Zenkaikon X Has Come and Gone, But Will Not Be Forgotten

By ·April 7, 2016 2:43 pm

Zenkaikon is a multi-genre convention that was previously held in Philadelphia, PA, but that has moved to Lancaster, PA for the last four years because of it’s growing attendance.

This year they held their 10th convention and had some pretty amazing guests such as Vic Mignogna, Dante Basco, Richard Epcar, Ellyn Stern, and InterbangStudios. No Zenkaikon attendee could forget Uncle Yo, as the geek comedian and host has been going to Zenkaikon since the beginning of his career.

The guests took part in their own panels, answering questions and telling stories. All three of them got together to discuss their voice acting jobs, and answered questions given to them by fans. They had many stories to share, and even tips for those who want to get into voice acting. Like every year, the Zenkaikon staff put together some short scripts for the voice actors to act out as well.

Vic had his own Star Trek panel where he featured one of his newer episodes of Star Trek Continues, which he directed and starred in. He explained how his love for Star Trek that he’s had since he was a child fuels his will to keep the adventure going, and expressed to his fans that this project is purely made as a tribute to Star Trek.

In his other panel he answers questions, gives us some insight on his current voice acting jobs, and even sang his own written song for those there. The song, he says, was inspired by his character Edward Elric to the character’s brother Alphonse Elric.

Vic Mignogna talking at one of his panel-   Courtesy of Jay Antoniỳa

Uncle Yo, like every year, brought joy to the fans with his stand up act. He later got raunchy as the host, and for the first time dancer, of Cosplay Burlesque, an event where cosplayers get on stage and strip down to practically nothing.

Uncle Yo started his career at Zenkaikon and comes back every year to what is his home con. Here you can see his joy through a selfie about how large Zenkaikon is growing.

If you’re looking for something for an older crowd, there is a large array of 18+ panels such as Let’s Dub a Hentai, Winning the War on Pants, Anime for Adults, How to Burlesque, Yaoi and Beyond, Dumb Ways to Die D&D Edition, and none other than Guests Against Humanity where some of the guests play an anime version of the infamous Cards Against Humanity card game.

Some of the fun, family friendly panels and events included Hidden Gems of Manga, Dante Basco’s voice panel called Rufio/Zuko Powerhouse, The Pokemon Game Show, Ballroom Dance Lessons and the Cosplay Ball, Open Karaoke, Crossplay Makeup Basics, Cosplay Dating Game (and the 18+ version), The Magic of Cosplay Display and Exhibit, AMV showdown, Steven Universe Keep Beach City Weird, the Ein Strife Concert, Sci-fi at Zenkaikon, Charity Auction, Furries!, and so on. There was around 224 panels, events, and anime being streamed through out the three days of the convention, more than enough to keep any geek busy.

Fans gather to discuss Rooster Teeth- Courtesy of Ashley Robinson

Rooster Teeth panel

Velvet Rose Creations' panel "Forged in foam: a guide to crafting armor and props". Picture taken by Finest Hour Cosplay.

There was even an amazing Vocaloid Fan Concert that mimics the Hatsune Miku Expo. Everyone calpped, sung along, and some even had some glow sticks. The projections sang some of the most well known songs from Vocaloid such as Echo, World’s End Dancehall, World Is Mine, Senbonzakura, and Shake It.

Vocaloid fans dance and sing along to a projected Hatsune Miku- Courtesy of Melissa LohmanCourtesy of Melissa Lohman

Just as great as the guests were the cosplayers. Like always there was an abundance of cosplayers from different anime, shows, movies, and games. There were so many amazing cosplays, whether they were bought or made, and it is always amazing to see the community come together to bask in their anime, manga, games, shows, movies, and all around geek loving glory.

