Katsucon, an annual 3-day fan convention that is held in the D.C. metropolitan area for Anime fans, Video game enthusiasts, and cosplayers alike. This was our first time attending Katuscon and it was definitely one to remember. Katsucon has many sources of entertainment, a fantastic array of goods, and amazing cosplayers. So what makes Kat
Above: Artist Alley on Sunday at Daisho Con 2018. Below: YomuChan and Wicked Warlock cosplay as Dilandau and Folken from Escaflowne, taking advantage of the amazing spots to shoot in the Kalahari's Tom Foolery Arcade.
Katsucon had multiple early bird opportunities for badge discounts varying from free for those 7 and under all the way to $55 per adult weekend badge. These rates gradually increased up until the day of the con where badge prices increased up to $80 per adult and others varied per age group. Katsucon is a bit pricer than some other conventions that CKC has attended and so the bar was set high for a good experience with this price point in mind.
Con staff everywhere at the convention but even more present were the hotel staff at the Gaylord Hotel. Some hotel staff were not quite as friendly to cosplayers as we would have liked and there was a discrepancy between rules depending on which staffer you encountered which made for a confusing experience at times. The con staff themselves were friendly for the most part and helpful when approached for assistance.
Katsucon takes place at the incredible and beautiful location of the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center. This hotel location was absolutely the most ideal location for a convention that I have encountered so far. Not only did everything have enough space and was easy to find to enjoy the convention but the hotel itself is breathtaking. This location is as close to perfection as anyone could get for some amazing cosplay photography.
Travel to and from the Gaylord was relatively easy using an Uber or Lyft service. The location itself is near many restaurants varying from the very affordable McDonald's to more upscale dinning. The parking I am unable to comment on as I was not affected by it personally. There are many hotel options nearby however to get the best experience at Katsucon, the Gaylord was really the best hotel to have you and your party staying at.
Cosplay/Voice Acting/Musical Guests
Daisho cons guest line up was pretty awesome and featured voice acting talent such as Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time/Voltron), Eric Vale (Dragonball Z/One Piece), and Alexis Tipton (My Hero Academia/Escaflowne). Daisho Con also was guested by cosplayers Orchid Nightblossom Cosplay, JaJa Cosplay, Moderately Okay Cosplay, AKrCos,and the super cool Shining Polaris. While some may not like the large amount of cosplay guests, I myself was excited to see a diverse group of cosplay guests and was excited to see them show off their stuff. There was also lot of rave related guests such as Lady Faith, Jimni Cricket, Kutski, and many more.
Above: CKC's LaKinta and RenChan along with YomuChan and Wicked Warlock cosplay playing around as the characters from Escaflowne while in the arcade at Daisho Con 2018. Below: RenChan as Lady Amalthea from the Last Unicorn during her Daisho Con shoot with Mouzycat Cosplay Photographer.
There was plenty of panels to attend at Daisho Con, but if I am being honest I personally did not attend any of them. Daisho con was also hosting plenty of gaming rooms, the Daisho Show talent show, a concert featuring the band Make Out Monday, and of course the rave. Although I did not attend the rave myself I was told by multiple attendees that it not only started late but was a bit of a hassle for convention goers who were not aware of the no bags policy that the convention has in place. Daisho also featured a Drag show but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend which is undoubtedly something I regret.
When it comes to the Vendor’s room and artist alley of Daisho Con I felt like it was kind of a mixed bag. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of things to see and much to buy but I felt the size and selection overall in the vendor room was a bit lacking. The vendor room itself was a decent size but at times it could get very crowded and very hot making spending any extended period of time in there taxing. Also many vendors seemed overpriced even for a convention of this size, not to mention when my friends and I stumbled across a $4 anime pencil set a vendor had marked up to $8 and didn’t even bother to remove the other tag. The Artist Alley was on the other hand a treat. This was located in the hallway of the Kalahari just off to the side of the vendor room. I was pleasantly surprised, after having been in the vendor room first, that I loved the artists and things I found in the alley which varied from pins, artwork, plushies, and so much more. I was also happy to find a booth for one of my favorite artists PenelopeLovePrints.
Above: Seifer's Stitches during the Master class portion of the masquerade sorting their Blastoise inspired by the art of Cowslip. Below: One of the winners of Daisho Con's masquerade awards.
I am proud to say I had the privilege of attending Daisho Con’s Cosplay masquerade and all I can say is wow am I impressed with the talented cosplayer that attended this convention. The show itself was well done with only some small minor technical issues, such as an incorrect song playing for a walk on. Even the intermission between the show and judging was entertaining as Daisho sported 2 acapella group--one all-female called The Point Pitches and one all-male group whom I believe were called On Point. In all honesty I wasn’t that impressed with the female group but boy could those guys from the other put on a show. They had all the attendees singing along with them and helped make the intermission wait less of a pain. I do have one issue with the Masquerade, or rather with the pre-masquerade handling by the convention staff. When getting ready to attend the masquerade we were all lined up along the hall outside the main events room, anxiously waiting to attend for over an hour prior to the start of the event. If that wasn’t bad enough, my real issue was that where we were lined up was in the hall which also contained the artist alley. With the line growing fast and being present for over that hour the vendors along that side of the hall were completely blocked off, and so those wanting to browse and shop were definitely deterred from doing so due to the crowds. This more than likely led to vendors on that side of the hall losing sales and wasting time staring at the long line which blocked them into their booths.
Con Program Book
I was very happy with the program book at Daisho Con. Not only was the very adorable artwork, including the cover, done by who I believe is artist Kevin Bolk, but the layout and panel descriptions were very easy to understand. I was also pleasantly surprised by the lack of ads, as with a con this size I did expect to see some and other than the section on those who partnered with Daisho there were none. The program also included some information on nearby restaurants which helped when picking out a place to chow down after a long day in cosplay. The book also included a easy to understand layout map of convention center but it would have been nice to have also had one for the vendor room and artist alley.
Our Con Highlights
Daisho Con was definitely a worthwhile convention experience. If I had to pick one favorite thing about this convention it would be the amazing performances, cosplays, and even intermission that was presented by the conventions Masquerade staff and exhibitors. The Ota-Queens collaboration with fellow cosplayers KKreations, Dali-Lamb Cosplay, Miri, Senmurv, and Tyrannosaurus Lex for their Mario Kart Princesses “There Goes First Again” skit was also a personal highlight. It was not only so fun,unique, and incredibly entertaining to watch, even compared to the other amazingly talented participants, but when they didn’t end up winning that portion of the masquerade, I was personally offended. And ofcourse I made time for a whimsical Last Unicorn photo shoot with one of my favorite cosplay photographers and friends, Mouzycat Cosplay Photography. While Daisho Con is not a perfect con experience but it is one that is definitely worth traveling to and taking part in. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed by time there and can’t wait to plan my trip out there for the 2019 year.
REVIEW BY RENCHAN