Katsucon 2018!

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!

  Flight sponsored by Trolls, the original motion picture soundtrack.

Flight sponsored by Trolls, the original motion picture soundtrack.

With my first shoot cancelled, I had some time to change and go hang out on the harbor!

  View from our floor!

View from our floor!

  It was so warm out on Thursday, it felt like a summer beach day!

It was so warm out on Thursday, it felt like a summer beach day!

  Getting JACKED.

Getting JACKED.

Eventually we made our way back and I completed my two remaining shoots for Thursday!

  My first one was with  Maya  as Lapis, I was so happy with how it turned out! Her costume went with the colors of the Gaylord perfectly!

My first one was with Maya as Lapis, I was so happy with how it turned out! Her costume went with the colors of the Gaylord perfectly!

  My second shoot was with an Archer and Rin. I haven't actually done a lot of shooting in the outside area at Katsu so I was glad to get the opportunity to this year!

My second shoot was with an Archer and Rin. I haven't actually done a lot of shooting in the outside area at Katsu so I was glad to get the opportunity to this year!

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. 

  The saga.

The saga.

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!!

  They were giving out photo cards too! No Seungri (my favorite member) this time but G-Dragon will get a special spot in my wallet net to Top Dog Johnny Orr.

They were giving out photo cards too! No Seungri (my favorite member) this time but G-Dragon will get a special spot in my wallet net to Top Dog Johnny Orr.

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!

  Thursday night before it was way too crowded to sit here and people watch haha.

Thursday night before it was way too crowded to sit here and people watch haha.

  Unidentified Mob cosplayer who I thought was so damn cute....do they know???

Unidentified Mob cosplayer who I thought was so damn cute....do they know???

  With the always adorable Jordan meanwhile I look like I'm out to kill.

With the always adorable Jordan meanwhile I look like I'm out to kill.

  Dancing to  LIKEY ! Also I hope that dude in the corner was alright because he was there for like the whole time OOF...

Dancing to LIKEY! Also I hope that dude in the corner was alright because he was there for like the whole time OOF...

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.

  Goodnight!

Goodnight!

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.

  Pudding and Ichigo!

Pudding and Ichigo!

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!

  Full group photo! Unfortunately our Lettuce couldn't make it to Katsucon but we are hoping to wear them all together again in the future!

Full group photo! Unfortunately our Lettuce couldn't make it to Katsucon but we are hoping to wear them all together again in the future!

  PERISH

PERISH

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!

  Swung by the Tokyo Mew Mew meetup! Unfortunately we couldn't stay long because of having to reschedule our photoshoot but it was so nice to meet everyone!

Swung by the Tokyo Mew Mew meetup! Unfortunately we couldn't stay long because of having to reschedule our photoshoot but it was so nice to meet everyone!

  BEAUTIES!!!

BEAUTIES!!!

  For the future of the Earth, we'll be of service!

For the future of the Earth, we'll be of service!

  Cookie fiends. :3

Cookie fiends. :3

  Weapon swap! Ft.  Zach  getting ready (proof of you cosplaying that weekend too)

Weapon swap! Ft. Zach getting ready (proof of you cosplaying that weekend too)

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!

  Of course I took my chance to selfie with G-Dragon again.

Of course I took my chance to selfie with G-Dragon again.

  And the other reoccurring character of Katsucon...this time as Deku!! Good taste in sons..

And the other reoccurring character of Katsucon...this time as Deku!! Good taste in sons..

I could already tell on Friday that it was getting too busy to shoot but WE PERSEVERED...

  Unfortunately  Kae  was having some troubles with his armor but we were able to get a few quick photos before he had to go change!

Unfortunately Kae was having some troubles with his armor but we were able to get a few quick photos before he had to go change!

  Had some fun with fake blood for  Mads'  shoot. It was crazy windy out though!

Had some fun with fake blood for Mads' shoot. It was crazy windy out though!

  Finished up Saturday shoots with  Jen's  Tactician. Such a beautiful and talented lady!

Finished up Saturday shoots with Jen's Tactician. Such a beautiful and talented lady!

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!

  One booth did have some Big Bang stands lol...I didn't really care for the Seungri ones they had though so oh well!

One booth did have some Big Bang stands lol...I didn't really care for the Seungri ones they had though so oh well!

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.

  Elevator view on Friday!

Elevator view on Friday!

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 Debaclewhich I won't get into lol) but I managed!

  Down we go!

Down we go!

  Hit the floor by 9:30am! She was so much easier to get into with Tristan's help haha.

Hit the floor by 9:30am! She was so much easier to get into with Tristan's help haha.

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!

  There he is!! I'm so proud, Sin came out awesome and it was so fun to cosplay together again. Wig styled by  Lea , cross necklace made by  Brett  -- the rest Tristan made!

There he is!! I'm so proud, Sin came out awesome and it was so fun to cosplay together again. Wig styled by Lea, cross necklace made by Brett -- the rest Tristan made!

  Tristan had to get a picture with idol  Vira  and  Djeeta ! He looks like he could be a part of their idol unit LOL.

Tristan had to get a picture with idol Vira and Djeeta! He looks like he could be a part of their idol unit LOL.

  When you see it..

When you see it..

  I just love how the wings look when moving around!

I just love how the wings look when moving around!

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!

  It turned out so cute!! I think next time I'm going to turn off the eye enlargement though because honestly it kind of freaks me out.

