Katsucon 2024 Review

Howdy partners! In case your timeline didn’t show you, thousands of anime fans across the nation traveled to Maryland this past weekend. Not for the seafood (though I did indulge in quite a bit of lobster rolls) but for the joy that is Katsucon. “Per their About Us page, Katsucon is an annual 3-day fan convention held in the D.C. metro area for multicultural enthusiasts and entertainment. Katsucon is produced by Katsucon Entertainment, Inc. (KEI), an educational organization dedicated to bringing information about Japanese animation, society, and traditional and popular culture to fans everywhere.” This convention boasted an Artist’s Alley and Dealer’s Room (think super nerdy marketplaces) that were sure to leave an impression on your bank account, numerous panels, workshops, Q&As with celebrities, autograph sessions, a fashion show, an anime rave, a penthouse club, and so much more.

Katsucon 2024

Artist Alley

The artist alley was filled with what seemed like an infinite amount of talented and skilled artists. Booths of various sizes held wonderful collections of jewelry, apparel, prints, stickers, keychains bags, bucket hats, and so much more. Hey, have you ever wanted a griffin wall scroll? Well look no further than the Katsucon artist alley because this is definitely the second year in a row that I have seen sexy griffins in there. Also, housed in the artist alley was the art auction where folks were able to place bids on handmade crafts and art pieces. I saw some gorgeous watercolor pieces and beautiful polymer clay earrings. The 18+ art section did not disappoint as well. I had no idea how fat and juicy some parts of the body could get. You learn a new thing every single day, huh?!

Dealer’s Room

The dealer’s room held more of the corporate manufactured items. It also housed tables for other conventions around the country, where they could promote and sign people up for memberships. It was here that I learned about The Long Island Tropic Con and Shore Leave in Pennsylvania. Make sure to go check them out. I’m a sucker for these advertising booths because you can get free things. I got the coolest free stuff there, including an Adam West Batman poster where the caped knight is seen jumping the shark, literally.

It was also in the Dealer’s Room that I found a super cute Lolita/ decora business called BB&B. They are connected to Ronova. They held a workshop to learn how to make decora items, and I gladly signed up for it. I was able to make the cutest mirror piece. Check out the picture below! I love cute arts and crafts stuff, and I’m so glad that anime conventions always have them and bunch of other activities like this throughout the entire weekend.

Katsucon 2024

Bottom Line

The people, the culture, the energy, the support, the friendliness

Katsucon 2024

B.O. from attendees, no mandated mask policy, no masks were available at the disability accommodation area, Katsu was charging high prices for Artist Alley artists to purchase a table for the weekend, and there was no cap on memberships so the venue was overcrowded. People were stacked right up against each other in the Artist Alley as well as out near the gazebo.

I did also want to add in that my experience with staff was helpful and friendly. I personally had no complaints; however, others may have different experience,s and I encourage you to voice them directly to Katsucon staff. You deserve to be heard.

Katsucon 2024

My absolute favorite thing I experienced? The cosplays. OF COURSE.

Every single time I attend Katsu, I rave about the fashion, the glitz, and the TALENT that I get to witness amongst marble floors and high windows, with sunlight streaming in to shine a spotlight on all the lace. Fluffy ball gowns, big armor, tricky props, LEDs as eyes, and gravity-defying wigs could be found left, right, and center.

As per tradition, there were several popular mash-ups this year. One that stood out were the Barbie x Fandom cosplays. We saw a lot of Barbie FFVII characters sporting a highlighter yellow Buster sword up and down the Gaylord. It was also lovely seeing the creativity that these costume makers engage in to have fun. This creativity had me grinning ear to ear the entire weekend. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY quite does a “fashion montage” like nerds, geeks, dorks at a goddamn anime convention.

Every time I attend Katsucon, I am reminded of my youth in a lot of ways. The rush of excitement, the happiness I see bearing witness to all the wonderful costumes and giddy cosplay groups; it just makes my heart happy. I am so grateful that this event exists. It has many, many, many, many, many, many, many flaws; do not get me wrong. I’m aware of that. However, the love that I feel when I attend is beyond. So thank you to every single person who has made this past weekend so warm, welcoming, and fantastic. See you at the Ferris wheel!

Katsucon 2024

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  • Oona Sura is a cosplay enthusiast with an appreciation for Framboise Lambic, Haruki Murakami, and cats. Catch her at the next anime convention on the East Coast!

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