With my unfortunate otaku habits, I have had several attempts to talk my parents into allowing me to attend Animazement. These conversations do not often go well and often require me to tell exactly who I will be with and who I’m staying with. I also make promises that I won’t talk to strangers nor will I get lost from my group or left behind. I have to get my cosplay, which is often quickly thrown together, approved to wear before I can even purchase my tickets. At the convention is a different story, and at first seems overwhelming.
Upon study of people who attend anime conventions, besides the normal crowd, there are six types of people to watch for: The “Classic Cosplayer,” the “Homemade Cosplayer,” the “went all out,” the otaku, the parents, and the “Total Redo. ” The classic cosplayer is a group you can spot from a mile away; maybe their outfits are just too perfect, maybe they stare at your cosplay with a little too much scrutiny. A classic cosplayer wants the nicest most character correct cosplay even down to shoes.
They may seem a little troubling at first. That paranoia that someone’s looking at you, staring down your every move can be a bit terrifying, but these cosplayers often will tell you how your cosplay is off from having too few or too many buttons to your wings being the wrong size. Cosplay is a serious game and they play well. Their budget is often large to get everything for a cosplay to be perfect. I looked at a cosplay exactly like Grell Sutcliffe from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) just to get an estimate.
Once I found a whole cosplay and all the accessories, and it was about $268. That’s quite a bit of cash to dish out for a costume, but there are easier, less expensive ways to cosplay. The homemade cosplayer is a fun group, often wearing impressing costumes that are testament to their artistic talents and sewing skills. Their cosplays are often grand and amazing with their own personal touches to make a cosplay truly special. I looked online of different pieces of the Grell Sutcliffe cosplay sewing patterns for pants and shirts.
With only the wig being purchased, even the teeth being homemade it costs around $100, which is still expensive, but the supplies still do not come cheap. The “went all out” cosplayers are an interesting bunch. As costume precise as the classic cosplayer but with an otaku twist, the cosplayers that go all out studies their character carefully and copies their mannerisms even the way they speak. If the character they chose is somewhat peculiar like L from Death Note, they would not be caught standing up straight or sitting normally.
They would copy L’s slouch and odd way of sitting. The “went all out” can be scary at first, they seem so similar to the character it is terrifying, however, they can be funny and a good member to every group. The otakus are a special bunch, often choosing anime manga and video games over social interaction. These otaku people may be dressed up but it is unlikely. Some otakus however like my friends and I are bubbly social otakus that love cosplay. You’re likely to spot the otaku browsing merchandise stands and watching masquerade, which is similar to a talent show.
They also tend to have an anime-watched list longer than years they’ve been alive. The otaku might seem mean, antisocial, or rude but once you get them to speak they’re the most interesting group at convention, especially if their parents aren’t waiting for them. The parents can easily be spotted by the unease that follows them. The parents are often parents of teenage otakus and often hate anime and find it a waste of time. They get dragged to conventions by young otakus who cannot drive and had no other choice.
While there are other adults there, he parents stand by themselves and look down in disgust from their pedestal of anti-anime. Leaving as quickly as they can their tires can be heard squealing out of the parking lot like a bat out of hades; the atmosphere instantly lightens when their presence has disappeared. The total redo is a group that usually works on their cosplays for months in advance often creating their whole cosplay around a theme. These themes are usually taking a character like link from Zelda or Hatsune Miku from Vocaloid and modifying or creating an outfit placing them in a different context like post-apocalyptic or steam punk.
Their cosplays are often grand and are usually used for costume competitions. Anime conventions are overwhelming at first. The sight of hundreds of people dressed as anime characters piling around booths can be slightly terrifying; however, convention is a fun experience. I would wholly suggest having at least a small group and experiencing a convention for oneself. Just watch out for cars flying out of the parking lot and teenagers more interested in the anime their holding than looking where they’re going.