For those who are merely interested in seeing the pictures I took, just skip towards the bottom. I’m going to be taking the time to blog about my experience.
I’m being judged.
That was one of the few thoughts that would cross my mind each time I wake up to see Jack just sitting down on the chair near the end of the bed. I suppose this was to be expected considering almost everyone usually wakes up before I would on a typical day. In reality, a lot of us were partially awake but just lazing around on the beds. Hard not to when it’s so comfortable.
By the time we all were fully woken up, it was a little past 10am. We all weren’t too concerned on getting there an early time considering Sunday is usually the day where most people are just getting ready to leave. Some don’t even bother to dress up like Carmina which is totally understandable. Leyzee and I still ended up cosplaying and we chose to go as Little Busters! characters. There was a guy named Tomo we met at Sakura-Con 2013 who was cosplaying as Masato. Leyzee and I were insanely excited as we thought we were the only people who would be cosplaying as any of the characters. As such, he was one of the few people I would look forward to meeting each year. However unfortunately before Sakura-Con started this year, he had already told me that he was too busy and would not be able to attend. Both Leyzee and I were pretty bummed about it as we knew he’d be one of the few to appreciate our cosplays. At least there’s always next year!
Before we went out, I sent a message on a Line group chat asking some of my friends currently attending Sakura-Con if they’d be interested in meeting up for a group picture. Due to everyone’s schedule, we weren’t able to make it work out (especially since Meta had to leave early).
Since the Band-Maid raffle was going to start at noon, I helped Jack pack some of the stuff into the car since we would also have to check out of the hotel. It was kind of wet outside but we weren’t going to be out for long. I had definitely brought too much in preparations. Now that I know what to bring realistically, next year should be a much lighter load. I felt bad for making Jack have to deal with lifting a lot of these things and loading them as well. We at least did not have to worry about water! The hotel wanted 4 dollars for a large bottle of water. What a joke! I bought a whole CASE of water for 3.50!!
We had finished in time to safely head towards the Exhibit hall so I could wait in line for the raffle drawing at Band-Maid booth. For some reason, they had kept saying “photobooth” every now and then and mentioned a red ticket. It took a couple minutes for me to realize that the line was actually for people with the red tickets to take pictures with the maids. I hadn’t realized you needed to purchase a bundle to take a picture with them (or that it was even an option). Since Carmina was the one who gave me the red ticket, I gave her a call to ask if she wanted to take the picture instead. After several assurances from Carmina saying she was okay, I hung up the phone to get ready for the picture.
As typical of what you’d expect from people, they were asking for peace sign poses and such when taking a picture with them. Nothing wrong with that but it always seems a bit bland if they’re doing something similar to everyone else. Yes, I’m that guy who tries to be different. This time, however, I had a valid reason to do so! To stay in character, I asked if they could pose in a muscle flexing pose. They were a bit shocked as it was definitely a new pose that was asked of them. They were even commenting amongst themselves how odd it was. Then they would also make jabs at each other saying something like, “What the heck is up with that pose [Saeki]? That’s not even a muscle pose!” Hilariously, some of them are making poses as though they were acting like Masato from Little Busters. Misa (the one towards the far left) looks like she’s ready to knock someone out!
A large majority of the time was spent taking pictures of the remaining people who were still in costume. The sun came back out for a little bit which made it nice to go outside to see who was posing for pictures. There were a few times however where I found some cosplayers just have a great time being in a mini photoshoot. There was a sudden One-Punch Man photoshoot on the skybridge (as there always seems to be this Sakura-Con) and while I was taking a picture, someone cracked a joke and made everyone break out of character. It was honestly a charming scene where you could really tell that people are just having a great time. As someone who cosplays, I can tell you that it kind of feels nice to know that someone enjoys your cosplay enough to ask for a picture. It’s even more fun with a group of people. Throw that in with an environment where everyone is comfortable with each other due to everyone having similar interests.
I suppose this is why I enjoy taking pictures of cosplays so much. It’s almost like an addiction being able to take their pictures. It’s also why I can’t find myself doing it professionally as it would take out the fun in it. When you can see even a glimpse of these magical moments, it really just makes the experience so much more rich and enjoyable. In a way, I almost find it a duty as a photographer to take these pictures to help capture these moments so that they become permanent; when these moments are photographed, the memory sticks forever. I’m rambling a bit but I find it a bit difficult to properly express how I feel about taking these pictures. Perhaps in another blog post in the future.
After walking around a bit, the group and I came together to decide when we’d leave. It didn’t take long but we all agreed that we’d leave at 4pm. The convention would officially be over by 6pm anyway. So naturally I went around doing what I do best: taking more pictures of cosplayers.
During that time, I ran into Jesse which was a bit of a surprise since Jack had mentioned that he had left. Turns out that Jesse was only gone for a bit because his friends were around and he wanted to hang out with them. It was certainly still nice to bump into him before we would eventually head out and conclude our Sakura-Con adventures.
I was about go off on a huge tangent, but I think it’d be best to leave that for a “Post-Con” entry. So with that said, time for picturesssss.