Attending an Awesome Anime Convention in My Stretto Wheelchair

It’s been a busy time for me! Between sewing costumes and trying to find downtime in between, I feel like I haven’t been able to catch a break. I would say, though, these are worthy expenses for what I have been preparing for! We attended our first anime convention since 2019. The pandemic caused a lot of conventions to take a break for a few years. Good on them, honestly! This year, one of our favorite conventions felt comfortable enough to hold their event, with some strict (and rightfully so) safety protocols in place.

My Experience in My Manual Wheelchair

Now, things have changed a bit for me. This specific convention that I attended in 2019 was the first convention that I attended since becoming a wheelchair user. It was like stepping into a new world for me. Suddenly, I had to learn how to adapt my cosplays to be suitable while in my wheelchair. I had to deal with the fact that not many people stopped me in the hall to ask for pictures anymore (I guess they found my chair unsightly?) I’m not sure about the reasoning behind that, but it’s something I’ve noticed happen with my other wheelchair-using friends.

I had to learn how to maneuver large, crowded halls full of people. They would step on me and trip over me because they didn’t see me, as I was much lower to the ground. This year, I have my Quantum® Stretto Power Wheelchair, which helped a lot.

My Costumes Don’t Get Caught in My Wheelchair

First, I don’t have to worry about the sleeves from my costumes getting caught in my wheels. This was something I struggled with MAJORLY in my old manual wheelchair the last time I attended this event.

People Give Me More Space

Another positive I experienced at the convention was that people gave me a lot more space when I was elevated at iLevel in my Stretto Power Wheelchair. I didn’t have anyone tripping over me, and it was much easier for people to see me in the crowd. This was confirmed by my partner, who I lost in the crowd more than once, lol. These benefits are essential at a convention, in my opinion.

Watching On-Stage Games and Events

Typically, anime conventions have some awesome main events that are cosplay centered. I could watch a few of them this year, mainly the on-stage games such as chess! Chess is a favorite of mine and the hosts put on a really good show. Chess works by pre-creating a board full of cosplayers who then move and fight according to two hosts who make a huge show of the whole thing. The fight scenes are very fun and interesting, as each cosplayer acts in character. Some wild things happen!

Attending Fandom Photo Shoots

There are a lot of Fandom themed photo shoots that happen throughout the duration of the convention. I stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit this year and attended two of them. I had some issues with a few of them in 2019, including my visibility within the picture due to being so low to the ground in my manual wheelchair. This year, however, I was perfectly visible while cruising around fully elevated! I am excited to receive and show off the pics from a private shoot that one of my friends hosted!

A Renewed Sense of Purpose

The four days that we spent at the convention seemed to fly by. Now that I am home, I am extremely pumped and filled with purpose again. My whole life basically revolves around sewing, especially costumes, so being able to attend these events where I can show off my work alongside other crafters and meet them is very important to me!

 It felt amazing to cosplay as one of my favorite characters, dating back to when I first saw him at seven years old. When I mentioned in the beginning that had I spent most of the month sewing, this paid off for me. My very first actual anime was Naruto, which contributed a lot to my childhood and teen years. Here I am 15 years later, finally showing off my love for the show!

Plans for Future Cosplays

This convention has a nice and intense cosplay craftsmanship competition that I have always wanted to compete in but have been too intimidated to do so. I believe that the experience I had this past weekend is pushing me to work towards entering in 2023. Let’s just say that the next cosplay I work on is going to be my biggest and most ambitious yet.

About Chrysanthemum Chan: Chrysanthemum is an award-winning cosplayer and Quantum brand ambassador. She enjoys fashion, cosplay and music and has a TikTok channel with over 380,000 followers. Click here to learn more about Chrysanthemum.


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