“Con”ing with Club Members – My Saturday at Zenkaikon 2011

Once again, taking pictures of things I won’t buy because it’s so expensive. Also, I’m positive most of the people who were at Zenkaikon on Saturday haven’t heard of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu anyway.

For those who live in the NY/NJ/PA area, they would know that this past weekend was Zenkaikon V. Although I wasn’t all that interested in going since I’ve been to 3 of the other 4 times they hosted it, this would be the first convention I would go to with my college’s anime club so I decided to go. With a group of 18+ Anime club members, things are bound to be super fun, right?

Sadly, due to a huge group, having to use at least 3 cars to carpool, and me only having a Saturday pass while everyone else had a weekend pass, I was separated from my club members majority of the time I was there, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun.

First thing to note was the expansion. Originally, it was only on the upper floor of the convention center due to being a small convention. However, this time, the convention was separated so that the original upper floor was used purely for panels and gaming while the bottom floor contained the dealer’s room and main events room. I don’t know if this expansion was implemented last year or not since I didn’t go, but I like how it’s more spacious in the dealer’s room now since it’s not a relatively small room anymore.

I’ll give major props to this Renamon cosplayer since it was so well-done… but damn it must’ve been hot in there.

However, even though it feels more spacious, the dealer’s room is still relatively small. Despite having part of the artist’ alley in the back (the rest of the artists’ alley was in the original hallway) to make it use of the larger room, the merchandise part of the dealer’s room took up barely half of it. If you’re still able to go through all of the shops in less than 30 minutes, then it’s still pretty small. I also didn’t really like how the artists’ alley was separated, but oh well. I think it’s funny how they placed the gaming area in the room that’s almost always forgotten in the back of the upper floor by the way it’s placed.

Panels had their fair share of game shows, information sessions, and major love to their two guests: Todd Haberkorn and Vic Mignogna. The only major thing I went to was the Anime Password game show with both of them. Being someone who used to watch Password when I was younger, I just had to go. It was very entertaining especially being able to guess the characters, anime, or Japanese related stuff by just the few hints given by the contestants or Vic and Todd. It was nice that they also asked for donations for the Japan Relief Fund that was going on the entire weekend as well. (Also, if you heard “Schwarz Bruder” being yelled from both ends of the room, that was me and my friend =D).

I got this password after the 3rd hint. Sadly, the contestants didn’t even get it after the final hint: pilot. Also, it sounded like only 1/8th of the room actually knew the answer… =(

Now, for the thing most people care about in a convention: the cosplayers. This year had a nice variety of cosplayers. There were the usual Naruto, Death Note, Bleach, Vampire Knight, Hatsune Miku, Kuroshitsuji, Haruhi Suzumiya, Ouran High School Host Club, and Cloud cosplayers. Can’t forget the few Ace Attorney cosplayers (like my club members) that wandered around as well. There was a really well-done full sized version of Renamon from Digimon Tamers walking around as well as a Tegami Bachi cosplayer which made me happy. There were a few Clannad and K-ON cosplayers as well, but without the defining item or hair style, it was hard to figure out which character they were trying to cosplay. Either way, I was pretty content with the major diversity I saw this year than the previous ones. Zenkaikon was, once again, another enjoyable experience for me.

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