This was my 7th year at Acen and definitely one of the most unusual. I only wore one costume (something I haven’t done in 4 years) and spent a lot of time walking around, hitting up the dealers room, and attending panels. I hung out with a new group of people and was a little out of my element, I think. Despite this, I still had a fun time and definitely don’t regret the experience.
Due to some schedule conflicts, I didn’t leave for Acen until around 4PM on Friday. I took the L to the con with Al who, despite his love for anime, had never been to a convention. He had watched me prepare for cons in the past and I think he was eager to experience my “secret double life.” I was just excited to see his reaction! When we got to the convention center, he was pretty quiet but I don’t think he was as weirded out as my family was the year they attended. He said something along the lines of, “This is exactly what Japan is like every day – except with more white people. And less mechs. ” I wish that was the truth.
We got to the hotel at about 5:30PM and quickly unloaded our things in Vinnie’s room and met up with Mercury!Megan to get some food. We headed over to the restaurant only to discover that the prices were ridiculous so we opted for some hotel food instead. Afterward, we walked around to let Al get acquainted with the hotel/convention center and we took some Mercury pictures for Megan along the way. We eventually ended up attending one of my favorite panels, Your Favorite Anime Sucks and, at about 1AM, we decided to head to McDonalds for a food run. On the way back, I found $10 on the ground! Hooray!
When we got back, we tried to head to bed. Unfortunately, sleeping was not an option. We roomed with Vinnie and someone in the room had some SERIOUS snoring issues. I’m not kidding – it was absolutely horrible. Despite being exhausted, we laid on the floor until 7AM, at which point we couldn’t stand it anymore and, after a desperate phone call, we crawled into Megan’s room for the remainder of the “night”.
2 hours later, Megan and I woke up to get ready for “Project Glitter.” Project Glitter was the code name of an eternal Sailor Moon group, planned by Stephanie. We had been putting our costumes together over the past couple months and were excited that we were able to form a full senshi team, including ChibiChibi! I was just excited to be able to remake my Chibimoon costume with the sewing experience I had gained since I made the original costume in 2007.
After getting ready, Megan and I met up with the rest of the girls, only to discover that some of the costumes were not finished. I had some serious flashbacks to Sakuracon 2008 and was nervous that our attempts to assemble a full team would have been in vain. I also had a little bit of relationship drama, which didn’t help. At that point, Megan, Al, and I left the room to find some food and we ran into the wonderful Kevin along the way. He was kind enough to grab some photos of Megan and I which definitely helped me lighten up.
Unfortunately, Megan had to change for the masq at 2:30PM, just as the girls of Project Glitter were wrapping up their costumes. I grabbed some quick photos with Joe and Pete and ran back to join the girls for some group photos. We only got a few and Megan wasn’t present but I think we looked really great! It was late in the day and Al and I really wanted to go to the masquerade so we took off immediately after.
The masquerade had some amazing costumes but my binding was really killing me so we left about 5 skits in. I changed out of Chibimoon for a while and relaxed in the room with Nicole and co. At around 8:30PM, I changed back into Chibimoon for the Sailor Moon Squares panel. The entire group finally came together (including Megan) and we had a really fun time answering questions and playing along with the audience.
Afterward, a lot of the girls and I got ice cream and just sat around. I changed out of costume, took a shower, and went to some panels with Al and Megan. We also went to the game room where I played some PUZZLE FIGHTER and Al and I went to a yaoi and hentai room, which was hilarious. I was getting really sleepy so we headed upstairs to bed and passed out immediately.
On Sunday, we packed up and left our luggage with the Hyatt. We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant and walked around the dealer’s room. I picked up a new phone charm for and Al picked up a “super kawaii whale” stuffed animal. We attended a voice acting panel and went back to the dealer’s room for one last look. After that, Megan had to catch her flight so we headed out too.
Overall, it was a very weird weekend but I had fun!