Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on Tsuredure Children – Review

Tsuredure Children – Review

This is the cutest short anime I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s almost as cute as Elliot, and that’s saying something. Despite being such a small anime, they really did pack a lot into it and made it enjoyable. So get ready for your heart to go doki doki.

This anime is comprised of several small love stories between awkward characters. Each story is about current relationships, relationships to be and crushes. There’s something for everyone, but they’re so short that I don’t want to ruin the story for everyone.

The Good:

I really loved the stories in this anime. It felt like each one had something unique about it despite each one being a form of tsuredure. Diversity people; it’s what we should strive for.

More than that, I never got the feel that any of these relationships were ill-willed and I honestly never got annoyed with any of the characters. That’s surprising seeing as I usually get annoyed with at least one character.

My favorite couple you ask? The student council president and the delinquent. I could have watched a full anime about them alone.

The  Bad:

While I did enjoy this anime, I always feel a little incomplete at the end of short anime. There’s just that extra layer or that depth that some shows can really thrive on. Short anime usually miss out in this department.

Also, I don’t think all of the couples or pairings ever resolve? Maybe? I’m not entirely sure? There are these little mini pairings in between sections that we never really get to know and aren’t brought up again. Honestly, a huge fault was definitely the uneven distribution between pairings.

Kitty Review:

I’l admit, I have a soft spot for short anime. But more than that, I think these cute little stories are kind of special. Do I wish it was more gay? Yeah. But I wish that with most things. And besides, my current partner and I looked forward to each new episode with excitement.

Cute stuff, really.

Who was your favorite pairing in this show? Tell me in the comment section! 

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on My First Girlfriend is a Gal – Review

My First Girlfriend is a Gal – Review

I was skeptical with this anime, if I’m being very honest. When I looked at it, I was distracted by attractive anime girls in bright colors. But after officially watching it, I can tell you that I’ve never been more unsure on an anime in my life. There are certainly things about it I detest and other parts I find a little charming. And yet, when it comes down to it, this is still just an anime about getting laid.

My First Girlfriend is a Gal is an anime is about a high school student name Junichi, who is an consistently shamed virgin. After a bet and a push from his misfit friends, he ends up asking out Yame; a gal. Gals, as defined in Japanese culture, are girls/women who are fashion conscious and usually very done up; lots of eyeliner, over-done nails, bleached hair, you name it. While I couldn’t find a definition specifically online, the anime treats gals with the attitude that they may also be very promiscuous.  If you can glean anything from this attitude, you know exactly what Junichi’s intentions are.

The Good:

There were a lot of issues I had with this anime, which I will get to, but it wasn’t all bad. There was a message embedded in the show that I actually both agreed with an appreciated a lot. Yame was a really well thought out character. Both she and her friend Ranko dealt with huge stereotypes. As stated above, gals seem to have this “slut” stereotype thrown on them that make men, including the main character, attracted to them for easy sex.

Spoiler alert, just because women look a certain way does not mean they are interested in sleeping with someone. The overall theme seemed to be Junichi realizing that his girlfriend, abet messing with him, really did like him. Despite being kind of rough on the outside, Yame just wants to go on dates and have fun with her boyfriend. You can tell that when he brings up a stereotype about gals or when she’s confronted with something that bothers her, it really hurts. The fact that she has such a side shows me they really put some thought into her creation. Also, Ranko is in love with her and I just think that’s fantastic ’cause the more gay women there are in anime the better.

The Bad:

I had some serious problems with the humor in this anime. It had a few funny moments, but some of it was just downright wrong. I’ll reveal a few spoilers that really have nothing to do with the story line itself, but are ongoing jokes in the anime. First of all, this guy [Minoru Kobayakawa]. I hate this guy. They have a full on pedophile in this show; no not just a lolicon or something where they just like older women who look like girls, a full on pedophile…

I think most people still find this kind of humor to be… Funny? But it’s not. It made me so uncomfortable anytime he opened his mouth or called high school girls “old hags”. I think this was an attempt at raunchy humor, but I wasn’t at all impressed. Alongside that, the entire anime really did revolve around one guy just trying to get laid. I think the ending was the saving grace where he actually figured out she wasn’t a bad person and just because she looked and acted one way didn’t really mean she’d sleep with him. But again, some of the jokes just felt like a middle-school boy wrote them. I wasn’t super impressed.

