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.

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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