ConnectiCon is a medium-sized multi-genre convention held annually in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. Unlike other major New England conventions which focus almost exclusively on Japanese anime and manga, ConnectiCon also caters to fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, webcomics, and Western animation.
For its seventh year, ConnectiCon decided to focus more exclusively on the "multi-genre" concept behind it's creation, and successfully followed through on developing a greater array of programming to appeal to fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, webcomics, and Western animation. As a result, the convention finally began to differentiate itself from other major New England conventions which focus almost exclusively on Japanese anime and manga. This change was reflected in everything from the convention's motto on its website ("Everything But The Kitchen Sink") to main events performances involving Steampunk, Batman, and Doctor Who. A revamped music video contest which allowed fans to submit entries containing sci-fi, fantasy, live action and American footage rather than just anime, and diversified panels, guests, and costuming events further enhanced the multi-genre atmosphere. For cosplayers, the Masquerade, Hall Contest, Cosplay Chess match, Cosplay Dating Game, and Cosplay Court Case gave them opportunities to show off their costumes and perform in whichever area of fandom they so chose. This widespread change in appeal was both noticeable and welcome, and I hope the convention will continue to grow in this direction.
ConnectiCon got off to a rocky start on Thursday night as Steve, Keith and I had driven for almost an hour before he realized he had forgotten a wig he needed for our masquerade skit, so we had to turn around and go back for it. We started out again after packing a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and washing them down with water and a shot of booze. With the text messages I was getting from the con I had a feeling I was going to need a lot more than one shot. Friday morning I got into my Advent Children Tifa costume and as soon as we walked into the convention center, a Cloud carrying around JENOVA’s head stopped us for pics. Bry-Chan, Katy and I checked out the dealer’s room and artist’s alley before I tried to eat some lunch. That afternoon was going to be my first Anime Unscripted as a main cast member, and I was pretty nervous. I managed to eat some salad before heading to the auditorium. I was performing with Sketch, Steve, and voice actress Christina Vee, and although I hit a few bumps it went pretty well and I got some good laughs. After the show a bunch of people came up to us asking for our autographs, so we sat onstage signing things until the crowd finally dispersed.
I headed back to the hotel room and changed into my Miku Hatsune costume for a Vocaloid photoshoot with Kurthy as Rin. Just as I was adjusting my wig, Kurthy texted me asking “Can it be Vocaloid timez now?” which made me smile. I met up with her at her hotel room and Christa's mom took our photos, which came out really cute! After the shoot we met up with Sketch and headed to the dating game. I ducked out after the first round and went back to the room to change before the AnimeCons podcast panel we were hosting that evening. I met up with Sketch, PatD, and Stardust in the panel room and we had quite a good crowd who really enjoyed our talk and of course, the blooper reel. I also fangirled over a Bartz cosplayer in the audience, totally excited to see someone else who was a fan of the oft-ignored Final Fantasy V. After the session, we had a room party in my room. Yay!
Saturday was gorgeous out, and I wore my Kingdom Hearts version of Rinoa and headed over to catch the FMV contest. Since the contest was accepting all fan-video submissions instead of just anime videos this year, I submitted my X-Files tribute vid, “Gravity of Love” in the drama category. It got a pretty good reception, but it was hard to tell if it was enough. It also reminded me just how old The X-Files has gotten as a show; it’s been off the air for six years and started before some of the teenagers in this audience were BORN. That’s a scary thought. After the show I hung out for a bit, then returned to the hotel on my own to change…and was almost abducted by some creepy giant guy who made some sexual comment to me then proceeded to FOLLOW ME TO MY ROOM. I made it in before he got close and latched the door behind me. He knocked a few times but finally gave up. Great, that’s what I need this weekend: a stalker.
I had Bry grab me a snack from Starbucks and bring it up while I sewed a few more leaves onto my Poison Ivy bootcovers and tried not to get upset about stupid stuff. After eating I felt a bit better, and we all changed into our costumes for our skit. I took photos of Steve and Bry as Sayorayn and Sakura which came out really nice, and watched Lo and Crazy Flower practice for their skit. Soon it was time for the show; our silly little skit went pretty well and got some great laughs. I also got recruited by one of the masq hosts to do a little improve piece since they were hosting as Batman characters and I was dressed as Poison Ivy. Sketch’s group looked really awesome in their red and black Tsubassa outfits; I really want to make that outfit myself someday as it’s so cute! I hung out with Sketch after the show to watch the FMVs, and was super excited when mine won Best Concept! I’d never received a technical award for any of my videos before, so it was awesome to be recognized by people who are so good at making these themselves and not just by popular vote. Chibi Rinoa also said it made her want to watch the show again, which I think is the best thing an FMV can do – promote its source material.
Sunday I wore my steampunk Cheshire Cat and packed up the car before enjoying the rest of the convention. I found the rest of the Wonderland gang in the dealer’s room, and Chibi Rinoa did an awesome photoshoot with all of us in the girl’s BATHROOM of all places. ConnectiCon does have a pretty awesome bathroom with huge granite counters, plus carpeting and couches, and floor to ceiling walls of mirrors, so it lent itself well. Plus, since it’s such a nice place to hang out, no one thinks much of having the boys hang out there too. As the afternoon waned, we all went to change and met up at Uno’s for dinner like last year.