Zenkaikon is another anime convention I missed during my years in Mongolia, as it is a local convention only 40 minutes away. It’s not a very large con, only about 6,000 attendees or so, but it has been slowly growing over the years. Zenkaikon is currently using the Lancaster convention Center and has plenty of room to grow. Also, the smaller cons can be nice as there is room to talk to friends or find a place to sit and relax. It also happened to be the con where I presented the most panels so far, 5 in total, but more on that later.
Zenkaikon 2018- The Venue
The Lancaster County Convention Center is a nice place with plenty of rooms, and at no time did I feel like I was packed in like a sardine. With the con taking place so close to me I didn’t stay at the hotel, but it is a Marriott, so I think it’s safe to say the hotel is pretty good. Given that it is more of a local convention the parking is an issue, but there are several parking garages in downtown Lancaster. I can’t really complain as I didn’t have too much trouble finding parking each day that I went.
Zenkaikon 2018- The Food
Since I was just driving in, I played it smart and brought my own food, but the one slice of pizza I bought in the lobby was passible. Given that it’s in downtown Lancaster, there are a number of other options for people who do not want convention food.
Zenkaikon 2018- Dealers Room/Art Room
A smaller con of course means there are fewer dealers and artists, which my wallet appreciated as I didn’t find all that much. I did get a few manga at the discount table, but I really didn’t find what I was looking for. What I was hoping for was more Spice and Wolf manga. I read the first volume and saw the anime, so I was looking for more. I almost hit the mother lode as one dealer had volumes 3-12, but no volume 2. It’s just me but I like to buy them in order, so without volume 2 I held off.
Panels I attended at Zenkaikon 2018
The Hunt for the Tuatha de Danaan Connections Between Full Metal Panic and the Literary works of Tom Clancy– It’s a long title for an interesting panel idea. I liked the idea of comparing FMP to the works of Tom Clancy, and I was surprised to learn there were more than a few connections. I would have liked to have seen more Clancy novels used in the comparison than just The Hunt for Red October. The same could be said for comparing more characters beyond Jack Ryan and Sosuke Sagara. The presenter also needs to practice his presentation skills. All in all, a great idea that needs some work in the execution: 7/10.
Chu Chu Yeah a tail of two dragon maids– I don’t normally go to voice actor/actress panels, but I was glad I checked this one out as it was a lot of fun. Where else can you hear a voice actress talk about her favorite line, a rather interesting line, given the anime?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-HnjggczeQ
Jad Saxton and Sarah Wiedenheft know how to run a Q and A session; they kept the panel entertaining, answering everyone’s questions talking about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and the other anime they have done voices for: 9/10.
1990s anime a decade of hits- A great panel trying to give some love to the great anime of the 90’s: 8/10.
Disney Smisney Exploring other Western Animation Studios- For something I was just using to kill time, I found this panel was more interesting than I thought it was going to be. It discussed some of the other Western animation studios and the movies they have made over the years. It gives some hope that we might eventually move out of the Disney animation ghetto: 8/10.
Yokai Girls Gone Wild- Charles Dunbar, need I say more? This was a twist on some of his older panels, combined with some new material. Specifically, it focused on the legends behind the female monsters of Japanese mythology. My favorite was learning that the version of the Yuki-Onna myth that the Japanese like the best was actually written by a drunk Irishman: 10/10.
Panels I Presented at Zenkaikon 2018
Anime Chemistry 101– Thanks again for everyone who came. Here anime and the topics I covered for anyone who missed it.
Fairy Tail- Natsu’s return- The breakdown of limestone
My Hero Academia- Nitinol- Shape memory metal
Boruto- Wall walking
Code Geass– Sakuradite
The Biology of Monster Girls- Thanks again for coming and here are the topics I covered for anyone who missed it.
Elf-san Can’t Lose Weight- Alraune, Werewolf
A Centaur’s Life- 6 limbs, Angelfolk, Mermaids, Centaurs
Sake 101– Here is a link to the slides of the presentation for anyone who wants them.
The Science of Mecha– This was a first for me, as it was a collaboration with my friends over at Doomtastic. Here is a list of the topics I covered for anyone who missed it.
Battery powered mecha
Teaching with Anime- Thanks to everyone who came and contributed, you helped to make the panel a blast. I hope everyone learned a few things that you can use in your own classrooms. The slides can be found here.
Zenkaikon was a blast as always and thanks again to everyone who came to my panels. I will see everyone again at Otakon 2018. Please leave any comments below.