Moshi moshi my pandas!
Long time no see! Yes, I have been slacking on producing content for you all but that is because Alexie, Bodell, and I attending Kumoricon 2019 as Press. We were fortunate to be graced with Press badges during the weekend of Kumoricon this year and I couldn’t have been more excited since this was my first Con EVER! Yes, you heard that right. MY FIRST CON EVER. I know…what have I been doing with my life?! I honestly have no idea. Well actually I do…but we won’t go into all of that right now. We are here to discuss my experience attending Kumo.
Kumoricon was held in Portland Oregon this year during November 15th, 16th, and 17th. Alexie came from Michigan and Bodell came all the way from the U.K. to attend the Con with me. My boyfriend was also in attendance and came along to show his support for me. I am so proud of him for coming even though he is still pretty new to the anime realm. He’s the best boyfriend a girl could ask for ❤ As November approached I was super excited to see my fellow panda writers in person…and let me tell you WE HAD A GRAND OL’ TIME!
Day 0 of Kumoricon: Thursday November 14 was travel day. My boyfriend and I drove up from our city (which is about an hour and forty minutes away from Portland) to pick up Alexie from the airport. He arrived a little earlier than expected but he didn’t have to wait very long for us at the airport. We grabbed some lunch, checked into our hotel for the night, and then waited for Bodell to arrive which was in the evening time. We grabbed Bodell later that day and headed to the convention center to get our badges for Con since Kumo staff was there till 10 at night. Since we had Press badges there was no wait for us in line. We we able to go right up to staff and get our badges in a matter on minutes. My boyfriend was pre-registered as a regular attendee so he pretty much had no wait either. I HIGHLY recommend pre-registering if you want to attend Kumo. Getting badges was easy peasy lemon squeezy if you did this before hand. I know lots of people had long waits on the first day of Con getting their badges and if you wanted to attend only a single day this was also an issue. It would be beneficial if Kumo allowed people who only wanted to attend one day to pre-register for the one day they did want to go on. I also saw lots of comments about Kumo Staff questioning people about why their real names weren’t on their badges. Some people do NOT want their personal information out there like that and I totally understand why. If you go by a specific cosplay or blogging name then I believe that should be allowed on your badge. In a way I wish I would have put my blogging name on my badge instead of my real name but then again I am also fine with people knowing my real name. Kumo please take notes of these discrepancies if you are reading this!
Day 1 of Kumoricon: We arrived in the early afternoon for day one of Con. It seemed like Friday was a little bit lighter than the rest of the weekend. I predicted that Saturday would be the busiest day *spoiler alert…it was.* We grabbed some coffee from the cafe and sat down at one of the tables right outside to watch all the cosplayers walk by. Saw tons of awesome cosplays of course! This is an anime convention after all! I was literally in awe of how amazing everyone looked and kinda bummed I didn’t cosplay myself. I had a cosplay picked out and all the pieces for it but wasn’t happy with how it all fit together. Hopefully I can tweak it and fix it to my liking for another time.
I met two lovely ladies who were cosplaying as Leafeon and Starfire from Teen Titans. They were super sweet when I chatted with them and asked for a photo.
The lovely girl who was cosplaying Starfire has a YouTube channel. The channel name is Imon_Snow if you guys want to follow her! I just want to say thank you to these two ladies for being so gracious as this was my first time asking someone for a picture. You guys rock! We then decided to head to the KumoMarket where all the art and otaku items were for sale. Let me tell you…I WAS IN OTAKU HEAVEN! So many fun and exciting items to look at. To be honest I don’t even think we saw everything that was offered at KumoMarket. I think we got a good general overview but I wished we walked the market multiple times to get a better opportunity to look at EVERYTHING. Here are some pictures of some of the stuff that was for sale:
The only draw back to KumoMarket was the apparent rip-off artwork or bootleg merch. In the Kumo group on Facebook people brought this to the attention of others. If there was rip-offs or bootlegs Kumo needs to be made aware of this and take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again because this is not cool nor acceptable. I didn’t spot anything per say while I was walking around but this might be harder for me to find since I’m not fully aware of what to look for in this circumstance.
