The Gaylord Resort and Convention Center becomes a center of cosplay and fandoms as fans gather at Katsucon. This year, it wasn’t on Valentine’s Day but the weekend afterwards, February 17 to 19. The weather was beautiful, warm so cosplayers flooded the grounds with their latest outfits, photoshooting and posing. A celebration of series and music with masquerade, craftsmanship and panels. My focus of the weekend was on the cosplays as usual and the con didn’t disappoint.
Thursday, February 16
Arrived at the hotel around 5pm and checked out the badge pick up room. The wait was about 2 hours according to the attendees. Many were already in cosplays. On the line, there were so many Yuri!!! On Ice cosplayers. It’s obvious that it’s going to be a YOI weekend, not that I’m complaining. ^_^
Friday, February 17
photos and shopping
The first order of business was hitting the Dealer’s Room which opened at 12pm. Grabbed a few choice photos of cosplayers on the way down.
Thankfully, the Dealer’s Room was spread out as usual. Throughout the weekend, it never felt too crowded or difficult to move about in.
Funimation had a large booth as usual.
We spotted Vertical and spoke with Ed Chavez who I chatted with about his panel. I asked him why he was always scheduled for the masquerade and he responded that he doesn’t have a choice in panel times which is an interesting point. The booth had new early releases including the latest for Nichijou.
Arda wigs announced on their tumblr they had Yuri!!! on Ice merchandise from Japan. Some were from the Animate Cafe and others were from other events.
After the Dealer’s Room, I ventured into the Artist Alley which boasted alot of original and fanart which were gorgeous. Some notable artists were sayriin, FrostNight Forge, Mint and Apple and a personal favorite, Lucid Sky.
At the back of the room, there was the charity auction as well as the special gallery of artwork also being sold. I got permission as to take pics of the charity items but not the artwork. The artwork is nice though my favs are some of the canvas work for Ghibli.
Spent the evening grabbing more photos of the cosplayers late into the evening.
Saturday, February 18
Card Captors weekend
With the new season of Cardcaptors Sakura on the way, many have pulled out their fav Sakura cosplays. My favorite has to the the wedding dress version which CLAMP designed for fashion. As if Tomoyo created for Sakura herself. The groom version was never down from my understanding, but the design for the male was appropriate and stylish.
The host of the masquerade was the usual host but he was by himself today. He was cosplaying from ‘Gravity Falls’ and was trying his best to push the MC’ing along. He even threw rubber eyeballs into the audience…one of which fell near me but I gave away.
The Model Expo room was more then just models. It also had movie and show outfits which is an awesome touch. For a cosplay heavy event like this one, it’s pretty fantastic to get to see these outfits up close like from the ‘Hunger Games’.
Aniplex of America Industry panel
We went to the Aniplex panel afterwards. I got seats near the left of the stage at the front. One of my favorite distribution studios in Japan. Though their releases are on the pricier side, they are high quality releases, some direct imports filled with limited edition goods and artwork.
a bit of cosplay in the evenings
What it being saturday, the cosplay around the gazebo was going strong even after midnight. Got to respect the level of dedication here.
Sunday, February 19
last of the cosplays
Attempted to get into a kimono strap workshop but failed. So I grabbed breakfast before heading to the con floor.
We went outside to the pier and grabbed pics of the view and cosplays. It was such beautiful weather this weekend.
Snorlax was hilarious. Almost stabbed a kid by accident since his paws were at kid level. Thankfully, nothing happened.
a con in short review
When I was checking out, the front desk staff and I chatted about con damage to the hotel. She was very courteous and mentioned that I wasn’t the only one who asked about that. Others have apologized for the rowdy behavior of our fellow attendees and I’m moved that others have voiced their apologizes besides not being a part of that mess. Thus far, there haven’t been any major news of punched walls or flooded bathrooms which was the major disasters from last year. There is always incidents as the hotel staff has said, but she said that things have appeared to be a bit better then before. I truly hope so.
As always, Katsucon sundays arranged for a giant room to place luggage in as hotel ppl check out. Unfortunately, there isn’t staff to monitor the luggage and there are no luggage tags to ticket the items. People can place whatever they want there and remove it whenever they want. It’s really disconcerting. It may have worked for conventions in Japan, but in the States…. So far, there doesn’t seem to be any major porblems and we hope that our fellow attendees will respect the properties of others.
Overall, it was an interesting weekend for me and we had tons of fun. On to the next adventure!