My Katsucon 17 Experience (DC area anime convention)
By The Mana Knight 02-20-2011 06:38 PM
My crazy busy weekend is finally over. I even took off work on Friday so I could enjoy more of it. This was the weekend of Katsucon 17, which took place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (in National Harbor, MD....near the DC/VA border). I didn't know about Katsucon at all until Midnite told me about it at the last Dave & Busters meet-up. I almost forgot about it, but remembered after I got a Twitter reminder that registration was ending (so I registered in early January online for $50). I planned my weekend for it, but I also had some co-worker parties to go to. No time for video gaming unfortunately.
On Friday, I was hoping to get to Katsucon around noon. I got some KFC to eat before hand so I wouldn't have to pay the high food prices in the area. I decided to just wear my Kingdom Hearts shirt, along with a Sora crown necklace, KH braclet, and had a Kingdom Hearts messenger bag on. I didn't get there until just after 12:30pm (high traffic in some areas along with talking on AIM/MSN to some friends before hand) when I met up with G-Nitro. Picking up my badge didn't take that long thankfully.
G-Nitro and I decided to go to the Dealers room, but unfortunately they wouldn't allow bags in there (they changed the rules allowing bags late on Friday night, after all the complains like "we are otakus not gangstas"). So we looked around the Dealers room at stuff. FUNimation gave us a few free posters, such as Eden of East and Summer Wars. Eventually we both went to dinner, but while he wanted to try something new at a restaurant, I didn't want to so I headed back into my vehicle to eat the last bit of Food Lion bread I had. We met back up to go to the Video Game music panel. It was kind of cool seeing how video game music evolved over the years. The guy playing, Matt Pablo, did a pretty good job playing a Mega Man 2 theme for us. Mostly the day was looking around taking some pics, going to the dealers room, etc. We were looking at going to a K Drama vs. J Drama panel late at night, but I got tired and decided to head back.
I drove back home, then headed back out to get Marvel vs. Capcom 3 before K-Mart closed. After K-Mart, I drove to one party, but since I didn't see any co-worker vehicle there, I just headed back home (I was tired, past 10pm also).
Saturday was going to be a long day with the Bandai panel starting at 9am. I wore my Death Note "L" shirt with a Death Note necklace. After 7-Eleven to get more cash out of the ATM, I drove down to Katsucon. Drive was shorter than last time, but still ran into some traffic issues (it's just over 40 minutes away). Got there at 8am to get in line for the Bandai panel. GNitro, nightmare452, and I all went there. The room across the hall had all girls in it (some decent looking ones too) because of the pretty boy anime Hetalia panel. The Bandai panel didn't have all that many people there (too early for some people). Mostly the panel consisted of what is about to be released (such as Code Geass Anime Legends, Gundam00 movie, etc.). GNitro hated the K-On English dubs, but knowing me I'll probably listen to it. At the end there was a Q&A session. We got a T-shirt for asking a question, and it's funny how the guy knew what anime we liked because GNitro got a Lucky Star (he loves Lucky Star), while I got a Eureka Seven (my 1st or 2nd favorite anime ever). I only asked about whether Code Geass R2 Anime Legends would be coming (I really want it). We decided to visit Midnite hosting the Japan Pro Wrestling panel before going off to lunch (I wasn't going to the Maid Cafe since some of the food seemed too weird, although the girls would be pretty which I wanted). I just had a small lunch, then headed back into the Dealers room until the Gundam panel (since I like Gundam). After the Gundam panel, I watched through AMVs. I met back up with GNitro and nightmare452 for the FUNimation panel. Good thing we got in line early because the line was packed/long.
FUNimation did make announcements such as TO movie and Sgt. Frog season 3 coming. The most random thing that happened during the panel is that some girl freaked out early on crying (she ran out of the room), because I guess a trailer was too violent for her (barely much violence). After the panel was dinnertime, although I opted to just eat after I'd leave the convention. We met back up at 6pm to go to the 7 Saturn Games you should have played panel. We wanted to go to it at Otakon, but the room filled up quickly. Lets just say due to technical difficulties, ended up being a discussion so we left early. They headed to the Masquerade, while I headed back since I wanted to get something to eat and I had a co-workers house party to go to.
