Castle Point Anime Convention 2016: Two Days or was it a 1 1/2 Days?

It’s no secret that when it comes to anime conventions being held on college campuses, I am very critical of them.  I admit that I am spoiled in the ways of going to a convention at a hotel and/or a convention center that I expect the same thing across the board.  But then you ask, why do I keep going?  Simply put it’s a damn good show.  I truly feel that where Springfest and Kotoricon failed, CPAC succeeded.

Normally Castle Point Anime Convention, or CPAC for short is a one day convention held in April.  One of the complaints I hear about the show is that it’s the same weekend as WWE WrestleMania.  This year, was not the case, so some fans were overjoyed.  Also this year it was a two day show, not one.  But there was a catch.  Saturday was called a Preview Day.  Think of it as Pre-Con Night at most conventions.

On Preview  Day, there was only access to the maid cafe, gaming room, selected panels, tabletop gaming, video rooms, manga library and speed dating.  And the speed dating was more like slow hangout.  In other words, everything except Dealer’s Room.  It was also a nice day, so taking pictures was pretty nice and amazing for me.  I mean hell, the sun was out, everyone was toiling about having a damned good time.  Which in turn got me two photo shoots with Bittersweet Rose Cosplay and Gilderoy Cosplay who were Panty and Stocking, respectively.  It was interesting because I wasn’t sure if I was going to do any outside of the ones I was planned to do that weekend.

Me with

Me with Gilderoy Cosplay and Bittersweet Rose Cosplay

After that, I met up with Ichigei Cosplay for her Zero Suit Samus photoshoot (pictures will be up later on my personal blog).  She is such a sweetheart in real life.

Me with Ichigei Cosplay. She's mad chill yo.

Me with Ichigei Cosplay. She’s mad chill yo.

I found myself checking out the speed dating panel, but like I said, it was more like slow hangout.  I stuck around for at least ten minutes, and I did not see anyone switch out.  Unless the rules are different here, generally after seven minutes, one side moves along.  But before I left this location, there was a pretty amazing “trash” cosplay, and no I’m not talking Nico Yazawa, per se…

20160423_154043 1  20160423_154049

If that doesn’t rustle jimmies, I dunno what will.

Another benefit of this con is how easy it is to acquire food… Or hard, if you don’t leave the convention.  Two or so blocks south of the campus is a variety of tasty foods.  And if you’re on a budget, there’s a 7-11 and McDonald’s right on the strip.  But the secret is in the Stevens Dining room.  $12.95 for all you can eat, all day.  And lemme tell you, the food is pretty damn good.  And if you pre-regged, you got a $10 coupon, so pretty much all you pay is $3.

And then there was Sunday… I can pretty much repeat what I said on Sunday, except that I did an Undertale photoshoot, went to an anti-bullying panel, cosplay wrestling event, a cosplay masquerade, the Lovel Live panel that people were telling me to go to, and my interview with Lauren Landa.  So let’s get into that.

I stopped into a cosplay wrestling event, hosted by Cosplay Pro Wrestling.  The first high point of this was when Luigi turned on his brother Mario and challenged him to a Mushroom Kingdom Street Fight at Too Many Games.  And if you’re wondering, the fans cheered this big time.  The second was when Scarecrow and his cronies jumped Sailor Jupiter, and John CenaPool (you heard right) came out to save her.  There were other matches such as Sailor Jupiter vs Spiderman, Uncle Yo vs Giovanni of Team Rocket, over the top battle royal for #1 contender, and championship match of Little Mac vs Link!  Now I’ve heard of how entertaining cosplay wrestling events are, but damn, this was great!

I sauntered over an anti-bullying panel hosted by Cosplayers United Against Bullying.  I found myself torn in this panel.  I felt that some of the points they made that was considered to be bullying isn’t.  Only because what one person perceives as such, may not.  It’s all about perception.  and some people may make a comment, purely by accident.  That was something I wished that was talked about.

The one thing that the college conventions I’ve covered that could not get together was their masquerade.  the one year I was a judge at Springfest came pretty close.  This year was simply walkons.  I think there was two skits.  It was the in same location as cosplay wrestling.  But you could tell that there was no practice, as in, marking spots where to walk and whatnot.  There was extra onsite registrations, and I felt that the emcee was a bit on the brash and unprepared side.  It just lacked overall.

The Love Live panel was… Interesting.  The best way I can describe it is a bunch of teenage girls who are fans of the series unprepared.  There were just one too many cringe moments.  It also didn’t help that I was sitting next to one of the fathers of the girls hosting the panel, breathing down my neck about taking pictures of his daughter.  That’s a level of unnerving I didn’t need.

Later that day, I had my interview with Lauren Landa.  We interviewed her before, but it was a joint interview at AAC.  This was a straight up audio only interview.  And I have to say that I had so much fun with it.  Lauren is an amazing, talented, voice actress with a thing for horror films.  She’s a total sweetheart.


I have to remember to look straight ahead more.

I never made it to the Dealer’s Room / Artists Alley.  The line was very long.  It took anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to get in.  This was due the room capacity of where this was.  that really could not have been helped.  But it would have been cool if they opened up the room on Saturday for sales.

Before I left, I did make it to the gaming room, and it was amazing.  Only because there were a LOT of rhythm arcade machines!  DDR, Taiko no Tatsujin, jubeat, pop’n music, Beatmania, Dance Evolution, just to name a few!  Also, Street Fighter 4 and Super Smash Bros, made an appearance.  I did not get a chance to play these games due to time sadly.

Pro: A preview day for Saturday, to get a feel for the location, the amazing weather.  And the new awesome friends I made!

Con: No dealer’s room on Saturday, no parking passes, and the cosplay masquerade lacked.

Overall: This con just seems to get better and better every year.  It feels like they do listen to the fans and they do their best to listen, to make things better.  Hopefully a better organized masquerade, Saturday sales, and a better implementation of parking passes.  I do know this, if they do a two day con in 2017, I will book a room at the W hotel nearby, to save 3+ hours of travel back and forth via mass transit.

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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