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.

Filler Post: Does Size Matter? Big Cons vs. Small Cons!

If you’re an anime fan who loves going to conventions, then you’ve probably heard this topic somewhere before. Anime conventions have been around since the late 90’s and early 2000’s, of course back then the con attendance was a lot smaller. Now in 2017 there are so many anime conventions all across the U.S. and even in various third world countries.

Some of them are along the mainstream circuit, while others keep it simple and traditional. Some of them are large in attendance, while others only have a few hundred people. Some of them are well-known, while others are lesser-known. So now the question remains; do you like going to a big convention, or a small convention? The answer to that question can be based on a number of things; the price of the badge, the distance you’re willing to travel, which events or panels you’re thinking about attending, and so on.

There are some Pros and Cons (no pun intended) of going to either a big convention, or a smaller convention. Allow us to break it down…

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Big Anime Conventions

  • Have an attendance of anywhere between 10,000 – 100,000 people (Cosplayers)
  • Have lots of events, panels, workshops, and items in the Dealer’s Room
  • Have big name guests
  • Have a big budget ($50-$100K or more)
  • Last 3-4 days

When you’re talking big anime conventions, think of ones like Anime Expo, Otakon, San Diego Comic Con, and more! There’s lots to do at anime conventions of this size, of course at the same time, there’s Pros and Cons that come with these massive events.

Pros

  • There are lots of cosplayers, so that means you’ll get to take lots of pictures
  • You get to meet big name guests (like Steve Blum and Johnny Bosch)
  • Lots of panels/workshops
  • Have host hotels for extra panel room

Cons

  • With cons of this size there’s bound to be a LOT of traffic
  • Overlapping panels/Booked up hotels
  • Higher badge prices
  • Big autograph lines

Overall…

Big anime conventions are pretty cool to go to, because you get the chance to meet tens of thousands of others who are passionate about anime as much as you are. That’s not to say that cons this size don’t have their own fair share of problems, but in the spirit of fandom-hood, follow all of the rules given at the con and you and your friends will have a safe and wonderful time!

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Small Anime Conventions

  • Have an attendance of anywhere between 1,000 – 3,000 people (Cosplayers)
  • Don’t have as many events, panels, workshops, items in the Dealer’s Room
  • Have at least one big name guest and some newer voice actors
  • Have a smaller budget (at least around $50K)
  • Lasts 1-3 days

Smaller cons are like how all anime conventions used to be back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. They’re more catered to the fans and fan-centric, plus you’ll have a much higher chance of getting autographs from your favorite voice actors. Like bigger anime conventions, smaller ones have their own Pros and Cons.

Pros

  • Cons of this size are much easier to manage, meaning less con drama
  • The atmosphere is more relaxed, almost like a meet-up group
  • You get ‘one-on-one’ encounters with your favorite voice actors
  • Lower Badge prices

Cons

  • There’s not as many con goers, meaning not as much cosplay
  • There’s not as many panels/workshops, meaning less variety con-wise

Overall…

Smaller cons give you a chance to make lasting friendships with your fellow con-mates. Sure there may not be as much to do at smaller conventions panel-wise, but it does give you the chance to have those one-on-one encounters with your favorite actors and voice actors.

At the end of the day, the final decision about which size con to go to, is going to be up to the fans themselves. Try going to both and see what the experience is like on both sides. Keep in mind that there are also some ‘mid-sized conventions’ as well, they’re like smaller cons but with a mid-sized budget and a mid-sized amount of panels, cosplayers, and other events. Both sides may have their ups and downs, but in the end, they’re still anime cons that we love to go to.

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D&A’s Tips On Cosplay Dating!

Hey guys and girls, have you ever been to an anime convention and saw a lot of cosplaying couples around? Have you ever wanted to ask that one guy or girl out with whom you share a common interest with, but were too timid or afraid to approach him or her due to the fear of embarrassment? Do you want to get ‘Senpai’ to notice you without having to go through extreme lengths to do so? Then look no further cosplay and anime fans, cuz’ D&A’s gonna turn you into the cosplaying, anime-watching, manga-reading mac-daddy (or lady) that you were born to be! (Through our words of self-confidence and guidance of course!)

