27 March, 2012

Con Report 2012 (Tekko X) - Part 3: Friday

After catching the midnight showing of The Hunger Games the night before, we were all pretty tired come Friday morning. So we reluctantly skipped the Japanese Food in Pittsburgh panel and slept in, rolling into the con around lunch time. My cosplay for Friday was a partial rehash of one of last year's cosplays - I dressed up in my sailor fuku and went as a Japanese schoolgirl (minus the tentacles I had wrapped around my arms and legs last year, since they're very unwieldy). I love the outfit and think it's very cute, but iconic though it is, it's not any specific character, and so doesn't seem to draw as much attention from other cosplayers/con-goers. The chef behind the pizza counter at the food court we had lunch at actually thought it was a German uniform (I'll concede that with my hair in braided pigtails, it did kind of have a bit of a "fraulein" look to it), and it was very awkward walking into the men's room, filled with men in business suits, dressed as a schoolgirl - not that there were any problems...

But for Friday I had resigned myself mostly to taking the role of "tourist" or "exchange student" in the sense that I intended to carry my camera around and get a lot of pictures of the other cosplayers on Friday. That didn't entirely work out the way I intended. I was sitting in a panel about the history of Tekkoshocon (something I'd wanted to learn about since I missed the first five cons, and was curious about how they got started), when I learned via text that one of my traveling companions had an eye injury and needed to be taken home. So I reallocated my block of picture-taking time to shuttling him back home. Unlucky as this was for him, I at least was able to return to the con immediately afterward, and in time for the big fashion show I'd been looking forward to.

If you've followed my previous excursions at Tekkoshocon, you might recall that the fashion show is in fact an EGL fashion show - that is, for Elegant Gothic Lolita fashion. You might also recall that I had resolved last year to dress Lolita at the con this year. I'm sorry to report that that didn't work out this time (again). Putting together a Lolita coordinate (particularly as a newbie) is difficult, and can be very expensive if you're not good at hunting out cheap but not cheap-looking materials. Plus, I'm probably bigger than most Lolitas, so finding stuff that'll fit me adds yet another dimension of difficulty. And I got absorbed into my other cosplay ideas this year, so I put it on the back burner. I'd still like to dress Lolita some day, but I'm not sure when or if it's ever going to happen. As pretty as the style is, I'll admit that the Lolita community's emphasis on modesty doesn't do much to inspire me.

After the fashion show, I think I visited the Dealer's Room before heading out to dinner. I didn't spend a lot of time in the Dealer's Room this year, but not because it wasn't fun to browse the goodies on offer. I was either too busy with other things (likely), or miffed at the difficulty of not being able to take my bag (with my camera in it, which is why I wanted it close at hand and not hiding in bag check) into the Dealer's Room (last year they let you put your bag right inside the door; I liked that system, why did they get rid of it?). Anyway, I was pleased by the Dealer's Room's nice selection of dakimakura body pillow covers this year, including quite a few H-rated ones. I'd have bought one if they weren't so expensive. I was hoping to find a charm to put on my cell phone, but pickings there were slim. I also looked at a cute vinyl dress that would have been perfect for the rave, but again, expensive, and this time, possibly not in my size.

Every year, my goal - explicit or not - is to get something sexy at the Dealer's Room, because come on, anime girls! Ultimately, I decided to get some hentai, but since you never know how good any of these titles are, and they're probably easy enough to preview online, I bought a copy of Urotsukidoji/Legend of the Overfiend, which is one of my favorite hentais of all time. It says it's the movie edition (as opposed to the OVA edition I suppose), and I haven't watched it yet, but if there are scenes missing (whether edited for content or time), I can always burn a copy of the full thing on a disc and stick it in the box. The great thing is that I can put that box on my shelf and proudly display my fandom for classic tentacle rape! The other thing I bought in the Dealer's Room was a figure of Hinagiku, the pink-haired girl from Hayate no Gotoku/Hayate the Combat Butler, in an extremely skimpy string bikini. She's totally hot. :3

We had dinner at a noodle restaurant in Market Square, just a couple blocks from the hotel the con was being held at, and ate out on one of the tables set out in the square. It was nice. Being there (Market Square) all three days of the con, dressed up in my cosplay, surrounded largely by "normies" - especially Thursday at lunch when it was swarming with business men and women on lunch break - was an interesting experience. I kind of liked standing out and being more radical than everyone else, and it's not like we got any negative attention. There were actually a lot of people curious about the con, and we were asked some questions by a few groups of people, who (to me) appeared amused and excited by the presence of the con-goers in the city.

I also forgot to mention that on Thursday I was stopped by a photographer with a press pass on my way back toward the hotel. He asked me the usual questions about the con and my cosplay, and my name and hometown, with the expectation that a photo of me might turn up in the newspaper, but as far as I can tell, that didn't happen (for better or worse). And I got stopped again (more than once, actually) on Saturday. The worst thing that happened out on the town (and it wasn't so bad) was on Saturday, when one of the workers at McDonald's told me I had to put something on over my cloud bikini if I wanted to be served. But I didn't let it get to me. Before that, one person in the restaurant (who didn't even look like a con-goer, though she could have been) asked for my picture. So take that, polite society. :p

Back at the con, I took a few more pictures, of myself and others. Cosplay highlights for Friday include a Black Rock Shooter (I just adore her outfit), and a CC from Code Geass in her vaguely bondage-like prisoner uniform. I don't remember when it was, but I visited the Artist's Alley at one point, but it was horribly crowded this year, with aisles barely large enough for two lines of opposing traffic to squeeze past each other. My Friday night finished with two more panels. First up was Cute Japanese Fashion which, despite my interest, was little more than a rehash of things I've heard before. I think, perhaps, the panel would be more exciting with more real live examples of the different fashions (i.e., models - I know, I know, this isn't the fashion show), or at the very least, more pictures and variety of examples within each fashion discussed.

The final panel of the night, for me, was Anime Horror. It was hosted by a woman cosplaying as Wesker from Resident Evil, and the highlight was a Korean ghost comic she showed us. There were three girls in the audience dressed as vocaloids, who appeared to be acquainted with the host, one of which was terrified of this comic. So the host and the girl's two friends insisted on torturing her with it, which was partly funny, and partly disturbing, and overall, I guess, completely in tune with the mood of the panel, which focused on the psychological nature of Asian horror. Another centerpiece of the panel was a clip from Higurashi involving both physical and psychological torture. I've been meaning to watch that series for a while now...

At this point, I was thoroughly exhausted. I didn't have the energy to jump at any of the scares in the comic even if they were good enough to make me jump. So after the panel, it was time to go home and crash in bed. Saturday was planned to be a big day for me, because the AMV contest I wanted to attend was first thing in the morning, and I knew I wanted to stay late for the 18+ panels that night. So until then, oyasumi!

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