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 Post subject: AniMinneapolis 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:31 pm 
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So at long last I have finally attended an anime convention. Last year I dithered about going to AniMinneapolis but never took the plunge, so this year I decided I was going to do it!

In summary, it was a deliriously happy, strange experience, like three days down the rabbit hole that left me somewhat overwhelmed, but I'm glad I went.

Let's get this out of the way first of all: I'm not the typical convention goer. I'm pretty sure I was... ahem... the oldest one there by a few years.

Another thing: I'm pretty shy. I brought a bunch of business cards for the station to pass out, and only passed out four the entire con. I didn't cosplay at all. There were people walking around with signs reading "Free hugs" ... I did not avail myself of them.

At the Vocaloid cosplay photoshoot, when everyone wondered when someone was going to come to supervise, I pointed out, "Nothing will get done until some assertive person just takes over by sheer force of will and starts lining people up."

"So get to it," someone said. "I am not that person," I told them.

"But I AM!" another shouted, and the photoshoot began. Call it passive-aggressive leadership. :)

A few things that stuck out:

I had been told that the Homestuck cosplayers would be there in great numbers, but I was still a bit surprised at how many there were. I'd say 40% of the cosplayers were Homestuckians, or whatever they call themselves. They seemed a happy bunch. They were enthusiastically playing spin the bottle in the courtyard as I passed by.

I was also surprised that at least 10% or so were cosplaying MLPFIM, which was fun, since I love that show.

Big surprise: I don't think I saw a single Touhou cosplayer the entire time.

A listener tells me he was wearing a homebrew Yggdrasil Radio tshirt for half the day, and he was even in the same room I was once, but sadly I didn't spot him. I really don't know exactly what my reaction would have been had I spotted him, but I assure you it would have been entertaining. :)

One troubling experience was being seated in the lobby at one point next to a silently -- and then not so silently -- sobbing woman, doubled over and convulsed with weeping. Knowing that there would be no way I could solve her problem, I just prayed silently that some of her friends could find her, and soon they did.

The high point of the con for me was watching two dancers/cosplayers, "Teyaberri" and "Mintberri," perform. They sang and danced energetic parapara to several relentlessly cheerful anime and denpa songs. Who wouldn't love watching people do what they love with huge grins on their faces, and they were quite skilled.

I went to a number of photoshoots and took lots of photos, and it was all such fun. The cosplayers love having their picture taken, and often will begin posing the moment they see you pull out your camera.

I never did find anything in the dealer room I wanted to buy, at least at the prices I saw. $60 for a poster? I think not.

I saw two people in the courtyard dressed as Haruhi and Kyon, pulled out my camera and simply said "please?" with a smile, and they immediately improvised some quite elaborate poses for me... and then I saw the woman's badge and realized... "Hey. You're Teyaberri!" -- one of the dancers I referred to earlier. So I gave her my card and told her a video of her dancing was on my Facebook page, which she was delighted to hear.

Okay, that does it. I'm a fan. :)

Another BIG surprise was during a panel called "Name That Tune," in which we were supposed to guess various anime songs. They had technical difficulty and were just about to call off the panel, when around four women marched to the front and one began singing a few lines from an anime song in quite serviceable Japanese.

We guessed at the song, and when we succeeded, another of them sang another one. Others from the audience joined in, and soon there was a long line of people waiting to sing songs for us to guess.

I'm thinking that the reason the panel organizers didn't think to have audience members supply all the songs themselves, in Japanese, from memory, is that nobody would have believed it possible! And yet there it was. The technical problem was solved halfway through the allotted time, but we all decided we liked what we were doing, so we kept going.

And one more surprise: an astonishingly large number of people know the lyrics to the MLPFIM song "This Day Aria" by heart, and will sing the entire song with wild abandon at the drop of a hat! This happened during two separate panels.

"This Day Aria" is a Disney-esque villain song from the season 2 finale of MLPFIM, that ends with the evil boast that "Shining Armor will be MINE... ALL MINE!" and ending with an evil cackle. This line is delivered with GREAT enthusiasm, and then the room dissolves into laughter.

Well, that's all for now; perhaps I will have more to say later. I had a great time at my first con.

Note: if you register for these forums the secret invitation code is abdc380f

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