The cosplay experience, based off of Kumoricon 2016

Looking back at the budgeting post that I did recently, you will notice that the convention I mentioned was Kumoricon, a convention based in Portland, OR; this is because that is my local convention.  I have been part of the KCon family since 2006, staffing every single year except for 2016.  I rather spent the year as a regular attendee, mostly because I felt burnt out from so much work (as well as being sick of the internal politics).

Among the typical exploring of the dealer’s hall and attending panels, something special that I did was compile a series of interviews with different cosplayers.  I tried to get a wide variety of cosplay types: home made or store bought, anime or video game or American cartoon, legit characters and OCs (original characters), and so on.  While not EVERYTHING within the video I made is an interview, that is what the majority is.  I wanted to open up the subject, mostly to do what I can to encourage those that are questioning whether or not they want to explore it, or for those that may have had some sort of negative experience.  In summary, I believe that cosplay is one of many merits to being a geek, whether it be an otaku or some other form, and conventions should be a haven for us to come together and enjoy ourselves as ourselves… through fictional characters.  XD  Anyway, here’s the video.  ENJOY!!!

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Rating the ladies from Sailor Moon

An advertisement for Sailor Moon, which includes the main ten ladies and girls of the series

That’s right!  The first anime in which I’ll select as the hottie of the lot will be the iconic anime, SAILOR MOON!!!  Let’s face it, this show was an instrumental piece of the future boom in anime’s popularity in the States and around the world.  As such, we all probably have our own idea as to whom we like the most.  Let’s be clear about something, though; I’m only focusing on the characters in this upper picture.  No villains, no other scouts, no meaningless side characters.  Okay?  Here we go!

#10 – Chibi Moon.  I would hope to any god that has ever been created that this should be obvious.  She’s a little kid, and an annoying one, at that.  Let’s move on.

#9 – Sailor Saturn.  For similar reasons, Saturn is too young to seriously consider.  In case you’re wondering, I chose her above Chibi Moon for the following reasons: her adult form (Mistress Nine) is gorgeous, she’s a tween instead of a child (which I was about ten when the show came out, so I probably would’ve liked her if I’d watched the show back then), and she has a sweet personality instead of a spoiled rotten brat-like personality.

#8 – Sailor Venus.  Hold on!  I know, a lot of people would disagree with me on this, but hear me out.  I’m usually not a fan of blonde hair; in this case, blonde hair that is drawn in a way that looks… odd.  I don’t know how much more to explain it than that, but with that being said…

#7 – Sailor Moon.  Same reason as with Venus, but what makes her stand out to me SLIGHTLY is her glutinous nature.  While watching a woman shovel gobs of food into her move like a black hole isn’t necessarily appealing to me, that characteristic does make her more of an amusing character than Venus, which being amusing helps.

#6 – Sailor Mercury.  To sum it up, her appealing strength is her incredible intelligence and her weakness is that, to me, she looks too much like Akane Tendo (the female protagonist of Ranma 1/2).

#5 – Sailor Uranus.  Originally, I was thinking about having Mercury and Uranus switched around, but this stands out to be the correct option for me.  The sole reason, which I’m sure that many of you will find to be ridiculous, is that my ex, the mother of my son, used to cosplay as Uranus and did a wonderful job doing so.  That’s it.

#4 – Sailor Jupiter.  I love her strong personality.  She can be tough as nails and is typically a stupendous example of the independent woman… except that she’s boy crazy.  Just about every male (or perceived male) somehow reminds her of a former boyfriend, which can be a disastrous quality in a woman.  Another strength of hers (granted, it’s a shallow one) is her bust.  For those of you who only watched the English dub, you might recall an episode where the girls are arguing over who will play Snow White for a play (BTW, Tuxedo Mask was going to be the Prince).  Each presented a reason why they should play Snow White, some good… some bad.  In English, Jupiter’s reason was that she had the most talent; since when?  Up to that point, the ONLY one to show any form of entertainment-related talent was Mars.  The reason is because the original Japanese gave her reason as being that she had the biggest bust… which I hadn’t noticed until I saw that.  She’s right, though.

#3 – Sailor Neptune.  I’m sure that some would assume that part of my reasoning is that she’s the pretty-half of the lesbian couple (with Uranus, for those of you who don’t know), and you’d be mildly correct.  While I don’t care one way or the other, I feel as though I can relate to Neptune, as I once crossplayed as her FOR my ex (and looked amazing while doing so).  Along with that, she’s by far the most graceful-princess-type of character, and she can play the violin, which is one of my favorite musical instruments in terms of romantic music performances.

Now we’re down to the final two…

An action scene of Sailor Pluto with her key staffSailor Mars standing tall with her fire logo in the background

Sailor Pluto and Sailor Mars.  In all honesty, I had a rather difficult time selecting which one stood out more.  Both have beautiful, long hair (one black, one green).  Both have amazingly powerful attacks (one time, one fire).  Both have interesting (and some would say contradictory) background characteristics (one is a priestess, one is a scientist).  However, I am giving the win to…

Sailor Pluto!