Kitty Review:

Me and my wonderful cat/son Elliot were not impressed. I love Yame and how sweet she is as a character, but only admiring about two or three characters out of a whole series just won’t cut it for me. I need more than that. This was a romcom anime that had poor excuses for romance and, overall, poor humor.

Did you like this anime? What would you have changed about it? Leave me a comment! 

Anime 0 comments on That One Girl in Gamers!

That One Girl in Gamers!

We need to talk, dear readers. We didn’t get a chance to talk about it last week, but this week we should talk about it.

We need to talk about this girl. This girl, and why she is important.

There’s a few reasons why I want to focus on her today. The biggest one, however, should be fairly obvious.

Konoha Hoshinomori is definitely a queer girl. Not only does Konoha clearly like women from the get go, but there’s also evidence that she also still likes men.

I should start shouting, “ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!” But I know what the biggest argument to this is going to be.

You may be asking, “But Ashley, doesn’t she also sexualize women? Is she not a part of the problem?”

While I can see that point of view, I surprisingly disagree. In most of our deepest attractions we can find some pretty problematic stuff. No matter the gender your attractions are aimed at, there’s always the influence of traditional and problematic media and societal ideas.

So the only thing we can do is translate to what it means underneath that. If you notice, Gamers! has been pretty good about not over sexualizing its female characters. Even when there’s fan service scenes, it’s not going crazy like some of those other anime (looking at you My First Girlfriend is a Gal). 

I think what’s important about Konoha is that she’s really in tune with her sexuality. Guys. I can’t express. How important this is. There are far too many girls who are just super shy and do the stereotypical “anime girl” trope or there’s the girls that just throw themselves all over the place. It’s like anime can’t seem to be in the middle.

But Konoha is. Sure, when we see her in her most private moments, she seems like a lot. But I’m sure most people are. That’s the whole point of having a private life. I think Konoha shows a side of all women (queer or not) that we don’t see enough. She’s not overly sexualized herself but she is a sexual being and owns up to it on her own terms.

That, my friends, is why she’s so important.

What do you think about Konoha? 

Uncategorized 0 comments on Introducing Gerald-Sempai

Introducing Gerald-Sempai

Good evening one and all! This summer has certainly been going by slowly with a ton of work on my end so tonight I will be giving you all a bit of an update.

Of course, Ashley’s Anime has released what anime Elliot and I will be reviewing this summer, but we will also be maintaining some new posts for your pleasure! First, here’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life and what it will mean for the site:

This year, I will be incredibly busy. Usually, between journalism and Black Moor, I have enough on my hands. Starting this school year, I also will have the awesome opportunity to work as an intern for a local publication here in Vegas while also maintaining a part-time job. Yes, yes I am a little insane.

Oh yeah, and this is happening! I’m publishing a book!

Honestly, publishing a book is really a whole new ball game for me, but I’m so ready for it I can’t even wait. It’s been a dream for so long and I hope it will help Black Moor reach new heights. To have been running Black Moor for over a year now while also managing this… It’s so incredible and I can’t thank my team enough.

That being said, I’ve been given some amazing opportunities and I cannot wait to get to work. I’m extremely grateful for the chance to even be  this busy. But this does take a toll on my flexibility and certainly with what I’m able to do on this site.

Do not fear, Ashley’s Anime isn’t going anywhere! Me and my fur baby are staying right here. However, we are going to bring on another new friend to the team. While our Admiral gets ready to set sale, Gerald-sempai is going to be taking over some new perspectives this blog hasn’t been able to delve into before.

Gerald will be managing topics such as “anime you should’ve already watched” and popular series such as One Piece or My Hero Academia. I usually write on these topics for other sites. So this will be a great opportunity for the blog to be more inclusive and diverse; I’m sure we’ll all love Gerald-sempai’s posts. He’s going to be posting every Tuesday so come back to check him out!

In fact, you can read his first one here! So go do that!

