I have heard different things about Katsucon and to be honest none of those things made me want to go to this convention.  I don’t care about cosplay popularity, gazebos, or taking photos.  I care about content and I care about the general vibe of an event.  However, I was cajoled into going to Katsucon despite my gripes and I must admit I did have a good time.  While the shallow side of the convention is what gets posted online it is the depth of this con that makes it fun.

The location is great.  Not too hard to get to via shuttle from the airport and there are plenty of local shops and eateries as well.  The coast looks beautiful this time of year and the river opens up opportunities for photos for those who care about that.  The hotel is huge with plenty of room for everyone, but it can be a little difficult to navigate at first.  There is a very pretty fountain and a nice garden-esque area that feels like a completely different location.  The room we got was okay, nothing too impressive, but it worked for the weekend.  I now understand why everyone talks about the venue when they talk about this convention.

There are plenty of panel rooms to give more hours of content than just about any convention I have attended.  They even had enough room for the five different panels Scarlet Rhapsody ran.  The rooms had different sizes which worked well for panels that warranted a large audience, but also made some guest panels feel very intimate.  In addition to all that there were video rooms, gaming area, cultural workshops, and even hall cosplay contest.  Katsucon has tons of room and makes great use of it, I only wish more conventions did that. 

The dealer hall is big and there is plenty of room for a variety of different booths.  Sadly, the weather kept some dealers from showing up so there were random gaps in the hall.  I’ve heard it was better in previous years.  While I did not see anything that I “had to get” there was enough variety to at least keep me looking.  The artist alley on the other hand was alive and buzzing with plenty of different vendors offering a good variety of things from cool hats to jewelry to unique artwork.  One of the most popular booths was the photo shoot booth, but it was the big Malboro prop that caught my eye and made me wish I had brought a Final Fantasy costume.

The general vibe of the convention is very fun and relaxed.  This feels like a nice big party with a bunch of anime nerds having fun.  The one thing that brought people down was the crazy weather.  Due to a storm many people had to head out earlier than planned (like myself) and others couldn’t show up until late Friday or early Saturday.  Yet, the majority of people did not let that get them down.  Even if we couldn’t see all the guests, even if we had our travel plans messed up, we still had a good time and kept our spirits up during the event.  I think my only real complaint about the vibe is that I met several cool people, but never got their contact info, well it happens no use getting all bent out of shape because of it.

My best advice is to not get caught up in all the online hype.  Katsucon may be a place for cosplayers to hang out, but it has so much more to it than that.  You can meet some cool people, go to some great panels, and be able to check out a nice little corner of our country’s Capital.  I am looking forward to returning to Katsucon and do more panels and hit more events.  I’d like to thank Adam, Ari, Diana, the Katsucon staff, the café staff, the people who talked with me after the horror panel, Boss Lady Scarlet, that panelist lady, the guests who did make it to Katsucon, and everyone I roomed with.

If you have any comment or questions leave them on our Facebook page or feel free to not e-mail me (Jared -at- Scarlet-rhapsody.com).  Until next time I leave you with my list and humbly ask that you give my love to Rivet City.

The List

  1. So much snow…
  2. Re: 1- Cold never bothered me anyway
  3. Happy Hour
  4. Weird berry drink
  5. Riffing Toonami
  6. I still hate flying
  7. You’re listening to Galaxy News Radio!
  8. I missed out on that good tea
  9. Elevation Burger, I approve!
  10. Lost in the hotel
  11. Too many panels
  12. Next cosplay:  Waluigi
  13. LOL, Gazebo
  14. Happy Valentines Day
  15. Playing by the fountain
  16. Sometimes you just need to kick back
  17. A good breakfast is the best breakfast
  18. New friends
  19. okay, I do want that Tallgeese
  20. I missed out on that pilot hat, sigh…
  21. Good music
  22. The Writer = inspired
  23. War of the Worlds: Goliath
  24. Note to Self:  Catch up on some shows
  25. Too much to do in three days
  26. Next time I will be ready
  27. It’s a super robot war
  28. New ideas, but same attitude
  29. Here’s to you my friend, you will be missed

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