Between writing an article for Rethink Church on Shaman King, binging like three new anime, and attending the Queen City Anime Convention, my otaku heart could have only been happier in Akihabara itself. Aside from the myriad of Christian conferences, this was my first ever real convention and I learned quite a bit from it, so I thought I would share some of my findings here in the newsletter.
First off, people are amazing. The sheer amount of people dedicated to their craft was astonishing. As I walked the vendor hall looking at the art, tees, plushies, statues, flags and so much more, I was blown away at the creativity of artists producing for their people. Equally as amazing was the cosplay community - I was sweating in shorts and a tee, so I can't imagine those in full mascot-style cosplay or wearing absurdly dense protagonist wigs (why anime hair gotta be so LONG).
Second, I should say that I worked this convention as a volunteer - so I didn't necessarily get the experience of a typical peruse. But I can confirm that I was needed and felt like I was adding value to what I was doing. I'm not going to lie - it felt like ministry in a way. More Martha than Mary, but doing practical things so people could better express their passions - it felt downright Christian. Not to mention there were few volunteers, so it really did feel like church. (I kid, I kid)
Finally, and doubling down on the parallels, I couldn't help but feel like I was in a church community - in a good way. People were so happy to be there. They attended things with smiles on their faces. They broke bread together (well, chicken tenders). I felt known and seen and I felt that others shared that with me. When we first started Checkpoint, it was because I thought churches could learn from convention culture and this only cemented it for me. This culture really has community figured out. Let us be one, as the weebs are one.