Another Katsucon defeated! While it was a bit more stressful/overwhelming than in the past, I still love starting off the con season at the beautiful Gaylord National.
After driving down to Kansas on Wednesday and finishing up some last minute things on my cosplay, we headed out the next morning. I gotta say, I feel like there were 3x more congoers on our flight this year compared to last, Katsu is getting really popular among people in the Midwest!
With my first shoot cancelled, I had some time to change and go hang out on the harbor!
Eventually we made our way back and I completed my two remaining shoots for Thursday!
After finishing up my shoots and destroying a bag of popchips™, Tristan and I wandered around a bit until THE FATED MOMENT...we were in the middle of talking to Jaidyn and Sam on the Atrium Level when suddenly I heard the intro to BANG BANG BANG from a distance. I think I actually stopped mid-sentence and stopped everyone for a second to listen, ha.
After some excited yelling and frantically running up two floors to the Ballroom Level, we found the source of the music...G-DRAGON HIMSELF. Ok it was a G-Dragon cosplayer but I was elated nonetheless.
For those of you who don't know, I recently (a couple months ago) got really into K-pop and Big Bang is my favorite group!!
We spent the next couple hours sitting and watching people do various Kpop (and some other) dances! Hopefully I didn't bore my friends too much but I was really happy just listening to the music and watching people dance haha. I wish I had the confidence/knew enough choreography to join them but maybe next year!
Eventually G-Dragon and crew packed up and we decided to turn in for the night! It was pretty early (maybe 10 or 11?) but honestly I sleep at like 8pm in my normal life so what can ya do LOL.
Also I'm not going to go into detail about this but the amount of bare ass we witnessed on Thursday night was truly unreal.
Also also we went to Chipotle with Zach at some point soooo...Chipotecount: 1
SORRY MY THURSDAY THOUGHTS WERE SO JUMBLED and so will the rest of the weekend recap honestly.
Woke up a bit before 7am on Friday because I was feeling really restless and got into Ichigo! Met up with Maya as Pudding first since we were both in our costumes pretty early.
After a bit of wandering, we met up with Bono and Mandy for our photoshoot! Unfortunately I had misbooked our shoot for the same time Saturday instead of Friday but Joe was really flexible and got us in a bit later in the day before I had to change!
We actually ended up getting a bunch of photos taken while we waited anyways haha. Everyone who talked with us was sooo nice and loved our interpretations of the classic Tokyo Mew Mew designs! Thank you guys for being so kind and loving these Earth protecting animal girls as much as I do!
I actually came up with the idea of Tokyo Mew Mew inspired by Sakizo Illustrations a while back and was lucky enough to have friends join in! I had a really nightmare-ish commission experience to the point where I wasn't going to cosplay her anymore but Krista swooped in and offered to make me a new one on commission only weeks before the con! I'm super happy with how the new dress came out and so grateful that she squeezed me in so that I could wear this with the group after-all. My wig was styled by Crissie and ears were made by Jon!
We had a great shoot with Joe, I can't wait to see the finished photos! Unfortunately after shooting I had to go change so I could get behind the camera myself but I definitely plan to wear this version of Ichigo as well as do a few of her other costumes in the future!
I could already tell on Friday that it was getting too busy to shoot but WE PERSEVERED...
After shooting, Tristan, Jordan, and I took a look around the artist alley and dealers room for a bit! I saw a bunch of art I really liked but unfortunately I already have more prints than I know what to do with so I didn't end up buying anything!
We were getting pretty hungry and Jordan had to go to dress rehearsal for her fashion show so Tristan and I made our way back to Chipotle again (Chipotlecount: 2). It was borderline too hot on Thursday but the walk to Chipotle on Friday was SO COLD we truly got to experience all seasons over one weekend.
Anyways we ate and turned in soon after that as far as I can remember?! Upon getting back I put away all of Ichigo and set out all of Dizzy for the next morning. I knew I'd have to wake up around 7am to get ready for our 10am shoot so I wanted it to be as easy as possible for me to change in the morning haha.
Didn't get as much sleep as I'd liked because Hannah and Jude wouldn't shut the hell up and stop being funny (also I'm pretty sure that was the night Tristan and I couldn't stop saying "YA KIDDIN ME RIGHT? Y-YA KIDDIN ME?" which prevented us from sleeping for like a solid hour, as well as the Great Bathroom Debacle™ which I won't get into lol) but I managed!
