Anime conventions can sometimes be the perfect storm of weirdness. What started as a simple craving for some bubbletea somehow ended up as a weird roleplaying adventure with people I have never met before this the story of that adventure. This version is somewhat cleaned up though. In reality there were a few pauses, dialogues flowed a bit less (because people were informing their friends they were doing this now) there was a cosplay malfunction in the middle etc. So imagine gather a few random people from the street and ask them to perform this story and you’ll probably be close to how it actually happened. What I tell you today is the story how we will remember and retell it each time.
No Bubble Tea Pinkie!
It was the Saturday of the Netherlands biggest anime convention the second and longest day out of the three. I was walking alone in my Yukata (like a less fancy/traditional Kimono) , I just want to the Clara Cow Cosplay Competition of C4 as it was called. My friends I came with did not like cosplay shows so they went to play a Jojo game on PS3. I spend a while in the dark so I decided to go for a bit of sunshine, perhaps my friends were hanging outside as well, I actually knew they would most likely still be gaming but I did not feel like being trapped in there watching them play for the next hour. After wandering alone for a bit I noticed I got a bit thirsty so I decided to get some bubble tea. Which was quite unfortunate for my friends in the long run. I went to the bubble tea place that had a cute girl, she was straighter than a ruler, but hey the heart wants what it wants. So just before I get there I have to pass through a door but a man cosplayed like Snorlax is laying in the doorway. A lot of people were stepping over him but I decided not too that day. It was my favorite franchise so I decided to go along with it. That is a roadblock. Hmmm… (in reality stewards came to ask him to move a bit so people could pass but me as well as a few people just accepted the roadblock still). A guy cosplayed like Ash came to me and said. ‘I think we need a Pokéflute or can you sing the melody’. At that time I stopped being Pinkie. I became Kimono Girl Ai, a kimono girl with a Sylveon. Alongside the Ash guy and his Misty girlfriend I decided to look for a pokémon flute. There is this guy who is basicly at every convention either dressed as Pokémon Trainer Red who uses an ocarina to play the Pokéflute song or other songs. We figured he would be enough.
Ash and Misty, who by this day I still know as Ash and Misty, even if I have seen them in other cosplay, alongside myself decided to try the basement first. The basement was the home of the dealer room, which we dubbed the Animecon-Department Store and the Game Room, which we named Game Cave. As Pinkie had business in the game room Ai bravely volunteered to explore Game Cave by herself so Ash and Misty could search for Red in the Animecon-Department Store. There were some other things in the basement but more on that later, those were basically side activities like a cosplay repairpoint and three arcade cabinets. Game Cave was quite different from the rest of the con, this was the home of the Hikikomori. A different breed of convention people who disliked the social aspect somewhat less and just came here to game. Of course there were a lot of Weaboo in the cave as well. For my first task I had to look for Beefy males beating each other up.. and there were a lot of those. But non so beefy as he Jojo’s game my friends were playing. I told them I was on a quest and I would be able to eat in the next hour or so. My mentor and only female friend in the group dressed like Hatsune Miku (in Kimono) decided to go along because she wasn’t hungry either. I told her we were looking for the guy with the Ocarina so he could awaken a Snorlax. She went to the bathroom to change her wig.. as she transformed into Kimono Girl Shimo (it means frost) The Kimono Girl that uses a glaceon. Reclipping the buns slightly more to the side took her about 20 minutes though, so I did some other stuff in the meantime but ..that’s not part of this story. She then convinced me to look for Ash and Misty in the Dealer Room while we bought a plush of our eeveelution. We met the Kantonian trainers a bit later and I introduced them to Shimo, when we noticed Red was just outside the dealer room. He challenged us to a series of games and if we beat him he would come with us. The games he chose were the minigames of Pokemon Stadium back in Game Cave. I guess I should not have started with ‘Mister Red we are on a quest’ because he played along perfectly and unfortunately we lost the battle of Game Cave…He was excellent in the Clefairy and Drowzee Minigame and while we beat him in Sushi eating.. he nearly won everything else. Would we really white out?
