I haven’t gone to anime conventions for such a long time that when my cousin invited me to go to one where he is organizing the event for Otakultura, I readily said “Yes“!
For someone who is a confessed nerd and otaku – not a newbie when it comes to events like Oh No! Manga Cosplay Camp 2 – indulging in a convention like this is feeding my hungry otaku side even for just one day. So, I got the tickets a day before the event and even posted it in one of my social media accounts.
Then, at the day of the event, right after my radio show, I dashed home to change clothes and hopped on a bus for an hour and a half drive to the venue.
First off . . . I believe I was mistaken as a cosplayer the moment I entered SMX Convention Center where the Oh No! Manga Cosplay Camp 2 is supposed to be held.
Then . . . I suddenly felt old while surrounded by young cosplayers and inwardly thought: What the heck am I doing here? Isn’t there supposed to be an age requirement to be spotted in these kinds of events? And spotted . . . I was.
Gazes locked, following as I traverse the busy hallways littered with people in varying costumes and makeup with my best friend and my youngest sister to enter Hall 1 and get stamped. Those gazes are probably wondering what anime, manga or game character I am portraying. It was actually flattering and a tad hilarious, if I may say so.
My inner critic reared its ugly head once again and as soon as it did, I was able to tamp it down and scold the living daylights on it to stay down. I was that convincing that for the rest of the event, I was peacefully having fun!
I even had pictures taken with some of the cosplay contestants.
I reminded myself, of course, that being a nerd knows no age and no one would actually care that I am on my thirties already. I can still pretend to be around mid to late twenties because I fortunate enough to have oily skin and therefore appearance of wrinkles is all but none. I felt actually better with my best friend with me. At least I didn’t swing alone – misfit that I am. Then . . . I felt much better when I saw older people there, participating and taking loads of pictures with the cosplayers.
It was an awesome event. I felt less misfit-ish surrounded by fellow nerds (although most of the population are clearly newbies and therefore a bit green on the gills). Without a doubt, I was in my element.
No Leaf Clover , fronted by Kei Hayashi – the Legendary VY1 Master – was amazin’!
Ryohei Inai – the lead guitarist – is amazing to watch as he worked that guitar like nobody’s business.
Their stage presence is absolutely entertaining and they obviously enjoyed the very receptive crowd that plans are already on the way for them to come back next year – maybe during summer so they can have time to frolic on the beach and partake in some tropical fare – to take part in another Otakultura event. My cousin made mention that the band requested for Jollibee food (a local fast food burger joint. Click on the name to know more), and that they soooo like “sisig“. Well . . . there’s more to my country that those and if they stay longer, they’ll find out and probably eat someone out of hearth and home.
Anyway, as a parting gift before hopping on a bus to take me home, my cousin gave me a super kawaii cube that I will put in my memory box along with other valuable keepsakes I hold dear and will use to reminisce the good ‘ol times when I’m already on the verge of getting senile and wetting my pants.
As tired as I am right now, I can’t go to sleep without writing this and scheduling it to be posted. I just have to write everything down before I forgot a thing.
And with pending invitations for a Comic-Con event on October and another one on November, my otaku calendar had never been this busy in years . . . and I’m looking forward to indulging in more.