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April 17, 2016

Zenkaikon 2016: Great Photos Taken At A Great Event

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Written by: Kiera Vallone
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Zenkaikon celebrated its tenth year during the first weekend of April, and it has certainly grown as a convention. I have attended Zenkaikon since 2009, back when it was only a two-day event and held during the fall. Back then there was an attendance cap each day, the convention hotel was small, and you had to wait outside in the November cold to get in. Come 2016, it has blossomed into a three-day event held during more favorable weather and a much larger convention center for attendees to enjoy.

I find Zenkaikon to be enjoyable, mid-size convention. It has the charms of smaller events, but never feels overcrowded like conventions with tens of thousands of attendees. There were some slight crowding issues around the Main Events/Dealers Room area at times, but traffic was rarely at a standstill. From what I witnessed, staff dealt well with handling lines for events/autographs and kept things moving.

Having the main hotel attached to the convention is a great benefit to cosplayers staying there, as you do not have to worry about your costume getting damaged due to the weather. There are also numerous, affordable places to eat within walking distance of the Lancaster County Convention Center. When weather conditions are favorable, there are many great locations for cosplayers to do photo shoots outside.

I also enjoy how Zenkaikon embraces many different genres in their programming, and doesn’t restrict themselves to Japanese-only content. Throughout the weekend there were panels on My Little Pony, Harry Potter, American comics, and more — odds are there was something for whatever fandom you’re into. There were also panels on cosplay makeup and sewing tricks, dance workshops, and creating interesting and well developed characters.

The Masquerade continues to be one of the more popular events. There was excellent variety in the skits — multiple, well-choreographed dances, impressive costume changes, solo acts, and larger groups. Series represented ranged from classics like Sailor Moon and Pokemon, American sources such as The Hunger Games, and the popular video game League of Legends. The Hall Cosplay Contest walk-ons dazzled everyone with their impressive craftsmanship. Uncle Yo was an amusing emcee, whose jokes and commentary kept the crowd entertained. Everyone who won an award that night truly earned it. It was also pleasant to see the Masquerade start on time and not run over time.

Year after year, Zenkaikon continues to be one of my favorite conventions to attend — and this year did not disappoint.

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About the Author

Kiera Vallone





 
 

 
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