The Newbie’s Guide To Anime Cons!

Hey guys! This is our first post in almost a month, as our internet reliability has not been on our side. However we’re working hard to make sure we get some content up for you guys to enjoy on our social media pages. With Spring coming to an end and Summer right around the corner, convention season will be at an all-time high! That’s why the good duo from D&A Anime Blog is here to help!

For many of us who are just stepping into the anime world for the first time, there will come a point in your life as a fan that you’ll find yourself wanting to go to your first anime convention. Anime meetups are awesome, but an anime convention is like a family reunion for all types of anime fans from all walks of life. It’s almost like going to summer camp, but instead you’ll be paling around with other otaku just like you! As a newbie to the convention scene you have no idea what to expect upon your first visit, so that’s why we’re breakdown everything for you in this little post we’d like to call; The Newbie’s Guide To Anime Cons by us! D&A! 😉

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DBZ x MHA Crossover?

The best place to look for a con, is right in your state!

With anime being a mainstream medium (now) there are tons of conventions happening every weekend all over North America as well as in third world countries. Some of them are big and may contain a six-figure attendance level, while others are a bit low key and less crowded. To figure out what type of convention suits you, do some research and look online for the type of anime convention you (and your friends, if they’re into anime) would like to go to. You’d be surprised at what kind of cons you can find in your own backyard, especially if you happen to live in Texas – the central hub of FUNimation. Once you found a con you want to go to, the next thing you’ll need is money. Why?

Because unless you own a bike, you’re gonna need two pairs of wheels!

Anime cons are awesome, but 99.9% of the time they’re not around the corner from your house. This means you’re gonna need a car, or call an uber or lyft if you plan on getting to your con. You’re also going to need money for your badge as well. Depending on the con itself, badges can range between $10-100 per person, and that money helps to pay for the AV equipment as well as the voice actors that you’re trying to see.

There are some conventions that are hotel-based; meaning that the con is inside of the hotel that the organization has paid for and booked. With that being the case you also need to make sure you have some money saved and stored away to take care of your hotel room (if you plan to stay the night). This is where having a couple of friends come in handy, because you’ll be able to split the cost of the room depending on how many people you bring with you to the con.

At an anime convention the biggest thing you’ll see, is cosplay! Cosplay is the holy grail of all things anime when it comes to anime conventions. Cosplay is for everybody; and no matter your size, ethnicity, or race, you can be any of the characters that you admire or even love. As a con newbie there will be so much for you to do and see while you’re there, which might be the reason why most cons are three days long. Also as a con newbie, convention safety is the con’s #1 priority. The biggest rule that you’ll most likely see is “Cosplay is NOT Consent!” which means that sexual harassment of a cosplayer is not allowed under any circumstances. If you see something or if it has happened to you, report it to the con staff as soon as possible.

The last thing you’ll probably experience as a con newbie would be what con veterans would call the “Post-con Blues”. It’s that sudden rush of depression right after a convention, where you’ve had so much fun and met so many awesome people, that once the convention is over, you’ll probably never see those people again until next year. That will bring any fan down, but the best way to combat against that would be to look for more conventions in your area, or if you’re looking to travel out of state, save your money and look for cons out of town.

Cons are awesome, and each one has a different experience for any and every fan of anime and manga, so you’ll probably have to go to as many of them as you can each year, to get a feel of the various experiences you’ll receive at any of the cons you go to. That will do it for this post as well as our newbie guide to anime cons. If you have any more questions or want more advice, you can hit us up on our Contact Us page or even check out our Anime Conventions & Cosplay Tips button on our main page.

Until next post, stay nerdy! 🙂

3 Things To Look For When Buying Anime Merch At a Con!

Being an anime fan these days means more than just watching/streaming titles on a computer or a laptop. In the modern day era we’ve been blessed with not just awesome people who voice the very characters that we’ve come to know and love, but to see those very same people at the conventions that we spend over six months saving up for. Since the 90’s the anime convention circuit has been one of the greatest destinations for anime fans to come together, and one of the first places that many fans head to, is the Dealer’s Room.

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The Dealer’s Room at Katsucon

When it comes to this particular area of the convention, you’ll find a large assortment of anime DVDs, manga, T-shirts, apparel, figures from the shows, and more! Now before you reach into that FLCL wallet that you have conveniently tucked away in your back pocket, there’s a few tips about Dealer’s Room shopping that we’d like to share with you.

Tip #1: Do A Little ‘Window Shopping’

Dealer’s Rooms have tons of vendors with both official and fan-made merchandise from various anime titles. However after chucking out money for the hotel, your badge, and (possibly) your mode of transportation, your wallet will make you real selective about the kind of anime merch that you want to buy. If you’re a first-time con goer and you have no idea of what you want to by at the Dealer’s Room, shop around for a bit and look for deals that’ll give you more ‘bang’ for your buck! Don’t make an impulse buy on a particular item just because you’ve seen it on a recent episode, because you might find that same item for a whole lot less either online, at a store, or at another convention.

Tip #2: Compare Merch Prices From Different Tables in the Dealer’s Room

If you managed to find the items you want to buy in the Dealer’s Room, it never hurts to look around some more until you find another table with the same items. Once you do, compare the prices of the items on the two tables. If the prices of the items is lower at one table than the other, then your best bet is to buy from that table. Different vendors sometimes sell the same items for less than the competition, but that depends on the convention itself. At smaller hotel-based cons you can find some really cool merch at some rather reasonable prices, which brings us to our third and final tip…

Tip #3: If You’re Hunting For Deals, Sunday is the Best Day

On the last day of the con, everything in the Dealer’s Room drops between 50-70% off. This is really good for fans who want to score some good deals on some merch, however the only thing about shopping on Sundays is the fact that you run the risk of losing out on something that you really wanted. (But that all depends on the fan as well as the convention.)

Types of merch like DVD/Blu-Ray box sets or props are at their highest prices on Fridays and Saturdays, but on Sundays you’ll find them marked down to almost 60% of their originally priced value. If you’re looking to save money or if you brought less than $100 in merch funds with you, then Sunday may be your best bet for buying anything from the Dealer’s Room.

Hopefully these three tips will aid you in searching for some good quality merch at great prices while at the convention’s Dealer’s Room. They may also make you more aware of what you’re getting (money-wise) depending on what you want. Every con’s Dealer’s room is different; meaning that prices found at one con’s Dealer’s Room, will either be higher or lower than the other.

That will do it for this post, but if you have any Dealer’s Room stories or experiences to share, you can post them in the comment section below.

Until next time, stay gold! 😉

Filler Post: D&A’s Ways 2 Save For Anime Conventions!

If you’re an anime fan, then you already well aware of how popular anime is in this modern day era. There’s titles for just about everyone; whether you’re an older fan, or a newbie trying to feel his/her way around the medium. The anime boom of the early 2000’s has given birth to what has now become a staple in the anime community, as well as the otaku lifestyle; anime conventions. These nerd sanctuaries and embassies have brought together fans from all ways of life who have one thing in common; their love and passion for anime.

If you were a 90’s kid (like ourselves), then you remember the days where you didn’t get a full season of a show on two or three DVDs like today. No, you only got two episodes on a VHS tape. Back then anime conventions only had at least 50 or 100 people; with only three or four going to an anime voice actor’s panel. (Not because they were bad, but because access to anime was still in its infancy stage. Basically before Youtube was invented.) It was also a lot cheaper to go to conventions back then, because the badges didn’t cost as much and because there weren’t as many con goers, it was easy to move around and get to the panels you wanted to get to. Try that now in 2018! XP

Now that we’ve given you a brief overview on what anime cons were like back in days of old, we’re going to get into one of the most taxing obstacles any anime fan faces when making the decision to go to an anime convention. There are four things you need to look at if you an your friends plan on attending the many sanctuaries of nerdom; Travel, Lodging, Membership, and your Meal Ticket. No matter what convention you go to (and this goes for other types of conventions), these four things are something that needs to be taken into account before making any plans to go to any convention – no matter how fun or exciting you think it’ll be.

