January 2-4 marked the 9th Anniversary of Austin-based, Japanese Animation convention, Ikkicon.
By: Jazmine Martin
This year, Ikkicon relocated once again to the Hilton Austin which is nestled between the downtown area and Austin Convention Center. The con had been to the Hilton many times in the past and still occupied both the 4th and 6th floor respectively.
The Texas Chapter of the D20 Girls Project was in attendance to staff the Anime Lounge on the 4th floor. In collaboration with the Austin Public Library, the Anime Lounge was furnished with 2500 books for attendees to read at their leisure in the room, there were also charging strips that lined the inner walls for ease of access to charge any devices attendees had with them. As an added bonus, Con-goers, who had an active library card with the Austin Public Library, could check out materials in the Lounge for the full weekend.
Just outside of the lounge, the D20 Girls table was located in the Artist Alley. Members of the Texas Chapter had brought several handmade items to offer to the wandering Otaku. From Tee shirts to perler bead creations; there was plenty to see on display and even request a commission of select products.
This year was especially a treat for attendees as Ikkicon was chosen to hold the West Coast Qualifiers for the World Cosplay Summit taking place in Japan this coming summer.
The WCS is an annual international, Cosplay Team-based competition that takes place in Japan. Competitors for each country are selected through a series of qualifiers and regional rounds similar to the one held in conjunction with Ikkicon. Do check out WCS Team USA Facebook page to follow the final round of competitors, find out more information for joining in next year’s round of qualifiers and see which team will represent the USA for 2015! This year’s winners were Something Clever Cosplay with their skit of Paradise Kiss and Colony Drop Cosplay with their skit of Slayers.
Over the span of 3 days, Ikkicon offered up a variety of panels for everyone to enjoy. Some of the most interesting panels to attend was “What the Film”, a late night panel hosted by Vitamin H discussing the many odd choices of Japanese Cinematography and of course, the ever present “So, You Want To Go To Japan” panel for those ready to travel to the land of the rising sun. Not to forget, two nights filled with dances and a concert by Special Musical Guests.
Ikkicon is also known for its wide range of cosplays from popular, TV shows to mainstream favorites that can be seen roaming about the convention floors. Though this convention was a buzz so much to do and see, it still felt small enough to really get to know fellow con-goers in between gatherings and panels.
At the end of the Convention, as Cosplayers, vendors and volunteers are wrapping up and breaking down displays and saying goodbye, you can hear conversations of how to improve upon their costumes or start a new project for next year’s convention. Ikkicon is a wonderful convention to kick of the New Year with old and new friends from all over the US.