October 16, 2017

Chibicon 2017 – My boss is a closet Ginga fan?!

Hello geeks!

It's been a while since my last convention, which was Närcon, but this past Saturday I went on a really spontaneous one-day trip to Oulu with a completely different con company than usual!
It all started a few weeks ago when I learned that my awesome cinema boss, Carina, has a daughter who's into anime and manga. Said daughter wants to start cosplaying, and had never been to an anime convention before, and so my boss asked me if I could accompany her to Skecon next month because she was too scared to go alone. But Sabine, the daughter, seemingly started doubting because Skellefteå is still quite a distance away and it's a 3-day con to boot – that's when I suddenly remembered that hey, Chibicon was coming to Oulu soon! This was literally like a couple days before the con, no joke. So I told my boss about this mini con, that could serve as a good first step for Sabine, and after some thinking we decided to go there by car, all three of us. :D

Chibicon was held on 14th October at Pohjankartano in Oulu. This year's theme was horror and it was visible when you looked at what people were wearing – I saw someone dressed in an It inspired clown costume, to name one. I've also been an It clown, but that was at work.

Chibicon info booklet.
Because of how sudden the decision to go to Chibicon was I went there as a filthy casual, meaning I had no cosplay on. :'D I don't regret it though, the weather was not the best and I'm still not 100% snotfree from the flu I ran into a while ago...

The Chibicon morning was pretty chaotic, not gonna lie. I had been told that we would leave for Oulu 9 in the morning, Swedish time. I was at my mom's place and made sure to be ready by then but it soon turned out that Carina was late and it turned out that the reason was that Sabine was impossible to get out of bed – in fact she was still sleeping way past the decided time, lol. So le boss came to pick me up first and then we drove back to her apartment and I went to wake Sabine up; she wasn't too happy because she had a great dream or something. x) Oh well, we got into the car and started driving to Oulu.
We accidentally drove past Oulu first but we got to Chibicon in one piece, albeit late. I must mention that during the car trip I played Pokémon Go and when we got to Oulu city I screamed in the car because I found my second shiny Magikarp as my first ever Pokémon in Oulu, what's the fucking odds?! Fun fact: I've caught 96 Magikarps in the game and got two shinies, insaaaaaaaaaaaaane. ::DD

Golden paper ticket. Se ei oo kullattu vaan kullitettu.
My boss was the sweetest and paid for my con ticket (she paid for her daughter as well), which cost 10 € at the door. ;A; I must admit that I was disappointed to see that it was paper tickets since I collect con tickets and the paper ones die fast and don't have the same collecting value, lol. Oh well, at least it was a fancy shining gold color.

Generic con photo of the building.
I felt dumb when I realized in the car that I had forgotten my powerbank in my other bag and thus I couldn't explore the nearby area in Pokémon Go. In the end it was no big deal because I was busy looking after Sabine and helping her with her purchases etc – she was way too shy/afraid/awkward to pay for her own stuff herself in the sense of handing out the money to the seller, so I did that for her. I didn't mind helping her though, I totally understand why she felt that way and I've been similar for many years ago too. She also can't speak Finnish so the language barrier probably had a role as well. ^^" I had to act as a translator because I was the only one of us three who could speak Finnish, hehe.
It was amazing to see her loosen up and become braver and more self-confident as the day went on. I think visiting Chibicon was that first push that she needed to open up – she even started to plan cosplays for Skecon and that's amazing considering how she said in the car, mere hours before, how she could never wear a costume outside her home because people would see her. I'm really happy I could help her gain confidence and find a community that she feels included in. ♥ Now she's excited for Skecon and that was the point because there she'll be able to communicate with other Swedes and hopefully make friends and memories for life – all thanks to Chibicon serving as the first step towards a new world.
I know this sounds cheesy as fuck but it makes me genuinely happy to help out a fellow person who's had a tough life. I see parts of my former self in her and it's kind of a realization of how far I've come on my own journey ever since I started with this hobby – how much I've grown as a person thanks to it, in other words.

Main area seen from above. Urumi's shop visible.
Main area seen from above.
The first thing we did after getting our tickets was to check out the merchandise. This time it was only Urumi (as far as I could see, excluding the tables from other cons) and for me, as a con veteran by now, it was a bit disappointing that there weren't more sellers in such a big open area. Sabine of course was super excited and bought a lot of stuff – oh how I remember my first cons when I was like that. xD Nowadays I hardly buy anything unless I really want/need it.

Urumi's shop seen from the entrance.
It was nice to see Digimon merch!
Pokémon plushes you'll always find.
Not sure what all of these were but way too expensive imo. xD
Of course the Ginga Densetsu Weed plushes were there!
I was STOKED to find Monster Hunter merch that was not figurines!!
The Artist's Alley was located in the main hall as well, close to the windows. I was surprised when we were at this one table with a lot of canine art etc and my boss started asking me "is that silver?" and at first I was like "silver what?" and after a while I realized she must have meant Silver Fang, aka the name that Ginga Nagareboshi Gin went under in Sweden. She said that she had seen it for many many years ago and had the series on old VHS tapes – I was more than surprised! So yeah, it totally turned out that my boss is secretly a Ginga fan. xD I wouldn't have guessed and it was funny because she told me how she used to cry a lot when watching the series and it had somehow stuck to her – she didn't remember the names but remembered what Gin and Riki looked like, so when we found keychains at the Artist's table she had to have "the son and the father". Awww!

I sadly don't know the artist but it was from this table.
I saw a really nice Thranduil bookmark from another artist but I didn't buy it, mainly because I'm so lazy reading books nowadays, although I want to change that. 

I forgot to take photos but there was a rhythm game room and a video game room of course, along with panels and a cosplay competition. The rhythm game room was in high use and seemed nice but I must admit that I was not impressed by the video game room, sadly – the tables in the room were more than half empty and I think I only saw like 4-5 consoles of which all seemed to be from the newer generations. I personally only stay in the gaming rooms when there's retro consoles available (Nintendo 64 and older) because that's what I want to play the most because I lack the really old stuff at home. Of course it's nice that there's the newer generation consoles too but yeah, I'm an old-school kid at heart. x)

I don't have so much to say about Chibicon itself. There wasn't really much to do nor see for the old stager who's already seen a lot of conventions but it's still, of course, a nice quick trip away from your everyday life. ^^ Chibicon is your usual small con in the north so yeah, slope all expectations and just go in with the intention to have a relaxing geeky day and you'll be happy. It's slow-paced and fun and there's no pressure. Definitely go there with friends!

Oh and yeah, it was a bit weird to realize that the last time I was at Chibicon was back in 2013. Time sure flies by fast... 

No idea if this was even related to the con but
it gave me a good laugh. xD
I guess that's about all that I had to say. It was a fun and different con trip for me and I'm really grateful to my boss for driving us there and for the company, it wouldn't have been possible otherwise! I'm looking forward to go with Sabine to more conventions in the future ~

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