My first experience with Katsucon was last year while in Washington D.C. for another conference. I was heading up the escalator out of the Metro when I saw some kids dressed as Naruto characters coming down the other way, as I approached them I shouted across “Hey! Is there something cool going on that I don’t know about?!” They must have thought I was messing with them because they tried to avoid eye contact and kept quiet. I was running out of time, escalators being on the move and all, so I said “No, seriously is there an anime con somewhere?!” This perked them right up, I had suddenly become one of them, rather than making fun of them. They shouted back “Yeah! When you get to the top head a block up and then make a right, the hotel is on the right! Or, just follow the costumes at that point!” So I did, and I skipped the other conference that weekend.
I made it back this year for another conference that again was timed perfectly to allow me to make it to Katsucon, and this year not only was it in the same city, at the same time, but it was in the same hotel. The gods, they smile upon me. So I flew in to D.C. a few days early and grabbed a badge, here’s my Katsucon experience.
Registration was insane, the line snaked through the hotel, out into the street and down the block. Thankfully my buddy came into town a few hours early and picked my badge up for me. Thanks Louis!
Apparently this is some type of Pokemon costume according to bystanders. I wouldn’t know, I didn’t watch a lot of Pokemon, though I do respect the effort that not only wen into making this costume, but having to wear it as well. Gotta be hot in there.
I think this may be my favorite costume from Katsucon 15 mostly due to the fact that the guy looks so awesome as Afro Samurai. Best match of the con in my opinion.
This guy is a lot of the reason I was looking forward to going to Katsucon again. His name is Roland Kelts and he’s an author, that’s his book there on the table, “Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.” It’s a great book and I’ll do a proper review some time. I wanted to get my copy signed, which I did, and I wanted to hear some of his experiences. My only complaint is that his session was only an hour and could have easily been two with all the people and questions they had. Shame on you Katsucon, shame on you.
The hotel was packed with 6000 attendees, spanning 5 floors, many of them cosplaying.
I love this photo because you can see all the way to the “Artists Alley” below, the maid cafe sign, and a girl getting on the escalator carrying a couple of plush tentacles…W..T..F? I love it.
I liked to see that even the smaller Otaku areas had a presence at Katsucon, including Dollers. I could hear them swapping tips and even trading wigs and accessories. Some of these dolls were really well put together, but they were all creepy. : )
Great Steam Punk couple, though this photo doesn’t do them justice.
This was the start of “Iron Art” or “Super Art Fight”. Basically there were four teams of artists that drew on four separate canvases, rotating every 10 minutes, for one hour. They were given different themes and had to continue to draw around, and improve on, what the last team had created. I didn’t know what to expect when I walked in, but I didn’t expect to have such a good time.
Seriously, this is so funny. Another couple dressing up together and having a good time.
Villains of Gotham City, great costumes, and I’m pretty sure I’m in love with Catwoman.
This was the “An American in Tokyo” panel. It was supposed to be about what you can expect if you’re planning to, or thinking about, moving to Tokyo. I had hoped it would be as interesting as the Japanamerica talk, but the speakers didn’t seem to do a lot of preparation, and hadn’t actually lived in Tokyo since the early 90′s. This kept them from answering questions on current costs and living areas. A real disappointment when the room is so packed that staff had to turn people away.
A very pretty girl dressed up for the formal ball on Saturday night. Just classy.
And of course, the Merchant Room. You could get a bunch of Japanese snacks and drinks, Anime, Manga, Figures, and plenty of cosplay props and real world weapons. I didn’t buy much, though I did nab a Saki Kasukabe figure that I’d been wanting for awhile, so I walked away with a smile.
Here’s this years badges. I couldn’t get my hands on a Friday only badge because they were completely sold out of them. They force you to write your name on them so I made sure to get some scans of untarnished ones. Each badge also had some con rules/info and a number on the back that was tied to the holder. The photo below is of the back of my Media badge, though nothing differs between badges other than the number.
So there you have it a few words and a few pictures from Katsucon 15, it was a good con. Anime cons are always fun, the costumes, the panels, and the like-minded people. It’s great to be able to talk about a particular anime, manga, movie, or production house and have others know what you’re talking about. To talk about Japan till the wee hours of the morning and share your passion, or obsession, with others.
It doesn’t look like my schedule is going to mesh for me to make it to Katsucon 16 next year, sometimes even the gods have to stop smiling for a moment, but I’ll be there in spirit.