The 20th Anniversary of Katsucon


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We know our nerds love their events – book signings, trivia contests, cosplay and costumer group get-togethers, and of course, conventions. One of these beloved cons is the Washington, D.C.-based anime fest known as Katsucon.

3-Day Festival of Katsucon

Katsucon is a 3-day festival dedicated to bringing information about Japanese animation, society, and traditional and popular culture to fans everywhere. This year, Katsucon celebrates its 20th anniversary, and will once again be hosted at the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor, just across the Woodrow Wilson bridge from the Nation’s Capitol.

The con is very cosplay friendly, and features a 20,000 square foot vendor space, artists’ alley, live action role playing (LARP), gaming tournaments, guests from all over (see below), panels and speakers, a charity auction, DJs, karaoke, a masquerade and even a formal ball. Cosplay is one of the big draws to Katsucon (and its sister convention, MAGFest), and the festival even includes a human chess game with cosplayers as the pieces on the board.

Overwatch Cosplay
Cosplay Reaper from Overwatch – Jason Laboy Photography

The voice acting talent at Katsucon is top notch. Guests include Amanda Miller (“Fire Emblem: Awakening”, “Sailor Moon Crystal”), Kara Edwards (“Dragon Ball Z”), Robbie Daymond (“One Punch Man”), Cherami Leigh (“Borderlands 2”), and Darin de Paul (“Overwatch”). Cosplay guests include A.K. Wirru and Allen Ryde. Artists include the hysterical Super Art Fight, The Geek Comedy Tour, and Garth Graham and Michael Terracciano (“Star Power!”)

Katsucon cosplay
Katsucon cosplay – MineralBlu Photography

Katsucon Kids Program

Katsucon also contains a track specifically dedicated to children, called the Chibi Katsu program. Exhibits in this track include “25 Years of Sonic the Hedgehog”, ” the “4th Annual Pokemon Game Show”, “Cinderella’s Story Time”, and “Make a Plushie” among other tracks.

Katsucon’s Charity Auction is an annual event that offers attendees the chance to bid on awesome items AND support a great cause. This year our charity efforts will be in support of Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society. Prizes include donations from vendors and some creative items put together by the staff.

Panels at Katsucon include an introduction to leatherwork, anime for the LGBT audience, “Anime Name that Tune”, “Battle Damage for Cosplayers”, “Confessions of a Crazed Fangirl”, and Fanfiction 101, among others. Workshop topics include 3D printing, SFX, leveling up in cosplay, and resin casting prop weapons.

VIP tickets are sold out, but regular tickets are still available on the con’s official website.

Katsucon runs from February 17-19, 2017.

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Marvel Cosplayers
Marvel-themed cosplayers at Katsucon 2016
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Nick Kelly
Author, musician, blogger, and podcaster. He authors the cyberpunk Leon "Catwalk" Caliber series, and is co-author of the urban fantasy series featuring the Urban Samurai.
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