During the weekend of April 7th to the 9th, I attended Tekkocon, which is an annual Japanese Pop Culture convention, currently in its 15th year, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tekko was my first anime convention, and I am absolutely hooked. The convention was filled with things to do. We were constantly on foot all day, exhausted, but having so much fun. The Exhibition Hall, which held all of the vendors and artists, harbored an incredible amount of goodies to buy. The Gaming Hall harbored a bunch of amazing primarily Japanese games that I have never played before, and finally got my first taste! Walking around a convention, you will not find one normal person. Everyone is cosplaying! For Friday, my boyfriend and I dressed up as Chiaki Nanami and Hajime Hinata from "Danganronpa" and for Saturday we dressed up as Emilia and Natsuki Subaru from "Re:Zero". We got a ton of pictures with and of characters from our favorite video games and animes! I now plan to continue going to Tekko every year, and here is why!
The people of Tekko are absolutely incredible. Not only the workers and the volunteers, but also all of the attendees! If you ask for a picture or ask someone to take one of you, they will happily agree, even if they are rushing off somewhere. They are always happy to help, super friendly, and very supportive of the cosplay you wear. Dressed up as Emilia from "Re:Zero", I only had one person during the entire day tell me that Rem is the best girl (which isn't true). Everyone else absolutely adored my cosplay. They made my first anime convention incredible!
The Artist Valley
Wowowowow. People have amazing talents. Ranging from clay sculptures to jewelry to body pillows, people can create amazing things. And the best part is, if you don't have it and ask the artist to make it, they will happily agree! I came across amazing Harry Potter themed jewelry (that I was so tempted to buy), hilariously cute buttons, and really creative Overwatch body pillows for (primarily) the female audience! It had a little bit of everything for everyone.
The panels are so much fun. Some panels will teach you things, others will make you laugh, and some will make you cringe (particularly the 18+ ones). There was a Dub a Hentai one that I couldn't attend, but sure would've liked to see what exactly that was like! There is so much to choose from.
I bought stuff. Lots of stuff. Apart from gifts for our four friends, I spoiled myself with an "Overwatch" t-shirt (my boyfriend and I got matching ones actually, one says Support and the other says Offense), a shirt from my favorite anime called Ao No Exorcist, a shirt from the band that was playing at Tekko that I am a huge fan of called Magic of Life, Slytherin earrings for a huge Slytherin fan like myself, some gifts for my sister...you get the idea.
The Gaming Hall
This is a place we visited often every day. The gaming hall included video games with several computers, TVs and consoles lined on up several tables, card games for those who enjoy them, and a bunch of arcade games such as DDR. They also had a VR that they let people play on, which was amazing but incredibly strange and made me slightly lightheaded afterward.
This year, Tekko had a Japanese band, Magic of Life, perform their very first U.S. concert! The band was incredible (and attractive)! Later on, they had a signing and autograph session, which I happily attended. After the band concert, they had several DJs and musicians finish off the night for people to dance and let loose (and yes, grabbing a few drinks at a nearby bar before the music night is an excellent idea).
People put a miraculous amount of work into their cosplays, and they want them to be loved! I saw a Reinhardt cosplay that absolutely blew my mind. I don't even want to think about how much this guy worked to create this cosplay. Apart from other people's cosplay, you also get to have fun dressing up yourself! Being able to be someone else for a day, and act like someone else for a day is really enjoyable, especially when you're around people who won't think you're really weird for doing so.
Tekko offers MUCH more than just the things I have listed here. One weekend is not at all enough to experience, attend and do everything Tekko has to offer! These are the things I loved and did the most, and they are what made me addicted to anime conventions! From now on, I am definitely hunting down the next conventions to go to.