Sorry for the delay in this, as I haven't really felt like writing this report and needed to force myself into doing this.

Presidents Day weekend has come and gone in the DC area, and for some folks, that means one thing: the first of the three annual anime cons in the area, Katsucon, with me attending the convention once again.

After the huge line for Thursday night badge pick-up last year (where the line stretched all the way out to the fountain area of the hotel), I decided to arrive at the Gaylord earlier this year on Thursday (6:30 PM instead of 7:00 PM, the time badge pick-up started last year). My plan this year was to get in line and wait a half-hour until badge pick-up actually opens (thus avoiding the possibility of being so far back in line that I'm in the fountain area again), kill the time with my usual line activities (i.e. looking for cool cosplay to photograph, talking with those also in line), get my badge, and then wander around the hotel looking for some more cosplay pictures until I head home around 9:00 PM. However, when I got there, I found out that badge pick-up actually started at 6:00 PM this year. As such, while it was still a good 45-60 minute wait to get my badge, the lines weren't really bad as I thought it would be, and barring some con goer collapsing and needing to spend the night at the hospital (not really a hindrance where I was in line, there's still some concern about the person), the line went smoothly, with the rest of Thursday being spent checking out the cosplay, catching some Generation 2 Pokemon (as badge pick-up happened the same day this long awaited Pokemon Go update came out), and helping others find the line for badge pick-up.

As for the rest of the convention:

Dealers' Room: My shopping experience at Katsucon this year was another one of those times where there wasn't really much that either interest me I didn't notice until Saturday, resulting in me only doing shopping on Friday. Probably for the best, too, as the start of March was hell for my wallet thanks to a combination of DVD/Blu-Ray releases (especially with me picking up the 3D versions of certain films as a result of the latest PS4 update, which allowed those with the VR headset to use it for 3D Blu-Ray titles), the release of the Nintendo Switch (need money for the system, games, and gear), the latest Atelier game, and Target having a B2G1 sale on non-Switch video games. However, in terms of the haul, it turned out to be quite decent IMO.

Going into Katsucon, I had an idea of two items I definitely wanted to pick up this weekend. The first item on the list, the first DVD set of Discotek's release of Lupin III Part 2, was an easy pick-up, as I simply picked up copy of it at the Discotek table. The second item was harder to find and required a lot searching (especially given how this is a title that would be available at Katsucon before its street date). However, with a little bit of searching, I did manage to find what I was looking for, the second manga volume of my main anime of the winter season, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

Meanwhile, between me wanting to prove that I can move past a post-Otakon failure and an interest in want to do a scale model arcade display, I picked up a couple of model kits on Friday. The first one was a Frame Arm Girls figure (I tried to hold back on buying one after my attempt to build the one I got at Otakon ended in failure, but the lack of interesting items in the Dealers' Room this year made me give in), while the second is a model of the Sega Astro City arcade cabinet. I eventually worked on both models after the con, and I was able to successfully put them together.

Rounding out my list of purchases at Katsucon this year are a Frozen pin (one dealer actually had one of the limited edition El Capitan Frozen pins that were only available at the Disney Studio Store/Soda Fountain in Hollywood), the Legend of Zelda Art and Artifacts book, and DVD's of the first three "stages" of Initial D (I have an idea for a Third Stage AMV that I want to make for Anime USA this year due to it taking place around Christmas time,).

AMV's: Once again, I submitted an AMV to the contest. This time, inspired by the 20th anniversary of Pokemon, I decided to go ahead with a project idea that I had for quite some time: a video setting it to the finale of Carnival of the Animals. While it didn't make it into the main contest, the video did appear in the Saturday Morning contest.

As for the contest itself, I'm pretty disappointed with it, with me not staying for the full contest when it comes to the main show and the Saturday Morning contest. However, it isn't due to my video not performing as I hoped for (as my main priority is more towards having my video be shown in front of an audience than winning something, especially given the competition). Rather, my problem is that there's a quite a few videos in the contest that I've already seen before at both Otakon and Anime USA (as in the same videos were sent to all three of my main cons, as I don't have an issue with videos being shown at Anime USA only also being shown at Katsucon).

