12 Days of Something II: It’s More Fun When You Have to Travel a Bit

That weekend in Baltimore, there were a lot of people in crazy costumes. And there were some cosplayers too.

Going into this year, I believe the number of people from the anime blogosphere stood at a mere two. Even going into April I wasn’t really expecting to add to that number even as recently as early June. Then some unexpected stuff happened and I found myself attending an anime convention on the east coast. And just before then, I had scheduled my first trip abroad. Because I was determined that the dreams that were crushed as part of getting that passport meant that it would go unused, it would mean I wasted a bunch of money. But enough about the past, this is about 2012.

So yes, traveling to conventions. They can be quite surreal experiences. As part of a stupid bet I wagered on Twitter and unexpectedly lost, I ended up in Baltimore toward the end of July, You will probably know what convention I am talking about just with that description. Anyway, I found myself rooming with a proud Canadian, taking taxis past 2 stadia, attending panels on stuff I can’t seem to remember and then spending the night drinking. However, that first day I had the surreal experience of waking up at 3am local time and ending up at 2am the next day in a hotel room talking to Twitter cult personality 2DT. Life can truly take unexpected directions.

This picture is so relevant to this story
This picture is so relevant to this story

Then came the 2nd day, when one is able to stuff themselves full of whatever crap the hotel deemed worthy of being called a continental breakfast. But that’s okay because I would just happen to commit one of the great faux pas of my year. That would have been attending a panel on feminism in anime and its fandom, while carrying this figure. That said, it didn’t stop me from drinking with the same person who ran that panel while oddly discussing Horizon and the tsukkomi-boke dynamic in a movie whose name escapes me at this moment.

Then came the final day, which was marked by attending a panel on live-action adaptations before spending way too many hours at the airport. At least I was able to fill that time with conversations about the shirt I was wearing, and also to the group of Tottenham supporters who were also heading in the same direction I was.

Overall, it was a really fun time that finally seemed like what the convention experience should be like. It wasn’t the fear, desperation and murder loneliness and shame that I was used to.

Despite having still not having seen this, I was apparently at this location at some point.
Despite having still not having seen this, I was apparently at this location at some point.

So fast forward a few months in an entirely different country. I spent the best part of 2 weeks pissing about London. There was also a different convention happening in East London near the end. I was able to attend that for a couple hours at least. Unfortunately, the brick that was my former phone decided to brick. Technology just makes things harder sometimes. At least I was able to spend some time at what is really a trade show.

And yes, I did claim another pointless trophy to bring back. So now the theory holds that local or conventions in this part of the world are bad. That despite it’s claim to be “central” after all.

3 thoughts on “12 Days of Something II: It’s More Fun When You Have to Travel a Bit”

  1. I burst our laughing when I saw the gracefully proportioned Tamaki figure. It must have made an impression on the other participants.

    I’ve never been to a really good anime convention. I’m currently living in Denmark were anime and manga are a recent phenomenon, so conventions here are mostly young teens doing their best Naruto or DeathNote cosplay efforts. But I’m hoping to soon go to one of the bigger european conventions in Paris or Barcelona.

    1. Isn’t the one in Paris one of, if not the largest convention in the world? Anyway, that figure was in a plastic bag still when I was sitting in the audience. I did go up to the panelists, and actually had drinks later with one of them, so it wasn’t like I completely torched potential bridges with that move.

      1. The organizers do claim that the Paris one (Japan Expo I think its called) is the largest exposition of Japanese pop culture outside of Japan. I don’t know if they measure it in the number of participants, revenue or whatever. But they get some pretty big names every year, and I’ve been told by the few guys that sell anime models in kits here in northern Europe, that it’s the best place to go in the continent.

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