Katsucon 09
February, 14-16, 2003 - Arlington, Virginia

Convention Report
Katsucon 09, better known now as Snow-Con. It has been six years since my last Katsucon, and it was pretty fun too, till sunday... but I will save that for later. This year, Katsucon was hosted in fortress Arlington; surrounded by anti-aircraft batteries and a lot of security thanks to the Terror Alert. But that didn't stop many people to take their chance to have a great time at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. And I will tell you this, even though I had some problems at the hotel register counter, this hotel is a class act with very nice people running the place. I mean, the hotel had three sets of escalators, that by itself was pretty neat.

Katsucon had a lot of guests in the line-up including: Duel Jewel (Japanese Rock Band), Hiroaki Inoue (Anime Producer), Tsukasa Kotobuki (Character Designer), Kazuki Kotobuki (Professional Manga Artist), Steve Bennett (No Anime Con complete without him), and many, many more. Katsucon also had one of the best Artist Alleys I've seen yet, plenty of Vendors in the Dealer's Room, A wonderfully big Game Room and an Art Gallery that actually had some good art for a change. And even though the Hyatt was charging some outragious prices for food and drinks, if you were willing to walk outside the hotel, you could easily get to a McDonalds, CVS, Chili's, and a japanese sushi bar.

So was their anything wrong with Katsucon... well, their was a few things. The video rooms were showing only newly releasing anime in North America; no brand new anime straight from Japan already fansub to see. The locations for the Game Shows, Tabletop Gaming and Workshops were all located on the third floor and were not accessible by escalators; thus these places were the least visited throughout the con. And then their was the snow... which is why this year's Katsucon was dubbed Snow-Con.

As for my time at Katsucon, it started at around 3pm when I finally arrived at the Hotel. After some complications at check-in, apparently when I made the reservations they misspelled my name, I quickly unloaded in Room 444 and then quickly headed for registration. Registration took a while, we were in what was part of the underground parking lot; waiting in a long line to register. Eventually, I gave my money, got the tag and headed to the Dealer's Room. The Dealer's room was also what use to be the underground parking lot, but it was converted and slammed full of dealers. Around 8pm, me and a couple of friends had dinner at Chili's. Then later that night I was up having a couple of drinks at Anime 54 (Room Party, more on that later). At 4am, I called it a night and quickly went to sleep.

Nothin' much happen on Saturday morning, so lets skip that. Around Noon, a friend and I thought it would be good to walk the mile down the highway to IHOP; that wasn't a good idea after all, because it was cold and windy... one learns that excersice is for idiots, real people drive short distances in warmth. We eventually returned around 2pm, FROZEN. Eventually we thawed out and quickly returned to looting the Dealer's room and taking pictures of crazy cosplayers. That afternoon, I decided to skip the cosplay and instead hanged with the computer people who were playing old Nintendo Games and DDR next to the Dealer's Room. Their I downloaded onto my notebook computer several various mp3s and amv files. At around 10pm, Manga Entertainment was giving away free stuff to people who registered; but because most didn't show-up, the people that were there, including me, got the free stuff instead. I received a DVD copy of Virus and volume three of Marmalade Boy. ^^;

As the night wore on, the weather started to become the hot topic at the convention more than the various 13 year old cosplay glomping she-bitch that might spontaneously attack you. And at 3am it fell, lots of the white stuff from the sky. By 9am, it had already dropped 8" in the area, more if you were heading west. It was at this time my friends and I made our great escape from Arlington. As I left early Sunday morning from Katsucon, I knew I was going to miss some more great stuff... but was just not willing to get stuck in Arlington.

On Tuesday, Katsucon finally ended! A majority of people were caught and could not leave the hotel, so the convention continued on; just a scaled down in size. For many, this was a great thing; and for the hotel to continue its Katsucon Rates till Tuesday was also a good gesturer. Most people left Katsucon hopefully having the time of their lives... and even though I left early, I can still say that I had a great time at Katsucon, regardless of all the snow I had to go through to get the hell out of there.

~ Volume One ~

~ Volume Two ~

~ Volume Three ~

~ Volume Four ~

~ Volume Five ~

~ Volume Six ~

As for the stats, I took nearly 400 pictures. Out of those, 270 are posted here; 87 more are posted on separate pages. I have given/received over 30 glomps, rode the escalators around 50 times, and two people who recognized me as the webmaster of Washu.org. Katsucon had several great cosplayers, so I'm not going to name a favorite since they were all pretty good. However, Katsucon was plaqued by several costume themes including:  Chobits, Cat Girls, Final Fantasy, InuYasha and Sailor Moon.

That's it on the Convention Report. If you haven't already, checkout the pictures. They are separated in six volumes with 45 pictures each. Also checkout the bonus sections here:

    • Anime 54
      The Official Katsucon Room Party.
    • Trance Lights
      Fun pictures from the Dance.
    • Katsucon Extras
      Random pictures that just didn't make it on this page.
    • The Washington Blizzard
      A summary of my glorious drive back from Katsucon.

This page was written by Mark Clifton (washu@yahoo.com), Webmaster and Graduate Assistant to Little Washu. If you have any questions, comments, or flames, please send'em either via AOL IM or ICQ, you will get the quickest response that way. If you desire a bigger picture than what is posted here, then please contact me. Do not forget to visit a A Fans View or Cosplay/Anime Costuming and Masquerade Links for more pictures from Katsucon. Thanks for visiting!

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