I think my main issue isn't that I'm seeing the same videos over and over at conventions, but rather the videos are stuff that had already won something at Otakon (with a couple also winning at Anime USA as well). The problem itself is something that I began noticing a lot in the past year as a result of me sending my AMV's to various contests, as most cons tend to have the same awesome AMV not only making it into the finals, but it also winning something at the convention as well. While this is not an issue during the first few months, once the same video is six months old and has already won a decent number of contests, it has pretty much entered into "troll" territory if entered in either one of the spring contests or at a smaller convention. The end result: the troll videos can make it hard for smaller videos (which I consider my works to be) to find an audience, and as such discouraging some editors from entering some contests (heck, I'm questioning whether I should even send something to Katsucon next year).

While the Katsucon AMV contest has left me somewhat disillusioned, that doesn't mean I'm giving up on entering AMV contests, as I did send my Pokemon video to other contests (and probably may send it to cons that need more entries), and I'm already working on an AMV that I plan to enter at the major summer conventions.

Panels: With a number of anime companies attending Katsucon this year, a good chunk of panel time was spent at industry panels, with me attending the Viz, Sailor Moon, and Funimation panels (I did consider going to Aniplex as well, but with the delays, I opted instead to play some Quiplash 2 at the Funimation Lounge). One thing that pleased me: as someone familiar with the industry panels at cons from the past decade (where some con-goers could receive receive free DVD's during these events), it was cool to see Viz doing this during the their Q&A session. Sadly, I wasn't able to receive one this time around, although I did have two questions in mind if I did get chosen (one pertaining to JoJo on Toonami and and whether or not Part III will start immediately after Part II ends; the other about the Nintendo Power comics and, if they're popular enough, will Viz eventually publish a compilation of the Star Fox comics).

As for fan panels, I did manage to check out a couple. The first, which I attended while waiting for the Dealers Room line to form, was a panel about Toei Animation (more specifically, most of their shoujou works) and some of the top talent who got their start at the studio. The other panel was one that I've been to numerous times in the past, Bad Anime Bad. While I had to leave early in order to get in line for the Sailor Moon panel (that's how busy Saturday afternoon was in terms of panels), the anime being bashed at the panel was definitely the type of awfulness that I've come to expect at this panel (not to mention it's interesting to see how newcomers would react to Doozy Bots, which was a failed attempt to market Gundam in America back in the early 1990's).

Some additional notes:

-WIth the nice weather that the DC area had this weekend, I did consider going to Ben and Jerry's to get some ice cream. However, as I was heading there, I discovered another place that opened up between the winter conventions: a regular candy store (by regular, I mean one that sells various types of sweets, not a specially store like the Peeps store). As such, I got my ice cream there instead (with me getting some vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups mixed in inside a waffle cone that'??s has the top part covered in chocolate). One thing I do want to try the next time I go there (or any candy store, in particular) are those Rice Krispies treats that are dipped in chocolate and are covered with some sweet item (i.e. M&M's Oreos).

-While I still wish Katsucon would put an end to their stupid "no bags" rule in the Video Game Room, one thing that was a plus this year was that they actually had separate coat check areas to drop off and pick up your coat and bags. That way, you don't have to worry too much about dealing with the long lines that would have made it a hassle for those people who wanted to either enter the video game room or attend the late night dance.

-One thing that tends to be a problem at Katsucon is the handling of lines, and this year is no different, in this case, the handling of the line for the Funimation panel. Basic story, staff members were trying to avoid having that line conflict with the line for a workshop event that started first and thus split the line to the Funi panel. However, once the workshop panel line was depleted, they still kept the line split, and as such, some people wanting to attend Funimation didn't realize that so-called "end of the line" was where the split took place.

It will be a while before my next big con, Otakon (and a good thing too, as I have to recover from all the spending that I did in March). Once again, I'll leave you with some of the cosplay photos that I took while at the con (it's great to see that Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is already getting some cosplay representation at American cons).