NekoCon 20: Day two roundup
Adam Flores | Senior Writer
As NekoCon 20 took on its first full day and in celebration of its 20th anniversary, there was plenty to see and do Friday within the Hampton Roads Convention Center. From panel discussions on convention etiquette, animé and an introduction to D&D AL, various photoshoots such as Kingdom Hearts, Vocaloid and BioShock, an Art Show, learning about Japanese cuisine and confectionery to demonstrating your vocal prowess during Catpocalyptic Karoake Overdrive, these events represent a small portion of an eclectic mix offered at this year’s convention.
NekoCon takes over the Hampton Roads Convention Center as attendees enjoy a full day of scheduled events. While not taking part in an event, those in cosplay acted out there character roles for others and enjoyed being a part of numerous photoshoots. More than 8,000 people are expected to attend this year’s annual event.
Around midday, the opening ceremonies began with a special Catpocalypse performance by cosplay members to officially open the convention. NekoCon’s inaugural convention took place in 1998 at the Virginia Beach Executive Center Holiday Inn with 506 people in attendance. NekoCon 20 is expected to attract more than 8,000 people.
The opening ceremonies also allowed attendees to meet the staff and guests of NekoCon 20. Pictured are AkaneSaotome (left) as The White Queen from “Alice in Wonderland” and Joe Quinn as The Mad Hatter, also from the Tim Burton version of “Alice in Wonderland.”
The Virginia Living Museum has celebrated more than 51 years of stimulating knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the living world. Throughout NekoCon 20, Jim Drummond, an education associate at the Virginia Living Museum will be presenting a variety of animals from Virginia and discussing their natural history as well as adaptations for survival in the wild.
“The Voices That Voice the Voice You Know” featured from left to right, Kyle McCarley, Kira Buckland, Colleen Clinkenbeard and Kyle Hebert. In their first panel discussion, they began with questions from the audience of which the most difficult question presented to them was to name a movie that you regretted being a part of as a voice actor.
In a panel discussion entitled “Bullying, Body Shaming, Tolerance, and Consent,” AkaneSaotome (center), Joe Quinn (left), and Bad Andy (right) engage with the audience on some difficult topics within the world of cosplay. They went in-depth into how to think about and handle difficult moments and situations that may present themselves when in total cosplay character around others in a convention and public situation.
The Video Game Room offers a chance for attendees to play and challenge others in various video games on various platforms such as Playstation and Xbox. Classic video arcade-style machines are also available to play.
The Artist Alley room features numerous designers and artists with a multitude of different offerings from print designs to jewelry for immediate sale.
The Exhibitors Hall features more than 75 vendors with just about anything you are looking to purchase whether it be for cosplay or animé as well as books or beanies.
NekoCon will continue through Sunday delivering a plethora of fun-filled events. It’s not too late to register and attend. For more information on NekoCon 20, please visit www.nekocon.com.