After KumoMarket and walking around for a bit more we wanted to get some lunch. We headed over to Cafe Yumm for some grub. Lunch was kinda disappointing but we got to see a few more cosplayers in the restaurant and walking to the convention center. After that as we were heading back I had my boyfriend take some pictures of me in my outfit and of my ita bag since it was all decked out in my fandom pins. You can see that here:
We then headed back to the registration room to sign up for our chance to win autographs from production designer and art designer from Studio Trigger. These two were the only ones I was interested in getting autographs from but they also had a variety of English voice actors you could win autographs from. From the registration room you could walk into the gaming hall. The gaming hall had all kinds of board/card games you could play, DDR set up, old arcade style games, a Tekken tournament, and a variety of other games for attendees to play. I tried my hand at the old arcade game Millipede but failed miserably XD There was also other merch booths here that you could purchase items from.
I think at this point we walked around for a little while longer before heading back to our hotel for the night. Day one was basically getting a feel for how the Con was laid out and what we would be interested in doing on Saturday. Overall this day was enjoyable! I was thrilled to see so many cool cosplays in one place and how sure each cosplayer was with themselves. Props to everyone who had their poses down! I need that level of confidence in my life :3
Day 2 of Kumoricon: Day two of Kumoricon was supposed to be the KawaiiPaperPandas meet up where I was giving away free stickers and prizes. These are the prizes I brought with me to giveaway:
I had created an event on the Kumo Facebook page a few months back and it seemed like a few people would attend. I was happy that even a few people were interested in meeting us. We made our way to the little courtyard across the street from the convention center at 1:00 and waited to see if anyone would show up. I brought my portable speaker with me and threw on some anime related tunes and waited. Ten minutes roll by and no one has shown yet. A half hour goes by and still no one. At this point Alexie and Bodell said they would walk about the courtyard and con center to hand out my business card and stickers to see if anyone would come over. It is now almost 2:00 in the afternoon and no one has come. We decided to just jump ship and head inside the convention center. I did have one person who DM’d me on Facebook a week prior to Con who was interested in my meetup so I thought it was a good idea to message her to give her some of the prizes I had. Thank you Ash for meeting up with me in the midst of no one attending the KPP meetup! I am glad I was able to give you the My Hero Academia wallscroll and the Sailor Moon wall tapestry. I know they went to a good home. Also thank you for letting me take your picture! Your friends and you looked killer!
After the failed attempt to meetup with people we decided to find cosplayers who matched some of the items I had to giveaway. I spotted a gentleman who was cosplaying as Kirito from Sword Art Online and gave him a SAO wall scroll for him to take home. Thank you for the awesome Kirito pose in your picture!
I then found a very flustered Sailor Venus (granted she just got out of waiting in line for Con registration) who I gave an Artemis plushie and the Sailor Moon: R movie to. Hopefully I didn’t bother you too much XD Her friends who were dressed as Neo-Queen Serenity and Prince Endymion met up with her just moments later. I gave the Serenity cosplayer some kitty headphones and the Endymion some anime themed stickers. Thank you all for taking these off my hands and for letting me snap a pic! You all looked WONDERFUL!
Randomly throughout the next few hours we gave more prizes and stickers away. I found a very impressive Mumen Rider from One Punch Man cosplayer who let me take his picture! THANK MUMEN RIDER! KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!
We then decided it was time for lunch. As we were on our way to lunch Alexie, Bodell and I all got text messages saying we one autographs for the people from Studio Trigger. To say I was excited was an understatement…cause I WAS ELATED AND THRILLED! This was one of the main reasons I was so excited about attending Kumo in the first place. We ate lunch quickly as we had to head back to the registration hall to pick up our papers for the autograph signing. We got our papers and then pretty much headed back to the KumoMarket hall to wait for our autographs. It was a bit of a wait but SO WORTH IT. I had Shigeto Koyama and Hiromi Wakabayashi sign my Kumo handbook next to their spot and also got a piece of paper with their signatures as well.
