So this past weekend Francesca and I had the opportunity to attend Tekko, the annual anime convention held in Pittsburgh. Although we had gone two years ago, we only had a one-day pass for the last day when there wasn’t much going on. This year we went for Friday and Saturday, cosplayed, and got the chance to actually attend panels, so it was more of the real con experience. Although I fell into bed at 9:30 last night and slept for a solid 10 hours without waking up, it was worth the tiredness.
Friday morning we slogged our way to the convention center in the rain and started off by checking out the magic wand making and paper folding sessions. Neither of us ended up with anything particularly interesting as a result, but it was fun to do something craft-y anyways. After lunch, we went to panels on Matsuri clothing and Japanese tea ceremonies. I really enjoyed them because I don’t know a whole lot about Japanese culture. I got called on as a “volunteer” to demonstrate how to put on/wear a kimono in the Matsuri clothing panel and stood in front of the audience while the woman leading the panel put it on me. Apparently I have a “good figure for a kimono” aka am not super curvy. Although I enjoyed the Matsuri talk more because of the smaller audience, the Japanese tea ceremony one was also really interesting as we learned about the history of tea in Japan and about the cultural and religious significance of tea and the tea ceremony. After watching the ceremony we were able to sample the green tea and red bean sweets that the participants were served. After that, we headed home for some homemade pizza and watched MSTK 3000 with Thad.
Saturday morning we got to the convention center bright and early for the 9am lectures. I went to Charles Dunbar’s session on 50 years of anime openings. It was really interesting to me as someone who hasn’t watched too much anime to see how the animation styles and technologies had changed and get some suggestions for shows to watch. He was an enjoyable speaker and I would’ve liked to go to his lecture on Kill la Kill and Shinto mythology, but I’m only halfway through the show and didn’t want to spoil anything for myself. After that, we got to hear Caitlin Glass and Brittney Karbowski talk about women in anime and their experiences doing voice acting for a variety of shows and video games. Their talk was a great mix of humor and information – they told some great stories and handled some of the odder questions they got with grace. It was also fun to hear Caitlin do her “voice” for Haruhi from Ouran Host Club (my favorite anime character).
After that, we spent some time standing around and enjoying all the different cosplays and even getting a few pictures taken of us. It’s really amazing to see the creativity and craftmanship that people put into their outfits. Some of my favorites were a 3DS that had lights and music, a great Ryuko and Satsuki, Princess Hilda, a couple who came as Prince Peach and Ms. Mario, and a girl who was a Blue Shell from Mario Kart. I also saw a couple nyan cats, several Sherlocks, and a Hawkeye or two. Besides Homestuck and Attack on Titan (they were everywhere!) the other most popular cosplay seemed to be Elsa and Anna from Frozen.
We got seats at the back of the Masquerade and saw some of the interesting (and not so interesting?) talents on display and also witnessed a surprise proposal! Best wishes for a happy and nerdy marriage to the couple. Uncle Yo was a fun host for the event, and I wished that we had gone to his improv the day before. Our last event was another voice acting panel with David Vincent which, much like Caitlin and Brittney’s, was equal parts informative and entertaining. I would have liked to stay for the whole thing, but I needed to pick up something from the dealer room, and left early. The vendor and artist alley selections were great this year although as usual I didn’t buy much, except for a print and a small commission.
Despite the rain and a few other minor issues, it was a fun weekend; I enjoyed myself and felt like I learned a lot.
Some cosplay photos: