KotoriCon 2011 Convention Report and Photos
This past weekend I headed out to KotoriCon, a small anime convention held at Gloucester County College in New Jersey. It was my first time at the convention, but I was very psyched to know that cosplay singer Reni Mimura would be performing there.
Gloucester County College was a pretty solid location for an anime convention of this size. Most of the events were held in a student center, which featured a nice sized cafeteria (that had a Chic-fil-a!), plenty of seating, and even room for a small stage. There was also a small convenience store with drinks and snacks, as well as a pizza vendor set up. Having easy and adequate access to reasonably priced food is something very food conventions do well, so kudos to the organizers for that.
As I mentioned earlier, the big draw for me was seeing Reni Mimura perform. As I soon learned, however, she was just one of many great performers lined up for the convention. Comedians Uncle Yo and +2 Comedy were both extremely funny, and the crowd definitely loved them. I also got to see some stellar taiko drumming from KyoDaiko, some lightsaber demonstrations from PA Jedi, and Aikido demonstrations from Aikido Agatsu Dojo. There was definitely no shortage of entertainment. My only complaint was that the main stage performances were running 30 minutes behind schedule for virtually the entire day. I think if the organizers had added about 10-15 minutes of downtime between performers, they could have gotten caught up much easier.
In addition to entertainment, there were several panels scheduled for KotoriCon 2011. My friend and I decided to hit up the steampunk 101 panel, but when we arrived there was no one there. We did eventually learn that technology problems outside the con’s control had delayed it. However, after talking to several attendees in the hallway while we waited, I learned that other panels had been cancelled and just had no one show up. Some better organization, communication, and signage could have gone a long way in keeping attendees informed of cancellations and delays.
Overall, I did have an enjoyable time at KotoriCon 2011. If you’re looking for a small anime convention, especially one where you can feel safe dropping off older teens for an afternoon, this is definitely one to check out next year. (There was plenty of campus security around.) If you’re part of the older anime crowd, this con may not offer a whole lot for you, outside of the performances and demonstrations. This convention definitely skews younger than say, Otakon. That said, I still had fun, even as someone who is closer to 30 than 20 these days.
You can view all of the photos we took at The Convention Fans Blog flickr account.