Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Saved You From Quitting Anime?

The last statement from "Random Questions #1" you avoided quitting anime. Explain.

Fanime Con 2004. I believe it was the second day of the four day convention I met one of my college friend's younger brother. He graduated from U.C. Riverside and already had a full time job in the San Francisco area. We talked about his successes at U.C. Riverside and his future plans. Quitting anime was included. I was shocked! Quitting anime?!?!? I remember we had conversations about anime when he was in junior high school. He said he was phasing out of anime. How was he phasing I don't know. I didn't question how he phased out of anime.

We continued to talk for three hours. I thought about the conversation when I went home for the night. Quitting anime? Quitting anime? Quitting anime? I asked myself what else is there as an anime fan? I watched anime, took pictures of cosplayers, and shopped in the dealers room. Damn, was that all for me as an anime fan? Anime was getting boring all of a sudden. I started getting into anime in Summer 1996 watching Sailor Moon on Channel 44. I was exposed to anime in 1982 watching Starblazers and 1984 watching Robotech. If I quit, what was I supposed to do with my extra free time?

I also remember the same college friend's sister selling t-shirts in the dealer's room noticing me I'm always alone at anime cons. She was correct. From 1997-2004, I have been attending anime conventions alone. The few friends I had most were anime fans. We never hang out together at the cons. I was alone.

The Answer Is . . .

The third day of the four day convention there was a Full Metal Alchemist midnight marathon. I lined up at 11:30pm to watch why the series was popular. I planned to watch four episodes and then go home. The marathon started on time and the room was filled beyond capacity with people standing along the back. The fourth episode finished and I stayed in my seat. Fifth . . . sixth . . . seventh . . . eighth. After the ninth episode, I said to myself, "I'm going to cosplay as Edward Elric (the main character)." I stayed awake throughout the entire marathon watching 17 episodes. I had a bottle water half full and two granola bars. My parents called me around 4am checking up on me. I stayed awake for a total of 26 hours between the third day and the fourth day. After the 26th hour, I slept at the main con area. It was an epic moment for me.

I researched how to cosplay as Edward Elric all summer. I purchased art books and purchased anything with Edward Elric for reference at Anime Expo 2004. I visited for additional information. I found a leather master to make the belt. I got information from a co-worker how to get the clasp. I shopped online for the boots. I shopped at costumes stores for the wig. And, most importantly, my Mom sewed the red jacket and black vest.

My cosplay debuted at Japan Town Anime Faire II. I got my first pictures taken, got my first action pictures taken, met new people for the first time, and got complements. I went alone, and it was the second to last time I attended a con alone. The last con I attended alone was Anime Overdose 2005. Fanime Con 2005 was the first con I met new people and made new friends.

Cosplaying Edward Elric saved me from quitting anime. In addition to meeting new people and meeting new friends at the conventions, I hosted a panel, played poker, sold at the swap meet, played video games, and played table top games. I found something new to do. I have three more cosplays: Syaoran from Tsubasa Chronicles, Toshiro Hitsugaya from Bleach, and Chrono Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The Chrono cosplay my Mom taught me how to sew. Sewing is about patience.

I learned the reason everyone has hobbies is to meet new people. There are plenty of people with the same hobbies as you. Use the Internet to find people in your home town with similar hobbies. Use the Internet to communicate with those people.

What Is Your Anime Hobby Future?

The answer is known and unknown. The known is I'm attending fewer anime conventions and anime related events. Money and new priorities are the reasons. The most anime cons I attended was 2006. For 2009, I attend Fanime Con, San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Winchester Mystery House Halloween gathering. Any other events I make the choice to attend near the date. I continue to watch the latest anime released from Japan; read Full Metal Alchemist, Tsubasa Chronicles, Bleach, and Nana comic books (manga); purchase art books, figurines, wall scrolls, pencil boards (which I'm very selective); and anime DVDs. I don't have a fifth cosplay. Time will tell if I have number 5. And I continue to meet new people and make new friends who are anime fans.

The unknown is I'm spending less time for my anime hobby. Money and new priorities, again, are the reasons. For example, I have a new interest in jazz music and reading fiction books. Having four cosplays is plenty for a casual anime fan like me. Wearing the same cosplays every anime con can get boring. I have experience the cosplay boredom and the anime boredom, but it's rare. No sewing skills and little time to learn hinders me making new cosplays. I experienced finding nothing new to do during some times at the cons. There is a time when I stop attending anime cons. I don't know when. I guarantee one day I stop attending anime conventions.

For now, I live the present and I cherish all the moments being an anime fan. My number one hobby is anime and that's how I live my life now, right at the moment.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

To quote Fanboy Bebop:
"You know what's sad? Most people spend all their lives not knowing what they're doing. But us? We know. We're fanboys."
"That is sad."

But y'know what? I'm fine with that. Perhaps the day will come when we stop attending conventions.

But the day when we stop being anime fans? Never.