Thank you all for being loyal readers. Running this site has been a dream and I’m happy to have friends here to help with content and posting. I look forward to our future!

Anime 0 comments on Why One Piece is the best of the Big 3

Why One Piece is the best of the Big 3

In the world of modern anime, three anime have stood above the rest; I am of course referring to One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. Each of these anime have been mainstays in conversation, each showcasing over two hundred episodes of content. While, One Piece is the last of the big three anime I have watched, it is by far the most entertaining and these are my reasons why.

Playing the Long Game

The greatest decision of One Piece’s creator Eiichiro Oda was establishing a power ceiling for late story villains with the creation of Hawkeye Mihawk. Mihawk shows up considerably early in the series and absolutely dominates Zoro, defeating him with just a small knife. Mihawk is already established as the greatest swordsman in the One Piece world, which means it is reasonable to say he is one of the strongest characters in the story.

The early introduction of Mihawk defined a power goal for our heroes while simultaneously giving the viewer an understanding of how powerful the big baddies of the One Piece world are (without revealing their specific abilities or powers). With this ceiling established and no sense of urgency to reach it. The writers gave themselves limitless opportunities to improve the Straw Hat Crew throughout the series. In comparison, an anime like Dragon Ball Z or Naruto establishes a new power ceiling each time a new villain appears. This exponential growth in power levels is what made the supporting casts (like Yamcha or Sakura) fall behind.

Blackbeard

From my viewpoint as a fan, I think Blackbeard is criminally unappreciated with his impact on the story line. The greatest strength of Blackbeard is his growth as an antagonist. When introduced to Blackbeard, he is still a very small time pirate with a crew smaller than Luffy’s and like the Straw Hat Crew, each character is defined and unique.

There is no cannon fodder for Luffy to Gomu Gomu- Gatling like in every other villain’s crew. Why? Because the Blackbeard pirates is a direct parallel to the Straw Hat Crew. The crews contrast each other as yin and yang, with both rising to the top for a grand stand clash at the end of the series. Even Luffy and Teach are not that different in terms of personality, the only true difference is in their motifs, Luffy chases freedom while Teach chases power. This is what Sasuke should have been to Naruto and what Vegata should have been to Goku. Growing and relatable antagonists instead of reluctant heroes.

One Grand Story Arc

While One Piece follows the standard arc setup that most animes follow, there is one structural difference. Each story arc the Straw Hats go through are all contributing to one grand final arc. This was touched upon in Naruto Shippuden with the ninja war, but it did not quite feel like each arc contributed to the war. It was more, Naruto and crew defeats a villain and somewhere else Orochimaru or the Akatsuki are planning something bigger. While in One Piece, the Straw Hat Crew defeats a villain, and the defeat of this villain opens up new possibilities and further unwinds this larger grand story arc. It’s a crescendo that is growing and building anticipation to the final resounding bang.

In Conclusion

One Piece is an anime about adventure, comradery, and growing. At its core, One Piece is not about flashy fights or powerful characters. It is about an entire world, a world that is living and breathing. There is even merit in the filler arcs which are interesting and feels like part of the story. I for one am excited to see where it leads and I hope you will chose to enjoy the story with me.

Anime, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on A Theme I’ve Noticed – Summer 2017 is a Queer Summer

A Theme I’ve Noticed – Summer 2017 is a Queer Summer

This summer’s anime has been fairly interesting thus far. As with all simulcasts, it falls into a similar category that all eventually find themselves doing; some shows continue to pander to an older running theme, such as the monster girl theme we’ve seen run for several seasons now, or produce several shows at once that all seem to be very similar, such as the “other world” theme a lot of anime have been following this simulcast.

But there’s one theme I’ve noticed and I think it’s beneficial to talk about it. Lately I’ve seen a lot of anime produced in the yuri genre or be more inclusive of same-sex couples in their shows. Of course, it hasn’t been anything like when Yuri on Ice came out, but it’s certainly been something I’ve noticed.

A lot of this has been seen in shows this very blog will be reviewing at the end of the season, but even before hand I saw there was a trend going through each season. We had Izetta the Last Witch then Miss Koboyashi’s Dragon Maid and now we have a whole simulcast with multiple LGBTQ+ shows and characters.

