[Zot Con Mini ’24] Speak Now

And they said, “Speak now.”

Dearest Reader (not John)…you are invited to the Spring Quarter’s Zot Con Mini. Perhaps you are not a part of UC Irvine’s anteater obsessed community (I mean, we do have the most unique college mascot. Some say, we’re much more adorable than Huskies or Bruins). “Zot” is the sound an anteater makes. At least that’s what B.C. artist, Johnny Hart, thinks. UC Irvine got their mascot idea from a comic strip. The predator anteater, would make “Zot” noises whenever they tried to go for their prey. Why yes, UC Irvine can say they have a mascot with comic book origins!

Representing Los Angeles Idol Matsuri at Zot Con

UCI truly takes pride with their anteater mascot. From cheering “Zot Zot Zot” at basketball games and e-sports matches. Even Zot Con has their own anteater mascot named Ari, representing the weebs with boba on campus. What I loved about last year is that every other artist alley booth was selling anteater related stickers and flair. We really love our mascot, the irresistible and adorable anteater.

And I'm a cosplay guest at the best UC ever!Photo: Zot Con

And I’m a cosplay guest at the best UC ever! Photo: @bunny.rabbit___

Zot Con Mini is a university ran convention by Zot Con UCI. This year was smaller than past year’s. It was definitely a good place for anime and video game vibes for UCI students and Orange County locals to wind down during the Spring Quarter. Attendance was small, but it was a good place to socialize, hang out at the maid cafe, and take cosplay photos.

The student center hosted Zot Con Mini

I was a cosplay guest at this event. I ended up judging the cosplay contest alongside two other judges – Moonie and Rapsdere. The cosplay contest began at noon. We had a handful of entries. Below, you can see photos of the entries and their presentation to the audience.

Contestants went on stage and were interviewed by the MC

Winners of the cosplay contest

Awards for the cosplay contest winners

We also had the cosplay contest entrants go in a versus match against the maid cafe in who can do the cutest “Moe Moe Kyun” contest.

Maids versus Cosplayers. Who would win?

Maids versus Cosplayers. Who would win?

Zot Con also had their maid cafe host a few events throughout the day. The maid cafe had a marine and mermaid theme. I loved how the maids and butlers integrated aquatic themes into their outfits. I didn’t have a chance to dine at the maid cafe. Yet, I did catch a chance to see some of their live performances. Performances ranged from k-pop dances to singing anime song covers.

Performances by the maid cafe

The maid cafe had a marine and mermaid theme

There was not much of an artist alley or a vendor hall. There were community tables promoting events such as Los Angeles Idol Matsuri, Bowers Museum’s Asian Comics exhibit, and a few UCI clubs including their anime club and table top gaming club.

Learn more about the nerd community at UCI by stopping by the vendor tables

And there was a gaming room and a karaoke room right across main events. My friends who went with me to help out with Los Angeles Idol Matsuri ended up entering a few tournaments and made new friends while vibing in the console gaming room.

Console gaming at UCI was pretty chill

Karaoke was a huge part of my afternoon. Karaoke was connected to YouTube so it was really an anything goes style of karaoke. My friends ended up singing tunes from Devil May Cry.

Singing Disney tunes in German was permissible

I ended up wandering around Aldrich Park, our campus greens, to take some cosplay photos with my stand. This wasn’t a con that many cosplay photographers flock to, so I ended up taking photos by the Aldrich Park bridge for my Instagram. UCI has a ton of amazing spaces for photos – a lot of greenery if you want to do something from Frieren or Demon Slayer and a lot of urban vibes if you wanted to rep Jujutsu Kaisen or Chainsaw Man since it’s a relatively newer college campus.

Ring Road and Aldrich Park is a great place for photos

Rose garden at UCI

Overall Zot Con Mini ’24 was a chill university con. It wasn’t crazy huge like a Titan Con or Mikomi Con from back in the day, but it was very laid back. The downside is that most of the UCI campus is closed. For food, you would have to go across the street to University Town Center for a variety of restaurants including coffee and boba. My friends were curious about Ray’s Pizza and they loved this family owned greasy spoon.

Gaming was fun

UCI turtle just vibing

I look forward to what Zot Con ’25 has to bring. Zot Con ’25 promises to be bigger and have much more programming. Orange County has a vibrant and enthusiastic anime community. I look forward to continuing supporting my local community. I will definitely attend a con that has a genuine by fans for fans feel!

Anteaters > Other mascots

Zot Zot Zot!

Written by Cosplay Ancestor Eri
IG: @cosplayancestoreri
Twitter: @dameaznable
TikTok: @cosplayancestoreri

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