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Cosplay Dating Tip #1: NO “Pick-Up” Lines!

If you have a sticky note or index card full of pick-up lines that you plan to use, throw it away immediately! We know that some anime characters (mostly guys) use crazy pick-up lines in order to score chicks, but unless you want a hand print on both sides of your face get rid of them ASAP!

Cosplay Dating Tip #2: Investigate!

Find out what kind of anime she (or he) likes and try to list as many titles as you know. Don’t be surprised if you happen to shout out the one title that you both fall head-over-heels for. Beware though; if he (or she) likes an anime title or fandom that you (and possibly a good percentage of others) don’t necessarily like for your own personal reason(s), then it’s probably in your best interest to abort the mission. Otherwise keep an open mind about what the other person likes and make his (or her) fandom interest, your fandom interest.

Cosplay Dating Tip #3: Pick Up Some Mad Sewing Skills (Or Just Buy Some Cosplay Outfits Online)!

If you happen to find a title or fandom that you both like, then show him (or her) how much you care about said anime title or fandom. (FYI, we’re not just talking anime, but manga, video games, superheroes, etc.) Nothing will make your potential date happier than seeing you wearing cosplay or apparel that represents his (or her) favorite fandom. If you get compliments on your fandom apparel or cosplay, then you’re one step closer to scoring a date! 😉

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Cosplay Dating Tip #4: Go To The Con That He (Or She) Is Attending!

All of this would’ve been for naught if you don’t actually go to the anime convention that your potential date might be at. Do whatever you can to stand out from the crowd (if your wallet will let you, but we’re pretty sure it will cuz’ he or she’s worth it), and you’ll be noticed in a flash! Compliment their cosplay and tell them how nice it looks on them, because they’ve put in the same amount of energy and sweat that you did.

Cosplay Dating Tip #5: Buy Your Date A Trinket From His or Her Favorite Fandom!

So the two of you have been exchanging Facebook messages as well as DM each other on Twitter, but now that you’ve got your date interested in you, it’s time to bring out the gifts! (Well, more like a trinket or a small token from their favorite fandom.) This will show your date how much you appreciate their favorite fandom; whether its anime, manga, video games, or Marvel superheroes.

Cosplay Dating Tip #6: Explore His or Her Secret Identity!

Get to know who your date is aside from cosplaying at anime and superhero conventions. Find out what their favorite movie is, what kind of dessert they like, what their favorite place to eat, things like that. This will give you a chance to discover who your cosplay date is on a much deeper level, so be polite and courteous and treat your date the same way that you would like to be treated.

Cosplay Dating Tip #7: Be Yourself!

Don’t fake the funk and pretend to like an anime title or fandom just because it makes your date ‘squeee!’ whenever you mention it. If you pull a move like that then be prepared to live a long and lonely otaku life. Love the fandom because you yourself love it as much as your date does. It will tell them that you truly care about all aspects of their lives no matter how quirky, meaningless, and stupid they may seem to others. Being yourself is the number one surefire way to score a potential date with a cosplayer! Remember that and you’ll be golden! 🙂

That will do it for our Cosplay Dating Tips for now. Hopefully these tips have helped you in the ways of the cosplay dating seen in anime (and various other geeky pop culture) conventions. Stay true, and stay gold! 😉

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Filler Post: How to Run A (Successful) Fan Panel At an Anime Convention!

We’re hoping that this filler post will help you guys out when planning to do a fan panel at a con. As exciting as anime conventions are; both in theory and reality, engineering/doing a fan panel can be both fun and just a tad bit exhausting depending on the subject matter. There’s a lot of planing that goes into making a great panel for fans to enjoy, however if you’re not careful then it can turn into hour-long college lecture without having to take notes. The best fan panels that we’ve had the chance to go to are the Q&A and interactive ones, as those seem like the most popular ones that fans attend. We’re not suggesting that you follow some crazy ‘by-the-book’ formula in order to have a successful panel, but hopefully these tips will make your fan panel a bit more exciting!

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Tip #1 – Brainstorm! Figure out what topic of interest are you and your associates (if you plan on having more than one person on your panel) going to talk about. You also have to figure out the type of panel you’ll need in order to accommodate your topic. Is it a Q&A panel? A demonstration panel? These are questions that need to be answered during the brainstorming process before you’re able to move on.

