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 Katsucon special?
Above: Katsucon 2019 Attendee badge. Below: The beautiful nighttime view the Gaylord Hotel, Katsucon's gorgeous venue.
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
Katsucon hosted a multitude of amazing guests from voice actors, musical talents, and cosplay the ever amazing Robbie Daymond best known for voicing Tuxedo Mask in Sailor moon. Other voice acting talents included Maz Mittelman (Seven Deadly Sins/Persona 5), Trina Nishimura (Attack on Titan/My Hero Academia), and Michael Sinterniklaas (Your Name/Miraculous Ladybug. Musical guest for the convention included AKIRA and Lantan. Artists/Writer/Director/Model builder guests included Steve Bennett, Erik Courtney, Curtailed artists Fox Keegan and Mandy Seley, David Jacobs, etc. While the voice acting, artists, and musical guests had a variety Katsucon was short on Cosplayer guests as they only had Italian cosplayer Giada Robin to speak of.
Katsucon was filled with plenty of activities and panels to keep its attendees occupied. One of the highlights for older attendees was the Cosplay Burlesque show put on by a troupe of the same name who did an outstanding performance which ranged from sensual to comical and everything in between. It was truly so much fun to watch. Some of our personal favorites were a cheeky performance from a Bill Cipher (gravity Falls) cosplayer facing to the Scissor Sisters I Can't Decide and the a breathtaking powerful dance by a Padme Amidala cosplayer to Lana Del Rey's Born to Die. Another of our favorites of Katsucon included the weekend long event of the adorable Cherry Tea Maid Café. Spots were so coveted that they needed to be reserved in advance andif you were lucky enough to get a spot it was so much fun. Gorgeous Maids and handsome Butlers greeted you into a super fun experience of fun games, beautiful atmosphere, and yummy food items including some deserts that you could swear were straight out of your favorite anime. Honestly it was so much fun we were all sad about some of the panels were missed out on if they were any where close to as awesome as these ones!
Above: The crowd waiting for the Cosplay Burlesque group to perform at Katsucon 2019. Below: Luna from CKC taking advantage of the picturesque setting of Katsucon as Princess Sakura from Tsubasa with Mouzycat Cosplay Photographer.
Katsucon's dealer's room was massive. There was plenty of room for adequate display of all the dealers goods and it was so nice to have the ability to walk around and not feel cramped together like is typical for a lot of conventions. There was a wide variety of items to from apparel, figures, charms, Ita bags, posters, and so much more. The artist section also held many treasures from custom pins, artwork, and more. Overall the Vendors and artists of Katsucon did not disappoint.
Above: Amazing Mori Galaxy booth at Katsucon's dealer room. Below: Dark Chocolate Bear cake with chocolate swirl curl and blackberry garnish from the wonderful Cherry Tea Maid Café at Katsucon 2019.
Unfortunately the Masquerade at Katsucon was not something that the girls and I were able to fully attend with conflicting schedules. What we did see of the Masquerade however was amazing. Katsucon is clearly THE convention to bring your best cosplay skills. There was so many amazing cosplays from impressive large builds with lifelike armor pieces, beautifully executed groups, and some of the most intricate ballgown designs I have ever laid my eyes on. The Masquerade featuring this amazing amount of talent was truly nothing short of eye candy.
Con Program Book
The things that sets Katsucon apart from a lot of other conventions I have personally attended is that it is spilt into 2 books! The first program book of Katsucon was about average I would say with the familiar information you would expect such as rules and guidelines along with panel descriptions and event schedules. The artwork was all in black and white including the cover which was less impressive to me then other conventions who at least have cover art be in color and despite trying multiple times and researching, I was unable to locate the name of the artist. The second of the two books was focused on information on guests and lay outs of the panel rooms and dealer's hall. I wish this would have just been all one book honestly. Also I would have loved them to include some information about local areas for food and other nearby amenities for con goers to utilize during the weekend. Also it just left me wanting more... considering how this convention is a bigger and more established one than many I have attended I just would have liked to have had the Con Program book match the rest of the con.
Our Con Highlights
Katsucon was in no uncertain terms such an impressive and amazing convention. Our favorites have to be the beautifully and wildly entertaining Cosplay Burlesque show and the adore and decadent Cherry Tea Maid Café. These things alone were worth the cost of our badges and any extra we paid. Katsucon has also become affectionately known by us CKC girls as Ballgown con because there was so many gorgeous cosplay gowns that were around it was almost that if you were in anything besides a gown or a large armor build then you felt a bit out of place. Katsucon is a MUST GO TO con and the girls and I look forward to returning to this convention in the years to come!
REVIEW BY RENCHAN