Monday, February 17, 2014

Otakon 2013 Sword Art Online Gathering

At Otakon, Saturday was the Sword Art Online (SAO) fan gathering. Similar to the Madoka Magica gathering, I learned about this on a cosplay forum and then on Facebook for the status changes. I believe that originally, the gathering was supposed to happen at an earlier time and at a different location. The change was due to schedule conflict relating to another SAO event (might have been a panel).

When I went to what I believe to be the designated area; I was the first one at the 3rd floor outdoor terrace. I tend to arrive early anyway. However, when other cosplayers came, there seemed to be some confusion of WHERE the photo shoot was supposed to take place. Was it here or was it at the OUTDOOR fountain? Personally, I would have preferred the 3rd floor terrace because it was shaded. However, the group decided to venture out in the blazing heat.

So to participate, I followed the group outside to the fountain. When we reached the area, I believe someone asked where we should stand or have the photo shoot. I called out “I vote for shade” and just walked right to the trees. If no one followed, I would have left. Heat and cosplay is not really a good mix.

Then confusion came: who the heck was in charge of this gathering? Honestly, the person(s) did not seem to be there. Eventually, someone did start calling out the character groupings, pairings and scenes.

When someone called out Silica, well, I was the only one there at the time. I ended up wondering if I am suppose to pose by myself? I do not mind, but it was kinda empty? So, someone suggested that I pair up with a Kirito. Because there were a variety of choices, I asked “which one?” One of the Asuna's said “pick one.” I said, “Aaaaaa....” (looking around) “I'll pick him because he was talking to me more.” Then I heard a loud laugh and people going “OOooo.” Humorous eh?

Then about half an hour later other SAO cosplayers arrived. Then an individual arrived who seemed like the person who was supposed to be in charge. He started calling out characters, but the cosplayers who were there on time said “we did that already” a couple of times.

Even though the gathering and photoshoot did happen, there was a lesson to be taken from this. If you are going to start or organize a gathering, be the leader and be on time for your own gathering. If you cannot be there, then get a substitute. It really does not help when you have a group of individuals guessing on what to do and where to go. Confusion is not needed, organization is.

© 2014 Linda Thai
Photography by AC
For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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