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Travel

There are over 200 anime conventions all over the U.S. and a few in Hawaii. They only happen on the weekends so you don’t have to worry about them interfering with your work life, or something to that effect. Now that you’ve found a con that you want to go to, how will you get there? Depending on the location of the con, your travel expenses can range anywhere from $40-$400 (if you plan to fly or take a train). Most of us don’t drive, and by most we mean anyone under the age of 16, so that group of anime fans may have to rely on mom and dad to take them to the anime convention they want to go to. If your state has a local anime convention, then your travel expenses are actually going to be much lower. Remember, the farther you travel to get to your con, the more it’ll cost.

Lodging/Hotel Stay

Most anime conventions are held at the convention centers they’re based in, while others are held in what are called ‘host hotels’. Again, depending on the location of the convention itself, hotels that are only a few blocks from the event have contractual prices that are much lower than their standard ones. One example would be our Baltimore, MD home anime convention Animore; where the standard prices for a room at the Hyatt Regency are $199/night (plus tax), but the con prices are $119/night (plus tax). It’s hard to say what the true price range would be for staying at a hotel for an anime convention, but if we had to throw a ballpark figure, we’d say $99-$249/night depending on what hotel you’re staying in, and where the convention is located.

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Membership

Different conventions have different rates for membership badges. Some offer individual day memberships while others are only available for all three days. You won’t have to worry able membership prices being more than hotel or travel expenses, not unless you’re going to a high-end four day convention like Anime Expo or SDCC (where V.I.P. badges can be somewhere in the 200’s, money-wise).

Meal Ticket

Now this expense is probably the lowest and the cheapest of the four. If you happen to be staying at a hotel near the convention, odds are there are some good eateries in town. If you don’t want to spend any money on any food inside the hotel, there are usually places like Subway, Royal Farms, Taco Bell, and others in the area. (Depending where you are.)

And there you have it! The four things that are a must when planning on attending an anime convention. The fifth thing to also take into account is going shopping in the Dealer’s Room. Some anime conventions do indeed have some good deals on anime merchandise like T-shirts, DVD and Blu-Rays, figures, wall scrolls, and more. If you plan on doing any shopping, just make sure to take some extra cash with you.

Ready for some money saving tips?

Tip #1: Start an Anime Convention Fund!

This is the first step in planning for an anime convention. There are a couple of way that you can do this, but for this tip, we’ll use ourselves as an example. A. Goldman and I use security envelopes when we started our anime con fund, and every payday we put a portion of what we made at work that week into our con fund. How much you want to put away is up to you, but we’ve found that putting away between $150-$200 a month has helped ease most of the financial tension. This brings us to our second tip.

Tip #2: Space Out Your Convention Travels!

Con goers drop an average of anywhere between $500-$850 per convention, depending on which one you go do. Kicking out that much money at a con can take some time to build it back up for the next one, which is actually one of the reasons why we haven’t been able to go to as many conventions as we did last year. Spacing out your cons to about 1 1/2 to 2 months each can give you some time to build up your funds, that way when the dates for your convention comes up, you’ll have the money to burn! 😉

Tip #3: Close Any Financial “Loopholes” or “Leaks”!

Here’s what we mean by this; if you find yourself spending a little more money on a weekly basis on things that you want rather than need, then its time to cut back just a little bit! Downsizing to a small coffee and a sausage biscuit can actually save you a little money in the long run. This also means buying some of your clothes from the Thrift Shop from time to time. Little things like that will help close down some loopholes or leaks in your wallet, so that you’ll have a few dollars to work with for what’s really important.

So, let’s review, shall we?

