Katsucon was held this past weekend at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. This was the 19th year of the convention and it was met with some interesting difficulties. The convention had to share space with the BBYO IC (B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, International Convention) that was going on that weekend as well. The BBYO claimed the Gazebo and Ballroom area which made it hard for many convention attendees to travel through the area. Pictures in the Gazebo were also banned for a good portion of Friday.
A truce was eventually reached, allowing Katsucon to occupy half of the gazebo area for the weekend. This made travel difficult as the other 10,000 attendees were forced to walk in a restricted area, but many found this far more acceptable then being banned completely. Friday night, a human wall of staffers was put in place in the main hallway in order to keep Katsucon traffic seperate from the BBYO traffic.
Events at Katsucon still went on, including the East Coast qualifier for the World Cosplay Summit. Nine teams competed for a chance to move onto the finals that will be held next month in Texas as Anime Matsuri. A variety of skits featuring anime and video games were performed by two-person teams. Winners of the event were Karmaluna cosplay with their "Chrono Cross" performance. Second place was awarded to Foxgloves Cosplay, who have the option of going to the finals as a wildcard.
The Masquerade drew a bigger crowd of entries as well as spectators. Although the number of Gangnam Style skits was starting to wear on the crowd, enthusiasm was high for the performances. "Mario", "Black Rock Shooter", "Tsubasa", "07-Ghost" and many other series were represented in the cosplay contest that focused on both craftsmanship and performance. The judges elected to not give a Best in Show, instead awarding Best Craftsmanship and Best Performance separately in a decision that shocked many of the competitors.
To see the performances for both the World Cosplay Summit and the Masquerade, visit ACParadise's coverage at: http://www.acparadise.com/acp/cons.php?cyid=4971&t=3
Concerts, panels, anime viewings, and more occurred throughout the weekend. There was always something going on for attendees to take part in. Panels on anime, voice acting, Kpop, and more go on for 24 hours over the course of the three days. Guests included voice actors Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Crispin Freeman, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial as well as artists Steve Bennett, Kevin Bolk, and musical guest The Sound Bee.
For more information on Katsucon visit their website at http://katsucon.com