Just got back from Katsucon 2015, and let me tell you, for the most part, it was extreme. It started out as one of the worst con experiences I've had, but quickly changed into one of my best.
I wasn't able to pre-reg, so I was stuck getting in line for the on-site reg. Holy crap, Line Con, straight up. Katsu's systems went down a few times, the hotel's systems even went down. It was bad. I was in there for over 4 hours. COMPLETELY missing the first Touhou Project gathering, that I really wanted to go to. Worst of all, the guy at the counter lied to me and didn't give my military discount. Saying that the Military Discount that was offered, was only available for Pre-Reg. I knew it was BS, but after being up for over 24 hours and over 4 hours in Line Con, there wouldn't have been a diplomatic solution to this problem.... I was pretty angry, so I knew it was best to just get going and take care of it later on when I was feeling better. The whole ordeal was just plain horrible. Anyone who follows me on Facebook, know I written multiple angry posts during those 4 hours.... *sigh*... After finally getting out of freaking on site registration limbo, I went to my room and changed into my generic Black and Grey Batman for the DC shoot. Immediately after, went to the first RWBY shoot of the weekend. I hung out, but didn't want to join in the pictures for obvious reasons. I was still Batman, haha. Though, it would have been cool to get an action shot with a Blake. After that, I went to my room, showered and napped for an hour. Felt much, much better. Hopped into my Alice Margatroid cosplay, finally debuting her which I was planning on debuting her at the gathering I missed. Played some Touhou in the game room and hung out with other Touhou's for the night. Went to the Touhou panel and got a copy of the Ver1 release of a fan made Fire Emblem style Touhou game on disc, "Story of the Lost Sky". Can't wait to play it! Even ran into Hourai and Shangai cosplayers that night while still Alice. The kicker? They were wondering why an Alice cosplayer never showed to the Touhou Gathering that day, and looking for one all day. The same gathering that I missed because of Line Con... A good end to a shitty day.
This is when things really started to kick into gear. Back to the normal cosplay and convention greatness. Got into my TouhouVania Reimu cosplay, and went on to the Touhou Gathering. Touhou Gathering was fun, best part of it was that I ran into some old buddies of mine. Guys I haven't seen in over 5 years, the first group of people I have ever roomed with at a con. Back at Otakon 2005! Oh man, that was great! Then after, I went over to the Katsu Registration staff to get the discount thing sorted out. I told the staff member the situation, she talked to the Treasurer, who was supervising all of registration, and within the minute, I had a $10 bill in my hand. Easiest thing ever. No showing receipt, no showing bank transaction statement, no paperwork, no bureaucratic nonsense, just showed my ID and my story and I was handed the green soon after. This is how cons should be! Plain and simple! No run around's! Afterwards, I moved around a bit, did my normal walk the convention floor repeatedly thing. Took a break in my room, before getting into my Yang cosplay from RWBY, for all the RWBY events going on the rest of the day. The second RWBY gathering was huge, this was probably the biggest gathering of the con, Katsu Staff even kicked us out of the famed Gazebo area. And this is when, at this con, I started to lose my voice, haha. The whole thing was fun as hell... at the cost of my voice, haha. Made some new friends there as well. After that, I chilled around the con until the RWBY Vigil for Monty Oum. The ones that organized the Vigil were running late, so I took up the reigns of the event until they showed. Meaning photobombing and kicking the Kantai Collection gathering out of our spot, haha. I kid, I kid. There gathering was legit over and started to move out. Since the fountain area was crowded, I stood up and used my great voice to unite all the RWBY cosplayers together. Soon after, the Vigil organizers came, and we moved to a bit more open spot and then we went outside to the start the Vigil. It was cold, it was getting colder, the wind started to pick up. Candles weren't able to be lit, but we were still out and I was shouting words of encouragement to everyone. It was a great sight. Too many of the cosplays were not made for the cold and I know that some of the cosplayers were just plain suffering. But they pushed through it all. It was amazing dedication and Monty Oum would have been proud, and I know the guys at Rooster Teeth will be proud as well. When we were done, the wind picked up even more and it started to hail! We rushed the cosplayers inside. On the way, in a Roman Torchwick cosplayer lost his hat to the wind and jump onto a frozen pond, to get it back, cracking it, and causing a bit of the water from below to come up over the ice chunks. Lucky that it was shallow to begin with, but I went along with him to make sure he was good and nothing stupid happened. I ran with him to the convention center and I did one final sweep of our area to make sure no one left anything there. By that time, I was the only one out there. Once in, someone from Rooster Teeth was video recording personal messages to Monty from all the cosplayers. I did as well, all of the Vigil parts, I believe, should be on youtube soon. I'll post a link of it in a future jorunal. I also lost my Oakley M-Frames sometime during the event. Mostly everyone was still together inside, as they were still signing and writing messages on a white board someone brought in and is going to show to Rooster Teeth. Once it died down, I searched the fountain areas and I couldn't my M-Frames, and they weren't turned in either. I went on to the Touhou dinner with some of the guys from the Touhou Gathering earlier. When I came back, I braved outside once more to try to find my M-Frames. At that point, the temp dropped extremely. I believe it was about 5 degrees outside, with a wind chill factor. Couldn't see jack shit, came back inside and chilled around the con for the night. The day was epic!
