Sorry about this report being late. Part of it can be contributed to the facts that I have two other reports to do concerning the con, a couple of projects involving videos games (including one that I've started to play after Katsucon), and work. However, it's finally complete. So, without further ado, here's my report on Katsucon 17.
-Starting things off is the one thing that I was complaining about before the con even started: the strict "no bag" policy that was planned for the Dealers' Room. The good news: eventually, the con staff found out of the problems that this policy was having and made it so that con bags and camera bags were allowed in the room. The bad news: it wasn't fixed in time for the Friday afternoon opening of the room. Hence, those people wanting to do some shopping when the Dealers' Room opened on Friday were still forced to check all their bags in before they can enter the room, and even though it was fixed later on, my lack of faith on the rule resulted in me having to carry my camera, the schedule, and some electronic devices in my pants pockets for the rest of the con after my first go-round in the Dealers' Room. As for what I bought, you can read about it here
-Speaking of the Dealers’ Room, on Friday, I attended the convention wearing my Otakon 2010 t-shirt. As a result, a couple of dealers thought that I was an Otakon staff member when I was looking at their stuff, as Otakon was starting to offer space for their Dealers’ Room that weekend at the con (although they haven’t started pre-reg for the regular attendees yet).
-In the "what the hell were they thinking" department, Katsucon was promoting their maid cafe through a series of videos involving a superheroic maid by the name of Megamaid (insert Spaceballs joke here). Sadly, the videos where just like the villains in the series when it comes to waiter/waitress duties: downright awful. To give you an idea of how bad the bits were, the only memorable part coming out of this was during the "live" conclusion during the Opening Ceremonies, when the villains broke, in an improvised moment, broke the fourth wall and talked back to an audience member who was complaining about how she was unable to hear any of their dialogue. If I knew this would be so bad, I would have waited until ten minutes until the start of the AMV Contest to arrive for that (as there was no line to enter that event) and instead killed time by watching some AMV Minis.
-As for the AMV Contest itself, most of the videos that I liked were stuff that I've already seen at Anime USA a few months ago. As for "newer" videos, the ones that I liked were a video in which Light from Death Note is investigating a series of massacres performed by Arucard from Hellsing and a funny Chibitalia/Holy Roman Empire shounen-ai video set to "Hit Me Baby One More Time".
-One thing that Katsucon added this year that would be useful for other conventions to utilize: having con feedback panels all three days of the convention (instead of just Sunday around the end of the convention). Attending the Friday panel (which was part of my plan after the mess that was the Dealers' Room bag policy), I felt that these panels would not only allow Katsucon staff to be aware of some of the problems during the con (allowing them to fix them that weekend instead of not doing anything until the following year), but it also gives some people an idea of how their current home at the Gaylord would allow expansion in later years (not to mention how the hotel staff actually liked the convention, and the con's effects on other events that were held in the Gaylord the same weekend as Katsucon the previous year).
-When it came to the Funimation Panel, the main things that were in my head (besides something that was pretty much mentioned in the thread about the panel) were the fact that a lot of DC area anime fans want the Funimation Channel (with Funimation running out of cards for people wanting the channel on their cable network to fill out during the con), the “agent hunt” to promote the first Eden of the East movie, and Brina playing the role of trap in Baka and Test (definitely had a couple of people on the Mania message board in mind upon finding that news out). As for the “agent hunt”, I decided to take part in it as I waited for the Masquerade to start lining up, with me being able to locate the one who offered the card needed for the key chain (the clue about the bubbles was the hint I needed, as I saw the agent while on my way to the Dealers Room to get clues to the “agents” locations).
-This year’s masquerade contest is definitely on the comedic side when it comes to skits, with the only skit coming close to “artistic” being a Fatal Frame skit that goes downhill once the villainesses start performing Lady Gaga and their “gay friend” informs them that what they did was a bad idea. Among the highlights (besides the main portion getting finished without the annoyance that is the audience demanding the MC to dance):
- This year’s Neo Vader skit, in which video footage captures the car accident he had just before the con (causing him to not be able to host this year).
- Arucard from Hellsing introduces Vampire Hunter D to the members of the Hellsing organization after some “flawed logic” causes Arucard to think that D is his son.
- In what appears to be this year’s William and Mary Anime Society skit (based on what I heard the night before the Masquerade), the cast of Fullmetal Alchemist investigate Edward’s death (despite him being very much alive). The highlight of the skit is the end, when Riza does a female version of Roy Mustang’s legendary “tiny miniskirts” speech.
- A “live” version of “Be a Man” from Mulan a la Dragon Ball Z Abridged (“Are we there yet, Vegeta?”).
- A Black Butler skit in which a visit from Elizabeth turns into an episode of Scooby Doo.
- In a bit that combines episode 9 of Ouran High School Host Club with Three Amigos, the members of the Host Club, in song, get in touch with their feminine sides to make Haruhi feel more welcome.
Rounding out this report, here’s a link to the cosplay pictures that I took at the con.
I’m doing something different this time in that instead of my Photobucket account, the link goes directly to a blog page on My Anime Shelf (with some comments accompanying each picture). While I’ve been doing this for at least a year now on that site (after people were asking to see my cosplay pics), I’m linking it only now as a way to see if the people on the AOD boards prefer this method over having the pictures on Photobucket (I'm for it, as it cuts the number of times I need to upload pictures and gives me a chance to provide comments on the pictures).