Tekko 2017 Field Report, Cosplay Photos

Overview of Tekko 2017

The weather was a like a roller coaster this past week with snow on Friday and temperatures topping 60° F on Sunday, but it didn’t stop the crowds from gathering at Pittsburgh’s Tekko 2017. Tekko is the premier event sponsored by the Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society and one of the fastest-growing anime and Japanese pop culture festivals in America. The original name, Tekkoshocon, was a blend of the Japanese colloquialism tekkosho, meaning steel mill (a reference to Pittsburgh’s industrial steel-producing history), and adapting the suffix “-con” (from convention). This year the event attracted more than 8,000 attendees. Tekko may not be the largest event in the mid-Atlantic United States, but it is one of the best organized. The size of the convention center and the planning makes everything run smoothly. Yes, there are bumps, all cons have them, but they are infrequent. The Pittsburgh JCS’s ability to bring in big-name talent and host amazing events without the overcrowded madness of the top 10 conventions has been one of the key reasons for the growth and success of Tekko.

Tekko 2017 Official Website:  http://www.teamtekko.us/

Basic Location

The convention is held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center along the Allegheny River in Downtown Pittsburgh, USA.
131-199 10th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Established

2002

Length of Event

April 6th-9th

Cost

General Admission covers all the days of the convention and is $50.

Hotels

The event is located in downtown Pittsburgh. The event reserves blocks of hotel rooms at a discount if you book early enough, for example The DoubleTree by Hilton is located at 1 Bigelow Square, right in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, making it one of the most convenient options for travelling back and forth from Tekko 2017. The city has a lot of other hotels in the downtown area and in the suburbs. The cost of parking in the city is expensive, so if you stay in the suburbs plan on spending $15-20 for per day for parking.

To Enjoy Yourself:

You first need comfortable shoes. The convention center is big and spread out but you usually can manage to make it from one end to the other (e.g. from the dealers’ room to the main stage) in about 5 minutes. We recommend bringing snacks or a bento, there’s plenty of space to find a spot to picnic inside the convention center. If you don’t mind just drinking water it’s freely available at water fountains and water stations. You are encouraged to visit the restaurants downtown, many of which give a discount when you show your Tekko badge. You can even sit down to your meal in costume and they won’t mind.

What to do Day by Day…

April 6th (Thursday) - Black Butler Movie

The opening night at Tekko doesn’t just give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the convention center, but is also holding a screening of 2014s “Black Butler Live Action,” the period-style action fantasy film directed by Kentaro Otani. You can also stop by the gaming room for a little late night role playing or Pachinko. Thursday is the best day to pick up your badge; the line isn’t nearly as long as it will be Friday and Saturday morning.

April 7th (Friday)

You can start your morning at 9am with Getting Started in Voice Over, a question and answer session with an expert on what you need to do to get started in voice over work. You could also give your voice a work out with Learn to Sing Japanese Folk Songs. A Magic the Gathering session starts in the gaming hall. We also have the legendary Kill la Kill: Return to Honnouji Academy panel by anime expert Charles Dunbar. You can sit down with a panel focused on Anime Directing by Directors and Voice Actors featuring Brina Palencia, Ian Sinclair, Jad Saxon and Jeff Nimoy. The party, like at most conventions, starts after dark and this one has a NiHana: A K-pop & J-pop Dance Party from 10:00 pm to midnight.

April 8th (Saturday)

You can either spend some time learning Korean 101: Hangeul, the Korean Alphabet or have some 80s flashback with the My Little Pony Generation 1: The most metal show of the 1980s. If you’ve ever wanted to make one of those funny, moving, or just rocking anime music videos, you could attend the More Basics of AMV Editing in the AVM Theater. This year Tekko is offering an 18+ room that has nothing but 18-and-over panels instead of restricting them to after dark. You can spend your afternoon Diving into the Deep End: Sexuality in Anime and Manga exploring the treatment of sex in popular culture. You can of course rest your feet for a while in one of the video rooms streaming videos from Funimation and other services. You can get another crack at learning about your future career as a voice actor with Voice Acting 101 with Jeff Nimoy, an Emmy-winning voice actor, director and producer. The cosplay masquerade begins at 3 pm and goes to 6 pm as everyone from amateurs to pros compete in skits, standup comedy, dance, musical numbers and simply rocking amazing costumes.

April 9th (Sunday)

You can test your Poke’ knowledge with Greggo’s Game Shows: “New” Pokemon Game Show where four players go head-to-head to prove if they know-them-all. If you’re over 18 you can attend the Oh My Kami!: Risque’ Japanese Mythology, a tell-all panel they say makes the hijinks of the Greek gods look like a tea party. If you’ve ever had trouble explaining anime to anyone, especially your parents, you’re in luck since musician and anime fan Nancy Kepner presents Explaining Anime to Your Parents. We remember that anime is an inclusive community and one of the many LGBT events is 5 More LGBT Inclusive Series You Didn’t Know You Needed. If you’re feeling inspired after attending all the panels to create your own, there’s a panel on that too: Meet the Panelist, Be a Panelist Q & A can help you take your first steps toward a busy life of a convention presenter.

Cosplay

Honey's Anime Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever been to a convention you know there’s a lot going on, more than could ever be placed in an article. A couple things continue through the full length of the convention like the Extra Life Gaming Marathon -- a great place to raise your XP and earn some money for a good cause. The gaming marathon works a lot like a charity walk; you find sponsors and log hours online with all the money going to the Children’s Miracle Network. You could book yourself a time in the Escape Room, too. It’s a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. You can add an autograph to that wall scroll you just bought on the dealers’ floor during an autograph session with one of the voice actors in attendance. We love conventions; conventions are in many ways the heart of the anime community. We get to visit and share our love for programs and characters with other fans, people who come from all walks of life but have a love of similar things in common. Even if it’s just for a weekend you don’t need to explain yourself when you use terms like weeb, waifu, dub and sub.
Zeke Changuris

Writer

Author: Zeke Changuris

I’m a journalist, writer, photographer, video producer, social media manager and above all a storyteller. I’m located on the east coast of the United States but travel the world with the love of my life. I’ve been a nerd since birth with a love of history and science. I fell in love with anime, watching ROBOTECH and Venus Wars in the 80s when our only source was secondhand VHS dubs. A crazy new thing called the internet changed that, giving me access to new and amazing anime every day. I love to write for work and pleasure. I’m living the dream of every kid, getting paid to watch anime and loving every subtitled line.

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