We’re used to big cons.
A few years back, our staff started to cover stories from E3, PAX, CES, AX, Sakura-Con, etc. Big names that only expanded ever since they began. So you know how conceded and spoiled we can be about cons.
Watching cons grow each year is always fun to experience, but lately we feel that some of the conventions have just grown too fast, that they’ve lost some of their flavor.
So when we heard about Kumoricon, the anime and gaming culture convention based inPortland, OR, we were excited to visit. It’s about time we try something different; and the bottom line is, we’re so very glad that we went.
ClassicMoments: This was what I was surprised by the most. In terms of numbers, Kumoricon is on the “cozy” side of conventions, but the convention was full of people. It didn’t get too crowded to the point where people were sick of seeing each other; there was a general sense of cosplay happiness to be felt all around. And the staff did a fine job with crowd control as well.
GillRider: Yeah, it was nice. There were definitely a lot of people, but not to the extent that it felt like travelling on a rush hour train in Japan. I thought it was the right amount of people, and they were just there to enjoy themselves. Not once did I feel like the participants’ enthusiasm waning. Great attitude!
ClassicMoments: Nothing short of excitement. Even before the official announcement of the Opening Ceremony, you could tell that people were thrilled to be there, in an almost chaotic order. The main staging area welcomed all participants with some club-inspired lights and music. The crowd was filled with excitement as dancing cosplayers slowly filled the seats. We’ve been to many conventions and opening ceremonies, but we haven’t seen anything quite like it. From staff to volunteers to participants, it felt more like a festival that everyone chips in on and enjoys!
GillRider: I agree with ClassicMoments about the Opening Ceremonies. It was really fun to see so many amateur, non-industry participants get involved in the performances. An example was the “Rules” of the Con video, which is usually an official, informational video about the expectations and rules about the convention. But at Kumoricon, the video was made by the Anime Hunters, a local anime-skit group that’s been apparently doing this for a couple of years now. It was great! It was informational, hilarious, and it really captured the local-friendly atmosphere that was Kumoricon.
Events and panels
There were many cool panels at Kumoricon, so we hand picked a few and created a separate article. Please follow the link here – Kumoricon 2011 – Events and Panels
Kumoricon 2011 was an overall success!
ClassicMoments: Kumoricon isn’t the largest convention around, you can feel the anime fans’ love and passion in every corner of the hotel. There were small hiccups here and there, like the gaming tournament schedule being pushed back, or the projector not working properly, but these are things you find at any convention. The important thing is that whether it was good or bad, people never forgot to be cheerful and encouraging. We can totally see why Kumoricon is expanding quickly, and though it deserves more attention, we really hope that it carries the spirit of community love. It’s something that we will remember and expect when we come back for more Kumoricon in our future.
GillRider: We had a blast at Kumoricon! Like I mentioned before, Kumoricon definitely has a local-friendly atmosphere. They had a great mix of special guests from the industry, with great, informative and fun panels, as well as a lot of amateur, local talents showcasing skits, AMVs, panels and of course, cosplays. It really did feel like a big gathering of anime loving friends, rather than an official convention. We highly recommend it, and are excited to come back next year!