Title: Anime Detour 2013
What will the article cover? What will it be about? What exactly an anime convention is, who's there, what there is to do there, why people go, things to do, costs, tips how on how to make your vacation less hectic, when and how anime conventions originated, cosplay, Japanese culture in America. Cosplayers are giving people, donation pool and how we help the community. Complete with pictures.

What stance will you take? p 32, and again on p 82: Informative about what anime conventions are and why people go, while promoting the attendance of them.

Consider audience fit: Other cosplayers and people that just don't get why people do it.

Consider how the article will make contact with readers - chap 3, and chap 4, p 80 - 81
Anime Conventions are rather taboo, especially for people over high school age (middle school?). The purpose will be to show it's an interesting hobby and not everyone is a greasy, gross, anti-social weirdo that attends.

Where might the article fit on TIO: section and category, either existing or one that will collect others Section: Real Life - Travel(?)

What it might link to - literally and figuratively: Japanese Culture in America, strange (but interesting) hobbies, shedding light on a rather unknown field of nerds

Article length: At least 1,000 words, probably between 1,000-2,000 with pictures.

Anime Detour 2013

What is Anime and Manga?
Since I was a kid I've always had my eyes glued on the television watching cartoons. Well, "cartoons". I've always been someone drawn more towards anime, a type of animated film drawn and written in Japan (and later dubbed into English) that is wrongly classified under cartoon. When children in the 90's were watching Ah! Real Monsters and Rugrats, I was watching Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and Digimon. There appeared to be a little more sophistication with anime than with children's cartoon. I was always a weird kid, I wanted real plot with danger and excitement. I wanted to be in the passenger seat, experiencing the ups and downs along with my favorite characters.

Manga is similar to anime, but not quite. They're not the same thing--anime is an animated film, manga is a graphic novel. Often there are manga's that become anime's and occasionally anime's that become manga. Manga is an interesting piece of literature because it's not exactly what you would call a comic book--at least, not an American comic book. Manga has a distinct style. The character's have the distinct style of an anime, but it's black and white and read's differently than a comic book. Japanese read from right to left, back to front (our back to front). Consequently when manga are translated you're starting at the back of the book (now with a front cover) and you're reading right to left, top to bottom. At first, it's strange. But almost immediately you get the hang of it.

Anime and manga are cool. It's fun, it's interesting. I would argue it holds the same complexity as a book or a great film. Depending on the anime you watch or manga you read, you can find yourself being a life-long fan, touched by the struggles of the characters and educated a little bit more about what exactly life is all about. Have you ever read one of those books that just made you feel like you understood the struggles of life just a little bit better? Or seen a film that made you cry because you knew exactly what that person was going through? Anime and manga can do that, and if it's done right it-- can stick with you forever.

To this day there are a handful of anime and manga that have stuck with me: Godchild (manga), Full Metal Alchemist (manga and anime), Saiyuki (manga and anime), Elfen Lied (anime), Sailor Moon (anime), Avatar: The Last Airbender (anime) and Tales of the Abyss(manga, anime and video game). Not to say that there aren't more that interest me and I enjoyed (or some that are also manga or anime's I haven't read/seen), or some that I just haven't seen yet that will probably stick with me, but these are the one's I always fall back to when offering a newcomer idea's.

My love of anime and manga are probably what ended up turning me into a writer. It's also probably the reason I still read manga and watch anime at 23 years old. And probably why I'm still attending anime conventions.

Prep'ing for an Anime Convention

Badges and Hotel
Anime Detour typically takes place sometime around April, but always on a weekend (friday-sunday). If it's your first time going to an anime convention, it's best to keep an eye on their website (for example www.animedetour.com) to see when pre-registration opens. And yes, you will need to pre-register. It has been at least two years since Anime Detour has allowed walk-ins. Pre-registration has been filling the capacity (about 5,000 con-goers) by January. Typically you will be able to buy your badge somewhere around October or November when registration opens up. Get your ticket as soon as you are able. Another tip is to make sure you get a confirmation e-mail. There have been too many con-goers that believe they have clicked all the right buttons only to realize too late that their credit card was never charged and registration is full and they can no longer make it. Double check, triple check.

