Shikkaricon 2019 Review

Shikkaricon took place at the William Way Community Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 19th and 20th.
Although this anime and gaming con made a switch from its original location at the Spin Community Fitness Center, the date remained the same as organizers transitioned to the new location. Organizers notified attendees about the change through Facebook, e-mail, and on the convention center website. Transitions to the new location was very smooth due to the consistent communication between organizers and attendees. The attendance cap did, however change to 150. Badges were sold out prior to the event .

I liked the venue and it fit well with the scale of this small convention. However, I did have issues with the area, which I’ll discuss later on.

So, when it came to the convention layout it was pretty simple, with gaming on the first floor. Artists and panels were on the second floor. The gaming room was engaging and fun, with a couple of fun consoles, courteous attendees, and staff readily available to help.
I did not attend too many panels, though did attend part of a Tokusatsu Chat with one of the guests. I am not too familiar with this genre. Here is more information on the genre for those who may be wondering more about it. I personally am not really a fan of this genre from what I’ve seen because it can be a bit campy, though was curious because one of my favorite series, Sailor Moon, has some influence from a few popular Japanese live action shows. I figured It’d be a little open and join the chat for a bit because a few friends of mine do like the genre.

Shikkaricon was pretty nostalgic for me, in a way. I’ve been attending conventions since 2010 and a lot has changed over the years. Cons that were once small becoming much larger, and cosplay has been become a little more well-known among the general public. I felt almost like I was going back to my roots, by going to an event where you soon saw other attendees who became familiar faces, and seeing young attendees who may be cosplaying for the first time or going to one of their first events, light up and know they’re around others with the same interests.

I also usually attend larger cons, but as the years go on, I’m realizing that smaller cons also can sometimes be equally as enjoyable as one’s that are of a larger scale. Yet, enjoyment comes from different aspects of a smaller con.  I love that smaller cons give you more chances to meet new people who share the same interest. Having almost everything in close proximity in one building is also a plus!

So, one main concern and issue I did have throughout the weekend was the area. Due to the area being in a city, the price of the hotels combined with parking were a bit steep for a con of this scale. There were a lot of panhandlers — and a few sketchy parts of the area not too far from the con’s location—plus plenty of odd strangers who seemed a little…off tried to engage in conversation during times when I wanted to be left alone.  I did not feel comfortable or safe walking in cosplay outside of a group and took a Lyft back to the hotel at one point. There was also an accident involving a pedestrian that happened at night by my hotel, which made me feel even more uneasy about walking around.
I noticed a few attendees were a bit confused on the way to a panel area upstairs despite the signage. Artists also seemed to pack up a bit early for the event.

Regardless, the convention was run well, with an overall relaxed atmosphere. I really liked the board upstairs where attendees wrote about what cosplay meant to them. This board was an excellent idea and it made me happy reading what people love about the hobby.

I might come back next year. My decision will mainly come down to the location.  If the the event will take place at a different area, I might give it another try!
If the event is in the same venue and location, I  might pass on next year’s event. But I still think it would be a great event for anyone who’s local.

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