Best Anime convention experiences that Senpai has ever had!
You know, after all these years of writing this blog, I’ve never got around to writing a post about my convention stories! Both good and bad. Well maybe in short spurts in some of my posts. But never a dedicated article about it.
So now it’s time to share my convention miracle stories! I’ll first do the miracle stories and save the horror stories for another time.
As for my actual convention-attending resume; I’ve been going to cosplay conventions for over a decade now. And I’ve traveled to both conventions in my hometown, in my country, outside of my country in the US (best conventions BTW) and recently internationally as well in Portugal and the UK! So you could say I have a lot of experience with conventions. 🙂 I’ve done and seen it all.
But there are 5 best Anime convention experiences I wanted to share with you guys.
If you’re interested, sit down with a nice drink in hand and prepare to be entertained!
1. A free wig styling during an Anime convention
I was at a small convention one time cosplaying Marth from Fire Emblem. I had a Fire Emblem cosplay photoshoot scheduled for that day. While I was walking around the con, I ran into a friend who happened to have a cosplay wig specialist beside her!
For some odd reason, she offered to make my Marth wig look better before the shoot.
So what did she end up doing?
She decided to cut my wig at the convention!
Doesn’t it sound crazy? Normally you cut and style a wig at home. But she was doing this for me right at the convention!
To be honest, my Marth wig wasn’t in the greatest shape. I didn’t wear it for months and shoved it inside a wig bag for a long time. So it probably was a bit rusty.
She wasn’t insulting my cosplay looks in anyway; she did me a favor by spicing up my wig right before a photoshoot.
To this day, it remains one of my most memorable convention experiences: Kotori cutting Marth’s hair. A crossover you’d never expect. 🙂
2. VIP Anime convention privileges
I don’t normally get involved with conventions (although one time I did, which I’ll get into later). So I have no idea what it’s like to be part of convention staff.
But one time I was helping out some of the staff of a big convention by transporting the volunteers and equipment to the con that was far away from me. I didn’t mind doing this because I was going to the convention anyways, so it was the least I could do! On top of that, that volunteer was my friend, so I wanted to make sure he’d be able to experience the con like I did.
So for helping out with the convention indirectly, the con organizers awarded me a special staff badge.
And man, the privileges I got were amazing!
- First of all, I got to attend the convention for free! This saved me over $100, as the con is one of the largest in North America and pretty expensive. To save that much money alone was awesome.
- The next cool thing was that I got to skip a lot of lines that regular attendees had to wait in line for. Some of these lines were over 30 minutes long, and me and my friend walked right instantly. How cool is that….it felt like being VIP!
- Lastly, there was a certain amount of respect the other staff gave us with this badge. Not saying that the staff mistreated the regular attendees or anything. But because they know we are on their side, they let down their guard and we treated each other like brothers.
As a bonus, I got to learn a lot about the logistics of large Anime conventions, which was really interesting. All I will say is.. it’s pretty crazy the stuff that organizers do to make the event such an amazing and fun time. Definitely got to show more appreciation to them!
3. The REAL Party Con
So before I started attending conventions in the US, I heard they were a LOT wilder than conventions in Canada. And BOY were they right.
Here are some of the shenanigans that happened:
- Attendees partying way past 4 in the morning. Seriously! Me and my friend thought we were night owls. Boy were we wrong! Here we are so freaking tired at 4 am, and everyone else is still partying it up. It’s crazy to see and witness this in person. It’s amazing to see this happen at US cons, whereas most places in the world, cons are shutdown by 8 pm the latest.
- People singing random songs in the hallway. Like Bohemian Rhapsody.
- More people at the food court at midnight than 12 pm. Most conventions there are more people in the afternoon than at night. Well at this convention, it was the opposite. There were way more people out at night than in the day!
- 24-hour gaming room. As if partying at the rave or any other hotel room wasn’t enough, you also have 24 hour gaming and tabletop to keep you occupied for the night if you got bored. Wow.
