Zenkaikon 2014: You Can Always Go Home Again

I have always said that my hometown conventions was Animazement.  That con kickstarted everything for me when it comes to cosplay, friends, my social life, everything.  That con will have a special place in my heart.  But then there’s Zenkaikon… This con is the home away from home for my podcast.  Our first podcast had Michele Knotz and Bill Rogers.  Full room, standing ovation.  It went all down hill from there with great times and great memories.  I missed a year, but when I went back this year, it was like I had never left.

So me and Mako-chan arrived Thursday night.  She was staff, and I was press.  We spent a good portion of the night shooting the shit with Erisaka Blu and the Beast Coast Stitches podcast.  And then Friday I was off.  First thing I did was get one of those magical maple bacon donuts with some friends, and it was so good.  Along the way, I found myself taking pictures with a bible thumper.  I posed because I was cosplaying Garterbelt and it was hilarious.  Back at the con, I did find myself posing with 4 Panty & Stocking couples.  It was fun.  But I think my camera only took one of those photos… For shame.

But the main event I wanted to attend on Friday was The Disney Afternoon retrospective.  The entire two hours was spent with Uncle Yo and Jim Cummings discussing the various shows that was on The Disney Afternoon, the audience singing all the opening songs, the casual banter between Jim and Uncle Yo, and Jim telling stories about the characters he voiced.  I felt like such a kid again in that, singing along.

I did stop into the game room.  One giant wall dedicated to Dance Central 3 and a DDR machine was spotted.  I did jump on it for a quick game, I still got it.  There were a couple of other arcade machines there such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an arcade machine I fed more than my fair share of quarters in.

Later that night I attended the formal ball.  It felt more like a high school dance, than anything.  I also felt it was a bit too short.  But neither points was a bad thing to me because I had a great time.  I love going to formals, since I can wear my best dressed and make the ladies smile.  After that, I did hit up the rave.  It felt more like a casual club event.

And here comes Saturday… The con was packed, but it didn’t see that way.  You know how you goto a con on a Saturday, it starts off with a few people and then boom, it’s full of people, and you’re like, “Where the hell did everyone come from?!”  Zenkaikon wasn’t like that.  It felt more like a gradual increase.  That morning me and Mako-chan did our podcast.  We only had an hour, so we briefly discussed two topics; anime and cosplay.  For a small amount of people that showed up, it was very enticing and entertaining.

The panel I went to was a voice actor Q & A, mixed in with script reading.  The voice actors and actresses would reenact certain movie theme with various voices, and then answer questions from the audience.  My only problem was that they fielded too many questions and not enough scripting.  And then the masquerade… Let me tell you, Zenkaikon’s masquerade is on point, and always has been.  And there was the right amount of skits and walkons.  The skits were quite amusing, and I don’t think there was one I didn’t like.  And then from there I rushed up to the press room for an interview with Jim Cummings.  He did field a few questions about his life, working with Disney, and whatnot.  Loved it.  As for the rave that night… See my thoughts about Friday night.

Sunday is where it all comes down to the end.  Me and Mako-chan interviewed a few cosplayers, ran around for a few photos, and relaxed.  What was awesome is that we were able to get a couple of interviews in the Dealer’s Room, because it was that big.  Plus the lighting in there was superb.  The main issue while we were recording our interviews was the loud, massive Homestuck group.  We were on the far end of the hotel, one flight up and we could still hear that group loud and clear… I haven’t checked the audio from it, but we shall see.  And then from there, we packed it up and made our way home.

What I love about this con is that it falls right in the middle of the con season for most people.  And this convention is a very nice, chilled, relaxed, laid back setup.  The stress you feel from most conventions, you won’t find here.  The staff feels like one big happy family, and truthfully I couldn’t ask for anything more… Well maybe a bottle of Mexican Coke. 😀

Pro: Very laid back, very entertaining and inviting.

Con: The rave needs a more varied selection of DJs.

Overall: A great break within conventions, regardless of how many that you do.

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S is cosplay veteran. He has won numerous performance awards with his friends over the years. He has staffed conventions in the past, ran panels, judged a couple of masquerades, a jack of all trades. He's worked dealer's room too! Running this site is his way of giving back to the cosplay community. He feels that it's his turn to give a future cosplayer their fifteen minutes of fame.

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