Explorations in Japanese Culture
Living in northwest Georgia tends to leave me feeling isolated from others with a similar love of Japanese culture and anime. So any chance I can get to share this love with others is one that I will readily jump at! I had another chance to hang out with other Otakus and buy some cool stuff at MomoCon 2012.
MomoCon started as a small convention held in Atlanta and organized by Georgia Tech students. It began in 2004 with only 175 attendants and was named the Techwood Convention. It has continued growing every year since and this past year was the first time that the convention was held outside of GA Tech and took place in the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta. This past convention hosted roughly 8,500 people over the three day period. Registration is set at a reasonable $25 for a 3 day pass and I attended the convention on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Dealer’s Room was a respectable size, but nowhere near the selection of AWA. It took me about 45 mins on my first walk through. Dealers had a good selection of figurines, manga and cosplay props and I ended up buying some new figurines for my own collection. I love being able to shop in the Dealer’s Room, because so much of the usual shopping I do for figures takes place online where you don’t really have a chance to look at figures close up or examine them.
There was a pretty good panel selection. I went to several, but my absolute favorite was actually not even about anime or Japanese culture! I went to a wonderful panel on the Disney Theme Parks. One of the panelists actually holds the world record for having ridden the Haunted Mansion the most times ever. Um. Wow. So Disney has given him the distinction of being a “Butler for Life” and recognizes him as an aficionado on the Haunted Mansion. My second favorite panel was on Lolita fashion, which was really interesting because beforehand I knew very little about lolita fashion, but have seen it a lot. I never end up going to nearly as many panels as I plan to or want to, but I did get to see a few good ones. Of course, one of my favorite parts of any convention is always seeing all the cosplay!
I did my best to take as many pictures as I could of all the cosplayers I saw, but the convention was actually pretty poorly lit which made it hard to get as many good pictures as I would have hoped for. I just love going to conventions, because there is a sense of acceptance that you just don’t really get in everyday life. I saw people from all over the spectrum walking around and hanging out together. I mean, really, where else can a full grown man cross dress in complete Lolita attire and have no one question what he is doing. If you have never had the chance to attend a convention, then you are really missing out. I hope that everyone has a chance to go to at least one every year. I will also be at JapanFest, DragonCon and Anime Weekend Atlanta this year. Maybe even in cosplay…