I purchased a Sucy from Little Witch Academia piece of art that I am going to frame with the paper autograph. It was thrilling knowing that I was able to win the one thing I wanted out of my first Kumo experience. After the autograph session we attending the Trigger panel around 6:30 that night. It was about 2 hours long and it went over the production/thought that was put into Studio Triggers latest movie PROMARE. This panel was awe-inspiring. Seeing all the love and care and thought put into a single piece of art was fascinating. Definitely one of my favorite Kumo moments of the weekend! I could only take this one photo as the people asked us not to take any others during the course of the panel.
That pretty much wrapped up our second day for Kumo. We got some food on our walk back to the hotel and then went our separate ways for the evening. I was super tired from the days events. Sometimes you just need a little R & R to recharge your batteries.
Day 3 of Kumoricon: Day three was the shortest of the bunch but the best part of Sunday was seeing Nugget the Duck who was cosplaying as Ducku (Deku) from My Hero Academia! Let’s just say Nugget was the star of the weekend amongst all the other cosplayers. You can follow Nugget the Duck on IG at Nugget__Duck.
We then decided to walk around and try to give out the rest of the stuff/prizes I brought with me. Thank you to everyone who accepted the gifts I had at random! Hopefully I didn’t invade you personal space too much when I had to touch your arm to get your attention and hand you stuff. I didn’t want to come off as weird or creepy! I just wanted to give you free merch XD Shout out to the wonderful lady I met dressed as Kiki’s from Kiki’s Delivery service and the kids you had with you. I was so ecstatic to give you guys stuff that I forgot to ask you guys for a picture! You guys were delightful.
After another round of walking about the convention center it was time to head out. As we were walking out the door I saw a beautiful cosplayer dressed as my favorite anime lady Wicked Lady from Sailor Moon. You bet I stopped her and asked for a pic!
After I took her picture I gave her a Sailor Moon shirt from the Uniqlo collection that dropped a few months ago. It was the white one that had Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity on the back. Thank you so much for the picture and I hope you enjoy the shirt I gave you!!! The guys and I snapped a picture in front of the convention center sign before heading out for the day. Why yes…Bodell is actually a panda and is super kawaii. Nah…Alexie and I decided to cover up Bodell’s face until he does his own face reveal for you all.
With that our journey at Kumoricon came to a close. We took the guys back to our first hotel so they could be closer to the airport when they left on Monday. We said our goodbyes and my boyfriend and I headed back home to reality. Sad day. I was bummed Con was already over but also glad to get back home to my own bed and my kitties.
I would have to say my first Con was a SUCCESS! I adored seeing all the cosplayers looking like total bad asses, the artwork/merch at KumoMarket, and having dope panel options. Of course there were tons of other panels people could have attended, a rave, a cosplay ball, and many more activities that we didn’t partake in but I know other attendees enjoyed! It seemed as if Kumo had options for everyone from young to old. I also wanted to do the anime themed escape room but alas…we didn’t get a chance to. Maybe next year! I say if you are in the PNW during the time Kumo happens and you love anime you should definitely attend! While this Con isn’t as big as some of the others in the PNW it was still enjoyable and didn’t feel overwhelming. I was worried I was going to feel anxious about it being packed with so many people attending but I made it out alive! It was nice to have areas to hang out in that weren’t as crowded and there was still room to walk about in some of the more condensed areas without feeling claustrophobic.
I would like to thank Kumo for allowing my team and I to attend this year as Press! I am so grateful you guys accepted us and allowed me to cover the Con on my blog. I hope I am able to attend next year as Press as well. I would love to keep covering the convention as long as you’ll have me! If you have made it to the end of this post THANK YOU! Without your support KawaiiPaperPandas wouldn’t be where it is today. If you are new to this blog please hit that follow button to show your support for my team and I. We cover all things anime and otaku related. You can even follow me on Twitter at paperpandbears! Once again…thank you to Kumoricon and all the cosplayers who allowed me to take your pictures while I attended this year.
That is going to do it for me today. Remember to always stay kawaii and cuddly my pandas! MUAH! XOXO
(Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. If I find any links I will always post them this usually entails fan art or any other work affiliated with an artist).