First of all, my roommates. I couldn't ask for better roommates . One of the reasons I so wanted to go to an east coast con was to see my friends. And that I did, with a good portion of them in the hotel room! :) Thanks to Lilli and J setting up the hotel and doing all of the planning and keeping everyone well fed! We stayed in a wonderful "Jr. Suite" that fit 8 people very comfortably, 7 of which were cosplayers. Yah, at the end of the weekend, the room looked like it exploded, but that's to be expected. ;-)
Including Lilli and J, we had Dave, Dez, SinginRaisin, Codi and Cori. Honestly, I couldn't have had better roommates. We had a blast hanging out, talking about cosplay, attending the Psycho le Cemu concert and bitching about the con. LOL. It's always good to see and hang out with Lilli, J and their friend Dave.
"Union Jack" Dez was crazy enough to fly across the pond to come over and play. But we love him for it anyway. As usual, he was brightly colored, mostly naked and very British.
SinginRaisin was amazing with her costumes and her art. I hope you did really well in the art show, once again, despite Katsu's efforts to the contrary.
Cordi and Cori were new but you two were just awesome. :) I'm sorry I kept calling you guys "The Twins" though. X-D I'm glad you two do so many cosplays together with Melty Blood and EGL you had wonderful costumes. I hope to catch you guys next year! Or that you fly out to a California con. :)
And just everyone else I was able to run into at Katsucon. You all made the con for me, really you did. You all turned a crappy situation into a fantastic time. I can't emphasis this enough. I LOVE YOU GUYS!! X-D
I was also able to attend the second PLC concert on Sunday. Wow, they are freakin' amazing in person! I'm actually really like their Fronters album, but not really much of a fan of their harder rock stuff. But when they were performing it live, it was just rockin! I couldn't stop moving and I was really enjoying their music.
Their little skit was fucking hilarious! Not only was it just horribly cheesy, but their amazing Engrish just had me laughing uncontrollably! Their "ninja" costumes were also amazing. Damn it, Lida's outfit better not show up on my costume list this year. :P
Lets all do this again, hopefully at a much better convention or hell just form a "let's get together and be nerds by dressing up and going somewhere pretty to take pictures and hang out" con. Ok, yah I'll need help with a much better name. ;-)
PS. For the people in the house, use this link to see the pictures.
Just ignore this if you don't care about my bitching...
Seriously, the people I got to hang out with and see in person are what made this con. If it wasn't for all of my wonderful friends and cosplayers, Katsucon would have been a complete and total disappointment for me.
Oh god, where do I even begin?
First of all, the new hotel. I'm sure it would have been a fantastic choice... if it wasn't still under renovation... There were only small corridors and hall ways. There was no central gathering area. The temporary lobby was much to small and cold for any cosplay gathering, despite the fact that all of the gatherings listed on Cosplay.com had the Front Lobby as the meeting place. The one gathering I attended, the Dead or Alive gathering, had to be moved to somewhere else for pictures. Unfortunately, during the move we lost a couple of people who couldn't find us. :(
There was also so very crowded. Again, all the construction shrank any available space in the hotel. There wasn't even a place to hang out or enough space to take pictures of people in costume.
If you stopped anywhere to take a picture or pose for a picture or talk to a group of friends, convention security would walk by and tell you not to block the halls. I was so tempted to talk back and ask where we could hang out or take pictures. The answer of course was nowhere. :P
I don't even want to know what would have happened if there was a Cosplay.com gathering. You could barely fit a 10 person Sailor Moon group in one of the side rooms. Imagine trying to gather all the Cosplay.com members in one place for a photo.
Normally this would mean going outside to take pictures, but that wasn't very practical as it was freezing cold outside. Rosiel, Railiens, SinginRaisen and I went outside to do a Witch Hunter Robin shoot and holy cow it was cold! My hands were numb after about 15 minutes. Thankfully their WHR costumes were pretty warm.
What about the sister hotel then?
Well there was one. The Katsucon web site said that there would be a connecting walkway between the two hotels. That also wasn't finished yet, so you had to cross the street, in freezing cold to get there. There was also no space in that lobby as that was also under heavy construction. In all honesty, I only went there once to check out the Art Show and the second part of the Artist Alley and couldn't brave the cold a second time. Again, there was no space to do anything. I also felt really bad for the artists there. There was very little foot traffic at the sister hotel.
Oh and how about the organizational problems. That's probably even worse then the space problems. To be fair, I'm sure the hotel promised that their renovations would be done by the time the con started, at least I hope so. I can't believe anyone would sign a contract otherwise. But this felt like a first year con, in which no one knew what the hell was going on.
When I accompanied SinginRaisin to the Art Auction so that she could put up her art, apparently they had no paper work for artists to fill out to put their art up. People were already waiting there for an hour for the staff to go and print it out. After two hours, these magical pieces of paper finally arrived and people were able to submit their art. Ok, seriously, how long can it really take to go to Kinkos and copy paper? Those forms better have been hand-written by virgins on freshly cut paper right off the tree.
Or how about the Friday night Psycho le Cemu concert? It was scheduled for 9pm concert. It was delayed until 11:30pm and apparently didn't get started until midnight. What about opening ceremonies that was supposed to be at 1pm? It didn't start until 5pm.
The one panel that I did want to attend was the Range Murata panel. For those who don't know who he is, he is the amazing character designer for Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6. First of all it was set at 10am, but I actually woke up early enough to attend, yes, I'm sure you're all shocked. :) They did provide him with a couple of excellent translators so I'm glad for that. But they didn't mic the room, so the translators had to speak up in order for the crowd to hear anything. I could barely hear Murata-san at all. Yes, it's all in Japanese, but the whole point of seeing someone in person was to see and hear him! But you know what, those are only minor gripes. I mean we could still hear everything so it was ok... until the lights went out... twice.
Things just went pitch black for no reason. The lights came on a few minutes later, so obviously someone hit the wrong botton. Ok... the panel continued on until the lights went out the second time. And this time is stayed off, so the panel was abruptly ended. I really really really hope that Murata-san didn't see it as an insult, because boy I was about to kill. :P
The only funny part of this whole mess is that one of the questions that was asked of him, was if this was his first convention in the US. He answered that it was actually his fourth. I then heard a side comment that thanks to Katsucon, this will probably be his last... I had the same feeling, I really hope he does come back to the states. He's such an amazing guest.
Oh and the masquerade? I was flip flopping between attending it or not and I finally decided not to. We were just hanging out with people in hotel rooms and was being a lazy butt so I didn't want to wait in line. I guess that was a good thing, because the line went all the way from the first floor to the lobby. Yes, the line actually crossed shut down escalators. What adds insult to injury is the fact that after the room was full, they just told everyone else in line to leave. There was no overflow room or a simulcast room. You were just shit out of luck. The absolute least they could have done was tell people after a certain point in line that they might not get in. That way they didn't have to wait in line and then be told to go away.
Anyway, I'm sure there were some things that went well. I have to admit the PLC concert on Sunday was fantastic. Seeing my friends and meeting all the people at the con was more fun then any panel, guest of honor or kick ass masquerade. But wow, this con was just a big big mess.
This will be the last time I attend Katsucon.
I'm open to new east coast cons next year. :) Right now it looks like I'll be going to Anime Boston. So watch out everyone. ;-)