Titan Con Third Strike took place on June 23, 2018 in CSU Fullerton in Fullerton, CA. The all-media college student run con took place a week before Anime Expo. While attendance did drop this year for Titan Con, it still offered a lot of fun and games. We attended as panelists and program participants this year running three panels – Make Mine Mecha, Fantastic Vidya and Where to Play Them, and Disneybounding: Characters in Disguise. Additionally, we also entertained a packed house on a Saturday night by emceeing masquerade. Titan Con is a relaxing one day event that has local voice artists and cosplayers as guests. It’s worth to check out if you are local to Orange County.
As you enter Titan Con, you will see a few cars parked outside of the student union. This was the small Itasha show. Itasha culture is steadily growing on the west coast. While Itasha did not have a presence at Anime Expo, it was nice to see car enthusiasts take their love of characters to the next level by decorating their vehicles according to fandom or waifu. They were on display the entire day.
Titan Con did have a dealers hall; it was mostly focused on anime merchandise and local artists. Epic Cosplay also had a presence selling wigs to last minute cosplay shoppers looking for the right wig for Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con. There were also a few dealers selling Ita bags and accessories for Ita bags. Like the Itasha, Ita bags are also a growing trend among stateside otaku, decorating backpacks with fandom and / or husband / waifu flair. It was small dealers hall, but still worth checking out if you wish to have a custom print or search for rubber stamps for your Ita bag.
Programming was non-stop this year. There was always something to do! The maid cafe was omitted this year to make way for the karaoke bar. The student union bar was transformed into a karaoke zone where you can request any song to sing, so as long as it can be found on YouTube. Titan Con staff set up YouTube to the karaoke system. I did “New Rules” by Dua Lipa (80s mix) and that got the whole room going. There were a ton of panels from cosplay crafting, fandom discussion, and video games available to check out in the cozy, air conditioned meeting rooms. Titan Con is also one of the few cons to say they have a bowling alley and foosball area. Because they were using the student union, they had access to these amenities. It was fun seeing cosplayers knock down some pins.
Titan Con took place in the summer, meaning, not all on-campus restaurants were open. We did have three food trucks present – Gaja’s Okinomiyaki (cash only), Okamoto Kitchen, and a truck selling shaved ice. Because most people were carrying card, the line for Okamoto’s filling Japanese meals was a 30 minute to an hour wait! However, the food was very delicious and lasted us the whole day.
Jared the Greek and I hosted the masquerade, or cosplay contest. There were about 15 entries or so that went up on stage. This was our first time entering and for a small con, we were wicked impressed by the entries. We were floored by the quality. Aquarious, a local Love Live cover group, performed during halftime. As emcee’s, we want to thank Titan Con for the opportunity to host as well as the cosplayers that entered – we loved you all! Most of all, because we saw a lot of high quality cosplayers that entered – we also encourage you to bring your game to larger conventions like Anime Expo or Fanime. No worries, we were nervous when we first entered Anime Expo in 2012, but our advice to you is to never be afraid of pushing yourself to try new things! We hope to see you all again!
Titan Con was a nice, chill con right before Anime Expo. It’s inexpensive and it’s a good con to check out with friends, or just a con to hangout at and play a few games of free bowling. We want to thank Titan Con for the opportunity to host panels and present at masquerade. This was a different experience for us – we would love to help out in any way we can! I feel that Titan Con has a ton of potential – there’s a lot of love poured out here to make this con work and it really shows in the staff. We hope to check this out again next year.