The Oakland Convention Center was filled with hundreds of anime, animation like “Adventure Time,” and geek pop culture fans on April 6 for Kraken Con. One of the newer anime conventions to hit the scene, Kraken Con aimed to emphasize the “whimsy, imagination, and the creative process” that is the heart and charm of the various forms of entertainment that its attendees enjoy.
Kraken Con provided a melange of guests with tales of whimsy and imagination in their areas of work that included anime, a hit Cartoon Network program, and crowd-funded projects with charm and potential. Excited to meet these guests in person, attendees came in with plenty of questions about the creative process that made their beloved programs come to fruition. And some came to Kraken Con cosplaying as characters of said beloved programs such as “Adventure Time's” BMO (voiced by Frederator Studios' storyboard artist Niki Yang) or the “Adventure Time” gender-swapped character designs from artist Natasha Allegri.
The Kraken Con panels were not only a way for fans to discuss their favorite shows with the guests. They were a way for the guests to introduce their work to those who never saw it. A few casual “Adventure Time” viewers who attended Natasha Allegri's panel because her name was attached to the animated show suddenly found themselves interested in her pet project “Bee and PuppyCat.”
Attendees who weren't interested in “Adventure Time” and/or wanted a more hands on anime convention experience found that Kraken Con had plenty of live events that fit the bill. Through Tea Time Cafe, the anime convention offered a Maid Cafe experience where attendees could enjoy snacks, entertainment, and time spent with a uniformed maid or butler. Cosplayers were all around the convention willing to pose for a photo or two. Some even participated in the costume contest for prizes and recognition.
Gaming was another feature of Kraken Con. And it was more than the video game area with free to play consoles available. Attendees had a chance to test their improv skills with the Create That Anime Game Show. Hosted by author and geek job guru Steven Savage, attendees would have to pitch an anime series based on various cliches and tropes provided randomly by Steven. Then there was the Karken Con exclusive collectible card game, where attendees built their deck by visiting various areas of the anime convention.
By the end of the day, Kraken Con was proud to announce a turn out of nearly 1400 paid attendees and over 1600 warm bodies at the Oakland Convention Center for their convention. The future is looking bright for this growing anime convention as the next Kraken Con plans to expand into a two-day affair on October 4-5 at the same Oakland Convention Center. Topping it off, they're already proud to announce the convention's first guest: Eric Stuart; known for voicing the original Brock and James from “Pokemon.”