Pinkie used Splash
Being the good guy that he is he decided we could still win his Pokéflute if we beat him in the Magikarp fishing contest. Unfortunately there was no such thing at the convention and the guy had us really confused. Misty vanished for a while and Red was kinda being creepy towards Shimo for a bit so I as Ai was kind of fearing I would not be able to get my bubbletea. After some awkward staring (and this is me excluding the most awkward character breaking moments) Red explained to us that with the Magikarp Fishing contest he meant a game of Goldfish scooping. We all thought it was hilarious and very in character so we agreed and went to play Goldfish Scooping.. after having waited for Misty who had to release her caterpee’ at the world forum that could take a while though. When we finally reunited I felt I have gotten a lot closer to my own birthday but not a lot closer to getting the pokéflute. It was finally time to scoop. Now regardless if I cosplay as Megurine Luka in a Yukata, or Kimono Girl Ai.. or even if I am just myself there is one force that is much greater than myself. My knack to draw in bad luck. Now for those who do not know what Goldfish scooping is. You have a pond , usually a kid’s playing pool, filled with like bouncy balls or tiny rubber balls . We get like this little circle with a handle on it, and in that circle they place a piece of paper towel.. or a similar material. Your goal is to collect as much balls with your collection device before the paper ruptures and becomes unusable. Think of that endgame of Takeshi’s castle..but with a pond and balls rather than angry japanese man on motorcycles and water cannons. If you written the title of this part of the story you can guess what happend. From the get go there were way less balls on my side of the pool so I had to lean in a bit more, in my excitement I forgot I was wearing brand new japanese slippers and slippery cloth and panties so I slid across the floor like any pokémon ice puzzle. And with my third reach fell into the pool. Luckily my epic fail distracted Red so much that misty was able to pull out the win as me flopping in the pool pushed the balls in her direction.. so I guess something happened at least when I used magikarp signature move that’s something.
Now in reality it turned out that Snorlax and Red were together and they hoped this would happen more or less and at a few points we actually went up to tell him what was happening so he did not have to just lay there.. in fact he was present at the minigame battle and after I dried up (mostly) we went to eat something together. We were spoiled for what was to come next as Snorlax came alongside a Jessie and James, the Jessie was actually named Jessica in real life and James actual name was Kevin. .. So they told us they captured Snorlax and for some reason we all agreed we had to save him, it made little sense since we initially just wanted the roadblock gone but somehow we all agreed he deserved better than those criminals. After dinner the scenario was apparently that Ai fell in the pond and Red had rescued her.. I retconned him giving mouth to mouth saying he would not be able to score me in his dreams. We laughed but than discovered Snorlax had been STOLEN BY TEAM ROCKET… the surprise was real. Now obviously the answer to stop Jessie and James was to defeat them in a pokémon battle right? Naaaaahhh…. all we had to do was find a skyrim guard cosplayer or something so he could yell Stop Right there Criminal scum. Those were the rules of the game and we knew he was there that day so that’s what we went with. Shimo however had to deal with an annoyed boyfriend who wanted us all to eat together.. but he did not want to come on our adventure so she told him off. Meanwhile Misty and Ash apparently were still quite hungry after dinner cause both seemed to still be in the mood for some fresh tongue. Red was playing Zelda music for some other cosplayers so I just sat there feeling kind of awkward. After having faced some inner demons in all that spare time it was time to find the guard. He apparently used to be a pokémon trainer like us until he took an arrow to the knee. Which is kinda weird because I believe back than Decidueye wasn’t even released yet. So where did the arrows came from. While his nametag said his name was DawnSniper and his lower tag I think said Donnie, he introduced himself as Leif. Which we turned into Leaf.. cause it was more pokémonny. Leaf told team Rocket to stop, they were paid a fine and their stolen goods were confiscated. Snorlax was released and Red played the Pokéflute… to wake him up and move him from the spot we put him back into… because reasons.
Kevin James, Jessica Jessie, Shimo Misty Ash and I (or Ai) then decided to share a bubble tea together. Red and Snorlax passed but lingered around for a bit. I could at least for a moment look at the cute girl and maybe talk a bit about our epic adventure to get to her. Unfortunately the stars rarely align for me and the encounter I worked so hard to get had finished her shift and went to do stuff with her friends. We sat and chatted for a bit discussing all sorts of things but mostly pokémon, I had a card battle with Misty , Ash and Shimo bonded over their love for dog pokémon and Red played some pokémon music. Leaf had to leave early become someone had their sweetroll stolen but he made an amazing cosplay. We had done something completely random with completely random people and it felt great, even if I did not get to talk to the girl. I had a pokémon adventure in real life which was quite special. I befriended a snorlax, a con staple and two very.. thirsty trainers. I met Ash and Misty once more on a con, and red a few times ..but he did not recognise me as I wore masks and I even got to talk to bubble tea girl the next year. Too bad for Pinkie that was because she somewhat hooked up with one of the friends I was with that year. While I doubt I would have had a shot at the girl, it was funny how the roadblock pokémon had changed my adventure. Quite like a real slowpoke. I had to collect new friends and even do battle. So while I have no idea how my acceptance of a cosplays concept set this into motion it is a fond little memory of the beauty that is conventions. It took us about two to three hours to do everything i’d say (including drying off and all the phonecalls) but in those three hours I made friends. Not friends in the way that I can share my sorrows with them or we have deep talks.. but people I’ll see on a con and without even thinking on it we’ll hug and start a new adventure together just like that The power that’s inside a fandom.
Question to my Readers:
What is your most quirky con experience?
The world is a wonderful place filled with the unknown, with conventions the limits even blur more. We can play again like children to meet new people and new friends in ways that in the outside world would be frowned upon. We can live in a fantasy world for the few days a con lasts. I am grateful for those memories!
The Pinkest Poké Blogger is blasting off again!