It turned out so cute!! I think next time I'm going to turn off the eye enlargement though because honestly it kind of freaks me out.

  The hardest part was both of us fitting in the booth because of my wings and Tristan's height lol. The prompt here was "Get in line"?!

The hardest part was both of us fitting in the booth because of my wings and Tristan's height lol. The prompt here was "Get in line"?!

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.

  SQUAD.

SQUAD.

  Julie is the world's biggest KyFucker and had her Ky itabag with her! The fam is all here...and  Andrew !

Julie is the world's biggest KyFucker and had her Ky itabag with her! The fam is all here...and Andrew!

  Another group pic, thank you for taking these Jordan!

Another group pic, thank you for taking these Jordan!

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..

  *Attempts to make the Chipotlephelt face again*

*Attempts to make the Chipotlephelt face again*

  *Fails, reverts to smiling*

*Fails, reverts to smiling*

  Chipotlephelt picture from last year for reference. This one was truly just Tristan randomly grabbing a photo of me and I'll never look this beautiful again!? To be fair Rev Elphelt is still my best look and I feel like I suit her a lot better than Dizzy. ;-;

Chipotlephelt picture from last year for reference. This one was truly just Tristan randomly grabbing a photo of me and I'll never look this beautiful again!? To be fair Rev Elphelt is still my best look and I feel like I suit her a lot better than Dizzy. ;-;

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!

  I love them!!

I love them!!

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.

  G. L. A. M. O. R. O U S.

G. L. A. M. O. R. O U S.

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!

  My first shoot Saturday was Festival Dancer Olivia and Inigo! Another cute mother son duo haha.

My first shoot Saturday was Festival Dancer Olivia and Inigo! Another cute mother son duo haha.

  Next up was Alice from Alice Madness Returns. Nat if you're reading this I hope you were able to fix up your prop!! I'm sorry for making you swing it around BUT HOPEFULLY IT WAS WORTH IT..

Next up was Alice from Alice Madness Returns. Nat if you're reading this I hope you were able to fix up your prop!! I'm sorry for making you swing it around BUT HOPEFULLY IT WAS WORTH IT..

  The last of my planned shoots was with an awesome Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal group! Here's two of the three for now. It was getting a bit dark at this point but we got some cool shots out of it!

The last of my planned shoots was with an awesome Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal group! Here's two of the three for now. It was getting a bit dark at this point but we got some cool shots out of it!

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.

  Carys looked so beautiful as Rinea! And the atmosphere as we reached the last couple minutes of sunset was so dreamy..I hardly had to do any color grading on this photo at all!!

Carys looked so beautiful as Rinea! And the atmosphere as we reached the last couple minutes of sunset was so dreamy..I hardly had to do any color grading on this photo at all!!

  Shot of Hannah's Purah that she put so much work into! We were actually just waiting in line for the elevator to go up to our room when I was suddenly inspired by the view of the harbor at night haha.

Shot of Hannah's Purah that she put so much work into! We were actually just waiting in line for the elevator to go up to our room when I was suddenly inspired by the view of the harbor at night haha.

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.

  Changed into my casual Soraka/Big Bang fan look for the night.

Changed into my casual Soraka/Big Bang fan look for the night.

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!

  Waiting in line to wait in line! At Nandos! (Seriously the line/ordering system was all kinds of fucked that night but we got there eventually)

Waiting in line to wait in line! At Nandos! (Seriously the line/ordering system was all kinds of fucked that night but we got there eventually)

  Stealing Jordan's glasses! At Nandos!

Stealing Jordan's glasses! At Nandos!

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.

  My partners in crime!

My partners in crime!

  I also played Pachinko for the first time! I had no idea what was going on but off-brand Ranma was there to support me.

I also played Pachinko for the first time! I had no idea what was going on but off-brand Ranma was there to support me.

   I really enjoy watching the REALLY GOOD PLAYERS as well! I recorded a bit of  Melvin's  freestyle and it blew up.  You can watch it here!

 I really enjoy watching the REALLY GOOD PLAYERS as well! I recorded a bit of Melvin's freestyle and it blew up. You can watch it here!

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.

  Final elevator view picture! Still plenty of people out and about, I think it was just around midnight hahah we are old souls.

Final elevator view picture! Still plenty of people out and about, I think it was just around midnight hahah we are old souls.

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.

  First up, Candy Kitchen! They always have discounted Valentine's chocolate and super good ice cream. Also free samples!

First up, Candy Kitchen! They always have discounted Valentine's chocolate and super good ice cream. Also free samples!

  A little chilly but a nice sunny day regardless!

A little chilly but a nice sunny day regardless!

  Next up was the Peep store! With famous slogans "Express your Peesona" and "Pee, express your pee"

Next up was the Peep store! With famous slogans "Express your Peesona" and "Pee, express your pee"

  Ferris wheel date with Jude, Tristan, and MOOMIN!

Ferris wheel date with Jude, Tristan, and MOOMIN!

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!

  Final selfie waiting for our Uber to the airport!

Final selfie waiting for our Uber to the airport!

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! :)

  Group selfie!

Group selfie!

  With my gorl.

With my gorl.

  ;-;

;-;

  Photo by  Vincente , edit by me!

Photo by Vincente, edit by me!

  Photo by Vincente, edit by me!

Photo by Vincente, edit by me!

Anna Lam