July marks the middle of the year, and 2015 has proven again that it’s had given me new experiences. From July 2-5 I was a main event staff at Anime Expo, and I am happy to say that I have realized something really important with the experience.
I have a lot of friends like me who are big readers but only know a tiny bit about anime. And then there are my friends who loves to watch anime and read manga, but they only know a little bit or nothing at all about the YA genre world.
The moment I stepped at Los Angeles Convention Center, I was expecting a whole different world even though the way the cold artificial air traced on my skin was familiar. However, before I even reached day 4, I’d seen many things that the anime world is just a different version of the YA genre world.
Cosplaying is not that big in the YA world compare to the Anime world, but I actually did not see a big difference when it comes to passion.
Making costumes requires a lot of time and pure dedication. I cannot take away the passion that anime lovers show in cosplaying. YA fans cosplay too, but not that much. However, YA fans show their passion towards collecting a lot of books and carrying them around just to get them all signed. YA fans love book signing as much as anime fans love cosplaying.
I did not buy anything other than this cute plushie called a cockblock. It is a rooster and a block, so it is a cockblock.Anyway, I digressed. What I am saying is I saw a lot of anime fans buying a lot of stuff to quench their anime addiction. Looking at them, I actually saw myself in them even though I only bought one $26 plush. I actually told myself, “that looks like me buying tons of books.”
LEARNING SOMETHING NEW
Sometimes, when people talk about anime, I feel like I am still stuck on my teenage years, because I have zero clue about the new ones right now. Going to Anime Expo has made me realized that anime fans have created a bridge between the old generation of anime and the new generation anime. Attending different panels and events at the expo made me curious what Fate Stay Night is. Why is everyone talking about it? I just started the first episode today. I must say the magic system is making me want to watch more. On the YA world, a good book is just like a good anime. It does not matter how old it is, a good book or anime deserves good readers and viewers.
When you think of a book nerd or anime nerd, you’ll think of a person who wears thick glasses and braces. Someone who is socially awkward. This is not 100% true, but sadly breaking stereotypes is harder than time travel. While I was at Anime Expo, I felt a sense of belonging. It is the same feeling I feel whenever I attend book events. It is like you belong in a big family and no one is there to judge you. I love how I saw some people exploded in fandom just because they were wearing shirts that show the same fandom. I know the scorching pain I feel from the eyes of people whenever I say I love the show My Little Pony. But in Anime Expo, I was just a boy who loves My Little Pony. I was just a normal dude. Not a weirdo. And seriously, the people who think that Anime lovers and YA fans have no friends other than our books and animes, then they don’t know that nerds are actually chick and dude magnets too. They should see this very handsome Captain America cosplayer:
Anime Expo is very tiring and exhausting. I am happy I volunteered this year. There were lots of mishaps, but a good adventure is full of failures, right? Right now, I am slowly crawling back to the anime world. I hope I could find the my teenager self that not only loves YA books, but also anime. I am for sure going back to be a volunteer next year.