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Zenkaikon 2014: The Wrap-Up

So another Con reaches its inevitable end. Obviously all things must end, but it feels a little extra bitter this time. Zenkaicon 2014 was especially awesome for an immense number of reasons. Meeting new friends. Seeing old friends again. Being able to go through a Con without feeling like a chicken with it’s head cut off. The Lancaster Central Market. Jim Cummings. The Lancaster freaking Central Market.  Seriously, it’s worth a trip to Lancaster all on its own.

Is Lancaster the first one would think of when looking for a place to host an anime con? No, and even the Con’s board would tell you that since none of them knew that Lancaster Convention Center even existed before someone tapped them on the shoulder about it when they were looking for a new home.  Does it work? Yes, it most definitely does. Admittedly downtown Lancaster is a bit of a pain to drive into as it’s farther than one would think from US 30, the main access road for the area, and it’s loaded with stoplights and one way streets.

But once you’re in the hotel/convention center area, you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. The entire convention hall, plenty of restaurants, and of course the Central Market are all contained in one slightly sprawling building, so it works well enough. If the attendance grows again next year at the pace that it did this year (with over 1000 new congoers), they’re going to have to rethink a few things as there were a couple of small bottlenecks as well as one very serious one between the escalators on the 2nd floor, as they had the tabletop gaming room and associated tables right there in the middle of the walkway along with the passage to some of the main panel room and the way up to the third floor events.

Of course all that is just fluff. The real reason for all of this blathering in the programing, and this year did not disappoint. Jim Cummings has an article of his own, but there was a smorgasbord of other awesome stuff to go to as well. A special shout-out to Sub-Standard Science and their “Ahh! Videogame Cartoons” panel, that was bloody awesome. Well, the panel was at least, not the toons they showed. My goodness, Captain N: The Gamemaster was and still is horrid. I’d also give a shout-out to Staffers Uncensored, but I can’t say who was there. I can say that the stories told were entertainingly horrific and horrifically entertaining.

That might actually be a good way to describe modern anime fans given the amount of Attack on Titan cosplay. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a show with that level of gore get this popular. Between that show and Homestruck you could cover about half of the cosplay for the weekend and most of the AMV contest. Well, Attack on Titan more so that the Homestruck. I don’t think anyone’s tried Homestruck in an AMV…yet, and I hesitate to think of what one would try and do with it for an AMV. Anyway, I’m prattling at this point so here’s to another great year at Zenkaikon and hopefully more great ones to come.

Also, watch out for Uncle Yo’s puppets.  I think they eat souls….

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