Those of my watchers who have been watching me for a while know that I had a less than stellar experience my first time going to Anime Midwest. After that, I decided to take a break from it and let the convention staff and organizers iron out there problems. My plan was to wait at least three years, which I figured would be more than enough time for the con to work things out and make things better. However, that plan changed when I heard that my favorite voice actor Eric Stuart was going to be there. The moment I learned that I knew I had to go. So without further ado- Anime Midwest, Round 2!
♡Prologue to the Convention
In the months leading up to the convention I had to ready two new cosplay. One of them was relatively easy to do, while the other was unlike anything I had ever done before. The first one was for a group cosplay I was doing with my friends; we decided to do a Five Nights at Freddy’s group cosplay. I was to be the titular Freddy Fazbear, with Ace aceyxpie.deviantart.com/ as Foxy, foRev foreverhauntingme.deviantart.c… as Chica, and Britt tis-britt-brat.deviantart.com/ as Bonnie. When it came to making my cosplay for Freddy I had a pretty easy time. I used parts of a three piece suit I already owned, a bow tie, a microphone I got at Party City, and a wig I already had. The hard part was the ears which I made with cardboard, felt, hot glue, and hair clips. All in all, a fun cosplay that let me take some fun group shots with my friends~
My second cosplay, which took me months to finish, was my dream cosplay; Seto Kaiba. It’s very hard to explain what Kaiba means to me personally, and I won’t bore you with the details here, but I was determined to do him justice with my cosplay. After ordering a wig, contact lenses, and spending more than I would have liked on materials, I got to work on him. The hardest part by far was the legendary jacket, which seems to have been designed with the Blue Eyes White Dragon in mind. In making the jacket, I found that the patterns available at the fabric store and online were insufficient, so working with my mom and grandmother we designed out own pattern. Granted, this is easier said than done. We ended up working on the pattern piece by piece, figuring out what worked through much trial and error. Finally, after weeks, we were able to finalize a pattern and create a prototype. After that success came the daunting task of making the real thing. To make it I used white denim, red polyester lining, various widths of interfacing, and lots of hard work. After almost three weeks of working on it on and off and changing things here and there (lots of re-sewing and seam ripping) until finally it was ready to be embellished. Trying it on for the first time and seeing how it looked was an amazing feeling! Especially since I had it done in time for the con.
Now! Onto the con itself!
On Friday we drove up to Rosemont to our hotel. This year, for the first time, we were actually able to stay in the hotel that was hosting the convention, the Hyatt Regency, which is next to the Donald A. Stephens Convention Center. It was my first time there, so I wondering around the floors and rode up and down in the elevator like a noob! On Friday I wore my newest cosplay, Seto Kaiba, in anticipation of seeing his voice actor in a panel later that day. My friends and I got our shopping done first and then wondered the con. In my wondering I discovered Chuck Huber's table, and I was more than happy to see him again. He is such a charming man! Then, I noticed him. The real him for the first time. Down the way at another table was Eric Stuart. I looked over at him like a creeper a couple times before he noticed me and pointed me out, beckoning me over. He was very impressed with my cosplay. He said that it looked great and even had me turn around so he could check out the whole thing, and complemented all the detail I had put into it. For me, those words were enough to make the hours upon hours of work worth it (;//// That complement, coming from a man that must have seen millions of Kaiba cosplayers over the years, means more than any prize or any recognition from any judge. To me, that was the ultimate victory. I felt like I saw walking on air after that, and nothing could have ruined my day at that point. After that I attended one of his panels and ordered pizzas for my friends and I. It really was an amazing day!
foRev had a panel and I ended up going to most of it. After that Eric Stuart had a live acoustic concert and then Chuck Huber had a panel. All in all, good stuff happened one right after the other that day. Saturday had a ton of energy and my friends and I got some good pictures. We were dressed up as our group cosplay that day and met a ton of people who thought our outfits were super cute (^o^) I ended the day by going to yet another one of Eric’s panels on the voice acting career, which was very informative and interesting.
This was a short day for us. My friends, sister and I were dressed up as members of the platoon from Sgt. Frog, which is an older cosplay of mine but always a fun one. We got out last minute shopping at the convention done before going to the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, which is just a few minutes away in the heart of the Japanese community in Chicago. After eating lunch there and buying a few things we needed grocery wise, we finally made the long trip back home.
All in all this was a very weird convention for me. It was nowhere near as crowded or claustrophobic feeling as I was used to, but it also was much less chaotic. This was due in part to the fact that I was, for the first time since my very first convention in 2011, I was NOT in panel. This was also unique because my mother joined my friends and I and got to experience an anime convention for the first time. She had a great time and got a super cute necklace in the artist alley (^o^)/. My experience this year at Anime Midwest was totally different than the one I had in 2013. I had a really good time this year and I’m so glad I went!