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- was the first anime I’d heard about. And while it certainly has its issues, I think it’s actually a very beneficial anime to have upfront. From what I’ve seen of the anime so far, it has tried to make its theme revolve around the idea of identity; discovering who you are and figuring out your sexuality. And whether or not it was the intent of the writers, I also see a huge theme with abusive queer relationships. This is a topic we often avoid when it comes to queer media and I think that’s a shame. We put way too much stress on same-sex couples to be perfect and stay together, but just like our heterosexual counterparts, we too can get in abusive or toxic relationships. Having this kind of media can be beneficial, but I have to reserve judgement until the end of the season.

Netsuzou may have a direct theme specifically centered around queer woman, but I’ve noticed that other shows are also including queer people into their general story lines. A Centaur’s Life did this with their same-sex couple Mitsuyo Akechi and her girlfriend Inukai. The two play an important role in their friend’s lives, despite not being the center point. They often show up in episodes and help shift the story in significant ways like any other character.

Ranko from My First Girlfriend is a Gal is also queer-identified. -Spoiler Alert- She clearly states that she is in love with Yukana and is incredibly aggressive and protective around her. While her methods are certainly unhealthy, the fact that she is considered a legitimate love rival is important; though I could personally do without her sexualization. Of course, if you’ve seen this anime, you would know the whole point revolves around sex.

Sure, this theme has been around before, but not like this. We’ve all seen girl love portrayed in anime, but for once we’re seeing it in a more normal lighting more frequently. While some of these anime are certainly problematic in their own way, I definitely hold a certain amount of respect for the direction we’re suddenly heading in.

We have queer women in anime suddenly and their love isn’t considered this sexualized or a focal point for discussion. For example, while Ranko is sexualized, she isn’t for the fact she loves Yukana. There’s no point where Jun feels the need to invite her to a threesome (though in a few episodes he certainly did have the thought). And Akechi and Inukai are never looked at or treated differently than their peers, even though some of them are unable to describe same-sex love to their younger counterparts in certain episodes. In fact, something I was proud of was the fact that Akechi took time to be a teacher and show the younger girls that it was okay to be with another girl. They were normalized.

Whether or not you like Netsuzou, and I can agree that it is a little disturbing, it is certainly an anime that is showing light of a lot of very real issues queer women face. While we wait for its conclusion, I’m going to try to keep an open mind and continue to analyze its episodes for what it gives us.

I could start digging this trend and I really hope we start to grow off it. Of course the content and representation can always improve. For example, I think we could certainly use some new male same-sex characters who aren’t pure yaoi for once. And I think this trend is a start and one that’s certainly working. When you have characters who aren’t the main focus but bring importance to the story or even teachable moments to the real world, you’re onto something.

What do you guys think about this season’s portrayal of queer people? Is it doing something different and how can it improve? 

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on Summer Anime 2017!

Summer Anime 2017!

Another summer is here to greet us! In Las Vegas this means it’s time for the heat to boil our faces off and Elliot to shed more fur than I thought possible. Of course, not all is lost! We always have anime! And so, here is the list of new anime that your favorite kitty and I will be doing this summer.

A Centaur’s Life

You just couldn’t let it die could you? You just had to keep begging and begging for more like a bunch of dogs at the dinner table. And now look where we are. Look at what you’ve done. Look at what you’ve cursed us all with.

I suppose I’m going against popular opinion since it seems like everyone finds this anime to be adorable. And I suppose I can see the appeal. Hey man, neko girls are dead right? We’ve evolved as a species to get to this point. Horse girls is where its at now for the cool kids.

Well you’re lucky I care about my readers otherwise I wouldn’t give this anime the light of day. I will watch this anime diligently and, much to my dismay, there will be a review of it up on this blog. I guess anything will do after Spiritpact, but still… We should have just stopped at the first fifty monster girl anime guys, come on.

My First Girlfriend is a Gal

I… Don’t know what I think about this anime upon my first initial reaction. To be honest, I don’t know if I should even touch it. So far it has some pretty risky humor, which I actually don’t mind, but it does it in a way that I’m not entirely sure I like just yet.

