Shikkaricon 2023: Discipline Your Demon Spawn

I start off this article feeling stumped about what to write in regards to Shikkaricon But I do want to preface that the goal of con reports is to help conventions with honest feedback. I want to see cons, including Shikkaricon, grow and succeed. I put my experience together with this con, among all others with this mindset.

 Shikkaricon is a Pennsylvania-based con founded back in 2007. After a twelve year hiatus, the con had a revival in 2019. The pandemic however put a pause on events. Shikkaricon returned in 2022 at the Plymouth Meeting Doubletree and is having another go at this venue in 2023!  I wanted to bring home cookies from the DoubleTree but they were unfortunately out–perhaps another time? 

I arrived at the con along with Mako and DJ RanmaS the night before day one of this two day event. In a way, our early arrival was much like an unofficial ‘day zero.’ We settled into the hotel, unpacked, and relaxed. The convention venue had suites, which provided a great amount of space! We were also right across the street from a mall that had a decent selection of food options and shops. 

The weekend cost of the convention was $50. Many mainstays of newer conventions, such as multiple panel rooms, variety of guests, and tabletop game offerings were not available. The cosplay repair and judging room did not have supplies throughout the weekend. I wandered throughout much of my time at the con, looking for something to do or sitting down in the lobby around the convention environment. It was cool to walk around in a costume for the weekend and as always, be around fellow nerds! But it just felt like many expectations fell short.

I am going to echo a few points made in the Anime Jam Session podcast. The price may have reflected the cost of reserving the venue. But the value of the ticket did seem to fall a little short. The gaming area closed early due to an issue with parents outside of the event taking their kids for games. This may have resulted in a noticeable reduction of options for Sunday. 

The masquerade took place in a panel room; staff were struggling with logistics and attendees of the room seemed confused. Seeing this and many other issues mentioned concerned me about planning aspects of the con and if staff had enough time for preparation. 

 The demographic of the convention skewed a lot younger–it was really sweet to see parents taking their kids along with them to events. And as someone who is used to working with parents, I swing in if they need any help by instinct. 

 I saw one mom and son duo have the cutest interaction with a staff member who helped with props–shout out to this staff member–you were so sweet! I didn’t get the staff’s name, but they patiently explained anime to the confused but intrigued mom and gave some good recommendations. I also am still thinking about the girl who saw me as a human Meta Knight, a character who is perceived by many as intimidating. She was with her dad and looked so excited. The kid told her dad I looked cool and the father encouraged her to interact with me for a bit.  I saw myself in this kid in a way; a shy nerd who loves fandom. Interactions such as these two are a big driving force in why I cosplay. Godspeed!  

I also liked the ideas for the panels this year. One particular panel about designing cosplays caught my attention. It was a unique topic and the panelist, dueling_pisces  from Instagram, tackled it quite well. I’ve been cosplaying what is known as gijinka–making humanized versions of non-human characters, so I was pretty interested.  The process can often be about taking designs from characters and making them into a recognizable outfit. The cosplay discussed some of their work of making ball gowns. She took suggestions from the audience about characters on the fly, teaching the audience about highlighting the key components of a character in unique ways.

Much of my highlights of the event were with my friends. On our official day zero, we ate P.F. Changs as a group and talked amongst each other. Day one consisted of getting acclimated a little more to the convention space. I got into costume early in the morning, eager as always, walked around their little exhibitor hall, and got in a few rounds of Skull Girls and Marvel Vs. Capcom in. I also saw that there was another room that had a set up of Super Smash Brothers and had to get in some rounds  of this game in, too! 

The enthusiasm from day zero and one lowered on the second day of the event. I think my social battery may have ran out. It can happen. I woke up early and packed, got myself some breakfast from the lobby, and spent our remaining time at the con knee-deep in Kirby content, memes, and fandom-related content on Tumblr.  On Sunday, I  saw familiar artists and commissioned an artist I follow called MeakerSneakers, who made a really adorable sketch of Meta Knight reading for me. (Bless you). 

As for Shikkaricon 2024, this will take place next year with the dates to be announced by the con in the future. This is a con that is good for a day trip if you’re nearby. The con showed signs of potential in its ideas for panels and staff who I saw work hard to help attendees. I want see this little  con  grow and thrive; feedback of all kinds, of areas of improvement and great highlights helps it achieve their goal of connecting fans with the same interest.

Thanks so much for reading!


A grad school student and librarian who seems to run solely on espresso and sweets, Cinnaknight has been going to conventions for about eight years. In her free time, she loves to bake, cook, as well as write!

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