be different than other people thoughts about NYAF. My mood during those two days affected how I viewed NYAF 2011. 

This year’s NYAF was after a good AnimeNEXT, a great Anime Expo, and an amazing trip to Japan. One would hope that NYAF would follow its predecessors, but it didn’t. Remember when I said I had no problem with NYAF 2010. I had big problems with NYAF 2011. The lines in Day 1 was ridiculously stupid. We were lined ouside since the area where we would usually wait was not available that day. The line wrapped around the whole convention center before it opened, forcing us to go all around the building to get to the end of the line. Then it appeared that NYAF got more screwed. The panels were nowhere near where NYAF was. Also, it appeared that there was  an even bigger focus on comics. Of course, my mood was affected at the fact that people bailed on me for two straight days. I don’t blame them, but I was still affected that. However, despite that, I clearly noticed that there was also a problem with scheduling. The biggest culprit in this was the masquerade. I do not know the details but the 8:00 masquerade did not start at time. I was in line the hour before it was supposed to start and we were placed two halls from the IGN Theater. Then after 8, we were moved to another hall that was connected to the theater, but we were still not let in. 20 minutes past and we were told 15 more minutes by NYCC staff. Then another 20 minutes past and we were told by the convention center staff 25 more minutes. As much as I wanted to check out the masquerade, I was not going to continue to wait and I left. A bad end to NYAF 2011 for me.

But basically because of this year, I have decided the following: I will not go to NYAF again unless one or more of the following conditions are met:

1. NYAF is seperated from NYCC

2. If NYAF is not seperated from NYCC, there needs to be a bigger focus on anime

3. There are particular guests that come to NYAF

4. I find people that will go with me to NYAF (and actually go)

The last condition is the biggest factor here. For a person like me that is timid, going with other people makes the experience better. Going alone is okay, but when there is no one to talk to when nothing is going on (when I say that, I mean just sitting around), then there is a problem. If you’re saying I should change, you’re right. But you’re assuming that one can change overnight.

Going to Anime Expo 2011

Okay, so this year’s Anime Expo has not ended yet, but I’ve decided I should have enough money to go to Anime Expo next year and so I will be going to Anime Expo 2011. I did say I was going in an earlier post but I’m making it “official.” Actually, making it really official would be buying the ticket to the convention and buying the airplane ticket to LA, but I’m really going to start setting this ball into motion.

So, there are three things for me to worry about now. The first thing is find people to go with. Of course, I could go alone like usual, but it would be nice if I could go with other people. This would mean I would need to make new friends, which I have a tough time doing. I guess I should try joining the various anime organizations at Rutgers and making new friends.

The next thing is to decide whether to stay in LA for a week or two weeks. This LA trip is supposed to be followed by a trip to Tokyo for a week, but of course, money is an issue for that trip. So, if I decide I won’t have enough money to go, is two weeks too much time in LA? I still have plenty of time for that.

The third thing is the hotel issue. I know people that live in the area, but it’d be a lot of trouble for them and for me to go to and from the LA Convention Center for four days, so a hotel is best. Where do I stay? What is the cheapest place to stay that is still good to stay in? Will I be going with anyone else? I have some time for that too, but hotel rooms can sometimes go quickly, so I should be a little worried.

I guess I should think more about the next convention coming up for me, which is NYAF, but when next July comes around, you’ll be seeing me in LA.

UPDATE (July 6 @ 12:40 AM): I just bought the tickets so it’s basically official now. I got it for only $45 and until July 8, it will be that price. Then, it’ll be $50 until the end of November.

Cosplay and Conventions

Before I start, I just wanted to say that I updated my about page, so you can look at that if you want.

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Many years ago, back when I was in high school, I wanted to cosplay and I wanted to go to anime cons. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that money that allowed me to do any of those things. Actually, one Halloween, probably in junior or senior of high school, I dressed up as Hibiki Tokai from Vandread. That’s probably the closest I went to cosplaying (actually, maybe I did cosplay a bit, but that was that one short time). There were many characters I wanted to cosplay, but the one thing that really caught my eye was the girl cosplayers. Their costumes really caught my eye, because there are a lot of female characters that I like. I also like seeing maid, miko, and other various cosplays. Call me weird, but I like those cosplays. I also guess that would be one of the two reasons that I wanted to go to conventions, so I could see those cosplays (or actually be with a girl that cosplays, which is impossible in my case). The other reason is that I saw pictures and video from conventions and I guess I wanted to take part in that.

So, nothing happened until September 2008. On September 27, 2008,  I went to my first convention ever. I went with several of my friends to the New York Anime Festival. I was able to make a new friend and I was able to experience something I didn’t think I would ever experience. It was a great experience that day and I also ended up getting ears (the same ears that are on my Rutgers hat today).

I’ve been to four other conventions after that day: Mokucon 2008 (the first anime con at Rutgers), AnimeNEXT 2009 (last con I went with other people), NYAF 2009, and AnimeNEXT 2010. Each of those conventions were great in it’s own way. The last two conventions I went were great (NYAF 2009 had AKB48 and Makino Yui, AnimeNEXT 2010 had Stereopony) but I wish I had people to go with during those two conventions.

I still plan to go to conventions. I plan to go to NYAF again on October and Anime Expo next year (which is funny of me writing it because this year’s Anime Expo will start in a couple of hours I believe). I was also thing about going to Otakon this year, but I don’t think that is happening.

I also plan to cosplay in those conventions. I did cosplay as Kotarou Inugami from Negima during AnimeNEXT, but I would like to cosplay as Genis Sage (Tales of Symphonia) and Kagamine Len (Vocaloid) in the future. I know that it would better if I made those costumes, but I’m bad at stuff like sewing so I guess I’ll just end up buying those costumes in the near future (maybe starting next week?). I would also like to cosplay with a group (except I don’t know anyone) and I would like to find someone that would cosplay as certain female characters that I like (like Chrome Dokuro from Hitman Reborn, but that’s probably not happening either, unless my luck changes).

One thing I wish though is that I wish I can find new friends I can go to those conventions with because right now, I know no one right now that would really want to go.