Morning Musume ’16 are coming to Anime Matsuri 2016 (February 26 – 28) in Houston, Texas. Understandably there is a lot of excitement about this appearance and many probably already purchased whatever VIP passes the convention offers to get the best possible experience.
The thing is some fans believe that they should also be treated like VIP’s because they are coming to see Morning Musume ’16 and are adding additional revenue to the convention because of their attendance exclusively for them. Some are demanding that the convention “Get their shit together.” and “Prepare to be bum rushed.” and so on and so forth.
I think this is the wrong attitude to be going into the event with. Most fans that are experienced with the multiple appearances of idol groups at conventions are very much aware that it will be a cluster fuck and are accepting of the limitations that they may face. This article is not for you.
Instead I am speaking to the first timers and/or those who have some sort of entitlement chip on their shoulders. If that is you, then try to take something out of this. If you don’t want to listen that’s perfectly fine as well.
In my experience it is not the fault of the convention organizers that some have a “bad experience” at conventions when it comes to idols. I believe they do the best they can to accommodate all their customers with the resources they have.
The problem actually lies with overzealous fans that lose all sense of public decorum when it comes to their favorite idols visiting these events. I’m not going to generalize here, but an “enthusiastic” few tend to forget they are also visiting an anime convention where the majority of the visitors are there for a completely different purpose. Idol fans are a minority in this environment.
Remember these are events are not strictly an idol convention only. If you and your fellow fans insist on lining up in common areas at stupidly early hours then be aware that convention staff and venue security may question you.
I recall many times in the past where people would walk by us group of idol fans at a convention and ask what were lined up for. The response was either a puzzled look and “Okay…” or a WTF look of disgust for us daring to take up the same space and tainting the breathing air of anime fans.
Do not get defensive if you are asked to move to the side, to a different location or to disperse for the sake of not causing a fire hazard or because you’re blocking the path of the other convention patrons.
If you are allowed to line up early or convention staff happen to be idol fans and understand your plight then consider yourself fortunate. Be respectful of the convention and their rules are the gist of this whole long spiel.
Now that the topic of fellow fans has been breached let’s talk a bout a specific group of them. I know many of you look up to the Japanese fans and such but remember they are just as bat shit crazy as you when it comes to idols; and they will most likely forget politeness and steamroll your ass if it means they get to do something they normally do not get to do in their home country as a fan.
This will include running in the venue without concern for your or anyone else’s safety, feigning the inability to speak or understand English and of course group cock blocking. Yeah, great sounding role models now right?
Again, I’m not generalizing. I’ve run into some cool Japanese fans during my time, but you will encounter some of these folks I described during your convention travels so it’s something to be aware of. Not everyone carries the same community-minded values that you might have or believes in the illusion of community at all.
“Survival of the fittest.” or to be more harsh, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” is the mantra that is being followed in this case. Not being from whatever country an event is held in is not an excuse for bad public behavior either. Being a self-serving jerk with no regard for others is the same regardless of nationality.
What if you don’t agree with any of this and insist that the convention bows down to your will as a paying fan of idols and that your needs be catered to? The simple answer is this. Don’t go. No really, don’t waste your money and go to these events because to some degree they will ALWAYS be a disorganized mess. Even the most smoothly run conventions have some sort of snag that will affect customers whether they know it or not. You will NEVER be satisfied.
If you want an organized idol specific event here’s a simple tip. Save your money. Go to Japan and buy a ticket for one there. Oh, you can’t afford that or can’t go? Then how about you lower your expectations significantly and try to have as much fun as you can at whatever convention your favorite act is appearing at. There’s no need to make a huge dramatic event out of these things. Especially when most of what will adversely affect your experience is out of your control.