Still, I do see an odd charm to it. Romcoms are fairly entertaining and I can’t really see myself having too bad a time based off the first episode. Again, I’ll have to see where it goes with its choice of humor and how it’s utilized, but thus far I think I can stomach this.

Tsuredure Children 

‘Tis the summer for all the awkward love stories, my dears! If there’s any major theme I’ve seen with this particular season it’s that there are a lot of anime about people dying and traveling to other worlds and awkward, funny romances abundant.

This is the one that definitely takes the cake when it comes to any kind of romantic comedies. The entire thing is literally a compilation of a various relationships. So far? I love it. It’s been humorous, wholesome and adorable and that’s just the first episode alone. I’m so ready for it. Let’s do it.

GAMERS! 

I was surprised to find that I really like the first episode for this. I don’t know what vibe I originally got, but I was worried it was just going to be another harem about a nerdy guy that finds himself in a weird situation. I wasn’t ready for that redundancy. But boy was I wrong!

The first episode was definitely eye-catching enough to make me want to stick to the anime. Although, I will say, with all of these funny love stories this season I have to wonder if I’m going to get bored. There is by far already too many romances on this list but they all seemed pretty good thus far.

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- 

So this… Anime…

I’m sure we all thought that I would be super excited about it. To be fair, I was when I was first notified about its existence… But to be very honest after the first episode I am a little worried. Thus far, I sort of get a fetish vibe about it, and I really don’t jive with that kind of anime.

However, I think this is exactly the kind of anime I need to watch. Is it going to be one of my favorites? I doubt it. What I will say is that so far the relationship between the two girls almost seems to be abusive and as hard as that may be to watch, it’s not bad representation. In fact, we need some representation when it comes to abuse in same-sex relationships. I can’t completely condemn it just yet, but I do not have a good feeling about it. Be ready for blood.

Knight’s & Magic

I’m excited for this one! If you know anything about me, you know I love fantasy. It’s the other half of my career. So when anime and fantasy combine, it usually amounts to the stuff of dreams for me. Fantasy-themed anime is probably my favorite thing in the world. I’m ready.

I liked this first episode, though I will say I was a little disappointed with the origin story. It reminded me a lot of GATE and I couldn’t get through that one because of how… Stale it was. I get really bored with the “otaku becomes a bad ass and leads a new life of adventure where his absurd skills suddenly apply” trope. It feels a little silly to me. Once I got beyond that, I thought it was pretty okay. Still, I will save my final opinion for the review!

Well, my lovely fair readers, that is the list for the summer season of 2017! I’m so excited for all of the new shows coming out as well as the awesome stuff Ashley’s Anime is looking to bring to you. Elliot and I will see you soon!

Anime, Anime Review 0 comments on Interviews With Monster Girls – Review

Interviews With Monster Girls – Review

It has finally made its way to our screens everyone. Monster Musume came back with a vengeance, only this time it’s younger girls in short school girl uniforms. Yes, ladies, gentlemen and others, Interviews With Monster Girls feels like an exact replica only with a fresh story and some new perspective. Realistically, the demand for monster girls is pretty popular and I can get it. Monster Musume kicked off a lot of love for new and interesting waifus. The only problem is, I didn’t ask for these waifus. Let me tell you a bit about this anime.

Interviews With Monster Girls revolves around a teacher, Takahashi, who is interested in monster girls, otherwise known as “demis”. With four demis at his school, Takahashi decides to try and interview each of the girls in hopes of gaining new information about their lives as well as proving some of his own theories. Along the way, friendships are built and crushes on the oh-so-buff teacher with a bored expression grow.

The Good:

I suppose the show was cute. No one can deny that the girls and their uniqueness really brought to life something that I found both informative and interesting. Really what surprised me was how much thought was put into the design for each individual “monster”; for example, how dullahans eat or why vampires are living more comfortable lives. Really, this was fairly thought out. I can’t rag on something original and creative in that sense.

The girls were sweet and I admired the issues they decided to personally overcome. I’m also really glad, as perhaps some of you might be, that towards the end of this series (spoiler) the teacher clarifies to Sakki that he’d never be interested in his students because they are children. That set my heart a little at ease, despite the premise of the story being a little creepy and certain interactions that kind of counteracted that.

