lilly in the rose garden

Archive for the ‘Convention Report’ Category

For the very first time, the stars and planets aligned and I was able to attend on Sunday. Now, whether or not it was really worth the extra day is debatable, but I will treat it like a mini victory anyway.

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(Left to right: CPK with Shironuri, Karkat, Classic Lolita)

(RANT ALERT: VERY LITTLE INFORMATIVE CONTENT) These are the days when this really is a PERSONAL blog first and foremost.
I will say, however, that this post isn’t going to be as informative as I usually like to be. My con experience has evolved a lot with time: it used to be that I conquered alone, shopping and stopping to take lots of photos. Now, the biggest portion of time is spent chilling with friends (who quite often aren’t in cosplay and leave the con early) and following group plans. I have few pictures beyond of myself. And honestly, I’m getting burned out. This was my 17th convention (all in the span of 4ish years!) and I know what to expect. I’ve never been a panel person and I’m past the “must buy EVERYTHING” stage.

Thus, my weekend was dictated by when my friends were arriving (and my parking situation). I drove myself all three days, a first, and managed to get myself lost once or twice. I learned from my mistakes and found creative detours when crowds and accidents blocked my way.
My panel was on Friday. It was…disappointing. My friends said I did great, but I feel bad anyway. A random guy, identified only as “Steven,” crashed my panel to talk about sushi and boobs :/ I do believe that will be the end of my paneling days. (This is tied in with the gyaru thing) Saturday’s Lolita panel was huge, with 108 in attendance. It was disgusting. She is a terrible public speaker and they are so uppity and I have so few loli friends (gee, with my wonderful personality) and the way they hypocritically were falling over each other to praise Bodyline, when they turned up their nose at it last year…ugh UGH. (My underage friends all avoided Mr. Yan like the plague. I don’t care if he’s behaved thus far this weekend, he still gives us the creeps and I would like people to respect that his track record may be intimidating.)
Sunday wasn’t that great. It was crowded and annoyingly loud and I was done with the con scene but I wasn’t about to abandon the kismesis.

(END RANT)

There wasn’t any one fandom represented the most, cosplay-wise, like in previous years. There was barely any hetalia, what felt like minimal Homestuck (although the meetup was decently large. Where were you hiding?), and a handful of SNK. Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure, that one basketball anime, Free!, and comic characters were common. I saw a surge in kids’ cartoons, such as Disney princess groups and that one fab Danny Phantom group.

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A big change was the con configuration. You can feel how much attendance has grown- there will even be a 4th day next year! The vendor room was moved into the larger ballroom upstairs, flip-flopping with special events/autograph track. (It was nice not having autograph lines near the vendors) There were a number of tables in the back of the room, which became out favorite meeting spot. What Pumpkin was in the vendor room, so I bought a Knight of Blood pin. I also bought sea salt ice cream lollipops, a Patlabor CD (dakeshimeta midNIGHT BLUUEEEE), and a necklace. There were two booths selling proper Lolita, but I abstained for the good of my wallet (the weekend’s parking fees probably could have bought a dress argh).

Overall, it was a good con. More organized than, say, Khaotic. Consistent, entertaining, the best hometown con.

 

 

 

 

 

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I attended on Saturday, having rushed like mad to make it in time to watch the Combat Musical, my annual Khaotic tradition.

Well, the musical was lame (I miss the great energy from last year’s cast, Archer was tedious, the groping and sexual humor was overwhelming and not funny, Catwoman’s cat puns, etc…) save the part where M.I.B. agents danced to Michael Jackson songs, but a tradition is a tradition.
At 2pm, I went to the lobby and talked for a long time with my local Lolita comm! We had a nice time and that probably was the least awkward, most friendly meet I have experienced. It was a small group, so after a while we split up, went to talk to a friend in Artist Alley, and occasionally walked around together.

Khaotic was in the usual Sheraton, nbd. I resigned myself to accepting failure with regard to trying to get a panel slot; apparently they ditched the myconsonline site for some other email/online form method without actually informing anybody??? So I missed out on my chance.
There were a TON of Homestuck panels, considering 4/13 is Sunday and all. Otherwise, I ignored the panel schedule, as it was veeeery sparse, per usual. There, in addition to the panels, was the normal screening room, tabletop room, gaming room, and autograph signings. The vendor room seemed smaller than last year, having more people selling odds and ends from their own collections than fulltime vendors. There was not a designated kpop or manga vendor, both staples of most other cons.

