What’s it like to join an anime convention for the first time in a long time

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned Cosplay Carnival 2022, is that fandoms will come together, have fun, and celebrate all things anime despite any situation. I’m not going to lie, the anime convention was pretty chaotic – long lines, overcrowding, sweltering heat, and the disappointing setup of it all. To put it simply, it was… appalling. But did I hate it? No, I wouldn’t say that. A little maybe, but not really. I actually managed to have a lot of fun because it was the happy energy of the people that really lifted my spirits. (I was one of the first people in line.) When I started seeing cosplayers and contestants flattering each other, when I noticed how beautiful and funny the costumes were, I couldn’t resist participating as well.

No matter how shy I walked in and asked for lots of pictures and lots of shopping! When the anime convention ended, I was overwhelmed with emotions from the fangirls. It’s been weeks since Cosplay Carnival 2022but wow, looking at the photos shared by everyone on the official event and page is a lot of fun.

On the first day of the event, I was overwhelmed by the crowd! It’s apparently been over two years since the last convention, so you can really see how excited many attendees were for this one. There were so many fandoms present, but the one I recognized a lot (and I mean A LOT) was the Genshin Impact characters. There were plenty of Raiden Shoguns, Zhonglis, Klees, Ayatos, Yae Mikos, Kazuhas, and my favorite bard, Venti! Some had the Holy Lyre or a ukulele but I’m not kidding, the one that amused me the most was the one carrying all that crate/crate of beer. There was also a Venti cosplayer who walked around in a wheelchair like a meme.

While other guys and girls requested all kinds of poses from these awesome cosplayers (walk on me, 50/50 pulls, couple poses, etc.), I got a request to tap a “best boy” cosplay Gorou on his head and touch his fluffy tail. Yes, hands down, one of my favorite moments from the event.

Gorou (Dee), Rimuru (reborntsuna), Shion (Girlie D.), Shuna (Black Hime), Veldora (MajestyGold), Benimaru (Dhone Austria)

After watching the romantic comedy in cosplay My darling dressing last season i learned to have so much respect and appreciation for cosplayers, as well as communities as a whole. I remember in episode 1 that Marin said: “Cosplay lets you show how much you adore your favorites with everything you have…. the ultimate expression of love! In Episode 9, Gojo also said, “The best thing about cosplay is you can be anything you want.” Totally agree, right?

I ended up telling everyone I met in costume how pretty or cool they looked. As an introverted anime/manga/Genshin fan who hasn’t socialized in years, this anime convention was very interesting. random arm movements. (I am very grateful to my fellow daters, as well as Kirby, for being with me throughout.)

Incidentally, there were also a lot of Marin cosplays. There was also a Rengoku-san (demon slayer), and yes, I went to him and cried my feels. Shinigami and Death the Kid (soul eater), Chuya and Dazai ( Bungo Stray Dogs), Asuka and Rei (Neon Genesis Evangelion, cosplay by Jem Coser) the Forger family (Spy x Family), the whole Tempest gang ( This time I got reincarnated as a Slime), and so many more characters were present! It was such a crowded place with all my favorites, and my nerves and excitement were all over the place. Not to mention I had to silently fangirl when I saw some of the spicy cosplays too. I was so upset that I also forgot to ask about some of their socials which disgusts me now.

To tell you the truth, my main motivation for getting through this difficult two-day journey was just one thing: to acquire as much anime merchandise as possible. They say that money can’t buy happiness, but for me, that’s obviously wrong because it can get me derivatives! Fanart, keychains, art prints, shirts, and a Rimuru blanket – it all gave me joy. In the end, I was really broke. As Zhongli would say and I quote, “In terms of Mora, we don’t have a Mora.”

In addition to my merch and cosplay efforts, there were also events happening on the anime convention stage. I didn’t really know what was going on, but there was no denying that the participants were very enthusiastic and passionate. There was also a group of people carrying a lot of stuffed animals, which I discovered were from a live auction. I also later saw photos of the karaoke and dances which looked very fun. I only wish I had seen some of it, or even a glimpse of special guest Plant Lily.

Genshin Cosplayers at Cosplay Carnival 2022
“Genshin” cosplay carnival photos by Riz Matthew Fernando (top) and chinitahime (bottom)

You know, at the end of it all, the costumes Carnival 2022 was great fun. Yes, it was not handled well when it opened, but I still commend the organizers for doing their best and keeping the enthusiastic energies going. The second day was handled much better, especially with the extra bedrooms. I am so happy that the attendees, despite all the frustrations, managed to enjoy the convention as best they could. Lots of people helped each other, made each other happy and were overall very kind to each other. (There was even a cosplay repair doctor who helped fix broken props and stuff!)

It created a sense of community and compassion among everyone. Ultimately, that’s what anime conventions basically mean. It’s a celebration of love for our favorite characters. It may be fiction, but the emotions they evoke are just as real. These stories have affected or changed our individual lives in some way. I am really happy to have been able to join and be part of this event. Yes, it was tiring, and yes, I may have bought too many merch and stickers, but I have no regrets. It made me happy and I hope others feel the same too. I’m already looking forward to joining the next one very soon.

As I close this article, I can’t help but remember another quote from My darling dressing episode 5. Marin said, “It was amazing to be around people doing what they love. I was just there. You know, it can be a hobby or whatever, but I love people who do that. that they love and have a good time. They have that shine, you know?” Joining a big event like this sounds scary, but I assure you that when you meet people who share the same passion as you, it will be worth it.

Cosplay Carnival 2022
Top left photo by chinitahime, bottom left photo with Cosplay Repair Guy, Zelda and Link cosplay by Ayinvui

Special thanks to Riz Matthew Fernando, chinitahime and naixworks for the photos. Many thanks again to all the cosplayers, exhibitors, artists, and everyone who made this event a fun one!

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