J1 CON – A Philadelphia anime con with a heart.
Being from the Baltimore region when it comes to Anime Conventions, two immediately spring to mind; Otakon and Katsucon. They’re big, loud, packed and full of everything you could hope for from a convention, except perhaps the personal touch..
With this in mind I reached out to Jason Richardson, the brain behind J1Con, about coming up to J1Con. He was happy to oblige, so I added the trip to my scheduled and looked forward to experiencing J1Con for myself.
Let me get right to the point, if you’re wondering if J1Con is worth your time, the answer is unequivocally yes.
One of the things I liked most about Anime convention is how friendly and accepting everyone is, and in this respect J1Con does not disappoint. In many ways, this is where I feel J1Con excels above the larger conventions. One of the benefits of a smaller convention is that you have have the ability to spend time talking with people. Unlike the larger conventions where Vendors are struggling to deal with everyone crowding around their booth, at J1Con you can actually stop and have a conversation with them. The same goes for guests, at the larger conventions you can sort of feel like you’re on a human assembly line just moving through a queue until you get your five seconds to meet someone, not the case for J1Con; where I talked with one guest last year, “Art School Dropouts”, for probably a total of an hour over the course of the convention.
For me, another highlight of going to conventions is seeing all the cosplayers. This yet another area that I feel J1Con sets itself apart from the larger conventions. While it’s true that the larger conventions do attract the ‘Professional Cosplayers’ from around the country, and in this respect J1Con doesn’t have the big names; don’t think for a second that J1Con is the loser here. What it lacks in ‘fame’ it makes up with ‘heart’; and trust me, there’s plenty of it. The cosplayers at J1Con that I met and talked to, were there out of absolute love for anime and their characters. At the larger conventions you see a lot of ‘internet ordered’ cosplay, while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s something wonderful to see an outfit that someone has made themselves with their own time and effort. For these people, their cosplay is a labor of love, and it shines through.
If you’re in the Philly area, and are thinking of coming out to J1Con, I highly recommend it. It’s not the a big corporate event, but it’s not trying to be. It’s trying to be a smaller more personal event filled with total love of anime… and it does not disappoint.
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for more J1 Con Photos visit below