I did purchase one thing, however uwu
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One of the English GLBS!!! From Autumn 2008. It’s amazing how much Lolita changed from then until 2010, when I came on the scene….

 

Common cosplays were SNK, hetalia (surprisingly enough), and Marvel characters. I saw a splash of Dangan Ronpa and other recent anime/anime game favorites. The biggest shock, however, was the lack of Adventure Time. For the past year, every con I’ve attended has been flooded with Fins, Fionnas, Bubbline couples, etc… and yet I only saw one Marceline today???
Overall, I had a great time despite the meager programming and sub par organization. I don’t have as much to say this year because I honestly did not see any big changes in feel from last year (I actually stayed longer this year, from 12 to 4:30ish. Last year I showed up for the musical, ate lunch, and left)

Shado and metro seem to be bustling with energy and expansion while Khaotic is stagnant.

Alternatively titled: I almost went to the wrong hotel.

So I had everything planned out- my con schedule included walking downtown to get food and everything, since I thought it was at the downtown Hilton. Got a phone call around 8 in the morning that it was actually at a local Hyatt up the road. So there I was, curling my hair, and desperately calling and texting everyone I knew about the correct location. Yikes. Well, my hair ended up looking like limp noodles but everyone made it there ok so success.

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(My clothes say Lolita but my eyes say help)

Now, this year’s hotel was hella ritzy. Right on the coast with a boardwalk right to the water. Expensive restaurant. Main lobby that was under construction? Yep. It made the hallways awfully hard to navigate. We walked in circles before just planting ourselves on a couch and people watching.

Downstairs was the registration line and a hallway leading to one staircase and the line for main events. Upstairs was a narrow hallway leading to artist alley, the two panel rooms, and two video game rooms. I also think autograph signing was up there? But the main celebrity panels were downstairs. One video game room had tvs set up with games like Skullgirls and a DDR machine and…..PROJECT DIVA!!! I played a few songs…mainly BRS.

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The next room over was full of PCs with games preloaded….League of Legends, TF2, etc… Plus it had a screen where they were viewing amvs.

Now, you may be wondering “But where is the vendor room?” Well. Not even remotely inside the hotel, but rather in a giant tent in a parking lot behind it. Thank goodness there was air-conditioning and fans inside!! It was pretty nasty hot, the usual early October-remnants-of-September-weather

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(You guys act like you’ve never organized a con before)

Somehow, I did not spend a single cent in the vendor’s room. I did not buy anything beyond my ticket all day.

Popular costumes this year were SNK, Free!, and the dingle romps (Dangan Ronpa). BUT there also was an increase in Scott Pilgrims, quite a few lolitas, and the usual homestucks (mainly promstuck). My favorite costumes were this one amazing Mew Ichigo and a great guro Lolita. I was wandering around with a good-sized Homestuck group (Rose, GT John, Roxy, Bro, Dave, GT Jade, John) so that’s where I gravitated. I even saw a few Sgt. Frogs…..um

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(the main hallway at about 11am)

Now obviously the con center was water fountains, but I thought it was nice that Shado was water coolers and cups placed in the hallways as usual. The only food option was outside (I brought subway so I never went out there). In past years they’ve done this too but this year it was really convenient.

My panel went well, as usual…I still have a few things to smooth out, and I freaking left my notes in the room *cries* but I had a bunch of fun and I think the audience enjoyed it decently.

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After about 4, however, we got bored and left to go to the local International Mall, where we ran into many con people. Going to public spaces in cosplay is always fun.

 

Someone remind me again why I wanted to do this?

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(Maybe he can make it all better)

 

Ok so compared to other local cons, this one gets like twice the media attention which amazes me because I don’t think a single year hasn’t had major issues?? The hold it twice a year and last time, the hotel they used was so small they had to turn people away at the door because fire code and maximum capacity. Today, it was at the con center, but not all of it. Just the west wing. Uh.

It was a disaster. I arrived only to join a line that snaked around the outside of the building. That line led indoors to a large ballroom (the metro vendor room) where the line continued to weave around. Only, that wasn’t the ticket line, like my friend and I expected….it was the line to get to the ticket line. That line led up the (non working) escalators to another long roped-off line area (the metro artist alley). Wtf. So we kinda snuck past the security guards and cut in line to the actual ticket line because aw hell na not all of this bullshit for a $20 ticket (Less than metro!!)

