Otakon is one of those conventions that you’ve heard about but have never attended. It has a long and respected history dating back to 1994 and has grown to fill most of the massive Walter E. Washington convention center in Washington D.C. All in all it’s a good convention, but it wouldn’t be my first choice of convention to attend.
I'm someone who gets a lot of pleasure out of attending conventions. For me it's not just about making videos, although that certainly is a big part of it. Attending conventions is an opportunity to meet people, build relationships, and see and do things I can't do anywhere else. So after nearly a year and a half of shutdowns and no conventions, you can imagine how excited I was to hear that Colossalcon was happening.
Ah Colossalcon. Anime, swimsuits, waterslides and hot tubs. Can you think of a better combination of things? Perhaps peanut butter and jelly? Maybe biscuits and gravy or cake and ice cream? If the folks behind Colossalcon set out to make an event with a party-like atmosphere full of carefree fun, they succeeded. At this point there's absolutely no pretense of this convention being about cultural appreciation or education, if it even was in the first place. It's just bring your love of anime, a swimsuit, and enjoy. That's not to say you can't have the former, but let's be honest about why people attend.
Katsucon is an anime convention held annually at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, USA. It was first held in 1995 making it the seventh oldest anime convention according to this Wikipedia article. With 27 years under its belt and a magnificent hotel as its home for the past ten years, it has become an event beloved by many and is known for attracting amazing cosplayers.
This article might seem a bit late since this convention was nearly a year ago, but I'm going to share my experience at Animé Los Angeles 2020 any way. I began this series of convention reviews over a year ago and I plan to continue writing reviews once conventions start back up. Animé Los Angeles (ALA for short) was my first of just two conventions for 2020 due to the pandemic. The other convention was Katsucon, which I'll write about in a separate article. This isn't surprising to anyone after the dumpster fire year that is 2020. With a couple of vaccines ready for distribution, we can only hope that some conventions will be operational in 2021.
Holiday Matsuri is an anime convention that really stands out to me. First of all, it's a holiday-themed convention held in December. You get all of the great cosplay like at other anime conventions, but the cosplayers cleverly add holiday elements like Christmas colors, decorations, and string lights. This adds an extra element of fun and makes this con look and feel unique.
I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some of the different conventions I've attended in the past year. My intent is to share some photos, video, and information about the cost in order to help people decide whether they should attend. It takes time and money to go to a convention and you want to have some confidence that it will be an enjoyable experience. My perspective is that of a photographer and videographer of course, so my interests may be different from yours.
As someone who attends a lot of conventions, I am keenly attentive to conventions cancelling. The concerns around COVID-19 are really starting to affect conventions, including three that I have been planning to attend (Emerald City Comic Con, Sakura-Con, and NAB). I assume that most conventions consider attendee safety their number one concern, even though you probably won't see it listed in any of their documentation. It's assumed that safety is a number one priority, so what happens when a convention is cancelled to meet that priority?