Oh hey, so Mitch Whatshisname — the guy who wrote “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, is coming to Manila this weekend for a book signing. The book is all inspirational and uplifting and stuff, but doesn’t actually tell you who you will meet in heaven. I, on the other hand, can tell you in excruciating detail the type of people you get to meet in a local anime con — all five of them.
I apologize in advance if you feel personally victimized by this post; I’m sure all of us went through at least one of these phases at some point in time.
The Tightwad is one of the most common persons you will meet at the con. They are the attendees who will try to get the most amount of stuff for the least amount of money. They will trawl exhibitor booths and artists alley tables trying to beat down prices on merch and commissions, and will walk away fuming if they are refused.
The most extreme form of the Tightwad is the Freeloader. They do the same things Tightwads do, but try to get stuff for free and not just at a steep discount. They will try to convince dealers by saying “I am a cosplayer and I can help advertise your merch”, or even go as far as “I am a famous blogger and I can get you free advertising on my blog in exchange for stuff”.
An anime con is not the place to try out your “Extreme Couponing” skills. Go. Away.
The Nihongo Expert
These are the people who think that watching anime 24/7 teaches them enough Japanese to become “experts”. However, their vocabulary is usually limited to “Kawaii desu ne!”, “Sugoii desu ne!”, and “______ suki desu!!!”.
It gets better! Some “experts” like to substitute Japanese words for English nouns in a sentence. A choice example I heard at a local con went something like, “OHMAIGAWD Reika-sama is so kawaii I totally wanna her to be my kareshi and we can go on a de-to together at a te-ma pa-ku and eat aisu kuri-mu!!!”.
The fact that it was done with complete lack of irony makes my teeth hurt.
A typical conversation with a VIP goes like this:
You: “Excuse me miss/sir, but the backstage area is reserved for staff and special guests only. I am afraid I cannot allow you in.”
The VIP: “I have every right to be here — DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!”
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that’s about it.
The Skeevy Photog
Skeevy photogs come in two flavors: 1) the long-range loser; and 2) the up-close-and-perv-onal. The long-range guys are the photogs with safari lenses attached to their cameras, who train them mostly on the cleavages and derrières of attractive female cosplayers. Skeevy, but mostly harmless.
It’s the up-close guys that female cosplayers have to watch out for. They will approach you to ask if it’s alright to take a photo with you or of you; the moment you agree is when the skeeviness starts. They will invade your personal space and paw you under the guise of getting a two-shot or a selfie, or they will attempt to do some “art direction” for your shot by touching you in a “red light” kinda way.
The best part? When you refuse to have your photo taken, and they walk away calling you a bitch on and offline. UGH >.>
The Ninja School Dropouts
These are the people in street clothes and Konoha head protectors running around the hall slamming into people and overturning merch tables. They also insist on climbing pillars, poles, and the occasional tree. They sometimes scream out the names of jutsu moves while making the appropriate hand gestures, as if they will actually multiply into eight individuals or turn into a hot naked girl if they do that.
At best other peoples’ reactions to them are “LOLWHUT”, and at worst “DO NOT WANT”. I generally go for “GO DIE IN A FIRE”.
To be continued in The Five Other People You Meet in an Anime Con.