Heather Winfindale and her boyfriend as Noiz and Aoba- Taken by Lady Ikari CosplayMichael and Sammie Sours having fun as Mr and Mrs Quale Man- Courtesy of Dustin MertzFan dressed up as Baymax from Big Hero 6- Courtesy of Dominic BernaudoTasha Jones as Nora from RWBYSarah Meck cosplaying as Courtney from Team Magma (Pokemon)Cindy Esme Gutier as Princess Yue from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Zenkaikon Cosplayers

An adorable cosplayer dressed as Totoro

When it comes to great cosplays this one takes the cake. This Uncle Iroh (Uncle Iroh Order of the White Lotus) is famous for his remarkable resemblance to the character. The fact the voice of Prince Zuko was at Zenkaikon this year makes his cosplay stand out more, and makes this picture one of my favorites from this year.

Dante, the voice of Prince Zuko, takes a picture with an Uncle Iroh cosplayer

In many of the pictures you can see the background of the dealer’s hall/ artist alley, a big room specifically for all of your money splurging needs. There was merchandise such as Japanese snacks, plushies, keychains, action figures, cosplays, wigs, kimonos, manga, dvds, jewlery, Harry Potter wands, and of course fan art!

However, no matter what, an anime convention can not be complete without the show meetups where fans of a particular fandom meet to make new friends and take photo shoots.

Black Butler fans meetup in a different array of characters- Taken by Shecktor Photography Cosplayers dabbing at the Jojo meetup- Courtesy of Stephanie Strange/ Taken by Tommy  StrangeCosplayers having fun at a Sailor Moon meetup- Courtesy of That DJ Ranma S GuyCoplayers right outside of the convention for a Free! Iwatobi Swimclub meetup - Courtesy of  Jamie Nobu'Bingham SuzuyaCosplayers pose for pictures at a Superhero meetupA group of Hatsune Miku huddled around two Kaito

Somewhat of a main attraction to any convention is the Masquerade, an event where skits and a cosplay runway ensues. This year ran smoothly like any other and was pure entertainment. From dances, a skit’s own tiny fashion show, and the Cosplay contest, this Zenkaikon Masquerade surely was a highlight of the weekend.

Watch one of the skits below, and while you wait a few moments for the curtain to rise do not skip too far ahead, as Uncle Yo sung a little song about Batman for us as we waited.

Cosplayers performing a skit for the Masqerade- Courtesy of Casey Schweizer Rey Morado Cosplay in the Hall Coplay Contendany- Taken by Casey Schweizer Orc from World of WarcraftLapis from Steven Universe

Bleach group

Bleach group

Pokemon duo

Pokemon duo

Weiss from RWBYTwo Young cosplayers show of their awards- Courtesy of Holly Becker

What could be better than bringing together fans and geeks alike? How about bringing together fans as an actual family. Proposals seem big at Zenkaikon as one happened at last year’s Masquerade, and it seems the tradition is going as two more fans are going to become husband and wife.

Cosplayer Jennifer Mcwilliam's boyfriend proposes to her at Zenkaikon

Don’t forget that while you’re at Zenkaikon you can always stop into the game room to play a ton of games! You could sit down and play practically every console there is, solo or with friends. You could even play Hatsune Miku: Project Diva or battle others on DDR.

Making friends, feeling confident, having a place to call your own, and being able to be yourself is more than anyone can ask for, but you can find a home for all of that at Zenkaikon. I have been going to Zenkaikon for the past four years and never would I miss the coming ones. While it does not have a name as big as a convention like Otakon, it is more than enough for those looking for a fun weekend, and a place where you can be as big of a fan as you want and still be considered normal and welcomed.

Don’t forget to watch the CMV below to see more of the amazing cosplayers that were at Zenkaikon 2016!

You can also follow some fans Saturday at Zenkaikon where you get to see moreof the actual convention such as the venue and dealers room.


Written by Abigail Meck

Lifestyle and Gaming Writer

As an anime fan and fellow geek I am happy to create articles for The Nerd Recites! I have been an anime fan for over a decade and a cosplayer/con-goer for about five years.

My main passions are singing and voice acting, while my interests include anime, manga, dancing, writing, and gaming.
I am delighted to bring news of our culture to the community and to enlighten those outside of the community our greatness.

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