Attending Conventions – Do I have to Cosplay?

Header of our con fam at Otafest 2016. These people are the best!

Too often when talking to people at work or when I was in school I would often hear “I would love to attend an anime convention, but I have no cosplay!”. To be honest for a long period between 2009 and 2017 I stopped cosplay, completely. Instead I attended the event to take pictures and hang out with people, and really it was quite a lot of fun. Not having to agonize over making sure I packed all pieces of my cosplay (damn forgot that pair of socks again!).

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Meph and Ciaxlia at Edm. Expo

An aside on forgetting cosplay, Animethon Meph and I got the car all packed up. I made sure I had all my camera gear, and enough clean sets of clothes and grooming supplies for the weekend that I knew I was set. We set off for MacEwan dorms, and just as we were pulling off of Kingsway Avenue onto 109th street in Edmonton Meph says “Oh my goodness, I forgot all my cosplays at home!”. Thank goodness MacEwan was only 25 minutes away from where we live, but we still laugh about this to this day.

However that story aside, what I’ve learned the real important thing, much like anything else in life, is making it a habit to show up. There are always reasons why you could be better prepared, or have nicer things, but at the end of the day making a routine of attending events and getting out and meeting people is so important. Too often we have had con friends who were “just going to miss this one event” this year, who stopped attending all together. Not to say that life sometimes gets in the way, and you can’t attend all the cons, but life has a way of filling up the voids left with other things that themselves become the new yearly routine.

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Aletta, Niku, and myself at Animethon

So if you’ve ever been considering to attend your local anime convention one year, why not make this the year that you make this part of your yearly routine. If you make sure that you are a good worker, and you only take time off of work when you’re absolutely sick, or are selective with your requested time off, employers are usually pretty accommodating. Even if you don’t have a cosplay or outfit to wear, go out and meet people. Who knows, some new con friends might be more than excited to convert you by stuffing you in one of their spare cosplays. I would love to hear your story of the first time you attended the event, and if you had any nervousness ahead of attending the event. Comment down below or send me an email at stories@ctriff.com.

-Chris

2 thoughts on “Attending Conventions – Do I have to Cosplay?

  1. The first time I ever attended an event without my parents (I had been going to sci-fi cons and medieval recreation events with them pretty much since I was born), I was a tiny wee bby of only 11 years old. It was Animethon 10, which I had only heard of a handful of months prior and was pretty excited about, and I went with my sister who was only a couple years older than me. My sister practically abandoned me to hang out with her friends and go into rooms that I, being younger, could not, and I was done and ready to go home by about 3pm kn the first day (and the only day I actually went). The following year, I still only went for the one day, but I managed to pull together a cosplay with the help of my mom, and I made a few friends and had a blast. Since then, Animethon has had a fond place in my heart, despite some of its shortcomings over the past few years.

    On a side note, I do remember going to Calgary Expo one year, and I had packed a couple costumes for when I inevitably got tired of wearing my newest cosplay for three whole days… and I couldnt even wear either costume, because I had been so focused on the newer one that I completely forgot to pack important pieces of both!

    1. I’m happy to hear that you went the next year and it ended up going well. I know I miss the casual feel pre 2015 cons had in Alberta. I’m curious how the upcoming Animini event will be. Personally excited to see a different location and perspective on anime events in Edmonton, and see how they’ll do next weekend.

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