Tip #2 – Research! Find out everything you need to know about your topic; such as ‘What year was the Gothic Lolita trend established?’ And so on and so forth. The last thing you wanna do is host your fan panel but have no idea what the heck you’re talking about! >.<

Tip #3 – Take the Stage! Depending on the type of panel that you’re doing, sometimes it might make the crowd more enthusiastic if you’re enthusiastic as well! When doing a Q&A fan panel or a demonstration workshop, it helps to be engaging with the audience because it will boost the overall morale of the panel itself. Don’t be afraid to have fun with the audience cuz’ you never know, they might even ask you to come back! 🙂

Tip #4 – If you’re doing a Game Show panel, offer prizes! Every game show has prizes for the winner(s) so if you plan on hosting one, be sure to offer them some prizes; such as an anime DVD box set, a free 12-month subscription to Crunchyroll (if you got those kind of connections), or something that’ll be worth while. You don’t have to blow through the rest of your wall scroll budget to get some prizes for your fellow otaku, just keep the winning prize price range between $40-$60 and you should be fine. 😉

Tip #5 – Bring Your Laptop! Depending on the type of panel that you do, nine times outta ten it’ll require a laptop. Panel types like demonstrations and some Q&A’s might require the use of a USB projector, so make sure you ask the staff on what you’ll need before you submit your paperwork for your panel.

Tip #6 – JUST. HAVE. FUN!! Panels are what make anime conventions fun and exciting! So why not have some fun at your own fan panel, right? If the audience sees that you’re having fun at your own panel, then they’re gonna have fun as well.

That will about wrap up this filler post we’ve got here. Fan panels are awesome and they make the con that much more of an enjoyable experience to beginners and veterans alike. If you follow these tips before you plan your next anime con, you’ll be two steps ahead of the game and won’t have anything to worry about!

Stay true, and stay gold! 🙂

Filler Post: D&A’s 5 Tips on How to market yourself as a Cosplayer!

If your a frequent flyer in the anime convention market (in other words, a fan who likes going to cons), then you might have noticed that after you’ve taken a cosplayer’s picture, they have handed you their business card. What they are doing is marketing themselves as cosplayers. There are thousands of anime fans out there who have formed various cosplay groups (such as Potter Ninja Pro and various others), and have marketed themselves through social media, as well as in person through anime conventions. Cosplayers are the kind of people that take their passion seriously while having fun doing it, and if that’s something that you enjoy doing, then here’s some tips on how to market yourself in the anime convention circuit…

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Tip #1: Dress the Part

Now, we’re not saying that you can’t express your creativity through your cosplay, but from a business perspective it’s probably a good idea to dress the part (as accurately as you can within your means). Presentation is one of the most crucial elements of Marketing and Advertising, and it tells the others that not only do you take your passion for cosplay seriously, but you also like to have fun doing it! (Also, enter into some cosplay contests if you wanna show off your creative skills!)

Tip #2: Create a Cosplay Brand Name

Here’s one of the fun parts about cosplaying; you get to create your own brand name that you get to market out there in the cosplay world of anime cons! You don’t have to think too hard about a brand name for your cosplay, because most cosplay groups or solo artists have silly ones; like Strawberry Milk Cosplay, or Kawaii Bird Cosplay. (If any of you has those names as actually cosplay brand names, then kudos and consider this a shout-out! ^.^) Having a brand name separates you from the rest of the pack so let those creative juices flow, and go for it! 😉

Tip #3: Establish a Digital Footprint

Now that you’ve dressed the part and come up with your cosplay brand name, it’s time for the bread n’ butter of Marketing and Advertising! Having social media pages for your brand can really benefit you on a business end of M&A, and as a cosplayer. (Heck, that’s why we’re where we are today as D&A! ^.^) Jump on social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and create an account for your cosplay brand, then find someone who’s great at designing business cards and send the draft to Vista Print! (Shout-outs! ^.^) After that create yourself a Youtube channel and you’ll be all set on the digital front! 🙂

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Tip #4: Go to Anime Conventions

Even though you have a digital footprint, a cosplay name, and you’ve already dressed the part, no one is gonna know who you are unless you go to the cosplay world known as an anime convention! Cons are a HUGE hot spot for marketing and advertising your cosplay brand, so once you get your hands on some business cards, take em’ with you to the next con that’s happening in your area (or state). Advertising locally is great but don’t limit yourself to just one con a year, go to multiple ones so that you’ll get multiple chances to not only advertise yourself as a cosplayer, but have fun with other cosplayers in the process!

