Following my first day at Naka kon, I had plenty enthusiasm for the rest of the convention. This enthusiasm was more than founded, as it would turn out. There were plenty of interesting panels throughout the next couple days. On Saturday morning, Junko Takeuchi (Japanese Naruto voice actress) had a Q&A panel, which was quite enjoyable despite being slightly hampered by the obvious language barrier. Many interesting facts were to be learned, including the fact that one of her ideal non-voice acting careers would be banking. There was also a 'name that anime song!' type of panel (which I of course attended) and although a lot of the music was kind of out there, it was always nice to hear something I recognized play. While some of the panels worked out, not everything went 100% smoothly. The Kingdom Hearts panel for example was already filled by the time we arrived, fifteen minutes before it was scheduled to start.
Naka kon really managed to shine outside of the panels. The previous night, someone cosplaying as Deadpool had brought a boombox and started a small dance party in the corner of the courtyard. He had promised to come back the next day with more, and he delivered. Later in the morning on Saturday, there were more than fifty people in that area, and 'DJ Deadpool' had a table full of equipment. That was not the only time things got interesting, of course, because I haven't even mentioned the Homestuck crowd yet. While their presence was minimal on Friday and Sunday, on Saturday (for what I assume was in anticipation of the 'constuck' panel that day) they were out in a force. Around two o'clock in the afternoon a HUGE mob of grey body-paint people with those special horns had formed a little group in the middle of the courtyard, and a couple members in the middle appeared to be chanting something to get the whole group riled up. I'm no Homestuck fan, so I had no idea what was going on. All I know is that it looked like some sort of satanic ritual to us outsiders.
Overall, the convention was run very smoothly and efficiently. There were no major incidences that I either heard of or witnessed, and badge checks at the panels were quick and un-intrusive. This whole "we're here, but not in the way" style of management really worked well and helped everyone's experience, something that I most definitely applaud the staff for.
Perhaps one of my favorite moments was during one of the periods in time when I was getting cosplayers' pictures. After getting one group, I heard one of the most glorious sounds I could possibly hope to come upon, and after following the noise, I discovered a speaker playing 'Doki Doki Morning', which (for those of you who don't know) is a Babymetal song. This is an excellent example of why Naka kon works so well: it's extremely inclusive of most fandoms. If you have any sort of Japanese-oriented hobby (or read a certain webcomic), you will find your interests mirrored somewhere at the convention.
The cosplay was at its strongest on Saturday, when the primary cosplaying competition took place. I wasn't able to be around for the entire thing (too much going on at once, my 'assistant' and I had to split up to cover as much as possible), but I do happen to know that a certain reader's wife managed to win the intermediate competition with a wonderful Saber cosplay. I was actually not aware that she was Hitokiri_Ace's wife at the time unfortunately, so in my lack of knowledge I did not say hello.
Both Friday and Saturday had dance parties later at night (Saturday also had a charity gala, which ShotReturned attended), and although the Friday dance was more-or-less a bust (it's hard to get people to dance at these things!), the Saturday dance was curated by Japanese DJ Hachioji P and was significantly more fun.
I made one final purchase when hitting the vendor area on Sunday, one that might make Rockmandash12 a little bit jealous:
P.S. I arrived home late that night, tired from my running around that day, to discover that a certain rebellious assistant had decided to leave me a 'present':
Stay tuned for an overall discussion of my time at the convention!