The Bad:

Um. Hm. Where do I start? So despite the girls being cute (in an innocent way), I found the whole show to be a little uncomfortable. Machi and Yuki were honestly annoying, in my humble opinion. I just felt like they were very similar and their interactions with their teacher bothered me quite a bit. Hikari, surprisingly, was my favorite and she was supposed to be a little annoying; extremely loud, a failing student but quirky and cute. I suppose I’m always a fan of characters who put for an honest front and are aggressive at what they want. Perhaps this is a bias, but none the less, it did impact how I watched the show.

I’ll come out and say it: I’m not a fan of the “hot for teacher” theme. In any kind of media, be it a live TV show, an anime or a book, I find these relationships to be an extremely dangerous trope. I don’t mean to get dark, but I seriously feel uncomfortable with storylines that revolve around this. I was curious to see how a harem anime would be able to get away with it. Sure, he doesn’t choose a girl, but that doesn’t mean his interactions with them are innocent or not. His clarification to Sakki at the end didn’t really make up for all of the previous interactions.

The most frustrating thing about this show to me really was that he didn’t end up with Sakki, a fellow and adult teacher, nor did he have many romantic interactions with her. The only girl he really should have been with wasn’t even a girl but a full grown woman. Now, this isn’t to mention that the story line itself takes a nosedive towards the end. An episode or two later it decides it’s going to get really deep for no good reason and throws you through a loop; no not in a good way. I feel like it was poor fanfic writing in terms of genre, rather than romcom.

Kitty Review:

So despite literally being a copy of Monster Musume, I just felt like this anime was both frustrating and overall a little inappropriate in terms of content. And I don’t mean inappropriate as in “not safe for kids!” but as in “really shouldn’t be sexualizing kids!”. I know some may consider this an overanalyzing factor, as a lot of anime do have this kind of theme, but I really wouldn’t stand by it.

So me and Elliot gave it some disturbing emojis and a two and a half star rating. I just cannot do it guys, I just cannot do it. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t even let Elliot watch it through all the way. It wasn’t that anything bad happened in the show, but the theme was just… Gross. And frustrating when there was clearly one choice to go with. So. Yeah.

Do you like school girl x teacher anime? Why? Don’t even comment.

Conventions, Other 0 comments on New Stuff From Ashley’s Anime! – The Admiral of the OTP

New Stuff From Ashley’s Anime! – The Admiral of the OTP

Hello there lovely followers! As you may or may not have known it has been a pretty hectic few weeks for me and the squad. Between finals and trying to finish up all of my work, we’ve had a couple of intense months but it looks like there will be some clear skies ahead! That being said, some new things are being added to Ashley’s Anime in order to bring all kinds of fun content to read. But first, a few updates.

For those of you who follow our Facebook page, we did go to LVL UP EXPO! Here is my exclusive coverage for Las Vegas Informer that you should check out and read. It was a really fantastic convention, and I have to say it was a seriously huge place to find some of the best cosplays in town.

That being said, the Community Gallery has been updated with photos of cosplayers, so if you got a card from us and know your photo was taken please check it out! If anyone is missing any photos, please let me know and we will correct the issue right away.

We also decided to dedicate an entire page to some of the artists who were at LVL UP EXPO. We’ll be adding to this as we go along for different conventions, but if you’re an artist who would like to be on the page please feel free to fill out one of our contact forms and I will get back to you right away with what we need! Ashley’s Anime is a huge supporter of independent artists, so we want to show our support by showing them off! If you’ve ever wondered where we buy some of our merch… There you go.

So what else are we adding to Ashley’s Anime? Well, for one, new writers. No, this does not mean I’m giving up Ashley’s Anime but I do need some help with the content in order to maintain running it. I currently run the company Black Moor Productions, where our podcast is also hosted, and it is getting a lot bigger than I had anticipated (which isn’t a bad thing by any means!). This does mean, however, that I do have to dedicate more time to it. I will also be opening up a new zine coming very soon so please stay tuned for that!

We will also be adding a new column to Ashley’s Anime!

