Katsucon 2012

by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Feb 21st 2012


When: February 17-19, 2012
Where: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland
2011 Attendance: 7,264

PANELS

Izumi Matsumoto Q&A
Funimation Entertainment Industry Panel
World Cosplay Summit U.S. Preliminary Round


REPORTS



AN OVERVIEW

Katsucon is kicking off its 18th convention and its third year at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The Gaylord is a good home for Katsucon. It's big enough to house the moderate attendance while also offering something unique outside of the convention center — its a huge artsy area (I recommend attendees check out Art Whino, an art gallery that always has a few Japanese pop art-inspired pieces on display). This year Katsucon is hosting the U.S. preliminary round of the World Cosplay Summit. The winners on Saturday will get a free trip to Japan to represent the U.S. at the finals this summer.

Katsucon, together with another area con, Anime USA, has established Anime Aid, which is an organization "committed to the task of assisting fan based support initiatives throughout the area to maximize the impact in assisting the people of Japan as they weather the continuing trials of this situation and move toward rebuilding their lives, their communities, and their nation." Considering the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disaster is less than a month away now, it's a good cause to bring attention to.

Katsucon is a small convention; most of its guest list consists of the regular list of American voice actors and actresses, but Katsucon is also hosting Kimagure Orange Road creator Izumi Matsumoto, as well as some musical artists from Japan.

Katsucon's logo this year incorporates a cherry blossom, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of cherry blossom trees to the Washington, DC area, which will have a much bigger celebration later on this year with DC's annual Cherry Blossom Festival. And there's your history lesson for the day.

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