||home / july 2002 / chasing otakuism
Confessions of a 22-year old Con Virgin
By fellow Animefringer Holly Kolodziejczak
Less than a week remains before the opening ceremonies of Anime Expo, and I can hardly contain my excitement. I've been at the website just about every day, perusing the event schedule and looking at the map. But when my friends see my list of things I'm planning to do at AX, they only laugh at me. "You actually expect to do all of these things?" they say to me between bursts of laughter. "Well... yeah," I reply sheepishly. You see, this is my very first anime convention. Apparently, I have no idea what is in store for me. But I think I am getting ahead of myself...
About a year ago when Animefringe was running all of the summer con reports, an idea came to me. "If most of the staff has never met in person," I say to my good friend and co-worker Steve, "and these convention things sound like way too much fun, why don't we just all plan to go to one con together next summer?"
And thus, the plan was born. Over many months, the plan took shape. Plane tickets were priced, accommodations were discussed, and the con was decided on - it would be Anime Expo.
It has been said that "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry," and sadly, this situation was not to be different. Animefringe staffers are scattered all across North America to say the least, and you know how these things go. Things came up, money was short, and only a handful of us ended up being able to go. Even though it didn't work out as I had originally planned, I am still looking forward to AX with exuberance... and more than a little trepidation.
From numerous sources, I have heard equally numerous things about cons in general and this one in particular, ranging from "It's so incredibly unbelievably fun!" to "Ugh, it's a total nightmare!" Even though I've read the program guide in it's entirety (numerous times, with hi-liter in hand), I still have no idea what to expect. The decisions seem impossible; I simply can't be *in* the karaoke contest and *at* the anime music video contest at the same time. But how can I miss either? Oh, the choices. >_<
Contests aside though, I'm looking forward to the cosplay to a great extent. I've only seen cosplay on websites before, so this is exciting to me. I've never seen a platypus in real life before either, but cosplayers are more important. How so many of these brave souls could actually inhabit this single planet is beyond my comprehension. Somehow, the thought of myself (or anyone I know, for that matter) in a sailor fuku makes me go into convulsions. Well, I dunno. Maybe the guys. Did I say that out loud?
Anyway, in spite of my lack of con experience, I have taken the time to do some research and put together a list of the items that I believe will be "Holly's Patented AX Survival Kit" that I will cart around with me everywhere I go:
1 backpack (blue)
1 bottle of extra-strength Tylenol
3 rolls of film
costume cat or bunny ears (possibly both, as mood dictates)
1 bottle of water (with lid)
1 pad of paper
1 small bag containing pop-tarts, granola bars, and fruit roll-ups
1 pair of sunglasses
1 extra shirt
3 boxes of Pocky
a bunch of my Animefringe business cards
DDR socks and shoes
my super-cool printed-out con schedule and map
purse (army green) and all the things that girls normally put in purses (do I really have to list them? ^_^;)
money (assuming I have any.... @_@)
All in all, I think my planning (or possibly my lack thereof?) will pay off, and I will have a great time at AX. Con veterans my laugh at my feeble attempts to be an informed and prepared con-goer, but I have the utmost faith in them. But will they actually work? Well... I'll find out in 4 days. The rest of you will just have to wait for next month's issue to find out. ^_~
See you at Anime Expo!