Why?  Because between the two (and technically all ten), Pluto is the only one that is a legal adult.  While the rest of them are 16 or below, Pluto is in her 20s (I believe 23).  Even though these are cartoon characters, that’s an important point to make, especially if you’re someone who’s… well, old enough to have a child of his own.

So what do you think?  Who’s your pick of the litter?  Leave a comment down below, and stay tuned for the next post!

All of the images are of the Sailor Moon franchise, which is currently licensed by Viz Media.

Financial Preparations for Convention Planning

Let’s establish this aspect first.  This post will be in regards to individual planning, as well as small group.  It is not for clubs or organizations, though I would imagine that many of the such would still apply.  I was also inspired to do this based on something a couple friends of mine were saying regarding their tax returns; as such, I will be playing with the idea that someone with money in April is planning for an end-of-the-year con.

The first thing to consider is obvious: where are you going?  Odds are that if you’re going to travel somewhere for a convention of any sort, you’re going to want to register.  Ghosting a con is alright, but it’s a complete waste of time if you’re making a lengthy travel.  For this, let’s choose Kumoricon in Portland, Oregon, which (as of 2016) takes place around Halloween.  Registration prices are currently $55 for those 13 and older, $40 for those 6-12, and $300 for VIP badges.  These prices will go up after July 27.  (Oh yeah, once you get to the con site to get your badge, HAVE VALID ID!!!).

Next, figure out how many people will be going.  Will it be just you?  Is a friend or two tagging along?  Any offspring you’d like to bring?  For the sake of this example, I’m going to pretend that I will be going with my son (age 4) and his mother.  Taking the info from the previous paragraph, our registration total would be $110.

Most of what comes next can be linked through your convention’s website.  For the sake of this blog, I will leave an octothorpe (or hashtag as it’s popularly referred to now) for what’s mentioned (and relevant) to this scenario.  However, I like to play these things dangerously safe (especially since there could still be other options).

# Now comes the hotel.  Figure out how you and your group would prefer to arrange rooms,  THEN reserve your room/s.  Kumoricon has an arrangement with the nearby DoubleTree Hotel (and by nearby, I mean about 6 blocks away) for $150-170 per night + taxes and fees.  I will instead choose the Motel 6, which is about 2 blocks away.  Now, part of what I’m about to say relates to knowing specific dates, including traveling and when you want to arrive to/leave from the con site.  Kumoricon 2017 will be October 27-29, so I will play with a single room (or two adults) for 3 nights starting on October 26.  Find the location in the Lloyd District.  As I’m typing this, they have only 3 Queen-sized beds available for $99.57 per night.  If and when you select to book this room, this site will calculate the complete total, including taxes and fees, which is $336.06.

How are you going to get to the con?  Let’s make this fun and say that you’re flying in from Kansas City, via Southwest Airlines, flying on the 26th and 29th.  For the first trip, I am selecting the 11:25-3:45 trip with a detour in Oakland and the Wanna Get Away offer, which is $208 (per person).  The trip back home will be the nonstop 12:35-5:50 (per person), which is $179.  The site will then do its math stuff and come up with a grand total of $1160.85.  (Note: I haven’t flown in almost 20 years, so I don’t know much about the length of waiting times and such; this is more relevant to the next section).

Now comes a confusing part for some: getting to and from airports and destinations.  I recommend public transits, pending that you aren’t hauling your entire wardrobe.  Let’s first look at while in Kansas City.  Their system is called KCATA.  For this, I told their site, ridekc.org, to plot the following: From Kansas City city hall, To Kansas City International Airport, Arrive by 10 am, Date April 20 (because this is the same day of the week as October 26).  They use Google to show you a map, which in this case… only involves one bus.  Now, I’m a little confused about EXACTLY what their site is telling me, but it sounds like a single bus ride is $1.50, with potential reductions where applicable (like in this case, those 5 and younger ride free).  Bam.  $3.  # Similarly, the system in Portland, TriMet, will tell you to ride the Red MAX line for $2.50 a pop, $5 total, after telling it to leave at 4:30 pm for the Oregon Convention Center.  That’s $8 total, with both days totaling $16.

Unless I forget something, these are the essentials of what you’ll need to plan.  There are many ways to bundle many of these things together, and thus lower the prices.  However, looking at things like this, separately, your grand total is $1512.91.  I would recommend also planning for food and merchandise.  If you go with $25 per day per person for food, and a $200 cap on merch, that’s an extra $500 to add on.

Good luck with your preparations, my friends!

So, I’ve come up with a poll to add on to this post.  This is to see where y’all stand with money spent (as well as a grade requirement). 

In the beginning…

Anime high school students having a club meeting

From “The Troubled Life of Miss Kotoura”
Licensed by Crunchyroll

Welcome to my blog!  Yeah… not very original, I know; give it time.  This is the starting point for a class project that I am working on.  I plan on changing how various things look, and to even include videos from time to time.

What to expect: As of now, I intend to have most posts focus on one of two things.  The first will be on the culture of being an anime fan, such as: what to expect at conventions, popular debating points, and news.  The second will be rating female characters from a show/franchise by their sex appeal; different shows will have different formats, based on how many characters there are to analyze and/or how I’m feeling.  There’s always room for additions and/or changes, but as of now, these are what I’m looking at.