2017 Nor Cal (CR Expo & Sac Anime) - A thought on kigurumi at anime conventions

      2017 Nor Cal (CR Expo & Sac Anime) - A thought on kigurumi at anime conventions

      I have attended the first inaugural year of Crunchyroll Expo on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA and just wow, what an amazing anime convention I have been to so far. Even though it was Crunchyroll's first anime exposition, there were a lot of attendees and cosplayers alongside with cool merchandise on the exhibition floor and a very large artist ally. I was quite surprised to see that were no animegao kigs at the Crunchyroll Expo even though it's one of the three anime conventions in Northern California. (Fanime and Sac Anime are the other two.) I saw a couple of fursuiters and other masked cosplayers, but no actual kigs were present. I guess animegao kigurumi has not caught on in Nor Cal yet, apart from Kig-O members.

      Anyways, onto my thoughts of kigs in convention discussion:

      1.) Going with a group or bringing a handler is extremely recommended. The convention floor at the Expo was always crowded and attempting to go out in kig solo would be hazardous. Your vision is restricted so you will have great difficulty when navigating the floor when you are without a handler. (There should be a sub forum on Kig-O where solo kigs can look for a handler, although there may be an issue on trustworthiness in regards to strangers of course.)

      2.) Booking a hotel room that is closest to the convention, regardless of cost, is a huge must, even if you are attending the event for a single day. Kigs really need a base of operations where they can safely store their belonging and a place to rest. Walking on the event floor, even not in costume, all day will wear you down physically and your energy will be drained out. Eat plenty of nutritional foods hydration and also get plenty of rest before costuming up. Kig is no fun when you are drowsy or exhausted.

      3.) Walking in the convention halls without sufficient ventilation or strong air conditioning will cause kigs to sweat rapidly and increase the risk of overheating. The amount people in the convention generates a whole lot of body heat, so try to avoid large crowded areas. This is why many masked cosplayers I saw damask in public, they can no longer tolerate the heat.

      3.) DO NOT enter or pass into restricted/closed areas where kigs could safely and privately cool down and rest. Don't risk getting into trouble with security and/or having your event pass revoked, it's not worth it. Instead, retreat to your hotel room as soon as you can. The Santa Clara Convention did not have gender neutral or unisex restroom facilities, so think ahead about using the toilet before suiting up. Do note that many other convention facilities are not updated or equipped with gender neutral facilities if the kigs are really protective of their identities. Moreover, read up ALL of the convention rules and policy plus city laws and ordinances before suiting up. Some of them prohibit the concealment of a face.

      4.) Crossplaying is becoming more common and its social stigma seems to be disappearing. Guys who crossplay regular anime/manga characters received words of compliment and encouragement. If kigs were out on the floor, regardless of the performer's gender, they would most likely receive positive remarks.

      5.) Preparation is key, pre-walk through the convention floor and know the important areas of the event such as emergency exits, water fountains, restrooms, etc. before actually suiting and going out in public. Plan out a time schedule of when to perform in public, when to eat, and when to rest.

      If Crunchyroll decides to make the Bay Area or other NorCal cities as its permanent location venue, it is a must go event to all manga and anime fans in Northern California. Besides, Crunchyroll is my primary source for anime. Anyhow, I'll be at SacAnime for the Labor Day Weekend and if you're going, give a shout out and I can't wait to meet you.

      ​*FYI* I attended the Expo as myself as I don't have a kig outfit. My thoughts are expressed as a scenario if I were to wear kig to the Expo.
      Kig-O Member since September 2016

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “Senkan” ().

      very sound advice.

      I recommend taking the time to get yourself in good shape and hydrate a lot leading up to the convention. through out the year it is wise to use your kig in conditions at home that are going to push you to your limit and build up a tolerance to what your body can endure as you will learn how to conserve energy and control your own body temperatures better. in very crowded areas you will need a handler to keep you out of trouble.

      know I have only been doing Kig for about a year, but I have 30 years of Costuming in my history and a good 20 of it I have spent in Armor that is more unforgiving than kig and been in them at conventions like DragonCon where the number of folks in a building can get so large that the AC is unable to keep up and the inside temps are worse than the outdoor temps. But as I said you have very sound advice in what you gave.
      Raven Ocelot

      So as you can probably guess I survived Sacanime Summer with record temperatures of 110 F (43.3 C) with little or no distress to my person physically.
      I always prepare for these types of temps the same way I prepare for any convention prior, during and post.....
      1. the plan~ how to attack the day
      2. ignoring the plan~
      3. being aware of the environment around me~
      4. treating every second as my last as if it was being videotaped~
      5. not standing in one spot for more that 4 minutes~
      6. not eating anything 2 hours prior~
      7. emptying everything no matter how little prior to getting in~
      8. having 30g protein drinks close by and consuming a minimum of 12 oz of the vial concoctions prior and while getting in~
      9. not letting other determine when and where I should go during the con ( refer to #5 )~
      10. staying in character completely at all times no matter what ( refer to #4 )~
      11. while taking breaks refueling with the protein drinks and only minimum quantities of water~
      12. during the break being aware and not falling into the blackhole which happens too easily to con goers in hotel rooms~
      13. knowing your limits pushing through that threshold to a new level of performing~
      14. when the new level is achieved being aware of balance and interaction with the viewers~
      15. If #14 declines it's time to either break or quit for the day~
      Performing at a convention of any type is a privilege it is not a right, we are not entitled to be noticed. Thinking about what if's and how it should be's can create expectations with can never be fulfilled usually leaving one empty and full of resentments. This can lead to drama, hurt feelings and lashing out towards others. So I refer to #4 again, life is too short, Have fun, be kig, be in the moment always.....