Everything about Katsucon XX was setting up for failure; having ended up being scheduled in the middle of a massive snowstorm that rocked the East Coast, many things were getting in the way of its success. And yet, it was one of the best cons that I have ever been to.
I have to admit, I’ve always been biased about Katsucon. Hosted in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, it enabled easy access for con-goers; the hotels were all in a few block radius of the convention center if the con-goer wasn’t staying in the hotel itself, which didn’t charge too much per night considering the amenities and customer service it provided. And, being part of a hotel, the con festivities ended up going throughout the night; on Friday night, I was able to attend a shoot that happened at midnight, which was really very enjoyable. On top of that, you barely needed to go outside; the only times I went out was when I needed food, but for the most part, I stayed in, away from the freezing wind.
There’s a reason Katsucon is one of my favorite cons of the year normally. Being the tenth most attended anime convention in 2012, it’s got a lot of people from various places going — and yet, it still feels very comfortable; it doesn’t feel too crowded. It’s a great convention that celebrates Japanese culture and society, while being a very warm and welcoming convention. And while their theme is Japanese culture and society, their panels range from talking about social issues within co-splay, a brief history of Japan, even including Adventure Time theories and an airing of the first five episodes of Samurai Flamenco.
When the week of Katsucon came around, with it came a bunch of bus cancellations. I was upset to find, in my inbox, that my bus going down to Washington DC, near the convention location, was cancelled for Thursday morning. In fact, all the buses for Thursday were cancelled, something that genuinely distressed me. I managed to get there at eleven in the morning after rescheduling so many times that I hit the next reward on my Bolt Bus account.
And yet, I managed to get there – and so did many others. It was great to see so many people who went and braved the storm for this convention – cosplayers and general fans alike. Katsucon XX managed to persevere, despite Winter Storm Pax plaguing the area.
Because of the round of cancellations there were barely any panels open, due to the fact that various attendees were unable to come – but it still managed to be a good time, bringing together all these different people and unifying them under the idea that they had all managed to get there, and that was what was important.
Despite the storm, Katsucon 2014 thrived – and because of it, because of the fact that the stress that I put into getting there ended up being completely worth it, it was the best con I’ve been to in a long time.
Here’s to hoping this is a good sign for the rest of the cons this year!