We had an awesome shoot with Lost Dumplings who's work I have admired for a while! We were a little strapped for pose ideas because we had planned on a three person shoot but we made it work! Mother son bonding lol.
Dizzy has been a dream of mine for a while, and while I don't feel like I suit her very well I am so happy with how everything turned out! The costume (wings included) was made by the always amazing Bono and the wig was styled by Hannah!
After the shoot we spent some more time on the floor just talking to friends and getting some more pictures taken! Eventually we went back up to the room to grab our stuff and go do Purikura!
We also met up with Julie in her Jam cosplay for a couple photos! Julie is one of my few mutuals who also cosplays Guilty Gear so I'm glad we could meet up for a bit.
At this point it was past noon and none of us had ate anything yet so we set off to, you guessed it, Chipotle (Chipotlecount = 3)! I really wanted a picture of me in Dizzy getting Chipotle so I made the trek in full costume, wings and all. Unfortunately I didn't really like how the photo turned out BUT I MADE THE EFFORT SO I'LL POST IT HERE ANYWAYS..
OH WELL WHAT CAN YA DO. I still really enjoyed being Dizzy even if I don't feel quite as confident in her!
It started raining/snowing while we were in Chipotle so we scurried on back to the Gaylord as quick as my wings cronching together would allow!
Got back to our hotel room and immediately changed out of Dizzy since it's pretty hard to sit/eat in her and I needed to shoot soon anyways.
After getting comfy, Tristan and I found a window on our floor that overlooked the fountains! It was nice to sit and chat while people watching and eating to wind down from cosplaying. The view was so nice, I wish I had taken a photo!
Shoot time was approaching so we wrapped up (RIP unfinished Chipotle because I eat too slow) and I headed back to work!
Overall shooting on Saturday was a NIGHTMARE and I got to the point where I was going to offer refunds as I didn't think I would be able to shoot under the crowded conditions. I made it work but I DEFINITELY need to reconsider if I want to offer paid shoots at Katsu anymore and if so be very careful about the time because it was so difficult to move around and find places that were empty.
Before heading back up, I met up with Carys and Hannah for a few quick shots of their costumes.
With all of my cosplays and shoots behind me, I WAS FINALLY FREE...not that I didn't enjoy them, I just way overbooked myself this convention so it was a huge weight off of my shoulders!
Now all I had to worry about was gorging myself at Nandos and finally tearing up the game room. HELL YEAH.
On the walk there some douchebag ran past us and splashed mud all over the back of my legs. It was pretty cool, thanks random running guys!
After destroying some chicken breast, fries, and garlic bread (ok maybe they destroyed me), we made our way back and hit up the game room! Side note: Nandos is super good and I'm glad I finally went!
We went straight to the Pump machines because Tristan and I really wanted to play Bang Bang Bang and Boombayah lol. I am still...very very bad at Pump but one day I will conquer those damn diagonal arrows.
Spent the next couple hours just playing games and hanging out! I wish I had gotten the chance to play more new games but most of the lines were pretty long and I was puckered out so we did one more swing around the Gazebo area and called it a night! Honestly I was mostly looking for G-Dragon so I could get one last selfie wearing my Big Bang jacket but had no luck LOL.
Sunday morning consisted of your usual stuff, checking out of the hotel, bag check, etc.! It all actually went surprisingly smoothly. After getting all of that out of the way, we went around the harbor for a little bit since we had some time before we had to leave for our flight.
It was coming close to when we needed to leave for our flight so we grabbed some Potbellys (review: would have rather had Chipotle again) and made our way back to the Gaylord for one last time!
Nothing particularly special about our flight besides that I confirmed that you can go through security with a wig on and I had my water bottle thrown away lol.
Back in Kansas, we grabbed dinner at the Cas-Bah (my favorite restaurant, please go if you are ever in Lawrence KS for any reason!!!!) and then Zach and I made our way back home to Iowa. It was a very tiring 4 hour drive back but we had some really good conversation and it was nice to kind of get all my thoughts out about the convention! You can read some of those thoughts here.
ANYWAYS I believe that's all for Katsucon 2018!! Overall I had a good time but I definitely overbooked myself and suffered because of it. Not only that, it was extremely crowded and kind of a high stress environment this year. I still plan to come back next year but will try and take it easy and just ENJOY the con and my time with friends!
That said, thanks for reading my write-up, I hope you had a good time if you went! Going to dump some extra photos that didn't make it in yet below! :)