My first – and possibly only – anime con of the year just wrapped up! ACen is always an exciting time for me as I get to meet my con buddies and speak to industry folks. But this year’s con was decidedly less business-oriented as I came with a group of friends who had never been to an anime con before. Even so, they wound up showing admiration for great cosplay.
ACen isn’t a big event for figure manufacturers, which is understandable because it takes place in Chicago and apparently nobody likes traveling to Chicago. Last year, Good Smile Company brought along some prototypes and recent reveals from Japan (mostly Winter Wonder Festival reveals if I recall). This year, GSC did show up again but didn’t have any new figures – most of their showcase had been released already. So in terms of news coverage, there wasn’t much to do – still I found a few interesting items here and there.
ACen 2014 came and went, but I wasn’t able to get my coverage up due to all the site changes. As I flip through the Guidebook app to see what exactly I did there, I do recall some lessons learned that might be useful advice for solo con-goers. This post will have some general info about the con, panel notes, and some cosplay stories. The rest of the cosplay gallery will go into its own post.
When I was a younger, dumber version of myself, I thought cosplay was stupid. “Why dress up as something?” I wondered. “The coolest kids wear cargo shorts and sandals.” As I grew up, I realized that cosplay is brilliant. What I want, more than anything, is to celebrate my fandom of various TV shows, games, movies, toys, comics, and whatever else. But at the same time, I can feel painfully awkward in social settings. From being at ACen, I learned that cosplay gives you an easy and immediate visual cue as to who likes what. It was a whole network of people who openly advertised their fandom, like if Facebook wasn’t full of dirty liars.