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Exponential
by Zac Bertschy on Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:20 pm
This weekend is Anime Expo, the country's biggest (and, in my opinion, best) anime convention; it also marks the 7th time I've been to one of these things, since the first one I attended in 1999.

There's something really special about the first time you attend a convention as a fan - the feeling that you finally found where everyone else like you has been. AX99 was the first and only anime convention I ever attended just as a fan; I went with my college anime club and had saved up around a thousand bucks just to blow on merchandise in the dealer's room. I waited in long lines to watch the 35mm movie premieres, see the Masquerade and the Music Video competition.. it was all so thrilling and fresh.

The year after that I attended as press with Anime News Network... and since then, AX has been a working weekend for me. I think the last time I actually bought something in a dealer's room was in 2002; I don't attend the Masquerade anymore, nor the music video competition. Expo is all about panels and interviews and con reports and securing exclusives and after-hours parties. My hobby became my job, and I had to shelve the notion of being a "fan" so I could become a professional.

Still, every 4th of July weekend, I stop being so jaded and cyncial for a few days and try to remember what it was like back when all I had to do at the convention was have a good time. To this day, going to Anime Expo is a little bit like going home... even if I'm working 12-hour days.

If you're attending this year and it's your first time, soak it all in. You'll only have this experience once.
 
Re: Exponential
by Kalium on Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:28 pm
It seem bit tragic, to turn ones hobbies into ones career. I would imagine that the lines between work and play goes through all sorts of interesting calisthenics before disappearing entirely.
 
Re: Exponential
by jsevakis on Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:33 pm
Quote:
I stop being so jaded and cyncial for a few days


Liar.
 
Re: Exponential
by rhondavb on Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:43 pm
I'll be one of those attending Anime Expo for the first time. I've been a fan for only about 4 years. (Late start...and I'm normally one of those early adopters!) My hobby has even got me taking Japanese classes. I'm a 2nd year Japanese student now, in addition to a full-time job.

I'm looking forward to my day (I only get one... Crying or Very sad ) at Anime Expo. I'm hoping that I won't be standing in line for hours on end to see Clamp, but I bet that's exactly what will be happening.

I'm really looking forward to it.
 
Re: Exponential
by CorneredAngel on Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:03 pm
<i>The year after that I attended as press with Anime News Network... and since then, AX has been a working weekend for me.</i>

I think this is exactly why I've always tried to push for a more fan's-eye-view coverage of the cons. Most con attendees couldn't possibly care for what got licensed, or for what happened at the BigFire party; to them, it's all about who won the cosplay, what's hot in the DR, and what were the videogame tournaments this year. Being so close to the industry side of things, we forget that the industry side of things is only a small part of the whole. And I think this is also why I always try to take at least some time to just look at the con from the perspective of a fan, and hit up the dealer's room, and the panels, and the dance...
 
Re: Exponential
by greenwood on Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:46 pm
Yep, the first convention is always the most memorable. For me, the first one I attended was Balticon. I want to say it was in 1996 (man, the years are merging together for me), I and the other editors of our college science fiction journal decided to go up there and drop off a bunch of copies of our latest issue and then tool around the scene (btw, that's also a real cool experience: showing up with your own science fiction journal at a convention -- you really feel part of it). It was a blast.
 
Re: Exponential
by Joe Mello on Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:30 pm
Word.

Katsu '05. Not the greatest, and I was prepping to actually staff another convention (Tekko), but it was an experience, to say the least.
 
Re: Exponential
by Shiki MSHTS on Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:03 am
I don't know. My con of choice (mostly convienence) is Otakon, and I didn't feel too overly awesome the first time around, when I went with my Dad (it definately felt like I was dragging him out of his way), though there were awesome things around, there was a lingering feeling of responsibility. The next year, I went for a day with some friends, and it was a good chunk more awesome, with the leash a bit more loosened. The third year (05'), I went essentially alone, and I was pretty much free of obligations. To add, I knew the layout of the center, and had carefully planned out what to do and check. That the first time I really truely felt like these are the three days of the year where I can be completely natural and blend in perfectly. It was the first year I acctually went "this is REALLY freakin awesome!"

Well, there were other factors too that helped. But I guess it's once everything turns into an obligation, is when there's trouble.
 
Re: Exponential
by GATSU on Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:49 am
Quote:
I went with my college anime club and had saved up around a thousand bucks just to blow on merchandise in the dealer's room.


A thousand?! Know any place that's hiring? Oh wait, I remember this is '99, when the economy actually worked.

Quote:
I don't attend the Masquerade anymore, nor the music video competition.


I'd like to check out the AMVs more, but you gotta wake up in time to get tixx.

Anyway, I'll try to make the ANN panel this year if ADV's fanservice panel sucks.
 
Re: Exponential
by Dargonxtc on Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:08 pm
I think you should buy something this year, just to say you did. It doesn't have to be anything big, just something that catches your eye. There has got to be sometime that you can sneak away from a panel to browse around a bit.
 
Re: Exponential
by erinfinnegan on Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:44 pm
Quote:
There's something really special about the first time you attend a convention as a fan - the feeling that you finally found where everyone else like you has been.


Maybe everyone's first real con is their favorite...

After four Otakons I attended AX last year for the first time. It was great fun, but so much more relaxed and laid back and spread out than Otakon. At Otakon I felt like I was missing something every single minute, but at AX I had time to take naps!

Certainly attending the ANN panel at AX last year was a highlight of my trip to the other coast! (Although I was horribly embarrassed by the girl who confused you with Animenfo.com, and I couldn't think of anything cool to say to Bamboo Dong.)

Next time I get a really good tax refund I'll go to AX again...
 

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