Some nights, courage running thin / Head down, all adrenaline…
Whenever convention time rolls around, I am always a little dumbfounded at first to see such an eclectic mix of characters appear before me. Not that I attend many entertainment conventions usually, but I was excited to be able to go to ACEN last weekend with my brother for the second time! Anime Central, better known as ACEN to all the hundreds of thousands of fans who flock to Rosemont, Illinois, one weekend in May dressed up in the mad mix of cosplays and costumes. This year was my second time attending (I went last year as well) and it is always a fascinating experience to see all of these people congregated to celebrate their love for anime and entertainment. It’s no wonder that it’s the largest anime convention in the midwest, especially when they invite big names in the industry to be at the panels.
To be honest, however, I have found that I have mostly outgrown anime and manga in the past few years. I remember staying up late Friday and Saturday nights in middle school to watch all the new anime on TV (what a strange time before I knew of Netflix and streaming!) and then read all of the corresponding manga as well. Maybe I grew older and just found other interests, but I haven’t been as captivated by anime in the past couple years. Most likely I just became much busier and occupied with school!
In any case, ACEN is truly worthwhile to attend at least once for any fan of entertainment. I love fictional characters, and it’s thrilling to see the crossover mingling of characters that vary from Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad to Disney and Attack on Titan–a wildly popular anime that I think I will find time to watch this summer…I couldn’t look anywhere in the convention without seeing about five cosplays from it! However, I think what was really most popular was all the Frozen cosplays. It was funny seeing a line of Elsas who all look so similar but also a little bit different crowded together for a picture! It’s really a testament to how friendships are formed over common interests to see complete strangers from all around the country bonding over an episode of Madoka Magica or taking mass photos together because their cosplayed characters match. On the inside of ACEN was a vendor section, where merchandise of all varieties were being sold. Unfortunately, as the ever frugal and broke college student, I can rarely afford anything I want to buy here! But awesome items I saw (and really wanted!) were a Chewbacca bath robe, an awesome Rurouni Kenshin samurai sword replica, Gundam model kits, and of course tons of adorable Pokemon plushies that I always want! (Luckily I do have some semblance of self-control now that I’m older.)
My nerd is showing! But what’s wonderful is that’s what helped me meet so many friendly and colorful people this weekend. Check out just a couple pictures I took of some of my favorite cosplays!
Tonight you’re electrical / Unchained like an animal / And I want you to know / That you’re glitter and gold
(Glitter and Gold – Little Daylight)