I work in Crystal City, Virginia. It’s just south of Washington DC- basically an overgrown industrial park but it’s really a great place to work for a young professional. There’s a metro stop, a diverse array of eateries and restaurants, four Starbucks, and very occasionally… cosplayers.
This year, the Crystal City Hyatt (home to a fifth Starbucks) hosted Katsucon and this weekend, it’s hosting Anime USA. I already spotted four con-goers on my walk into work this morning. Bleary-eyed twenty-somethings in t-shirts and jeans with badges clipped on, looking out of place among all the business suits and pencil skirts. I’m a con-goer myself; I’m used to it. But I have to wonder what my coworkers think.
Earlier this spring, some coworkers and I were headed out to lunch and just as we exited the building, a Roxas cosplayer crossed our path. No one said anything. I laughed. As we continued walking, we saw more- goths, cat girls, lolitas, and a whole host of boys who were probably toting 20-sided dice. The whole way, my coworkers were speechless. I can only assume they thought it was the beginnings of a hostile takeover. And they were half right because it was time for Katsucon 2009.
Twice this year, my people have surrounded the Crystal City area and I love it. I just. Effin’. Love it! Why? Because I find nothing more enjoyable than throwing this kind of sub-culture in the face of normal society (except maybe a really good orgasm. Or pie). Sure, we’ve got a new Star Trek and all sorts of (crappy) live action animes in movie theaters now. But that just doesn’t compare to a girl dressed like Felicia from Darkstalkers waiting in line to get her coffee along with a slew of middle-aged balding white guys.
So to the Katsucon and Anime USA admin, I’d like to request that you continue to host your anime conventions in Crystal City. Think of exposing all the conservative business men and women to the anime culture as charity. Think of it as spreading the love. Think of it as…hilarious.
I think the Where’s Waldo and the guy in the banana suit that just walked past my building would agree.