This year was my second Otakon, my fifth anime convention, and I have lost track of how many Sci-fi and Comic Book conventions I have attended over the years. Generally, I do not cosplay.
At last year's Otakon, I decided to cosplay as a generic man with a shade hat, a kimono, and a hakama. It was fun and the costume was well received by other conventiongoers. So I thought that maybe this year, I'd go for a recognizable character. I attended Katsucon in February 2010 and like other conventions, I saw plenty of ladies cosplaying sailor scouts from the Sailor Moon anime. But I saw only one Tuxedo Mask. I had had some thoughts about cosplaying as a samurai or some other type of character, but when I saw the one Tuxedo Mask costume, I thought, I can do that!
And so I purchased a top hat and the gloves at Katuscon. Nobody had a mask. Between February and July, I obtained a black cape with a red liner, the appropriate tuxedo, made a cane and a mask, and made other adjustments. Then I was ready. Otakon came around and my sons and I, along with a friend who was attending her first anime convention, all loaded up the car and hit the road for Baltimore.
As we neared the convention center, I received a lot of attention. "Tuxedo Mask!" I would hear from people in the crowd. Once we were heading in, however, it became roughly every five to ten minutes a patern of people asking for my picture. We went through the line fairly quickly because we arrived late in the evening, and while exchanging my preregistration paperwork for a badge and program, several people asked me to pose for a picture. Once we had our badges, we began roaming the convention and the request for pictures continued. My friend, Lynda, had brought her camera and my younger son had my camera, so each time passers-by asked for a picture, they snapped a picture as well. Needless to say, I ended up with a lot of pictures!
I had expected my costume to generate a few, 'cool, its Tuxedo Mask' comments, but I had no idea that I would receive near celebrity treatment. Even outside of the convention center, some people recognized the character, though quite a few thought that I was either a magician or the Phantom of the Opera. Reaction from both conventiongoers and non conventiongoers was positive.
For a day, I got to be a celebrity.