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With my Otakon and AWA plans falling through consecutively, I was very quickly starving for some con time. Despite the size of this con, I tried to bring my A game. Lots and lots of last minute details being added to cosplays and a last minute flub led me to bringing a cosplay that wasn't completely done. Nevertheless it was good fun cosplay-wise all weekend.
I arrived Friday a couple hours before things really kicked off so I could check in for my panels. Banzaicon was my first con I attended as a panelist, by the way, and I'm pretty sure I'm hooked now. My dance panel was one of the first of the con, so the turnout was expectedly low, but everyone was enthusiastic and having fun, even if some of them just wanted to goof off a little. My hotel roommate arrived right around the time the panel ended, and pretty much the moment we got into the room I was changing frantically into my first cosplay, Steampunk Aradiabot. I raced against the clock, trying to be ready before it was time to host the Homestuck photoshoot, only to have to cancel it because my co-host was still en route. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I really needed the time to continue getting ready. The rest of Friday was me posing for a couple of photos, signing up for Saturday's cosplay contest, saying hello to my lovely con friends, and ending the night with a private photoshoot in the chilling wind of the night.
Saturday was full of new adventures and making new friends. I thought it would take me an hour to become Kneesocks--it was more like an hour and forty-five minutes. Thankfully I gave myself plenty of time before my first order of business--cosplay pre-judging! Afterwards I met up with a photographer I hadn't worked with previously for a private photoshoot that thankfully wasn't cold at all! I've seen a couple of photos from that already and they're beautiful. After that was a lot of mingling and posing for hallway photos as well as answering the questions of curious passersby from either the wedding party or tennis tournament that were both staying in the same hotel. That evening led to the cosplay contest, my first one in a couple of years. I had a lovely chat with the people in my row and I hope to compete with them in the future. I didn't take home any awards but it was a fun experience anyway. After acquiring sweet delicious authentic ramen for dinner and bearing witness to a very colorful and very wacky photoshoot, it was time to brave one last venture into the chilling wind of the night for my last photoshoot. The last thing I did was duck into a Laugh out Loud panel. I think those guys are great haha.
Sunday was a traditionally chill con day. I attended the craftsmanship feedback panel so I could get a little insight on what the judges liked and didn't like about my costume. I was pleasantly surprised by what they had to say and left the panel feeling better about my skills as a competitor. I hosted my Elitism discussion panel, which was very much in an experimental phase. Luckily the audience was receptive and willing to participate. After attending one last informative and hilarious panel, I had some chill time with a few other cosplayers before hitting the road.
For me, Banzaicon has always had more sentimental value than anything it could offer as a con. Last year it was my first con after a depressingly long hiatus from cosplaying and conventions as well as my first con as a Homestuck. Last year people were calling me "Vriska." This year they were calling me "Brittany". This year they knew my face and my cosplays. This year there were people waiting there for me; waiting to hang out and talk with me. That's why Banzaicon is special to me. Looking away from that, I've always appreciated that Banzaicon had panels I actually had an interest in attending. The dealer's room was a LOT better than it was last year. The convention space is still really good for the con's size, i.e. I didn't feel like I was drowning in a sea of people while wandering the halls. The hotel itself was nice save for a couple of housekeeping incidents. I had no qualms with staff or my experience as a panelist. If money and time allows, I would consider returning to this con next year.
I'd like to take this time to thank all the people I met and all of my old con buddies for a great weekend. It wouldn't have been half as fun without you. I'd also like to apologize for all the people's names I've forgotten, especially you Homestucks. It's crazy how much the makeup can change you!
Thanks for reading, and see you guys at Ichibancon!

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