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On the Otaku Expo, the Community and the SM Megamall Incident.

(Originally published at Deremoe on January 28, 2013.)

I was doing my work when this happened — two guys in plain white shirts wrecked a stall inside The SM (Department) Store at the building B of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong. What gives? Otaku Expo is ongoing at the Megatrade Hall 1, as previously covered by yours truly. What’s the relation of the incident to the event? It happened on the same day — and everyone was all locked up in their respective places for safety — shutters were pulled down, and nobody was allowed to get out of the place. Panic ensues.

Then there were news that people in costume were involved in the heist. Without any hesitation, the one/s who handle/s local radio station DZMM’s Twitter account tweeted it, saying that Cosplayers played a role in the said heist — just because they spoke to a girl who must be traumatized. They must’ve deleted it, but most of us got it in screenshots. Good job, guys. The community has been slapped again because of your carelessness. I can’t help but to lash out on you, mainstream media. But yes, I shall thank one of your comrades for correcting you, that these Cosplayers were innocent and those who are in plain white shirts are the culprits.

Nevertheless, it won’t change the minds of those who first saw your tweets. Now, because of what you did, what might happen to our community now that the news has been spread, with added exaggeration?

First, those parents of the attendees of Otaku Expo who was terribly worried for their safety would tell these guys to stop going and/or stop Cosplaying because they was injected by the thought that some Cosplayers are bloody criminals in disguise, which is not true — and if we found out that one of us are criminals, we’ll go beat him up like an angry mob because he has tainted the happy vibes of the community with his/her selfish manners, which is what happens when someone gets featured on Gamertotoy.com (a blog about the communities’ negative sides) for his bad deeds.

You can’t simply change your parent’s perspectives when they see these things, and I’m afraid that they might think that you are rebelling against them if you still proceed — tl;dr it’s inevitable that you’ll get into arguments.

Second, the event gets cancelled (which already happened, in the case of Otaku Expo 2013’s day 2 cancellation) or postponed to a later date until the ruckus gets erased from the memories of those who saw these happening and move on from it. Less events for the next two quarters, perhaps?

Third, what else — the community is in a negative light once more, and I believe that we have no PR officers to correct these disasters aside from ourselves, although we can’t please everybody, it seems.

On the suspects, why the bloody hell do you have to schedule your heist with our event? Maybe some of us are scared, but I still think of an angry mob of vigilantes that will hunt you, so to say. Nothing else follows, so take a wild guess.

On the security, for goodness sakes please mind the places in the body where people can hide guns without you noticing it. Better yet, make a bloody plea to the mall management to buy security scanners. It’s worth it, I tell you.

For those guys at the hardware where the hammer was bought, especially to the cashier clerk, let me guess — you can be a witness to the case. Ask the police to guard you at all costs. Don’t die yet for me — and perhaps us.

On another perspective, we can think of this as a coincidence, or an unfortunate incident that is beyond our control, and I am just thinking from a totally conservative side and just move on. We are simply not aware that this will happen, and we can do nothing about it but to suffer the consequences we are given in this kind of situation.

So, I have said too much about this incident that might change the people’s perspective on the community once more. This will mark another exciting year in the community of anime fans, convention-goers and cosplayers alike.