I believe a big reason Rob and I get along so well is we both make an effort to learn about each others' hobbies. He can tell the difference between knit and purl stitches and I can name seven types of Lolita. I've made it through four anime conventions now and they're just getting more and more fun.
The Dealer Room
Always our first stop at the con, we end up with the most random stuff. This year we made it home with a t-shirt with a pineapple wearing rain boots on it and a pillow shaped like a capybara.
Eating While Exploring
We spend most of our time walking around, waiting in line for food, or eating. Unfortunately, the only food truck with tofu is always the busiest. It's so delicious that I'm craving spicy noodles just thinking about it!
Recognizing people's cosplays is huge. The first year I had a thousand questions. Second year, I could pick out Homestucks. Year three, I started recognizing a few of the more popular characters. This time I recognized a bunch, and spotted a few before Rob and it felt amazing.
I've noticed cosplays fall into a few categories:
your own cosplay
This was the first year Rob dressed up and it really mixed things up for me. We spent more time interacting with people, rather than people watching. We loved Durarara and thought it would be creative to cosplay a side character who held a sign asking "What are you looking for?". It was fun, but most people didn't get the reference and thought we worked for the con. Maybe it was too obscure.
That's how cosplays seem to go though, you indecisively go through ideas, scrounge up materials, and hope people will recognize you.
The year's most popular cosplay
Ridiculously entertaining cosplay
Your favorite cosplay
Really well done cosplay
Why love something so weird?
What I've come to love about anime conventions is seeing everyone do exactly what they enjoy. It's a sanctuary for a group of fans who are often looked down upon and judged. A whole generation of kids grew up on Power Rangers, Pokemon, and Dragon Ball Z but most of us have forgotten how fun things outside the mainstream can be. The "weird" that's cool right now, the Pinterest worthy quirky hipster kind of weird, is not real "weird". A-Kon reminds me that I like the real weird.