There’s nothing like visiting a convention. Even when you’re totally unfamiliar with lots of the depictions on the walls and all the media people are clamoring about, you can absorb so much of the community’s energy from the atmosphere they create. Just from being around people, you can tell what they’re like, and why they love this hobby so much. It felt magical, like traveling to a foreign country and taking in the sights and sounds and touristy attractions; being in an environment centered around a hobby you don’t particularly have can be like visiting an alien planet, inhabited by people speaking an entirely different language and vocabulary from you. The amount of words and phrases I didn’t quite understand all the way while walking around the convention was exponentially high.
I went to Anime NYC this year, my first time going to an exclusively anime-themed convention (though some non-anime stuff was featured, too). I was intimidated at first, as like I said, I’m not much of an anime fan myself, and on top of that, I get intimidated easily when surrounded by lots of people at once. And there were so many people here! Crowds and lines, shouting and laughing, limited wall space to sit against: an anxious mind’s worst nightmare. And yet it wasn’t as stressful as it initially seemed to be. The most stressful part of the entire arrangement was the traveling, believe it or not. Traveling to and from the convention center took a lot of energy, and when I reached the center, I felt less inclined to do things because of my exhaustion from traveling. Though I love traveling, there’s nothing like being home, enjoying the relaxation an introverted person can only revel in. While I’m glad to have spent time at the convention this year, another part of me is thankful I managed to get home in time to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Isn’t that so old of me? I guess maturation has its own ups and downs.
Despite this, Alex had a wonderful experience at the Fairy Tale panel, and we managed to bump into two of the voice actresses afterwards. Alex was able to express her undying love for the series and its effect on her undergraduate years, and I was able to watch and absorb some of the happiness that came from the interaction.