Sunday meant it was close to closing time at Katsucon. Jared, the S|R panel hopper, found a few panels to hit up before leaving. Scarlet and Jared were also hosting a few early morning panels. This meant we had to check out a little early and get all of our things at baggage holding. The first presentation of the day already had a bit of a line outside the door. It was about 8AM and our brains were just about ready to tell the world about two awesome magical girl series...that's not Madoka.

 

Like Power Rangers...but with more sparkle: Pretty Cure 101 by Scarlet
Pretty Cure is a long time anime series from Toei that has spanned nearly 10 years of magical girl goodness. When I started cosplaying from Pretty Cure, I kept getting the question, "I want to watch Pretty Cure, but where do I begin?" I decided to creat a primer-esque panel for the magical girl series to debut at Katsucon. I was quite surprised by the amount of people that filled up the panel room on Sunday morning - mostly 20-something males that were already into Pretty Cure to begin with. There was a Pretty Cure cosplayer up front. Essentially, the panel covered all the main Pretty Cure series and brought up comparisons and contrasts with super sentai series.

 

Moon Prisim Poptarts by Scarlet
This was the first time we ever ran our Sailor Moon panel at Katsucon. There was a Sailor Moon panel the year before, but it was cancelled at the last second. So, we decided to bring some Sailor Moon-ness into the Katsucon programming. It was pretty much the standard presentation, but with new slide to reflect news for the new anime and to cover new media that has been produced in light of the 20th anniversary. The audience seemed to enjoy it. We also played a clip from "Suite Pretty Cure" to reflect what could be for the new anime to e released this summer (considering a few Pretty Cure alums have been selected for the new show).

 

Books and Comics with Tavisha and Rikki Simmons by Jared
It is always interesting to hear from different independent writers and comic artists about their experiences in the industry.  On Sunday we were lucky enough to have the husband and wife team of Tavisha and Rikki Simmons.  They talked about the ups and downs of getting published and how trying to create while also having a real life can be difficult.  Rikki Simmons also told stories of working on Invader Zim as both a voice actor and artist.  He also talked about how keeping your vision with a project can be difficult when collaborating.  Sadly, Tavisha was not feeling well and could barely speak, but she was there to give short answers when she could.  Overall this was a fun panel that gave insight into the creative process of a team that tends to have a dark sense of humor.

 

Symphonic Anime Orchestra by Jared
Turning popular anime songs into orchestra pieces is not easy and in this panel we got the opportunity to hear about the process.  It was a really interesting panel for not only those who play music, like me, but also those who are fans of music.  Hearing about the process of transcribing lyrics, percussion, and often electronic ‘instruments’ into classical instruments is fascinating.  Not only that, but you get to hear the songs up close with a nice quartet.  It panel was both entertaining and educational making it one of the best panels of the day.

 

Voice Directing with Richard Epcar and Ellyn Stern by Jared
This was one of the better voice acting related panels I have seen in awhile.  Part of it was Q&A, part of it was anecdotal, and part of it was practicum.  Stories were told about being on both sides of the microphone when handling animation.  In addition techniques and advice was given to those who dream of getting involved in any level of voice work from commercial to video game and everything in between.  The only weird part about the panel was that the re was a dance floor between the stage and the audience, so everyone had to project to get their questions across the dance floor.  It was a fun panel that was also very informative. 

 

After a photoshoot with i.M. Photography and wandering around the hotel grounds one more time, we went to pick up our luggage to catch out 3:30PM shuttle. The exciting weekend was coming to a close. Our only regrets was not stopping by the tea house and Elevation Burger one more time. Because of the winter storm, Katsucon felt more like a vacation week at National Harbor than a con weekend. Given that it's been a while since we have done a weekend con and with so much going on in our lives, this was blessing in disguise. Overall, we enjoyed Katsucon 2014 and hope to come back soon.

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