The Four Things to take into Account when Planning to go to a Con

  • Travel
  • Lodging
  • Membership
  • Meal Ticket

Tips on Saving Money for a Con

  • Start an Anime Convention Fund
  • Space Out your Con Travels
  • Close any Loopholes or Leaks in your Finances

That’s it for this post guys n’ gals! As long as you keep these things in mind when getting ready for your next convention, you won’t feel the financial strain as much as you did before this post. Share this with anyone you think is having a little trouble saving money, and wants to enjoy going to anime conventions with friends or someone they love.

 

Rave On: The 7 Types Of Dancers You’ll See at a Con Rave!

If you’ve ever gotten the chance to go to an anime convention, you would stumble upon a nerd paradise! You would be surrounded by otaku who are just as passionate about anime and manga as you are. You would get the chance to meet the voice actors behind your favorite characters from your favorite shows. Best of all, you would get the chance to see cosplayers that cosplay your favorite characters from your favorite shows. All of that is an awesome sight to see at a con, but when nightfall arrives the real fun of going to an anime convention, is the rave!

From the mid 2000’s to present day, rave parties have been incorporated in mid-size and large anime conventions all across North America (and some in other countries). During the late 90’s rave parties were held in underground establishments (most of which were illegal) where drug usage was eminent. Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about anybody molling out during a con rave. (Drugs are bad kids, don’t do them!)

When it comes to rave parties at cons, you’re bound to run into one of the seven types of dancers found at these in-house discotheques. So without further delay, here they are!

Dancer #1: The Guy with the Finger Lights!

This dancer can be found at rave parties for both mid-size and large anime conventions (Otakon, Anime Expo, etc.) It doesn’t matter what the DJ is spinning during the rave, you’ll always find this guy somewhere in the room putting on his own lil’ techno light show.

Dancer #2: The Breakdancer/Pop-Locker!

Yes, we have had the pleasure of meeting a few otaku with some sick break-dancing moves. You’ll find these guys in the ‘rave circle’ showing off while getting chants from the crowd all around.

Dancer #3: A Dancing Pikachu!

Or as we would call him, a “Ravachu”! This wild pokemon won’t be spotted at every anime convention rave, but depending on which con(s) you go to, you’ll be treated to the sight of the dancing Pikachu. Just make sure you’ve got a big enough pokeball to catch him.

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Dancer #4: The Shuffler!

If a Progressive House or Future House track comes on, be prepared to see these guys and gals in action on the dance floor. They’re really fun to watch might we add.

Dancer #5: That One Girl who likes to Twerk and Grind!

No judgement here! If you wanna “Drop it like its Hot”, then go for it! You’ll probably find at least two or three of these girls at a rave, and if you don’t…then it’s probably you or one of your friends. (Again, no judgement.)

Dancer #6: The One that starts The Conga Line!

Okay, this individual is not really a rave dancer, they’re just the ones who try to start a conga line while at the rave. They’re actually pretty fun once you’re in them.

Dancer #7: The Rave Virgin!

I think somewhere along the line we’ve all been this particular dancer. It’s your first anime convention rave and you’re not sure what to expect once you arrive. The best advice we can give you in this situation, is to just be yourself and have fun! Sure you may run into dancers 1-6 while at your first con rave (if your not already one of the six yourself), but being yourself is the best dancer that you can ever be!

So when you head out to an anime convention and find yourself going to the con’s rave party, it doesn’t matter what type of dancer you are, as long as you have a good time and rave on! 🙂

 

 

Filler Post: 5 Ways To Handle The ‘Post-Con’ Blues!

Anime conventions are like Summer Camp; you meet great friends and begin to establish friendships that will last a lifetime, and before you know it the school year starts and you never see those friends again for about a year. Yes anime fans, in this filler post we’ll be talking about five different ways on how to handle the dreaded post-convention blues. Before we started this anime blog, we only went to one convention a year. That convention was Otakon. Back when it was in Baltimore, we would look forward to going every July/August to one of the largest anime cons in the East Coast.

A. Goldman didn’t start attending with me (Donte’ Lewis) until 2010, and since then Otakon has been like the cornerstone for all of our full-fledged otaku-ness! Like with every geeky convention, the last day (Sunday) is also the saddest day of the con – for most if not all of us. In fact you’d be lucky if your boss gave you Monday off.

