Review: Nekocon 20, 2017. Hampton Roads, VA.

501st Legion, anime, cosplay, Nekocon

Nekocon is an Anime con that celebrated its twentieth year this past weekend, November 3-5, 2017.  Pre-Con estimates hovered near 5000 attendees, and the guest list was . . . sparse.  The interesting things about this Con lay more in the overall feel of it, rather than the guests.

Perhaps it’s as a result of habitually attending conventions that have become wildly epic in scope, but this blogger was charmed by the intimacy of Nekocon.  Your local mega conventions are fun, and will have high-dollar guests that might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for people. The people at Nekocon appeared to be mostly involved in simply spending time together, cavorting in the silliest way possible, and very much seizing the day.  There is much to be said about living in the moment with your friends.

Though it was an Anime con, the 501st Legion’s Garrison Tyranus was in attendance, with the Rebel Legion, the Mandalorian Mercs and the R2 Builders  The locals were very welcoming to a weary, time-zone-punchy traveler, and in fact, one of the 501’st finest put on a really fascinating panel on painting props.  You might think that it’s tough to make prop painting sexy, but Brad and Matt put on an excellent show, including a project to do as you sat there, to show you how masking fluid works with multiple layers of paint, and how dilution of paint with Windex looks when the “wash” is done.  They’re also funny guys, so that helped make the panel fly by.

There was some amazing cosplay, including the attached “Ghost Rider”.  Breathtaking. Photography by Lina Berelovich Photography.

The only down side was the tendency of some of the Con staff to be abusive, but that happens on occasion.  It’s tough to expect someone to be happy and glittery for three solid days of dealing with the public.

Overall, the experience was similar to that of a Phoenix Comicon, circa 2005, though PCC staff have never been surly with me.  There was an intimacy and a camaraderie that were charming.

If you like a feeling of friendliness and warmth in your Con experience, you might think about checking this one out next year.

Mom. Lawyer. RSO Girl. Stormtrooper. I do some things better than others. Famous lifelong for being a geek. My internal monologue features Denis Leary, Hunter S. Thompson, The Bloggess, and Malcolm Tucker. Take from that what you will.

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