Several weeks ago, I attended Castle Point Anime Convention. It was, in general, designed to be fun with all of the activities available for many different fandoms. There were musical performances outside on the steps, a ramen café (too crowded every time we checked though), and a large variety of panels.
The day started as a quest to find a parking garage – every lot seemed to be full. One of the lots even closing their gates right in front of us! Of course, after many U-turns and loops, we finally got in. However, found ourselves… lost. (You will soon see that this will be a recurring theme…) We went with our normal “find the convention” logic and waited around to follow some people wearing wigs, which eventually brought our chilly selves to the convention, but we were stuck wandering around, looking for the registration building. Once we found it, we got our badges, then went on our way.
One of the first things I noticed, aside from the cold, was the diverse types of cosplay there. There were so many amazingly dressed cosplayers. I tried to get a lot of pictures, but unfortunately, it seemed I was just catching everyone at really bad times since most weren’t up for pictures and wanted to just hang out with friends instead. I usually like bouncing around from person to person and meeting new people, so I was disappointed that I barely got to meet anyone, aside from meeting old con friends.
Speaking of old con friends, I ran into a convention friend who was also cosplaying from the same series I was and he had a friend with him who was also a part of the series. So, of course we took a bunch of silly pictures together and roamed around the campus together. Later, we tried to attend the “Weaboo Fun Hour” panel, but sadly, it was packed so we split up and went our separate ways.
While they went for food, my boyfriend and I decided to check out the Metal Gear Solid panel. It was supposed to run two hours and I entered at the forty-five minute mark, but they were already in the finishing questions. Many people at the panel were asking basic “play the first game to find out” questions or repeating questions about Quiet’s attire or about who the Cyborg Ninja was. I was ready to respond with snarky comments about male characters with similar focus, but we decided to leave.
We then tried to find Avalon’s cosplay harassment panel, but, yes, we got lost… again! This time, however, I swear it was the map, as I’m pretty sure building the panel was in was marked closer to a building farther away. We ended up walking up and down the street, until we found one building marked for the convention that we hadn’t checked that surprisingly was the correct building. The sign was also facing the opposite direction, which didn’t help. By the time we made it to the panel, however, it was packed, so we ended up opting for food.
Again, following the map, we tried to find areas to eat, mainly so we wouldn’t be out in the town in costume. And again, with my poor sense of direction, and possibly the confusing convention map, we got lost for a while, until we finally stopped to ask for directions. The food in the cafeteria was bland, but that’s to be expected of college campuses.
Near the end of a day filled with confusing maps and wandering across freezing campuses, we checked out a Prop Making workshop. This past year, I started getting more into making armor and I was hoping to learn how to make weapons. This panel did not disappoint. The panelist was very knowledgeable about different materials used to make accessories and she knew the pros and cons of each of them. She said it was her first time hosting a panel, and her friend who couldn’t attend was supposed to host it, but she engaged the audience the entire time, even when we were all working on foam Mako rings. With all of the information she had to share about props, the panel ran over the designated time, and it really should have been at least two hours.
By the time the panel finished, we were tired out, so we left the convention. Overall, the convention was definitely designed for everyone to enjoy. There were a few things that were upsetting, like the cold weather at an outdoor oriented convention, but aside from an unclear convention map, this con was great for seeing great cosplay and hanging out with old friends.