Con Report: Setsucon 2010 – Over-packed at Penn State

Setsucon 2010, held at The Pennsylvania State University January 15-16, 2010
Days Inn State College
State Collage PA, USA

Editor's Note: I apologize for the lateness of this article. We got held up in publishing it because of Tezuka Month. – Vampt Vo

I was once asked what was the better convention experience was: the small convention or the big one. I responded with the small convention, and to this day I still really love the small cons. So when I was able to go to Setsucon at The Pennsylvania State University, I immediately jumped at the chance.

The con was on the small side for sure, with only two panel rooms, two video rooms, a game room and a Dealer’s Room. However, what it lacked in size it gained in popularity with the addition of special guest Vic Mignonga, the voice of Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist). If there was any doubt that this man can draw in crowds, it was dispelled at this con as Setsucon reached maximum capacity at 3 PM on Saturday.

Lucky, there was more to the con then just the presence of a voice actor. The con had multiple events going on throughout the day, including, of course, the normal "How to Draw" panel and a Q&A with Vic, but Setsucon still brought some very interesting ideas to the table. For example, the “Iron Cosplay” panel pitted four attendees against each other in a contest to see who could create the best cosplay in 40 minutes out of their “special secret” medium.

Another great event was the Cosplay Auction, the basic concept being that the staff of Setsucon would put on their best Wild West versions of our favorite anime characters and auction them off for charity. Some of the best moments were during the bidding wars, when some characters were sold for as much as $200!

The favorite event, though, was “Rock Band Idol” where over a dozen bands competed on Harmonix’s Rock Band. The format of the event was the most interesting part: while notes hit was a part of the game, stage presence, crowd control, and several other factors also lead to the decision of the winners.

Vic later moved from voice actor to musical guest as he preformed a medley of his greatest hits on stage for a packed hall. After that, the dance went on until the con closed at midnight on Saturday.

The Dealer’s Room was actually a mix of dealers and the Artist’s Alley. However, for the con being on the small side, the Dealers Room had an excellent amount of choice,s from cosplay to line art. My buddies from Tekkoshocon also showed up to promote Tekko this year and test-run a Scavenger Hunt to be fully instituted at Tekko itself.

The Game Room was probably my highlight of the convention. Never did I walk into the room and not find a game being played or a game that I wouldn't mind playing. I also got my butt kicked in the Pokémon tournament.

Like I said, I love the small con, but with over 900 attendees over the two days of this con, next year it will be anything but. Fortunately, however, next year they will have yours truly to help keep the peace!

For video and interviews from the con check out Kit's independent video report here.

Setsucon Official Website


waffocopter said...

This was my first time at Setsucon and I now know that small cons are nice but there is such thing as too small. Enjoyed the few game panels such as Anime Guess Who, though. I guess you do get more chance to interact in those kind of panels when you're at a smaller con.

Yan V said...

It's no longer a small blip on the radar. Hopefully I'll get a chance to attend this with a group of friends next year. It sounds like a lot of fun, even if it's become more saturated.

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