Before we get into NDK 2013, I want you to spare a moment of your time to think about donating to Colorado’s flood relief efforts. I’m sure any contribution you can make will be of great help as there are quite a few dead, injured, or displaced from the flooding. As someone who has seen and dealt with flooding in Illinois this past spring, I can say it’s not pretty.
Anyway, on to the convention report! Nan Desu Kan is the premier anime convention of the Rockies, though I wonder how many anime conventions go on out there. It takes place in southeastern Denver (the Denver Tech Center). Fortunately, we were spared the nasty business of flooding and generally had good weather (though there was a tornado risk for a while). Read on for the glorious details.
I had hoped to do a little figure photography, but ended up mostly going to the cosplay photo-shoots. Does that make me a creeper? I’ll leave that to the suits in Washington to decide. The first meet-up was the survival horror photo shoot:
It seems that Resident Evil still has a strong following as there were a number of great RE costumes there. I ended up going to the Resident Evil panel as well the next night, just to kill some time. It was a pretty decent sized room, but was completely packed. Mostly the panelists and audience comiserated about RE6 (which I haven’t played) but it was pretty entertaining.
When they took requests, of course I had to ask for Chris punching a boulder.
After the RE/survival horror shoot, I wandered around the convention center for a while. I ran into this guy:
Hardcore Family Guy fans should get the reference. Anyway, this costume is amazing.
Out in the atrium area of the convention center, I met this lovely lady dressed as Tsubasa Hanekawa:
I kind of took a rushed photo as we were in a high-traffic area, but this ended up being one of my favorite pictures from NDK. The shot is somewhat Bakemonogatari-esque; I could certainly imagine a few of the compositional elements being used in the show.
Then I happened upon another special guest. Some say he’s memorized every line of dialogue from every hentai ever made, and that his eyes are the size of grapefruits. All we know is, he’s not the Stig.
I also want to commend this guy for staying completely in character. When I asked him for a photo, he never said a word. He just kind of stared at me for a while, then slowly crossed his arms.
The main event of day one was the Shingeki no Kyojin meet-up. Let me tell you, girls really like this show. There were a few memorable costumes, starting with dead Marco:
The cleaning crew:
And finally this Levi, who was so good that all other people should just stop cosplaying Levi:
Of course I had to ask for a picture to show to the biggest Levi fan I know and make her super jelly.
You’ll notice a distinct lack of titans in these. There were a only a few roaming around, and apparently none of them knew about the photo shoot.
Day two kicked off with a morning Final Fantasy shoot. It’s always a popular property for cosplay, and the turnout was great for this one. I discarded most of the group shots I took because, well, they kinda sucked. Some of the requests were pretty good, though:
I asked for all the Sephiroths to kill Hope:
This guy was the broiest-looking Tidus ever, which kind of made him perfect:
Probably the best Lulu costume I’ve seen:
She made both the Lulu and Auron costumes, going so far as to hand-make all the leather parts for the belts, boots, shoulder pads, etc. The attention to detail was marvelous.
The second day had me scuttling between various photo shoots. The Metal Gear one was small but fun as I got a little more involved in setting the poses and subjects.
And yes, love can bloom even on a battlefield.
Next up is Shingeki no Kyojin part two. The second meet-up was in the dedicated photo room, which was entirely too small for the amount of SnK fans that showed up. We were availed this gawdy botanical monstrosity to use as a backdrop.
Another of my requests: Hanji lamenting the deaths of Sonny and Bean.
Finally we had a titan show up, and it was fabulous:
The last shoot I attended was the Adventure Time shoot. I’m not sure if the organizer showed up, but I ended up leading this one until we reached a critical mass of spectators.
That Marceline was incredible – she sang all of “I’m Just Your Problem” for us!
I then recruited some people from the furry meet-up (literally three feet to our right) for our Fionnas to fight.
This dude was Finn come to life (holding my iPad BMO):
Like, he IS Finn. Straight up, he is Finn.
There were a few more meet-ups after this, but I wanted to attend some panels. Unfortunately, there was a fire at the convention center, so my serious business anime panel was postponed for 90 minutes. So… more cosplay!
After wandering around some more, going to the dealer room, getting dinner, and attending the Resident Evil panel, I lined up for the “Laws of Hentai” panel. What better way to unwind than to poke fun at hentai tropes? Well this panel got canceled because someone in it had a medical emergency, and the paramedics cleared the room. What the fuck. On the way out, at least I ran into some bro-kemon:
All I did at NDK pretty much was experience the cosplay, but it was a lot of fun. It’s always nice to be able to talk to the fandom, make light of our hobby, and take some cool pictures. I intended to do some figure photography as I had brought along my Tachikoma and bought some figures at the event. Ultimately it never happened; the days were just too busy, and I didn’t actually have space in my bag for a figure. Next time I’ll figure out a way to carry one with me.
So NDK was fun (though driving to and from the event kinda sucked due to the amount of rain). It was pretty well organized, but the convention space seemed a bit too small for the amount of people. SDCC had a mix of insanely packed and hardly trafficked areas. In contrast, NDK just seemed packed everywhere, all the time. I might go back next year; if I do I’d prefer to fly (and get a room in the convention hotel).
This con also got me thinking about getting more involved in conventions. Anime Midwest and ACen both take place near me, and I’m thinking about organizing meet-ups, photo shoots, or even running a panel or two. Those won’t be until next summer, so there’s plenty of time to figure things out.