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(What is this hell)

After that, we hit the vendor room which didn’t totally suck. We played DDR at the Gametime booth and got our pictures taken at 2 different booths. I got to talk to my Lolita pal Brittney and later when we were eating lunch, a nice woman we met at a friend’s panel at Shado sat with us! After my friend left, I began to dance para para by the vendor room only with no music….my speakers broke….people came up and joined me or talked to me just as much as at metro, however!

Very few people were in cosplay as compared to anime convention standards. It was weird. I saw some homestucks, 3 lolitas, and a handful of assorted anime/other costumes. There were some great comic costumes and some bad Halloween costumes. But mostly, there were a TON of little kids. I stuck out like a sore thumb, just as planned.

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(why am I so cute)

It was fun overall, but they need to get their act together. The lines for the lines for the lines consumed the majority of rented space, which created chaos and blocked the way for those with tickets. Attendance felt about the same as Metrocon, and yet it was so much harder to navigate…

I’m just too tired to write this right now, but it’s my only chance until a week from now so hey! I’ll try to remain mostly coherent.

The vendor room seemed lackluster this year. Nothing Lolita really, and I didn’t even bother looking at mangas. For once, I hardly spent any money at all. I bought one OreImo blind box and got Kuroneko on my first try!! That and a ring from a local loli and two sea salt icecream lollipops were my total loot the first day.

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(Ain’t we cute?)

Now, onto cosplay.

This year saw a rise in Black Butler, with a slight decline in Homestuck. I saw some Off and a bit more Dangan Ronpa, but not in overwhelming amounts (like how Hetalia or Homestuck once were). I saw 2(!!!!!) people cosplaying the protag from Pokémon Coliseum and 2 girls doing Amulet Spade. My favorite was a girl dressed as Rea from Sankarea, however. The majority seemed to be doing comic book characters or general fandom cosplays (the usual, like Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, One Piece….) Notable exceptions being the various Attack On Titan cosplayers and the three in artist alley doing Les Mis characters. Naturally, I was the only gyaru.

I hosted my second panel ever on Saturday. At 12, the local Lolita group held a Lolita 101 panel, which ran 45 minutes too long, and had planned on a swap meet. So the swap meet didn’t really happen….but I STILL managed to snag 2 pairs of Metamorphose socks. Omg! My first brand items.

My panel ran smoothly, with a few super-attentive audience members. The room was mostly full when I started, and didn’t empty out too much. It was nearly triple what I had at Shadocon- since this time I was running it at 2 on a Saturday. Overall, I think I’ve improved. I covered Gyaru, Mori Girl, and Shironuri in my slide show, but we also discussed Cult Party Kei, Fairy Kei, and Dolly Kei. (Thank goodness Chapman in CPK was there to help me out with the Dolly explanation)

On Friday I was dressed at Ciel Phantomhive.  I ran into Ellie and Robyn from Anime America Podcast. Holy shit!! Sadly, my friends started getting really immature at that moment, not realizing that she wasn’t just “a” Robyn but “THE” Robyn. Whoopsies.

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On Saturday I was dressed in Manba? My aim was Yamamba, but most people asked me if I was a ganguro, which really is a catch-all term these days. I thought I looked cute~ I danced para para a little bit after the panel, out in a hallway. At first only this one ((creepy)) guy came to watch, but then some moms with young daughters came up and encouraged them to dance with me. I got lots of cute videos and blurry photos.

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Many of my friends went fencing this year (yknow, where there’s a balloon on your helmet that your opponent is trying to pop- not legit fencing) which was cool. I went to an animal crossing panel (more info about that at newleafshibuya.tumblr.com) and my friends’ gaming panel.

It felt good to be back in the Sheration hotel lol. I should feel so attached to it since it’s the small, crowded ones that’s a 45 minute drive from home and has like no good points to it. Aaaand yet I always feel nostalgic. The site of the first two years of Shadocon and Tampa Anime Day, this hotel was a perfect fit for Khaotic Kon.

Last year, it was in the downtown Doubletree, a hotel so small, no con can successfully thrive there. (See: the recent disaster that was Tampa Bay Comic Con, when they refused people entrance because of fire hazard and overcrowding) Khaotic is still a very small con, but seems to be growing (not at the same rate as Shado, however). I liked the location a lot better this year. The line for registration was short, and even the looong line for the combat musical didn’t even touch the lines I’ve seen at Metro for basic panels. It wasn’t too crowded (very few people spilled in the pool area) and beyond the poorly spaced vendor room, I had next to no issue with crowds and finding places to sit. It seems there was a free buffet today? I don’t know, I brought my own food as usual, but it meant the whole café/restaurant area was open for con use and seating.