- Having a BOUNCER for a hotel room party! I’m serious, this actually happened.
But it wasn’t like all attendees were being crazy stupid about things (for the most part at least). Honestly, it was such a joy being with energetic people all weekend! Even if you’re not a partygoer (I myself am an introvert), you can truly appreciate how amazing this convention is with all the crazy energy going around. One of the reasons why I truly enjoy Anime conventions in the United States. They’re unlike any other.
4. Volunteering at an Anime convention in a foreign country
So I have volunteered for various Anime conventions in the past, and for the most part, it was pretty trivial. Did my time and got my rewards. However, my friend suggested the idea of volunteering for a convention in the U.S.; it was called Anime Boston (and still running today). At first I was hesitant to do it; it was in a foreign country and I was kind of shy at the time as well. But my friend gave me a push to do it, so I went ahead and we signed up to be volunteers.
Boy did I not regret it at all! It was a WONDERFUL experience volunteering at Anime Boston. It was run by some of the smartest organizers ever.
The process of volunteering, getting assignments and collecting hours was so well-structured, I felt honoured to be a part of the volunteer team. Some of the highlights:
- They had meetings for volunteers. I had to attend a meeting for all volunteers before the convention weekend. It felt pretty tense to be honest because it was so formal. But it also made me understand my duties and responsibilities as well.
- It was fun and fulfilling. I’ll never forget the time when I had to direct the convention entrance on Saturday. The Fire Marshall was called and he was very close to shutting the event down due to capacity issues. So I yelled on top of my lungs for everyone to get organized in line and not let that happen. I felt so much responsibility and leadership at that moment, and it really felt fulfilling when things went by without a hitch. It was insanely fun as well! For a volunteer job, it was a lot of fun. I got to manage video rooms, deliver food/drinks to guests, buy food/drinks for the team, some clerical work for the volunteer team. I had a blast.
- Got to meet new friends and new people. I still keep in touch with some of the volunteers I met and worked with at the con. I see them at various American conventions as well.
Overall, volunteering at Anime Boston is an experience I’ll never forget.
5. My first Anime convention ever (talk about the magic)
Last but not least, one of the best Anime convention experiences of all time…was attending my first Anime convention! This would be at Anime North.
So while in high school, my friend invited me to attend this event. It was called Anime North. I thought it sounded cool…a convention geared explicitly towards Anime!
To be honest, it was kind of rough at first.
I was supposed to book the convention off work on the Saturday, but it messed up my work schedule and I ALMOST got in trouble for it. Long story short, getting Anime North off the Saturday did not work well. But in the end, I got to the convention in the late afternoon.
But despite missing half the convention day, I IMMEDIATELY felt the magic as soon as I stepped foot onto the convention grounds. To be surrounded by people who were into the same hobbies as me (Anime and video games), it felt amazing. Anime and video games was something I kept close to myself, because being a geek wasn’t socially as accepted as it today. And as I walked through a dealer’s room and panel rooms for the first time ever, it felt like being a kid in a candy store. The euphoria of being at an Anime convention…it’s something I still haven’t forgotten to this day.
So even though I was only at the convention for a few hours (because of the work fiasco and having to go home early to catch my bus), it was one of the best days ever for me! I didn’t even care about my work situation; I dealt with it the next day. In the end, I wanted MORE of this. So I made sure the following year, I booked the ENTIRE weekend of Anime North off to enjoy it fully.
And the rest is history.
Here’s a summary of my 5 best Anime convention experiences:
- A free wig styling during an Anime convention
- VIP Anime convention privileges
- The REAL Party Con
- Volunteering at an Anime convention in a foreign country
- My first Anime convention ever (talk about the magic)
There you have it; my 5 best Anime convention experiences!
I’d love to hear YOUR best Anime convention experiences as well. Please leave them in the comments; I love a good story. 🙂