Anime Conventions are an investment. In this case, you should share your investments. Unless you're very wealthy chances are you will not be able to afford a hotel by yourself. If you're lucky (or if Anime Detour doesn't @#*! up again with hotel registration*) you will receive decent rates on a room during the con. Decent meaning about $135 a night with tax. When you're showing up Thursday (I always recommend arriving the day before the convention if at all possible) you will be paying for 3 nights. If you have 3 people that's about 135 a night. See where I'm going with this? Try to bring along friends to share the costs for you--but don't cram in like sardines. Trust me, you will be so much more comfortable and well-rested when four (5 max) share a room over twelve people cramming into every nook and cranny of the hotel room.

*Anime Detour 2013 decide to open hotel registration all at once without giving any warning or courtesy e-mails this year. Instead, Anime Detour staff posted on their website (that did not give an alert to those linked with an email) and on their facebook page that hotel reservations would be open on February 15th at noon. Anime Detour also only allows booking of the hotel ONLINE. The moment reservations opened the site crashed and the rooms were completely booked in 7 minutes. My group did not get a room in the con hotel. We had to drive. It was miserable.

While not mandatory to wear a costume, you should. About 80% of con-goers are wearing a costume, some are more elaborate than others, but if you want to stand out it's best to spend the time and the resources carefully creating your costume. I recommend having very good shoes. You will be walking and moving around constantly. It is also a good idea to bring extra thread, needles and safety pins in the event that your costume isn't held together as well as you though. If you don't dress up, at least wear something anime, video game or manga related on a t-shirt. It will make you stand out less.

The first thing I do every year is decide who I am going to dress up as. Over the years, it has changed and fluctuated. Since I started I have gone as:
Anime Detour 2008: Haku from Naurto
Anime Detour 2009: Jade from Tales of the Abyss
Anime Detour 2010: Austria from Axis Powers Hetalia
Anime Detour 2011: Nick from Left 4 Dead 2
Anime Detour 2012-2013: Female Medic from Team Fortress 2
Metacon 2013: Dr. Girlfriend from Venture Brothers (my boyfriend is going to be the Monarch).

Be silly. Express yourself. Have fun with it!

Who to Take
Boyfriends/Girlfriends are okay as long as they're interested in what you're doing and they support you. Try to get them to dress up if you can! Do not bring them if they are going to complain about all the weirdo's dressed up and repeatedly complain about everything from the walking, the food to the costs.

Do not bring friends that are not committed to the con. If you hear doubt in their voice, talk them out of it. It is not worth having slightly less costs to bring someone with you that is a stick in a mud. They will ruin the con for you.


Find out who's car you are taking and how good their mileage is. Prepare to fork out money to pay for gas and any other expenses. If your driver has to buy fluids and upgrade their car parts, be nice and help them out. It's their car getting all the extra mileage on it and them stressing out over driving in the cities. If you don't want to pay for car parts, at least buy them something nice at the con. Plan to spend roughly $40 each.

If you are in the DoubleTree Hotel you get a coffee pot and that's about it. If you can smuggle in a microwave or a toaster, you should. Bringing a ice chest could also be a good idea, but be prepared to replenish the ice and empty the water often.

This year my group was at the Extended Stay hotel. It had a fridge, toaster, coffee pot and stove top. We ate like kings, but spent an extra $60 buying food because we felt like we should use all the amenities offered. Don't do that. Plan to spend at least $40 on food.

Misc. Costs
This depends entirely on you. How much do you want to spend buying merchandise at the con? I would suggest at least $60. This year I spent roughly $125 on merchandise. I bought four t-shirts (about 20 bucks a piece), a meowchi plushie (20 bucks) and a few coffee's at the con. If you have a group with you and you're all interested in a dealer selling shirts, see what kind of deal's they have! You can save a lot of money if you spend together at the same shops.

And FFS, don't forget...
Don't forget these. Print copies, print alternate routes and bring a map. If someone has a phone with a GPS, bring that too. Don't rely entirely on it because batteries die and GPS' can be really stupid. Ours lead us in circles for no real apparent reason.

At the Con

Rule #1: Listen to security (they will revoke your badge if you piss them off).
Rule #2: don't be a dick (if you see someone in a costume that doesn't look good on them, don't tell them, and for god's sake don't yell it to your friend next to you).
Rule #3: Shower regularly and put on deodorant generously. (You smell. Do it.)
Rule #4: do not attack/hug/kiss/strangle/hump/trip or even take pictures of other con-goer's without their consent. (You can get kicked out for doing this. Some people are incredibly protective over their costumes and do not want your sweaty gross armpits on them. Ask first.)
Rule #5: Have fun, take pictures, rest frequently and hydrate yourself.

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