Monday, September 29, 2008

Questioning Attending Anime Con

Sat Sep 27 and Sun Sep 28 I attended Yaoi Con in San Mateo, CA. It was my second time attending Yaoi Con. The first minutes I walked inside the hotel lobby, I experienced con burnout, and I had not picked up my registration and badge yet =| Objectively speaking, the con was good. There was a good amount of cosplayers, I hung out with some of my friends, and I met new people. The bishi auction was little interesting; however, the women and gay men enjoyed the auction. Some of the skits were really good the individual(s) devoted hours to practice and to rehearse. I purchased dojinshi for the first time.

The downside was personal. I brought three cosplays and I never got into character when the photo opportunity happened. Very sad ;__; I messed up a few opportunities. I could have messed up more if it was not for my friends stepping up and telling me what to do. Also, I was not aggressive taking cosplay pics. I don't know the total cosplay pics I took currently. My gut feeling tells me it's fewer than the total at 2006 Yaoi Con. And I felt out of place because almost all of the attendees were younger than me. I could not relate to them or open myself up compared to past cons. I can't put the feeling in words. My con charisma and con enthusiasm were nonexistent =(

Here are some questions relating to Yaoi Con and anime conventions. For the record, I attended 32 anime conventions since 1997.

What is con burnout? Con burnout is an anime fan who lost the fun factor at anime cons The anime fan done everything at cons including shopping at dealer's room, watching videos, attending panels, playing tabletop or video games, cosplaying, watching concerts, watching anime music videos, and watching the masquerade. There is nothing more the con burnout anime fan can do. The anime fan has the feeling the anime cons is just the same year after year after year.

You experienced con burnout, yet 2008 Yaoi Con is your second time at Yaoi Con. What happened? The first minutes I walked in the hotel lobby I knew 2008 Yaoi Con is going to be the same like 2006 Yaoi Con. There was nothing new for me. There were cosplay gatherings which was awkward at a small con. The Bleach cosplay gathering was good. The CLAMP cosplay gathering I heard never happened because of miscommunication.

Furthermore, I checked in the hotel room like past cons, got my registration and badge at registration like past cons, and unloaded my cosplays in my hotel room like past cons. There was no new feeling for me to make me happy at 2008 Yaoi Con.

Could your identity crisis be a factor? My identity crisis was not a factor.

What were the positives at Yaoi Con? I met new people, hung out with some of my friends, caught up with a few friends I have not seen in a long time, and purchased dojinshi for the first time. Yeeeeeeeah!!! Roooooah!!! Waoooooooh!!!!

Do you have any interest in yaoi? I don't have any interest in yaoi.

Why did you attend Yaoi Con? I attended 2008 Yaoi Con because I wanted to attend a con with mature anime fans and to hang out with my friends and to meet new people. Being with friends is good. Not into Yaoi is bad; unfortunately, a waste of time for me :[ Nobody's fault personally.

Side Note: Yaoi Con is an age 18 and over anime con strictly enforced.

Are you going to attend Yaoi Con in the future? No more Yaoi Con. Without my friends, I cancelled my hotel reservation Saturday afternoon or stayed inside the room and watch cable the rest of the evening.

Are you attending any cons in 2009? Fanime Con. And participate in the Cherry Blossom Parade in San Francisco cosplay event. Sac Anime Winter 2009 is a maybe depending on the guest of honor. For me, the less anime conventions I attend the better.

Recently, you have been able to initiate small talk with people and strangers successfully. Unfortunately, you could not do it at Yaoi Con. What were the reasons you could not? Good question. I don't know. I repeat what I said earlier. Age factor me being older and my con charisma and con enthusiasm were nonexistent. It could be the weather as I was sweating many times, hunger (I ate lunch late and dinner was a salad), and lack of activities not related to yaoi.

Another possibility is I'm an old school anime fan. Today's younger anime fans find anime DVDs easily in many retail stores such as Best Buy and manga in many book stores such as Borders. My generation of anime fans we watched anime in VHS and shopped at comic book stores and there was no manga translated in English. The generation gap is most likely the reason I have trouble relating to today's younger anime fans. I talk differently, my attitude is more mature, and the connection when I communicate with the younger anime fans is like I speak a foreign language to them. The younger anime fans have more free time for anime while I have little free time for anime.

When I talk to the younger anime fans, they initiate the conversation with me, and when the subject of age is talked, the younger anime fans think I'm in my mid-20s whether I wear my cosplay or not.

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