Tip #5: Ask for other Cosplayer’s Business Cards

Asking for another cosplayer’s business card is a surefire way to get you noticed by senpai even more! (Without having to do anything lewd or irrational.) Your name may even get recognized on another blogger’s page or an anime convention’s website. If that’s the case then you’ve now leveled up to Anime Convention Panelist, so bask in your hard earned glory you lovable otaku! 😉

That’s it from us and our cosplay marketing tips! If you have any questions then shoot us a comment on our Contact Us page.

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Filler Post: D&A’s 5 Ways on how to handle heartbreak at a Con!

So it’s over…the otaku that you once loved has decided that it would be best if you both saw other people. Perhaps the two of you may have gotten into a big argument over how the second Evangelion movie ended, or maybe something different. Let’s be honest; breakups suck, and many of us handle the aftermath of a bad relationship in different ways. Instead of drowning yourself in shot after shot of tequila (or any alcohol of your choice), we’re gonna give you the five best ways to handle heartbreak at a con.

This filler post is for both the girls and the guys who have had bad breakups at cons in the past and present, and we hope that you find your real love in the future! 🙂

1. Take some time to yourself.

Heartbreak is more stressful for the one on the receiving end of it, then the one who initiated it. Men go through the breakup process much differently than women; in a man’s case after suffering heartbreak it only takes two weeks and trip to the strip club with his friends to forget about the woman who dumped him, of course in an anime fan’s case it’s a different story.

If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a breakup, either through your lover breaking up with you or cheated on you with another cosplayer (though we’ve never seen that happen and cannot prove that those kinds of things don’t actually happen), find the nearest corner inside the con and take some time off to get yourself together. It’s okay to let yourself cry a little after the fact that the anime fan that you love no longer wants to be with you. Friendship is really important in times like this so if one of your friends (or you) is going through the heartbreak process, sit down with them (or have them sit with you) and confide in them (or vice-versa).

2. Find a funny anime title to watch (or panel to go to).

Distraction can be your best friend in a case like this. The last thing you wanna do is think about the breakup during the whole weekend of the con. When we say take some time to yourself, we meant take some time to ENJOY yourself. Anime is one of the best distractions that you can have as a fan, and is a ‘go-to’ stress reliever when you’re having a bad day in the real world. Doing this will take your mind off the one who broke up with you, and don’t forget that you have friends that are there to support you. If you don’t, then we’ll support you!! 😉

3. If you can, avoid the one who broke up with you.

Sometimes the best way to deal with after-breakup tension, is to not get in it at all. Even though it’s not going to be easy to steer clear of the anime fan or cosplayer that broke up with you for the rest of the con, try your best to keep as much distance between you and them as you can. We don’t wanna see any of our fans kicked out of a con or taken to jail because of assault (due to the fact that they were on the receiving end of the breakup).

4. Forgive the one who broke up with you.

You know the old saying about never going to bed angry? Well the same can be said when it comes to dealing with con heartbreak. Don’t spend the whole weekend burning mad about the person that broke up with you. If you followed tips 1 through 3, then number 4 is going to be the one that brings you closure. Before you can forgive someone, you must first ask yourself for forgiveness of how you reacted negatively to the situation, even though you didn’t do anything wrong. This will allow you to have the compassion and heart to forgive the other person that broke up with you, and this will bring you to number five…

5. Move on!

There are thousands of fish in the sea! You don’t have to spend your whole weekend thinking about someone that you love, but doesn’t return those feelings back to you. You now have a chance to start anew, so head back out to your favorite anime convention and have fun with your friends for awhile. Remember, there’s a Hinata for every Naruto, so there’s always a chance that you’ll find your true love. Never give up on it! 😉

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Naruto found the love of his life, so you can to! Believe it!! 😉