bITS 'N CHUNKS
So I've been going to AkaiCon for a couple years now and I generally enjoy it each time. Last year was probably my least favorite due to their chronic No Parking Syndrome so if it's financially feasible I would highly recommend just using rideshare the whole time. Fortunately, this year the convention moved a lot closer to me so I think I spent less on Lyft rides for three days than I did in the dealer's room.
This was the place for my menhera outfits and people responded to my pastel shirts but menhera isn't everywhere enough that people were like "omg look!!" and I was pretty dressed down. I lost a few of my more obvious accessories so I was stuck with the syringe necklace I made, some bandages, my bondage gear, house shoes, and robe. Saturday could have been more successful if I'd remembered to switch into my full sleepy time gear instead of just wearing the robe but, well. Well.
Anyway, the point wasn't really me dressing up this year but just the general experience of the con. I appreciated all the walking space and the hallways never felt too crowded or sparse. The new venue worked for me because most of everything I wanted to see was on a single floor and the hotel is equipped for conferences and events so there was plenty of room for pretty much everything. There was a good bit to do as well and a nice diversity of panels and events. I also really appreciated all the main events having their own floor this year for all the people they could fit in and all the people who didn't want to deal with constant noise in their other panels. That was a great move for everyone. And merging the dealer's room and artist alley is always a win in my book, personally.
Now, that being said there was quite a bit of what I think is best summed up as "shenanigans". Con silliness if you will. A lot of the "this was out of our cosmic control". I didn't have to worry about the infamous parking situation because push came to shove I was close enough to bike/walk/bus whatever. That was…unfortunate, from what I was told. But inside the wacky world of the con there were some odious scheduling misfires, on the fly changes, and probably the most egregious was shutting down the anime viewing/video room with only a note on Facebook and not a con-wide announcement which miffed off many a patron. It got a little weird to say the least and depending on your temperament, pretty wack. And the elevator situation? Still haunted.
But, I gotta say I still had a good time. Every con is what you make it and this was one of my more social ones. I even got to gab about wrestling for a few hours and see a few adult panels. It was a rather unique bonding experience and shows AkaiCon is definitely getting better and better and deserves attention. I'll never get back all the money I sank on merchandise, but at least memories are free.
So, I wouldn't call myself a seasoned con vet just yet. I didn't go to my first official convention until 2012, Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA). That was a spontaneous trip with my good buddy and a lot of fun things happened during that time (and some not so fun) but what it made me realize is I'm perfectly capable of experiencing a con by myself and not spending a whole lot of money, so I decided I would start going to in-state conventions as well.
I'm very aware due to seasoned veteran friends that the Tennessee con scenes aren't what they used to be due to various factors including money, growth and the lack of convention spaces, and believe it or not gentrification. But as a newbie, I don't have a lot of choice but to enjoy myself.
As money would allow, I decided to go to at least one convention a year. Nashville has several anime and multigenre conventions throughout the year, most of them have been going strong for quite some so I wasn't afraid of being exposed to any unprofessional and unsightly infrastructural issues. I have friends that go there but other than showing me around, I wasn't too dependent on them helping me out. I'm not afraid to ask people in costumes stuff.
So my first true Nashville con experience was the big one, MTAC (Middle Tennessee Anime Convention). That's our big one, so expectations were high. It was also my first con I truly dressed up for (I was Lupin III, haha). Expectations were over all met, so I decided to get around and start seeing what else was around. I went to GMX next which I love, and then by the time the following year had rolled around I finally made it to AkaiCon too, which is what I went to this weekend.
Over time I started to develop a con family. We see each other all the time and it feels like no time has passed. I like to cosplay but I think of it as more "dressing up" -- I don't think I'm lazy or anything I just go with a certain theme and modify things to fit my body and comforrt level. So for example with my Lupin costume I go with a green blazer I got from Goodwill, some slacks, and a tie. It looked pretty good when I had the same close cropped hair cut and I didn't feel the need for a wig. My biggest departure was probably my Goldust outfit in which I did the make up but rather than wear a gold body suit which would have looked bullshit on me, I went for a sheer yellow robe that I decorated with fur and a black bodysuit and stockings. And people definitely recognized it. Why did I do all that? Because it was fucking 80 degrees out lol.
I haven't had any particularly negative con experiences except for inconvenient scheduling and things like that, I think my worst experience so far is the chronic lack of parking at the past two AkaiCon events I've been to. I would like to start traveling more and getting to conventions out of state, make new friends and see new things. I love conventions and if I spend my time on nothing else it's definitely that. And, y'know, if you like the network it's definitely where all the writers that hustle are. For 2017, I'm hoping my next convention will be horror related and I can be a Cenobite!
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...