For those of you familiar with Black Moor, you’ve probably heard of Clover Grayson. Well, Clover also goes by The Admiral of the OTP and she will be starting her own shipping log here on the blog very soon! I’m really excited for what the Admiral will bring to the blog; she is both funny and has a lot of really good points when it comes to your ships.

So pleased stay tuned to Ashley’s Anime, there are so many new and exciting things the blog is going to be trying out in the next few months. I want to thank all of the lovely cosplayers who let us take their photos at LVL UP as well as all of the artists who you should all check out as soon as you can!

Thank you guys, and Elliot and I will write to you soon! 

Conventions 0 comments on LVL UP EXPO! – What to do for Your First Con

LVL UP EXPO! – What to do for Your First Con

In a less than two weeks, LVL UP EXPO will be here in Las Vegas. It will be one of Las Vegas’ largest conventions for gamers and anime lovers in the valley. My team and I will be attending this convention for three days and have been preparing for the long haul for months! It’s not like this for everyone, usually just avid cosplayers, but for those of you who’ve never been to a convention and are planning on going to LVL UP, here are some really easy tips for your first time!

  • Firstly, if this is your first con, don’t cosplay. I say this because, unless you go to cosplay events frequently and are used to the attention, you’ll be too distracted by the people wanting to take your photo and having to keep an eye on your costume that you might not experience the con to its fullest. I can’t imagine what my first convention would have been like if I had gone in a cosplay like Undyne; the paint and now the armor? No way! The following points will help you focus more on really enjoying the convention.
  • Look at the schedule ahead of time and plan out what you want to do. See what signings you’re adamant about going to and getting an autograph for and what other events might be happening in town. Here in Vegas, I would definitely recommend going to the kinds of events where everyone gets together to participate in activities. Masquerades and lip singing contests are really popular here in Las Vegas’ conventions, so if you ever see one of those it’s always a good way to make friends and meet new people while being highly entertained!
  • Go with good friends. I went to my first convention with my younger brother and ex. We had a lot of fun, but the atmosphere was definitely different than what it is now when I go with my entire squad. If you can, I advise going with a group of friends. If you have a sizable group, you’re more likely to all get to do what you want or at least most of it. Most likely, someone else in the group wants to see what you want to, so it’s always a good idea. Besides, the more people there, the more everyone can help each other out if someone’s in a jam.
  • Bring a bag. A backpack, a purse, a small cat that can hold your things, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have some way to hold your stuff and anything you might buy while you’re at the convention. This is usually an issue my group and I face when we cosplay, but it also happened to me when I went to my first convention and didn’t know any better.
  • BRING MONEY AND HAVE A PLAN FOR GETTING HOME! This is my big must for anyone going to a convention. Or even just trips in general. It’s always a good idea to have some kind of backup plan as well. You never know if you’re going to run out of money or your ride will skip. It’s also a good rule of thumb to know your prices and know how to tell real merch from fake merch. As an avid figure collector, I used to drool at the dealer’s alley, but the last few times I’ve gone to a convention, I’ve been careful about what I buy. If I know I can buy the same figure online for much cheaper, and I know it’s real, I’ll hold out. If it’s rare or special, however, I might buy it there for the memory.
  • Speaking of getting home, not everyone going to a convention is from that city. If you’re coming into Las Vegas for LVL UP, for example, you might want to try booking a hotel close to the convention’s venue. It’s always helpful to know you’re close by in case you need to take a break and relax. Even if you’re from town, I know plenty of cosplayers and con-goers who like to rent a room just in case; besides staycations are always fun! Try Vegas.com for bookings and other travel deals if you’ll be in Las Vegas for LVL UP.

Conventions have something magical about them, believe me. I never thought I would fall in love with them the way I did, but when you get a bunch of people together who all love the same thing, there’s always something so special about the air around the venue; and it’s not just the smell of a freshly painted cosplay or plastic figures because that is literally the smell of my room.

I encourage all anime, game and other geek lovers to go and participate in conventions. They’re such a fun way to get involved with your local geek community and have a fun, and maybe even tiring, weekend. So go out there, fall in love and be safe! 

Are any of you going to LVL UP or conventions near you? What are some of your tips? Leave them in the comment section!