Even though it was the last day of the con, being dead was the last thing the con was. We packed the car and I got into my Valkyria Chronicles cosplay. Just a random Scout. This time around though, I tried out wearing WWII German webbing, at least as a base, instead of US webbing I used last time. I think I like the German stuff more, but I hope I see pictures of it floating about, so I can see from the other side. Was kind of disappointing, everyone was telling me that I was the only VC cosplayer that weekend. Oh well though, I had fun, and I actually ran into some legit WWII reenactors that were there attending the con, and they liked my stuff! I checked into Lost and Found again, and with no luck, no one turned in my M-Frames. However, I went outside again to search, with it being day time, and thankfully decided to include goggles with my Random Scout cosplay. There wasn't any snow from last night, but the wind never left. And in ALL EXTREME STUPID LUCK, I found my M-Frames! They were frozen to the same pond that the Torchwick cosplayer from last night's vigil broke by jumping on to get his hat, and had a millimeter or two of the frozen water around it! So, the wind took my sunglasses when I was making sure someone else was alright, and because of the Torchwick cosplayer breaking the ice causing water to flow on top of the ice, the M-Frames FROZE TO THE POND, when the pond froze entirely back up, the M-Frames were stuck there until the next morning when I found them. HOLY SHIT. Just, damn. LUCK BEYOND BELIEF. I thought someone snatched them up. These are $180 pair of Military grade ballistic sunglasses, and I've had them for years. Best pair of sunglasses I've ever owned. During the searching, I also found someone's badge, and I promptly turned that into Lost and Found. Side note, holy crap, the Harbor actually froze up overnight! You can see waves just frozen in place and ice all over the water. It was interesting and fancy to see. From then on, it was just chilling at the con, until it started to die down a little after 3pm, after all Dealer's Hall, Artist Alley, and Game Room shut down. Me and my buddy left then.
All in all, outside of the horrific first part of Friday, the con was great. It was my first Katsucon since 2009, right before I went into the Military, and before they changed to the new venue. Let me talk about that. IMMENSE IMPROVEMENT! The new venue has a lot of space, its not designated convention center, like the Baltimore Convention Center or the San Diego Convention Center, but it was much much bigger than their hotel venue in the middle of DC. The place itself was pretty unique. Extremely open. Its like a small town within itself, and its all indoors. They have a few levels of food places, they have a garden, indoor fountain, and its all under these huge glass ceiling and walls that go as high as the hotel. It reminded me something out of a fantasy or a sci-fi. Great place for pictures. I wanted to cosplay Metal Gear for the con, since my MGS1 Solid Snake is perfect for Winter (duh, haha), but I remember Katsu having a pretty strict weapon policy, back at their old hotel. Which I'm not complaining about at all. If anything, any con that takes place in Washington D.C., is allowed to have a strict weapon policy and should not get any crap because of it. They freaking need it! Its perfectly understandable. Katsu's new hotel, while technically in Maryland, is still in DC territory, so I didn't want to take the chance with any realistic gun props. Come to find out though, that Katsucon now plays by big boy rules when it comes to props! You can even have airsoft guns! As long as you don't do or are doing anything stupid with the props! I love it! Every con should be like this.
Katsucon is an amazing con, much better than my last Katsu. Much much better than Anime Expo! Met some new friends, remade connections of old ones. Rocked out, gamed on, the cosplays were great. Was all good to go! I want to return next year!
Keep on rocking,
Listening to: F-Zero X OST
Watching: Batman: The Animated Series
Playing: Touhou Project