Memory is a funny thing. Things can be misremebered, unremembered, or a randomly remembered. Memory can be more random than a teenage kid or twenty-something at an anime con wearing whatever piece of merch from whatever the popular anime of the day is glomping the ever loving crap out of some poor unfortunate dork that’s dressed like their favorite character from whatever the new hot anime is. Last I checked, that was Attack on Titan, and my information is probably pretty outdated. I hear My Hero Academia is pretty popular. Now, I remember what I was supposed to talk about. It was the Sailor Neptune cosplayer that belted out perfect J-pop.
It was at MTAC (the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention) 2013 in Nashville on the Saturday before Easter. Now, I can’t remember many of the details, but I remember wandering to the karaoke panel, which was more of a space in the promenade overlooking one on the main halls at the Renaissance hotel and convention center. Kind of an odd place to host karaoke due to the lack of privacy for those who sound good only to themselves and/or only in the shower, to those who want to sing but cannot and thus must make the rest of on the con suffer. However, for one person, one particular person, that awkward stage was a small platform for which I and several others would hear a voice that would make church choirs flush with jealousy because God Himself, if He does so exist and is good and just, granted a voice of milk, honey, and Pocky to a Sailor Neptune cosplayer.
I met this woman in 2012. She was dressed as a version of Navi, and I was Link. This is our first and only photo together.
This Navi cosplayer’s whose name I do not know, but whose face and voice are recognizable in a crowd of 1,000 strangers due to her high pitched voice and lean, pointed features.
Skip from 2012 to 2013 and I encounter her again at the karaoke panel. We strike up a conversation about heaven knows what because I can’t remember, but we were all there to have a little fun singing songs from anime, video games, and popular music. She’s dressed in a Sailor Neptune cosplay at this time, and I have only one photo of it. Either way, she gets on stage and explains in her high pitched voice that she’s studying Japanese and is working with a voice coach and that she’s going to sing a song from some anime she really liked and has some sentimental attachment to.
The silence when she started singing was audible. Jaws slacked (at least mine did). She sounded amazing belting off perfect Japanese that put J-pop performers to shame. After the loudest silence I’ve ever heard, everyone in the room started clapping and cheering because this Sailor Neptune with a mousey little speaking voice sang well and beautifully. For a few minutes, she was the queen belle of the con, powered by raw talent and practice and how dare a soul not bow before her mighty song. After that she back down, and this is where the story ends. I’ve never seen her since, but I hope she’s doing ok. And if she reads this, she helped form one of my favorite and fondest memories of an anime con ever. Probably my number 1.
Why did I write this? Because I remember it, and I wanted to share it. I find myself wishing you readers had been there with me because writing, pictures, and videos are no substitute for first-hand experience. There’s really no point to this story unless you want to find one.