I was cosplaying as Shouma Takakura from Mawaru Penguindrum, which meant I was walking a few blocks to the college with blue hair and a stuffed penguin. I may have gotten a few odd looks, but I'm pretty sure stranger things have happened in Berkeley. There was a desk with a sign for the con outside the building it was in this year, which made it much easier to find than last year.
When I got there, there weren't too many people, but the day was early. I managed to get a press pass in spite of not pre-registering for one, and made my way to the dealer's hall/artist alley. There were a fair amount of booths there, with artists and vendors selling their wares. I bought a set of Pokemon gym badges from Belen Lazer Designs; a little pricey, perhaps, but it's how he makes a living, and they're very impressive. I also got a shooting target with a Dalek design from Hyottoko Productions, which was on sale for $1 instead of the usual $3.
When the musical guests started to play, we discovered that the thin wall that normally separates the dealer's hall and room where the bands played had been replaced by a thin plastic barrier. As such, everyone trying to buy something also found themselves with a front-row seat, whether they liked it or not. The bands that were performing were pretty good, at least, but it did get a little annoying when I was trying to talk to someone.
For the most part, I spent the day walking around and chatting with friends. I admit, I tend to bounce between groups of friends, chatting for a while then wandering off to hang out with others; I have a lot of friends I like hanging out with. It was good catching up with people I hadn't seen in a while, since there wasn't much to really do aside from that.
That's not to say there wasn't anything to do; upstairs there were panel rooms, a tabletop game room, and a screening room. There were some good anime being shown there, such as "Sword Art Online" and "Haiyore Nyaruko-san," but having seen those, I didn't feel the need to stick around. The panels didn't really interest me either, but I did get some good games of Yugioh in at the tabletop game room.
There was a video gaming room downstairs as well, although it seemed to consist almost entirely of fighting games. Street Fighter, P4 Arena, Dead or Alive, and so on; I tried to sit down for a game of Super Smash Bros, but my timing was such that I got there in the middle of a tournament, so no dice.
There's not too much left to say after that point. I continued to hang out with friends, then left before the masquerade. A friend and I were approached earlier by someone requesting we participate, but my costume didn't really consist of much that I made myself, so I opted to pass and left by the time it started.
So all in all, it wasn't a bad convention. There just wasn't much to do. I spent most of the time wandering and hanging out with friends, which is always nice, although not much of the convention itself really caught my interest. I still had a good time, but not much more than I'd have at any other gathering or event, so not to the same level as larger conventions. Still, it was a good way to pass the day, so I can't complain.
|A penguin and rabbit, property of Shouma and Kirito, respectively. Because I didn't get too many pics.|
|Kid Loki from "Journey into Mystery" and Nichole Fury (a genderbent Nick Fury)|
|Persona 3 and 4 protagonists|