Lets just say that I tried to find a Popeyes Chicken to eat at, because that's what I had a taste for. I searched for it on my phone, so I drove to the nearest one in PG county. Turns out to no longer be there, so I try to figure out how to get back on I-495 in the dark. Eventually I get off at another exit, near where Six Flags America is (where I go out to eat in that area). Lets just say while I knew where I was going, there was a crazy long line at Popeyes and next to no food was ready (so I waited). In that whole area, did not see a single person who wasn't black. Eventually I got the food, but needed to find a place to eat. Since I was heading to the party, I ended up eating while parked in Bowie, MD. I got to the party to say hey to co-workers, spend time with them. I did meet and talk to some new people. I didn't stay long since I was extremely exhausted and wanted to sleep.
On Sunday I wasn't going to go to Katsucon (due to spending too much money), but decided to go ahead and go (after getting more sleep and wanting certain things). I headed back there and just as I look around, I see FlamingMoogles on a sofa (we already saw each other twice, but it was when he was busy working a table in the artwork area). So we chatted and decided to hang out together in the Dealers room. Both bought more things and ran into nightmare452 and GNitro. I only stayed for a few hours taking pics, browsing the National Harbor area, and making sure I picked up all that I wanted (outside of one figure I wish I bought now).
I definitely had fun at Katsucon. Really glad I went there, despite a few mistakes I made. I kind of wish I parked elsewhere (saving me money). Kind of wish I planned my time better because there's stuff I wish I could have seen. I also wished I looked at all the restaurants in the area because they did have some interesting stuff in the area. It was a really nice area too, with a fancy hotel, fancy convention center, etc. The smaller crowds was actually a bit nice because I wasn't constantly running into people like at Otakon (Otakon is over 25k people, while Katsucon is around 4-6k people). The average age of people was a little older than Otakon. Since Friday was 75 degrees, I dressed like it was summer time. I didn't smell the funk all that much (where someone doesn't take a shower and can smell their BO) thankfully. While the Dealers room may be smaller than Otakon, I felt its quality was definitely good. It was nice not dealing with anywhere near as large of crowds as Otakon. IMO, the panels were definitely not as good as Otakon (Otakon's was people in industry mostly it seemed, while Katsucon was more so stuff that regular people just throw together). It wasn't as well organized since things were changing and I heard the programs weren't printed off until the last minute (some badges weren't even ready I heard). But I felt the Katsucon organization did a great job listening to feedback trying to improve (like allowing bags in the Dealers room). And yes, there were nerds/geek ALL OVER the freaking place. While in line, a bunch were playing their DS and PSP (I played Dissidia , DJ Max Portable 3, Gitaroo Man, etc. while waiting in line). Lines were definitely shorter at Katsucon, although some had issues of acting like there was no such thing as a line (Otakon, you gotta wait over an hour for many things or you're screwed).
While I'm at it, none of my friends (CAGs or co-workers) were able to get me to try need food, even if they tried (and wanted to strap me down a chair making me eat something new, haha).
Here are some pics from Katsucon (some of my favorite cosplays and stuff):
More pics are here:
password = katsumana
As for what I bought in the Dealers Room/Marketplace? Wait for my Feb. pick-up blog post for the reveals. Let's just say I dropped over $400 on stuff, such as:
I will post the free stuff I got there:
If I still live in the DC area, I'll be back next year to Katsucon 18. My next con will likely be Otakon, but I MIGHT go to another con such as Anime Central (in Chicago, IL), a few smaller cons not far away, and possibly New York Anime Festival in October. Regardless, I just love going to cons and look forward to the next one.
|Comments (Total Comments: 8)|
|RabbitSuit - 02-20-2011, 06:42 PM|
|LiK - 02-20-2011, 08:36 PM|
|The Mana Knight - 02-20-2011, 08:41 PM|
|FlamingMoogles - 02-20-2011, 10:01 PM|
|antlp89 - 02-21-2011, 05:43 AM|
|Midnite - 02-21-2011, 11:26 AM|
|Chronis - 02-21-2011, 01:24 PM|
|megaprotobass - 02-21-2011, 11:01 PM|
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