The combat musical was neat. It continued last year’s story, with some old and some new characters. I probably should have refreshed myself on the plot before watching, but nevertheless I found it entertaining. My friend who accompanied me caught the Code Geass references, while I loved the inclusion of Queen Beryl and Jack Spicer. The fight sequences, although less ambitious than last time, seemed better coordinated and well-rehearsed. I will definitely return next year.

Common cosplays were, as usual, Homestuck and hetalia. A resurgence in Hetalia is evident in the rise of APH themed panels, even outnumbering Homestuck panels. I saw some Off, but I was disappointed at the lack of Dangan Ronpa, given its current internet popularity. I only saw two, maybe three other lolitas all day, but I didn’t expect much from such a small, lesser-known con.

I would have liked to stay and check out the new manga library, but I ran out of time. I used up all my money today, but managed to score two OreImo phone charms (Saori pose 2, Manami), a blind box figurine from OreImo (scowling Ayase), and a CD (Para Para Max Us Mix 1). I’ve been really into OreImo lately because of the second season, plus the enthusiasm of my friend makes me want to rewatch the first season haha.

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Ain’t we purty? ;3

 

I think I may have seen a rise in Pokémon gijinkas, but that may have just been because of the combat musical////

Wow.

IMG_1397 Excalibur!!

This con always takes my breath away, and I’m leaving happier than I was last year. (Maybe it’s because the huge changes are more gradual this year?)

I woke up at 6 am to paint myself grey for homestuck cosplay. Now, considering I was up until midnight the night before desperately hovering over my horns with a hairdryer, begging it to dry quicker, that’s pretty impressive. (Protip: make horns days in advance.) Plus, I didn’t have any good, working blue lipstick on me, so I resorted to blue eyeshadow (Protip: DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!!!! NO MATTER HOW DESPERATE YOU ARE!!!!! I AM STUPID)

Somehow, I made it out the door and arrived at 9 am ish, after ticket sales began but before the actual con opened. For the first time, I actually forgot to pre-reg :O Surprisingly, there was barely a line for buying tickets. I had feared the worst, but maybe spend 15 minutes before I had my wristband.

I still hate how they organize the vendor room. The lines are disorderly and chaotic, and there’s so much wasted space. Lucky for me, I had a friend waiting in the front of the line, so I cut ahead and joined the first wave of people storming into the vendor room. My mom attended the Will Wheaton panel and said the same about crowd management.

I did not like the whore cage, mostly because my two guys friends wanted to go in it. Apparently there was an hour and a half wait to get into it. Whut.

There was a ton more steampunk this year, emphasised by the large Steam Powered Giraffe meetup I saw. They did such a good job imitating the band’s face paint!! They started to sing in the hallway. Also, in addition to the usual amount of Homestuck, there was a huge resurgance in Hetalia cosplay. Overall, much less Adventure Time than last year, with the remaining cosplayers focusing more on the genderbends. I saw a good deal of lolitas, compared to Metro (at least 10) and even one Manba! A ton of people were wandring around in Kigus, too….

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Nyan Sugar Neko Girls

I dressed as Vriska from Homestuck. Early in the morning there weren’t any other Vriskas, so I received a lot of attention and photo requests. Only afterwards did I realize my horns were on backwards T_T so embarrassing. Later in the day more arrived, however. I left before the HS meetup began.

I scored! The loot I brought home was a new skirt ($5!), a Rikkakuma phone charm, a September 2012 issue of Egg, 3 mangas (Othello, KKJ), 2 Neon Genesis Evangelion comic books (not mangas!), and some other Avengers comic books.

Overall, I left the con feeling much more positive than last year.

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My Vriska costume

 


matryoshkaRose~ (the former lillymelody)
cosplay, street fashion, reviews and more!
When in doubt, come into the rose garden ( ・ω・)ノ

2015 Convention Schedule
AWA!!!

2016
Who the heck knows.
Metrocon
Dragon Con

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I got locked out of my lineplay u_______u
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Hair growth progress- As of June 2015- I regularly trim my own bangs and they look amazing- choppy and short. The split ends have ruined lives and murdered small children. I haven't had a proper salon cut since July 2013. I might get a trim of 4ish inches by the end of the summer? I'm lazy.

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