Not to worry friends and fellow anibloggers, because while traveling to different anime conventions throughout our two year journey, we found five different remedies to help ease that dreadful transition from con-life, to real life.

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Number 1: Reflect!

Think about all the good times you’ve had while at the con! Look at all of the pictures and video you’ve taken of your friends both old and new. Remember the set that the DJ was playing during the rave, and how much fun you had shuffling, dancing, and yes, even twerking while you were there. Sometimes looking back and remembering how much fun you had while attending your favorite con, might get you psyched up for the next one.

Number 2: Revisit!

If you bought some anime DVD’s at the Dealer’s Room while attending the convention, crack those suckerz’ open and start watching them! Watching some anime will keep a little bit of that ‘con feeling’ you’ve had all weekend going for awhile, just make sure you don’t watch anything that’s gonna make you cry. (You might wanna avoid You Lie in April and Orange for awhile…)

Number 3: Retrace!

Everyone (including grandma and grandpa) has a social media page, including the new friends you’ve met at the convention. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, stream them on Youtube. Any place where they may have posted their hilarious con adventures at, find them!

Number 4: Reset!

Who says you only have to go to just one anime convention per year? There are tons of conventions going on Every. Single. Weekend! Save up some money and even start an anime convention fund for yourself (and your friends) so that you’ll have more chances to feel that ‘con feeling’ once again!

Number 5: Restart!

In other words, repeat numbers 1-4. If you do this with every convention you go to, we can assure you that the ‘post-con’ blues will no longer have any lasting effect over you. Yes, we all have to go back to our 9-5 jobs after a con (even us), but at the same time, you’ll be psyching up and preparing yourself for your next con outing with your friends or your girlfriend/boyfriend.

That’ll do it for us on this filler post for now, and remember, you’ve got more power then you think and more smarts than you realize! Life is only as fun as you make it, so if you love going to anime conventions, go to as many of them as you can!

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Filler Post: D&A’s Guide On How to Budget For A Con!

If you love going to anime conventions, then this filler post is definitely for you! No matter how big or small your favorite con is, you’re bound to be kicking out a few handfuls of dough throughout the entire weekend of the event. From the cost of a hotel to the bags of anime-related merchandise you’ve been itching to buy, your wallet or credit card will be screaming “I can’t even!” if you’re not careful. Not to worry guys n’ gals, we’re here to help. If you wanna have the time of your life at a con without breaking the bank, then check out these wonderful guide from the good people of D&A Anime Blog.

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Conventions are a great place to meet new friends and other anime fans who share the same love for it as you do. One reason why they can enjoy the con to its fullest is because they planned in advance. Traveling and Lodging are two of the biggest expenses that you’ll have to kick out money for, no matter how big or small the con is. (Followed by Con Badges, Parking, Food, etc.) The closer your hotel is to a convention, the more money you may have to shell out. (That’s not always the case however, as some conventions are hotel-based.)

One way you can lessen the financial blow (and save a little of your own money) when booking a hotel or traveling, is by going half & half with one of your friends. By doing this you’ll not only kick out a fraction of what you’d pay if you went alone, but you’ll also have some coins left over to buy some merch from the Dealer’s Room. If one of your friends has their own car, that’s even better! That will just leave you all to split the hotel bill, and that shouldn’t be a problem to say the least. (Just make sure you’ve got money for parking, and gas to fill up the tank.)

Keep in mind that you’re also going to need food, so do a lil’ research of the local restaurants in the con’s area, and start saving up for them. If you wanna save some money in this area, then places like Royal Farms or Subway are going to be your best friends in this situation.

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Smaller anime conventions have great deals on merch that give you more bang for your buck than larger cons. That being said, it’s a good idea to establish a Dealer’s Room savings fund when you head out to conventions, because if you’re merch ticket is larger than your rent, then you sir (or madame) have a big problem! As each day of the con passes, the vendors drop the prices of their items anywhere from 20% to 50% off. That’s why the last day of the convention always has the best deals on merch, so keep that option open if you plan on having any money left over for another con.

