Mako-chan Presents KotoriCon 2013 – Let the Con Season Begin!

Our con season began this year with KotoriCon, located in Sewell, NJ at Gloucester County College on January 12th.  In its 4th year, KotoriCon is an anime con that has had an amazing run for a college based convention.  Every year KotoriCon has grown, this year being no different and selling out at over 1000 badges.

While I was unable to attend the panels themselves, KotoriCon had a decent collection ranging from anime, to web comics like Homestuck, and dealing with other geekdoms such as My Little Ponies and Doctor Who.  There was plenty of room in the Artist Ally and Dealers Room, and both had a decent mix of product and merchandise, a little bit of everything for your purchasing pleasure.

My day started just like all the other cons I’ve gone to, toting around the equipment for Ranma.  We walked around taking pictures of various cosplayers and events, met up to interview Jamie McGonnigal.  After walking around a bit more and checking out the Charity Auction with Uncle Yo, Ranma and I decided to take a break at KotoriCon’s first maid café run by first timers Ichigo Latte.

I had a LOT of issues with the maid café.  I did like that the maids were all in the same outfit.  It made it look uniform and professional.  However that was sort of lost when all the maids were wearing different stockings and shoes.  Then we found out that the maid café was from a local high school, meaning all of the maids and butlers were underage.  Normally I wouldn’t have issues about that, but knowing that a great many maid cafes are actually based on fetishisms, having an underage maid café makes me a little squeamish.  What also bothered me was the price of the café.  With small store bought desserts and k-cup drinks, I was hoping that the entertainment would account for the price.  Instead, after one song, the maids played Jenga with only one person per table.  They also didn’t allow pictures of the maids, whether that was because they were selling pictures of you with your maid or butler of choice, or because they were all underage, I’m not sure.

Ranma and I split up after that.  I wanted to go see the shows in the main theater while he went around exploring and taking more pictures.

First up was +2 Comedy.  This comedy group is hilarious, with a multitude of geek centric jokes ranging from gaming to comics to anime.   Next was musical group The Asterplace.  I really enjoy this group.  Labeling themselves as Tokyo Melodic-Core and Japanese Anime Rock Band, The Asterplace rocks a crowd.  They brought some of the audience members up for a surprise hot dog eating contest and soda drinking contest close to the end of their block.  Hilarious seeing the people realize they were supposed to compete instead of just eat normally.

Next up was Uncle Yo and his opening act Ian Rubin.  For his first convention crowd, Ian was pretty funny and kept things moving, however every time I looked at him all I could see was Fred Figglehorn which I guess depending on if you’re into Fred, could make things even more hilarious.  Uncle Yo was amazing as usual.  His geek centric comedy and timing create a great stand up show, usually destroying your childhood during the process.

After Uncle Yo was musical group Uzuhi.  This was the first time I had seen this group, and I have to say I was pretty impressed.  A more punk music style than most Japanese bands tend to have when they come to the US, Uzuhi is very enthusiastic for their brand of music.  There was a nice mix of Japanese, and English, along with a montage of pretty popular anime themes sung.  The most amusing part, though, was right at the end the lead singer gathered everyone together and jumped out into the crowd.

The last thing we did at the con was watch the masquerade.  I can’t even really call this a masquerade at all.  With only four “skits” it was over pretty quickly thankfully.  A group that advertised their own LARP group, a song and dance, a funny skit with a song, and audience participation dance.  As Ranma says, when Gangnam Style is your masquerade saving grace, there is a problem.

All in all, the con was decent.  We had pretty good weather and for a small con, there was plenty to do.  However as an older con goer, the immaturity level of some of the con goers was a bit annoying.  I understand that there are certain memes that are repeated at cons, but when a game is played in the middle of the walkway between buildings, there are issues.  There was plenty of space in other areas that they could have played in.  The con staff should have asked them to move once the game got too large.  Also, for those that participate in those games, if someone doesn’t want to play, don’t force them.

With the guest list they usually get, the panels they offer, and the entertainment that’s on stage, I would definitely go again.  I like my local conventions because they’re smaller and more intimate.  You get a more hands on experience, not just with the guests, but also with the staff.

This is one that I would recommend for someone going to their first convention as well.  It’s small enough to not feel overwhelmed but has great content.  With the growth every year, be prepared to see this con get bigger and better every year.

Mako-chan

Mako-chan

Mako-chan isn’t just a writer and co-host… She’s also the resident baker and chef of all things yummy. Mako-chan has been working behind the scenes helping out where she can for the Podcast. Officially joining the team in November of 2011, first as a writer and editor, and later as an on air personality for the show, and now Assistant Editor, Mako-chan embraces the five main sureties in life that make a person great; Beauty, Intelligence, Talent, Creativity, and Honesty. ^_~

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