Right now, my family is considering the possibility of another trip to Disney World next year. While I've already been there this past November as part of a trip to clean up my grandparents' house for a possible sale, this time around, this trip is more akin to my trip in January 2016 (i.e. multi-day park trip with my niece). The reason why I bring this up is that if my family does do this trip, it would happen Presidents' Day weekend, and that would mean me not doing my annual Presidents' Day weekend activity, Katsucon. Quite frankly, given this year's convention, I'm perfectly fine with this.

As for why I feel this way, first let's go over the things that weren't the problem this year.

First, my problem has nothing to do with the Dealers Room. Heck, my Katsucon haul was pretty decent this year, with me picking up a number of anime titles (mostly older stuff, including a title that I want to use for my fall AMV idea, although I also kicked up Yuri! On Ice as well), the latest volume of the Kiniro Mosaic manga (I'm kicking myself for not picking up volume 4 days before Anime USA when I had the chance, as I couldn't find that volume anywhere in the Dealers Room), and a few figures. If there's any criticisms, it's the facts that not only was this one of those cons where most of my shopping was done on Friday (with no real purchases on Saturday), but also, I'm not too thrilled with the con closing Artist Alley early each night (with this going into the main issue I have with the con).

Also, my issue with Katsucon had nothing to do with the Cosplay. Heck, Katsucon is usually one of the better places to look for cosplay photos, as this year is no exception. Given how it's one of the better shows of last year, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid was definitely a popular title this year, with plenty of variations this year (i.e. Kanna in her summer attire, Tohru and Lucoa in nurse attire a la one of the "Dragon Something" omake). As for recent things I wanted to see cosplayed, I had five items on my wish list, with the most likely one definitely making an appearance at the con: Popuko and Pipimi from Pop Team Epic (now if only the weather was warm enough later that weekend for a possible cosplay photo picture by a statue of Marilyn Monroe). Finally, it's great to see some people do some cosplay from Acchi Kocchi and Kiniro Mosaic at this convention (seriously, I've been wanting to see some KinMoza cosplay for some time).

Finally, my problem had nothing to do with the AMV Contest. Yeah, I'm disappointed that my entry in the Saturday Morning Contest, which I thought would make it in due to that contest not getting much entries like the regular contest, didn't make the finals. However, I feel that had more to do with Katsucon only having the "TV Spots" category in the Saturday Morning Contest, with those with parodies of TV intros and movie trailers having to enter them in that contest (I'm sure that if the main contest had that category, most people would have submitted it there instead). Also, there's still the issue of a few videos that made the finals at both Otakon and Anime USA making the finals here (there's no issue with the quality of the videos, as they were videos that I liked; rather, having the same videos make the finals in all three DC area cons that I go to does make things somewhat stale). However, there's two things that I like this year.

First, it's great that creators have been sending fresh stuff (be it videos that are just making their rounds in the convention circuit or stuff that, while around for some time, haven't been sent to a DC area con) to Katsucon contest this year. By doing this, it gives me something new to check out, which, in return, gives me a reason to watch the main contest from beginning to end (especially when dealing with contest screenings that happen early Friday afternoon just an hour after the Dealers' Room opens up). Second, if my comments about not making the finals for it is any indication, there's definitely a lot of growth in the Saturday Morning Contest, resulting in less videos making the videos in both that and the Main Contest. While it's not perfect (i.e. Action seriously needs more videos, with only Saturday Morning Contest video was not part of the Main Contest), things are definitely going in the right direction for in terms on contest growth. As for current AMV plans, I did mention I picked up a source for a video I want to do for fall conventions at the con, while I'm currently at work on my summer project (using one of the highlights of a Fall 2017 anime season).

In truth, the reason why I don't mind skipping a year at Katsucon has to do with the programming (in particular, the lack of stuff that would interest me). Heck, after reading an early draft of the schedule (this was before the Video Room programming was announced), I actually questioned if it was even worth going on Saturday due an uninteresting programming lineup. Outside of the AMV Contests, the other things I that I attended that weekend was a panel showcasing the AMV's of a creator that specializes in Dragon Ball videos that are outside the usual norm when it comes to this franchise and a screening of the dub for Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (I really want to see how others react to the series, and it was worth it seeing their reactions to some of the funnier and cuter moments of the first few episodes). Other than that, most of my time at Katsucon was spent either looking at stuff in Dealers' Hall and Artist Alley, wandering the halls of the Gaylord looking for interesting cosplayers or getting something to eat. It's one thing to leave MAGFest early on Saturday night, as most of the stuff that interest me usually happens before Saturday night, and fatigue starts to kick in on the third day. However, when you're ready to leave Katsucon at 8:00PM on Saturday (rather than stay until at least another hour), you know that the con has screwed up big time in terms of programming (with their stupid, outdated "no bag" policy for the video game room not helping matters). Personally, I wonder if part of the programming issue can blamed on three regulars cons that I go to (Anime USA, MAGFest, and Katsucon) happening on back-to-back months.

One more note about the convention: in the weeks leading up to the convention, I did receive some "upgrades" when it comes to this and future con experiences. First, I got a credit card that I can use for food purchases, meaning I don't have to be frugal when it comes to eating at sit-down restaurants. Second, the weekend before the convention, I got an iPhone 8 Plus, and while I was still getting used to it around the time of the convention (i.e. transferring photos to my PC, using certain apps), I did make use of it while at the con (in particular, watching the latest episode of Pop Team Epic on Saturday afternoon when there wasn't much to do and my feet were killing me).

Next up in terms of cons: Otakon. I've already pre-regged and booked a room for the weekend, and I'm currently at work on a video for the AMV Contest (with me hoping to get this done in time for Anime Expo as well). As usual, I close out my report with my cosplay photos from the con.