Yesterday was my first time attending Katsucon, held at the Gaylord in National Harbor. I didn’t dress as a character, but I did wear an Aizawa shirt with a giant red heart (also it was Valentine’s Day). Someone told me in the Merchant Hall Aizawa would never do that! (I could see it as him capturing someone else’s heart, like Ms. Joke’s, but I could see how the guy thought it was Aizawa, himself, presenting his own heart lol). A girl can dream!
I’ve attended several conventions and by far Katsucon’s line for pre-registration was the worst. Maybe there were tons more attendees than they expected this year. The registration line was basically nonexistent, so everyone who waited until last minute, definitely had a leg up on the rest of us in the terms of waiting time (not sure how much they paid for entry). I stood in line for about an hour. And this isn’t to knock the volunteers, they were all very helpful, patient, and friendly (especially the fellow who helped me find the Merchant Hall), but I do think it would be beneficial for future events if they can either have more laptops to check folks in or allocate more volunteers to that task, at least for the earlier part of the day. That’s the only difference I can think of, as I compare it to the other events I have gone to. The other events just had more folks to check attendees in and they had clearly marked signs so you knew where to go. Katsucon did not have the giant signs directing people or the big map print outs. They did have maps in their guidebook. If you’re crap at reading maps, which I am, it is helpful having signs. The other hiccup I noticed, but I don’t know how you’d fix this, is intersecting lines. So the line for pre-registration (people who paid ahead of time for entry but needing to pick up their badges), stretched almost the entire length of the first floor. While everyone in line was respectful of other people’s space, at least near me thankfully, I noticed later when I was looking for the Merchant Hall that their entrance was near the pre-registration line. This caused a giant mass of people to accumulate with everyone totally confused. The volunteer there tried her very best to make herself heard, but with the ginormous group of people, it was difficult to sort out who was supposed to go where. This made me very glad I had gotten my badge in the morning! An hour in line was enough, an hour in line, plus confused people messing up that line would’ve been trying for anyone’s patience.
The Merchant Hall had so many things! I got a cool hat to wear to my Burn Bootcamp workouts. And some Aggretsuko items for my friend. In case I cosplay as Ms. Joke again, I grabbed a plush Aizawa. I am excited about this All Might pin for my gym bag. My sister got me into Princess Jellyfish so I had to scoop up that dvd. I started feeling light-headed (definitely should’ve eaten something since I went straight from a Reiki session to the con) and felt claustrophobic, so I didn’t tour the entire Merchant Hall, but I’m sure there were lots of cool items at other vendor booths. But my sanity and wallet appreciated my early departure!
I saw great cosplays, but my two favorites were a home made Baby Yoda and Muriel from Courage the Cowardly Dog. I love how happy and excited people are to show off their handiwork, and to display their passion, and support for their favorite characters! Love seeing families in cosplay together and fans of various ages! (I may take some classes at Joanne’s, because I am not skilled when it comes to making things. Just to give you a glimpse; during middle school, in sewing class, we were supposed to make gym bags. And I was stuck at a sewing machine in the dark trying to make my project while the rest of the class watched Flubber because they finished on time). When you think about the aspects of a character that makes them appealing to you, it’s fascinating to see others dressed up and to wonder what appeals to them. It could be as simple as liking an anime character and wanting the challenge of creating and conceptualizing that in real life. Or seeing how a character never lost hope, stayed true to his vision despite the doubts of others, displayed heroic attributes, and trained heard to achieve his goal and wanting to emulate that in your own life (any Deku fans? I know I am!).
Line and crowds aside, which people can expect at most cons anyways, I enjoyed the event! There was an even a Funimation room when you could just relax, watch anime, and get comfy with pillows. National Harbor is beautiful, with great restaurants, and the Gaylord and surrounding area is beautiful (also a great venue if you’re into cosplay photo shoots). Katsucon had other events too, like this healthy lifestyle panel I wanted to attend but missed while in line. Maybe next time!
Even my Lyft driver was an anime fan. He recommended I check out Colorful and FLCL. And of course I made him take a card to check out my blog! Lol hi and thanks for the ride!
If you’re in the area, check out Katsucon. Sunday may be the better day if you’d like to avoid some of the crowd (hence my reason for going on Friday, not a bad way to spend Valentine’s Day!).