2010 will see Kumoricon’s 8th year of existence in downtown Portland. Usually taking place over Labor Day weekend, K-Con (as people call it) is a 3 day Japanese culture/anime festival known for the elaborate and often home-made costumes that attendees almost exclusively wear.
The schedule includes 24-hour anime viewing rooms, panels, events, contests, Q&A’s, and much, much more! Registration in advance is as cheap as $30 if you plan far ahead, and discounts are available at the 2 main hotels (this year again at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower).
Though my main group of friends have been attending for years, 2009 was my first time going. My boyfriend and I, with the help of one of my skilled seamstress friends, went as Shita and Pazu from Hayao Miyazaki’s film “Castle in the Sky.” It was such a trip not only to have people running up and wanting to take our picture, but to see fellow Studio Ghibli characters such as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” or Sen from “Sen to Chihiro.” Although most people dress up as characters from anime films and mangas, it’s not crazy to spot some Disney characters or even a Harry Potter here and there.
Of course alcohol consumption is prevalent (but not encouraged!!), and so the 3 days tend to blend together in a very exciting and surreal way, as downtown Portland is flooded with crazy and colorful people. I can only imagine the few inhabitants of the city that aren’t aware of KCon, and what absurd thoughts must be in their head when they see all of us! And then there’s the attendees that spend all year prepping for this weekend, the ones who seem to forget that they are just playing dress-up and take their roles a little too seriously!
Ultimately, this was one long party for me and my friends to have fun at together, dressing up and disregarding our normal real-life roles for a few days, and being a little crazier than usual. It’s an absolutely amazing opportunity to take crazy cross-processed photos, and even if you aren’t attending the actual conference, you can still count on spotting a few odd characters in the downtown area.