My very first anime convention

I, along with my fellow friend and anime addict, went to an anime convention today. There was nothing really special about it, but it was my very first anime convention, and it made me feel as if I leveled up in the world of anime otakudom. But really, I wouldn’t have gone there as I don’t have any transportation (and that place where they held the convention was far from where I am staying here in Manila) and the will to persevere through such a long journey. If not for the kindness of my co-addict (and an ethnographic study on culture required for our sociology class, which we chose to be about anime), I wouldn’t even feel what it’s like to be in one. Kudos to my friend.

Incidentally, my first anime convention was also the first anime convention of PSICOM, the organizers. PSICOM started as a comic-publishing company, but has now branched out to anime and other forms of visual media (like manga). It was organized well and there were a lot of activities happening on the stage like cosplaying, but there were also drawing contests. It just wasn’t as grand as I thought an anime convention should be, and the sparsity of people made it somewhat boring. Surveying different people also interested in anime was fun, however, but my general viewpoint on the whole convention itself was that it was subpar.

It didn’t help that there were people trying to pass off fake anime DVD’s as original. There was not one retailer in the different booths of that convention who was selling original anime DVD’s. They were only selling fakes and trying to pass them off as original and stapling exuberant price tags over those ‘originals’ to see if anyone was aloof enough to buy them. There are really no licensed anime here in the Philippines. Everything in their merchandise came from the Internet, but even then, the anime they sold weren’t even complete. They didn’t even have Black Lagoon. They also are really inconsistent with their DVD’s: for example, they use one episode of Death Note from Live-eviL, but for the next three episodes they will use TW’s subs. It irks me to no end. (Yes, I’ve watched from some of these atrocious travesties of ‘quality’ DVD’s.) It also irks me that the booths there that do sell otaku magazines like Newtype and Hobby Japan sell them for outrageous prices. They sold a Hobby Japan issue for $6 and a Newtype issue for about $10 (American dollars). It may not be too expensive for you guys out there, but that is a significant sum in our country. What’s worse is that those magazines are not new at all. They’re at the very least four years old; still, the booths had the gall to sell those magazines at such extravagance and opulence.

The silver lining in that effluvium was a booth that sold tankoubon at cheap prices. Although yes, none of those tankoubon were complete as a lot of them were of different series, at $4 for two tankoubon, it’s a bargain. I got myself volume three of Whistle! and something to do with V-Gundam. Don’t ask me why I bought those; they were just the most appealing to me given the limited choices of manga. The booth also sold anime OSTs; I was lucky to be given a CD as a treat by my affluent friend as it was a 3 CD’s for $10 deal. (The tankoubon had to be bought in pairs for $4 a pair.) That was probably the best thing about the convention.

I don’t blame PSICOM, though. They did give away lots of freebies, like a local magazine (that they themselves published) dealing with anime, some posters, and a primer on how to draw manga. But again, I don’t know if that was really a lot: after all, it was my first anime convention.

11 Responses to “My very first anime convention”

  1. Ryan A Says:

    Never been to one. It feels kinda weird reading about your experience :/

  2. Michael Says:

    Ahahaha~

    It wasn’t pleasant. At all. :(

  3. meganeshounen Says:

    Well, I guess I should apologize for being a person with low standards.
    (Read: In Filipino = napakababaw ng kaligayahan)
    I had a bit of fun…

    Just kidding… ^_^

    I have to agree with you on the issue of counterfeits in the local otaku scene. Not many fans over here aren’t that wealthy (unlike some *other* famous cosplayer we know…), so they’d settle for cheap knockoffs of the real thing. Singaporeans and the like may have original R1s, and the Pinoy ones… have stuff from 2Rats. Piracy is omfgRampant in this country, and the only ones making it worse are the people who are patronizing them.

    And yes, I’m also guilty of the said crime, so there. -_-;

    On the subject of conventions, hey, it’s no Comiket (but Dear Lord, I wish…) but it’s what we have. The cosplayers DO impress me for the fact that they had the balls to cosplay as less popular characters (READ: Not Naruto/One Piece/Bleach) like Fate / stay night and Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha… and games like .hack//GU that aren’t really popular in here.

    (Last time I went to a convention, I saw a Reinforce MkI cosplayer… not as cute as the real thing though. Too chubby for my tastes.)
    (I do wish that someone would have done an Archer cosplay and recited UBW while on stage… I’m not tall enough though…)

    All in all, it’s what you can expect from a third world country: a third rate convention. But still, it’s the only thing we have, so… yeah.

    Cheers~

    Note: Dammit, I forgot to hand you the Genshiken CDs…

  4. Michael Says:

    But there was Nanao Ise~

    Ahahaha~ although without the make-up she doesn’t look too good …

  5. Ronin Says:

    Damn you, I’m jealous. 😛

  6. Ten Says:

    I guess the cons are relatively new in the Phil. Still, I’d love to go to one, if I had a chance to go back home next year. You know, just to check it out.

    >>Piracy is omfgRampant in this country, and the only ones making it worse are the people who are patronizing them.

    Hee. And I was just going to ask my sister in Manila to find me some K-drama bootlegs.

  7. Michael Says:

    You’re Filipina? OMFG … Hi! ^^

    And I’m selling the manga I bought for 150 pesos instead of 200 … for those who could understand Chinese, anyway. xD

  8. Ish Says:

    My first animecon was that Hero one. It was really boring and I think the highlight of the whole thing was I got to take a picture with this really cute cosplayer as Hinamori Momo. Ahaha… hah.

    Oh, and that I was able to get an OST for Cooking Master Boy. Mmm.

  9. Free online freebies Says:

    Free online freebies: Cool freebies online…

    If you want some great online freebies check this out now!…

  10. Anjelica Huston Says:

    Hello…I Googled for anime cd, but found your page about My very first anime convention…and have to say thanks. nice read.

  11. aiSa_emO Says:

    hai…i love anime, i even draw some of it…and i draw also ma very first anime…tnx

Leave a Reply