Over this weekend past, in an up and coming suburb somewhere South West of Sydney City, an event was held. Humble in personality and modest in size, this young convention proved itself to be just as promising as the place in which it was held. From the title, some of you will already know what it is that this article is about, but to others it is something that has clearly piqued your curiosity. Otherwise, why else would you be here? Regardless, seeing as you are here, how about we all get properly acquainted with what will hopefully be the next big thing in the celebration of popular culture. Engineered by the enthusiastic and hard-working team of United Cosplayers Australia, 2015 saw the genesis of what I’ve grown to call the first ever cosplay-centric convention held right here in Sydney, Australia. It’s name is Oran Con, and the collective hope of all who attended very much hope that it is here to stay.
Despite it being one of the hotter Sydney days as of late, a nice crowd gathered for what was ultimately a celebration of cosplay culture, which manifested itself as a series of three different competitions: One for the kids, one for the teens, and one for the adults. Hosted entirely by the charismatic Super Showgirl, these three contests were designed to give each and every con-goer a fighting chance at the monetary prizes, and allowed for almost every single costume to get some time in the spotlight; something I personally believe cosplayers deserve, seeing as how much blood, sweat, and tears they pour into making their costumes perfect.
There was something weird in the air, though. Something I couldn’t quite figure out at the time, but something I’ve come to get a solid grasp on, and it was all a cause of the crowd’s unifying positivity. In every contest there are winners and there are losers, this is what we’ve all come to understand, correct? Well at Oran Con, it seemed as though those who actually won prizes were no more special than those who unfortunately missed out, making each and every entrant feel as though they were all winners. That weird feeling I had was only so because it wasn’t the norm, and that saddens me because, well…it should be!
At the end of a standard competition, especially one revolving itself around cosplay which I’ve come to learn has recently become quite a competitive scene, there’s always a clear winner because all of the focus is on that particular individual. At Oran Con, it felt as though that focus was shared, even when announcing who would take home the prizes. For the first time in my many years of convention experience, both professionally and personally, I felt as though nobody actually cared about obtaining the title of “winner”. Instead I had the overwhelming feeling that everyone was just there to not only have themselves a little bit of fun, but to support each other in a lifestyle they all are so passionate about. Big or small, size doesn’t necessarily correlate to the level of enjoyment you’ll have at a convention. What Oran Con was, defied scale, and instead allowed everyone to focus on each other in such beneficial ways.
The United Cosplayers Australia community is clearly one of the more involved ones. Involved in each others lives and in each others loves, much like that of a family. I stepped back and I took a good look at the crowd that had gathered on that weekend, and what I saw was something special. Something I hope more people discover and get involved with. The sun was harsh, and the heat almost proved a little too much for me, but I’m so glad that I chose to check this mini convention out. There’s another Oran Con just over the horizon, in fact, it’s already being organised for a few months from now. I’m actually excited, genuinely excited, and I really do believe everyone else there feels the same way as me. When you discover something so good, you don’t just throw it away, you stick with it until the very end. For Oran Con, the end is worlds away, because this is just the beginning.
The Oran Con official Facebook page: Click Here