On day two, Tsukino Con at night has the feel of being an entirely different show. It’s a nerd fiesta of adult’s only events and it’s not always about Japanese Animation. Rick and Morty fans can rejoice! Also on this list is the raunchy Swimsuit Showdown. Yes, this show requires bloopering out language and the craziness that goes on, but it’s the highlight of the second day. To hear the crowds bring the house down only shows how popular this event is. It has been running for at least 6 years. Newcomers can recognize who are regular attendees when everybody knows their name. Other panels like Whose Sassy Line is it Anime or The Room of Shame in this year’s event listing only had this reporter curious. To run around in a cold windy winter’s night was not my choice to discover everything, but it is a reason for why I should consider attending next year’s show.
For me, interest in watching cosplay, new anime or music videos during the day is limited. They’re staples for many a show and I’ve traveled far and wide so I’ve done the gambit. The variety of panels is dependent on the ideas applicants pitch. Overlap is inevitable. With this type of event, more people are keen to put on their favourite costume to and walk around in. As I was people watching, not everyone who was dressed up was a Japanese Animation character. Cat Noir from the cartoon Miraculous was seen walking around, Black Cat (not the one pictured below) from Marvel Comics graced the exhibit hall and a Stormtrooper did not try to stop anyone, inquiring about a droid.
I must say this almost every year: I swear I need to find lodgings in or around the University of Victoria (UVic) campus when Tsukino-Con is on. Saturday was a late start for me (again) but this was due to more than the time of travel from where I reside to Gordon Head. There was an added case of business before pleasure. I think the two things I must look into next year are finding accommodation on the UVic campus and bringing along a laptop to type an article between panels.
A number of Saturday panels caught my eye. One was a drawing session and chat on the subject of Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) with Canadian Comic Hall of Fame artist Ken Steacy, the TeamFourStar Q/A with voice actor Takahata 101, Nanohabridged: Table Readings and Auditions Part 1, and the annual Tsukino-Con Swimsuit Showdown. Sadly, of these I only made it to two.
In hindsight, I would’ve included the Vikes Improv panel. I’ve heard they’re good but with years of watching improv on shows like Whose Line is it Anyways? (UK and American versions) and Canada’s own Don’t Lick the Pig, I was still suffering from improv burnout.
Comparing now to then it is still easy to spot a nerd out in public. They have changed little since the 80’s and can still be associated to their exaggerated predecessors of the 1984 movie Revenge of the Nerds. That’s not to say this is a bad thing, their jock counterparts can still be compared to the members of the Alpha Betas fraternity. Others are harder to notice until it comes to convention time. On the bus rides over to Tsukino-Con, Vancouver Island’s local anime and cosplay convention, they were easier to spot. Their costumes are this tribe’s version of war paint. They show their true colours. One example was the man dressed up as the tenth Doctor from Doctor Who, wearing a TARDIS backpack and holding a small pizza (even several billion years in the future, Gallifrey Pizza still delivers in 30 minutes or less). Or perhaps it was his female companion wearing an Elsa wig from Disney‘s film Frozen that gave it away. No matter how one spots a nerd (or geek), bus rides to Tsukino is the one of the best ways to make new friends.
Once you reach your destination at the University of Victoria (UVic) campus, unless you are in a rush to register before the opening ceremonies held this year in the David Lam Auditorium of the MacLaurin building (I missed them again), it’s a good idea to eat something if you haven’t dropped in at Kuma Noodle Japan (shameless plug) beforehand. The UVic Student Society’s (UVSS) Student Union Building (SUB) is a good place to start. Rather than take a lot of time and eat in at Felicita’s Campus Pub, I filled up on sushi at Bean Around the World (across from Felicita’s). But while in the SUB, if you are old school like me, seek washroom facilities elsewhere if you are uncomfortable with the thought of using the two unisex bathrooms that are available. Not all buildings on campus have been converted to reflect the views of the modern student.
Tsukino-Con, the little Victoria convention that could, is growing at a steady rate and may have its unique place among the larger conventions of the Pacific Northwest. The handlers of Tsukino, which rose in February 2010 from the ashes of the seven-year run that was Kei-Kon, have taken few risks.
Those behind Tsukino have adhered to the formula of having their con grow at its own rate rather than take on bigger cons in a head-to-head (Sakura-Con and Emerald City Comicon). Tsukino’s list of past guests is an impressive one, especially for a con of it’s size. Names of Sarah Anne Williams (Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica), Tracey Moore (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon), Josh Grelle (Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Date A Live), J. Michael Tatum (Baccano!, Heroic Age), Terri Doty (Seikoku no Dragonar, Joukamachi no Dandelion), and Kensho Ono (Aldnoah Zero, Pokemon XY&Z) have appeared previously.
Ono has already racked up an impressive number of credits to his resume.
Victoria’s local anime and cosplay convention has managed to obtain a Japanese idol for their guest list. Tsukino-Con announced on their official Facebook page that voice actor-singer Kensho Ono will be attending their event.
Ono has already racked up an impressive number of credits to his resume. Muggles will know Ono as the Japanese voice over artist for the lead character of the Harry Potter films but anime fans will know Ono as Tetsuya Kuroko from the series Kuroko no Basket. In the more recent animated series Ono has voiced Souji Okita on Bakumatsu Rock (where he also sang the series opener), Slaine Troyard of Aldnoah.Zero, and Mikaela Hyakuya in Owari no Seraph.
Ono has also appeared in a number of Japanese films and television programs including Hôtai Club (2007), Dive!! (2008), Kujira no Ita Natsu (2014), and Fuji TV’s Senjou no Yuubinhaitatsu (2006).