Greeting from Neko’s Shiritori! We were interested in attending Kraken Con and managed to speak with some representatives back at SacAnime in 2014. Kraken Con is biannual, and initially started as a one day convention. As it grew larger it expanded to two days which greatly bolstered activity, knowing that goods to sell did not have to be shipped out the same day as it came in. Being located in the Oakland Convention Center was surprisingly useful as it was situated between a ring of restaurants and could house a number of people with ample parking.
This time we took a different approach and looked at the convention from an artist’s point of view. While doing press allowed us to understand the industry much better, we felt that we still knew very little of the artist side which is commonly featured in conventions. We joined Complexwish since she notified us she would be there.
Accommodations provided by Kraken Con included a discount for parking at the convention center, and basic food supplies granted to vendors and artists alike. We really think highly of Kraken Con for the homely atmosphere, as participants were individually welcomed. Upon entering, there were rows of seats which allowed people free anime viewing. Another big bonus was the autograph session being placed near the entrance; this allowed for very clear, distinct signing locations and did not impede traffic. Kraken Con making full use of its facility made it easier to fully explore what it had to offer. Scheduling for programming didn’t have tradeoffs and space to attend was sufficient.
A lot of Kraken Con guests were more local VAs such as Matthew Mercer, voice of Levi in Attack on Titan. One performance we enjoyed was hearing Eric Stuart, voice actor for familiar characters such as James from Pokemon or Seto Kaiba in Yugioh, play on the guitar and sing. What a treat that was! Kraken Con also has a photo session hosted by OscarC Photography, which brought out the best in cosplayers. The prices were reasonable and the process was smooth.
Built from the ground up from Stephen and Lindsey, it truly feels like a con at home. Effective use of the building created no nuances. Even better was that the accessibility to the various English VAs and guests allowed direct interaction and enjoyment. Nothing beats seeing the voice of Eren from Attack on Titan buying a print and autographing as well.
We look forward to Kraken Con again this upcoming April 2015.