Keeping Things Casual: A Day Trip To Otakuthon

I am going to start off with a public service announcement – I know a lot of regular con goers have seen all of the “cosplay is not consent” advertisements at other cons, and I know there is more and more awareness surrounding this issue so I am a little frustrated that something has to be said right now.  While I was in cosplay this weekend, someone came up behind me and, without asking, started stroking my back and whispering “you’re so soft” because they liked all of the little yarn hairs that I had tied onto my cosplay.  It is certainly not the worst form of harassment I have endured at a convention, but it was still a pretty uncomfortable situation.  I was with a friend and my boyfriend at the time – they both asked the person to stop, my friend told the person that they should have asked first, and my boyfriend put his arm around me for protection.  But that should not have had to happen!  I am aware that my cosplays are soft (I tend to pick soft yarns so that it is safe to wear them near my face), but if you really want to feel for yourself please ask.  I usually say yes in those situations and I like giving out “yarn hugs” – I do not like when people approach me from behind and start touching me without warning. Thank you.

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Otakuthon is one of those conventions I have just always gone to.  Since I first started going to conventions I have never missed an Otakuthon – but this was the first time I could not attend the entire weekend.  Due to a number of personal reasons (cost, getting time off work, potentially inconvenient timing, etc.) I probably could have skipped Otakuthon this year, but the nostalgia took hold and I realized I at least wanted to go for at least one day.  Since my boyfriend and I consider the Otakuthon weekend to be our anniversary we decided to make this little weekend getaway an anniversary trip.

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My casual Haku / Kohaku River cosplay – This little garden area was perfect for a photo!

I find that Otakuthon has always been more exciting where there is a specific goal in mind.  Most years that goal has been competing in the Masquerade, one year I was doing a bit of volunteer work, but some years my goal is to simply hang out with a group of friends.  This year, since my boyfriend and I were only there for one day (and we are both in a continuous state of exhaustion from working multiple jobs) we didn’t really do a whole lot.  I wore a somewhat casual cosplay and we walked around the convention, chatted up friends, toured the dealers room for most of the day… But we really didn’t have the energy (or even the burning desire) to do much else.  In reality, I think we were mainly there for the food as we had planned out all of the places we would need to eat while we were in Montreal.  Now, don’t get me wrong, what we did do at the con was fun, but it wasn’t necessarily worth the price we paid for a Saturday Day-Pass.  We decided that if we ever go for one day only again, that it would be a better use of our time and money to spend the Saturday exploring Montreal and playing Pokemon Go, and then go to the con on the (cheaper) Sunday.

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Yes, I did tie on all those little hairs one by one…

As a whole, I get the impression that the con is stepping up its game.  The new badges are certainly a cool, new, high-tech addition, and having to scan yourself in and out at the entrances means there were less badge check-points to hold up lines and restrict the flow of the crowds.  And even though I was aiming for a more casual weekend and didn’t attend any of the “main” events (i.e. concerts, World Cosplay Summit presentation, etc…), there certainly seems to be a lot more to chose from than when I first started going to Otakuthon all those years ago. Based on all past experiences, I would have to stand by my earlier point and say that this is a good convention to go to if you’re planning on doing a lot; but if you’re just going for a casual weekend of walking around the main floor to look at cosplays and checking out the dealers room, or if you’re not really planning on participating in the big things, then it starts to feel a little over priced.

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Gorgeous artwork from Maureen Creates – Couldn’t say “no” to that shark print

As far as the dealers room went however, it did not disappoint.  The most outstanding booth we saw was the one belonging to Bibi Sama Apparel (https://bibisama.com/).  We were fascinated by the unique designs and although we did not purchase from them this time around, we will most certainly keep an eye out for them in the future. For myself, I ended up getting a Tee Turtle (https://www.teeturtle.com/) shirt that I had had my eye on for some time, and some gorgeous art prints from Maureen Creates (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ShopMaureenCreates) that I had spotted at previous cons and just could not walk away from this time. But the most amazing purchase of the convention was from Horse Fiddle Press (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/horsefiddlepress).  My boyfriend and I got matching shirts and, let me tell you, it was hard picking just one each.

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Our FABULOUS matching shirts from Horse Fiddle Press – Aren’t we too cute?!

All in all, this was a fantastic weekend and really the only major issue with the convention was that the admission price was a bit too high for what we ended up doing at the con. It was a nice, casual weekend after weeks of back-to-back work, and it was a wonderful way to spend our anniversary.  My only regret… I ate way too much food! I’m still full! (It was all delicious and totally worth it).

 

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