If if you still have some money left over after the con has ended, then put that left over cash to good use. Roll it over to the budget for your next convention, that way you’ll be two steps ahead of the game. When it comes to con life, it’s always better to stay prepared than having to get prepared. (Financially of course.)

Hopefully this post has helped you become a better planner when it comes to the conventions you love. Take it from us; cons are not cheap, so that’s why it’s a good idea to plan for them months in advance. You never want to wait until the last minute to come up with a plan for a con, especially if you have limited finances. Do your research, ask your friends if they wanna come, and save every penny. Your wallet will thank you.

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Cosplay 911: The Top 5 Tools Needed For Cosplay Repair!

Here you are with your friends at one of your favorite anime conventions. You’ve just come out of a Cowboy Bebop anniversary panel, and now you’re on your way to get something to eat before the next panel starts. You’re wearing your best cosplay (the one you’ve spent several months working on) for everyone to see, and then the unimaginable happens – part of your outfit brushes up against an uneven part of the door and makes a small (yet noticeable) tear. Perhaps you’re debuting a prop that you’ve spent months on, only for part of it to get caught in the hotel elevator and snap off.

Chances are that somewhere down the line in your life of cosplaying and going to conventions, you’ve been on the receiving end of a cosplay mishap. Cosplay malfunctions are the last thing a cosplayer wants to worry about at a con; besides turning your best friend into a bodyguard to protect you from cosplay glompers. Never fear cosplayers, cuz’ D&A’s here to our fool-proof Cosplay Repair Plan filled with the Top 5 tools that you’ll need to handle nay mishap that happens to you, or one of your friends.

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Number 5: Glue Gun

The majority of all cosplay repairs usually requires this handy dandy tool. It can fix most problems really fast and really quickly when you need it the most! Glue guns are a good tool to have for those broken prop-type of mishaps that can happen on accident. Depending on the convention’s rules and policies, you probably won’t be able to bring a glue gun in that’s larger than your own arm. For that we recommend looking for a smaller one to carry in a small strap on bag – to access easily of course.

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Number 4: A Pair of Scissors or Shears

If you’ve got any loose threads on your outfit or need to make a slight trim on your wig, then you’re gonna need to make sure that you don’t go without this essential tool. Perhaps you want your Kirito wig to look great in Asuna’s eyes, or maybe you just want to make sure that your Ciel cosplay doesn’t have any noticeable threads that may turn Sebastian off in any way. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this classic repair tool.

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Number 3: Fashion Tape

This one’s for the ladies. If your cosplay is a bit on the scantily clad side, then this is the best tool to use to keep it held in place to prevent male nosebleeds (or ‘growth spurts’). Depending on the color or size fashion tape might even slightly enhance the look of your cosplay.

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Number 2: Safety Pins

This is usually the ‘last resort’ go-to tool if you don’t have any tape, glue, or even velcro on your person. Safety pins are great for those mishaps that happen mid-travel from panel to panel. Make sure you don’t stick yourself while trying to repair something on your outfit that may be slightly torn, otherwise it’s going to be the most uncomfortable three or four days of your life – unless you have an emergency backup cosplay outfit.

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And Number 1: The Classic Needle and Thread

Everybody knows that this particular item is found and needed in every wardrobe emergency kit ever made! If you want to make that small tear in your outfit no longer noticeable to the human eye, then make sure that you have a needle and thread handy for those ‘quick fix’ moments. It’s a good idea to make sure that the thread color matches the color scheme of your cosplay outfit in some cases, but you also don’t forget the old fashioned black and white colors as well.

If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a cosplay mishap during an anime convention, make sure that you’ve got a friend that has these five tools in a pinch when they’re needed the most! Accidents happen, so that’s why it’s always a good idea to stay prepared when that ‘dreadful moment’ that every cosplayer hates, happens.