Saturday, July 27, 2013

Metrocon Saturday

I'm a pretty big fan of anime, science fiction, and fantasy, so this year I ended up getting invited to Metrocon and decided to accept. Metrocon is a really big anime convention that happens in Florida every year. I went with my friends Michael and Victor. V and I dressed up as anime characters from an extremely silly anime called Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.

I'm Panty. He's Garterbelt.
I'm not a huge fan of the anime itself--kind of silly and a bit vulgar while lacking a whole heck of a lot of the things I usually like about anime--but there are very few large black men in anime and Victor was looking for a character he could be well suited to play, so I was happy to go along since my costume would be easy.

The only thing that was sort of a bummer was that Panty's angel partner Stocking is a big part of the show and we didn't have anyone to dress as her, so it was kind of an incomplete trio, you know?

Victor was saying "Well, maybe we'll find a Stocking at the convention!" And what's funny was . . . WE DID. We found MULTIPLE Stockings. Some of them took pictures with us.

And we even found these folks doing their own version of our trio:

The girls are wearing their angel clothes.
Everyone kept telling Victor that he was a fantastic Garterbelt and kept calling after him for pics. Most people didn't realize I was part of the cosplay because my plain red dress and lack of anime goofiness made it difficult to tell, though sometimes people figured it out when I was next to him. To be honest I thought people wouldn't recognize us and I had no idea the show was as popular as it is.

As for popular costumes, though, there was of course a lot of Bleach, a lot of One Piece, a lot of Final Fantasy and Sailor Moon and all the old favorites as well as new ones. But there was a ton of non-anime cosplay too. I saw a lot of people dressed as Disney characters (including an excellent Ursula the Sea Witch), Dr. Who characters (including some scary Weeping Angels), Marvel characters, humanized versions of My Little Pony characters, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra characters, and a crapton of Adventure Time characters (especially people dressed as Fionna, Marceline, or Bubblegum). But by far the biggest non-anime costume at the convention had to be people dressed as Homestuck characters.

If you don't know, Homestuck is an American webcomic. I am on Tumblr and some people are kind of obsessed with it in my circles, so I keep hearing about it and have checked it out, but I had trouble getting into it and didn't even ever get to the part of the story where the popular characters (the trolls) have entered yet. Maybe one day I will. But I was floored by how many gray-skinned people with candy-corn-like horns of various varieties were walking around this convention. There had to be hundreds. I don't know if there's ever been something like this that gets this popular from a webcomic.  I wonder if Andrew Hussie had any idea his comic would become such a huge thing.

I think that's got to be one of the most rewarding and amazing things to happen to a writer. Having people enthusiastically consume your content, write about it on the Internet, and dress up as your characters at conventions.

Besides costume silliness, Victor and Michael and I went through the Artists' Alley and the dealer room, and we saw some panels--caught the end of one on fanfiction and saw the entirety of "What Are You Reading?" (That had been my only mandatory panel of the day: I really wanted to go to a panel about books.) We also saw the AMV contest--that's anime music videos. There were some good ones and we watched some people get awards for their projects. I think the only crappy thing about the convention was that food was too expensive (of course), we had trouble finding places to sit down, and having to get in line to be let into the AMV room and stand there forever when we could have been shopping or sightseeing was a bummer. (Especially since there was way more than enough room in that auditorium for everyone who wanted to watch; it's not like there was even NEED for a line, but we thought we'd get bad seats if we didn't wait. GRR.)

Going back tomorrow because we have weekend passes, but this time we won't be in costume.

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