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Cosplay at ACEN 2017

This year marks Anime Central’s 20th anniversary and boy was it a celebration! Thousands of people came out from across the Midwest, some even further, to come to this action-packed three day event. This past weekend was filled with panels, meet-ups, dances, vendors, artists, guests, and of course cosplay. Every year I go to Acen the cosplay seems to get better and better. I mean everything is just stepped up to a higher caliber each year but what cosplayers bring to the table never ceases to amaze me. If I had to sum up Acen this year in just three fandoms, I would say Voltron, Overwatch, and Legend of Zelda were the ones that took the cake.

With the release of the Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild just two months ago, Zelda cosplays from all of the games were extremely prevalent this year. There were some fabulous incarnations of Link, including Gerudo Link from BOTW which is currently my favorite, and some wonderful Zelda’s as well. I even saw an amazing Zant from Twilight princess which is a cosplay I thought I would never be able to see in person. Can you tell I’m a big Zelda nerd?

Overwatch has also been extremely popular for quite some time now, yet it is still a rapidly growing fandom. I was walking around with a Mercy on Friday and the amount of times we heard “I need healing” was, just, a lot. There were so many amazing incarnations of different skins of each character from the game that literally made my jaw drop as they went by. Overwatch cosplayers are so incredibly talented and are always astonishing.

Voltron Legendary Defender is taking over the universe. The fans of this remake are some of the craziest, most passionate fans I have ever met. I saw mass amounts of people cosplaying from Voltron all three days of the con, cosplaying the characters casual outfits, paladin armor, and a variety of AU’s that I never thought I would see done in cosplay(I’m talking to the people crazy enough to take on watercast, you guys looked amazing!) There were even people cosplaying the pool scene Lance and Keith! You two are crazy but I love you! This fandom is one of the most insane, passionate fandoms I have been a part of and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

Another fandom that is still very popular amongst cosplayers is Yuri!!! On Ice. All of the costumes from that show are so beautiful and intricate. I really give props to those of you who were crazy enough to wear real ice skates with your costumes too! I’m personally a huge fan of this show so I was fangirling over all of the cosplayers representing this show!

There were also a lot of cosplayers dressed as characters from Naruto, Star Wars, League of Legends, Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Disney, Pokemon (mainly looking at you Team Skull xD), I could honestly go on and on because there was wonderful representation from so many fandoms. There is always such a variety of Animes, TV shows, movies, and comics represented at cons and I love the diversity of interests displayed through cosplay.

In my opinion, cosplaying is all about expressing your creative self and meeting people who are interested in the same things you are. It’s so easy to meeting someone cosplaying from the same fandom as you and instantly become friends! A good majority of my close friends I have met through cosplay and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Cosplay is all about breaking out of your shell and trying new things in order to gain a better sense of who you are and meet new people along the way. There is something special about this hobby that is so different and amazing. I’ve seen cosplay change lives and help people in miraculous ways. Acen really reiterated this fact for me and reminded me just why I love this hobby so much. I simply cannot wait until next year and I can’t wait to see all of my friends again!

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