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Kintoki-Con returns to Sacramento

Kintoki-Con 2013

Three days full of video games, music, dance, videos, autograph sessions, live performances, panels and workshops made up this year’s Kintoki-Con.

Coming back from a year in hiatus, Kintoki-Con held its second convention at the Holiday Inn Sacramento at the Capitol Plaza from July 25-28.

Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

As with many events associated with anime, Japanese and other Asian pop, these events have grown in popularity throughout the country, and particularly in Sacramento, over the past few years.

Initially, a long line waiting to enter the event gave the impression that this convention was as popular as Sac-Con and SacAnime.

The hot weather made it hard for visitors to wait outdoors as the sun shone down on them. Several assistants know as the Convention Maids brought cups of iced water to those waiting in line.

Convention Maids delivering ice water to Kintoki-Con attendees
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

The bottom floor of the Holiday Inn, as well as a couple of rooms on the second floor, were used for the various scheduled events. The hotel itself provided much needed relief from the warm weather, as air conditioning cooled many of the cosplayers walking around in hot costumes.

A larger room held the major events and provided plenty of room for scheduled activities. The room hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as autograph sessions. Most of the events I attended were held at the main hall.

Kintoki-Con 2013

Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

Saturday held the most activities and attracted a larger crowd to the event.

A close-knit community has developed at these types of conventions, and I’ve seen many attending Kintoki-Con also show up at the Sac-Con and SacAnime events. Attendees at the convention were given the opportunity to purchase one-day or weekend passes. Many of the cosplayers wore the same outfit the three days, and some brought an outfit for each day they attended.

Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

It’s remarkable how much time some attendees spend putting their outfits together. “My daughter spent the last three-and-a-half weeks working on her outfits, and thank goodness she’s on her summer break, otherwise I’m not sure how long it would have taken. Making these costumes has given Marla design and dressmaking skills that I hope will be of value in the future. It’s given her a creative outlet,” said Dee Schultz, mother of a cosplay participant.

Kintoki-Con also allowed vendors and artists the opportunity to show and sell their creative work.

Panels and workshops were scheduled during the three-day convention. Panels featured topics such as Intro to Bronies, Health and Fitness for Convention Goers, Introduction to Crossplay, Stage Makeup and Headpieces, and many more.

Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

Many interesting and informative workshops covered topics dealing with Web and traditional comic-book creations. Other popular workshops included Voice Acting 101, Story Creation, Digital Illustrations and others hosted by professional artists and voice actors.

Of the many guests of honor invited to the event, I was able to attend Q-and-A sessions by delightful voice actors Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Richard Epcar. Both actors returned for the second year of Kintoki-Con.

Guests of Honor voice actors Richard Epcar and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Guests of Honor voice actors Richard Epcar and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn answer press questions

“You have to believe in what you’re saying as a character that you’re portraying, and hopefully the audience will believe in what you’re doing,” said Epcar, when asked about one of the characters he depicts.

When asked about any current projects Epcar said, “I have a huge game, of course I can’t talk about it. Let’s just say I’m working on one of the biggest games ever produced. I co-directed, and I’m also a character as well. You can say it’s from a major studio and you’ll hear about it soon.”

Epcar also shared that the game “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” in which he plays The Joker, has been selling well. “I’m hoping they’ll do an Injustice II. That would be awesome, and I just did The Joker in another game, which I can’t talk about. So that’s the third time I’ve done The Joker.”

Another character that Epcar takes pride in is Ansem; the major character in the “Kingdom Hearts” action role-playing game. He’s provided the voice since the second game of the series. “I’m the only one who’s played it six times. I’m thrilled to be involved in that. The interesting thing about this is how I originally got the part,” said Epcar.

The voice actor shared that the Japanese actor (Akio Ōtsuka) who voices Ansem is also the voice for Batou, another character that Epcar does. The Japanese producers of the game asked Disney, who is one of the Kingdom Hearts producers, who did the voice of Batou in America. “So that’s how I got the part, and I didn’t have to audition or anything, which is very unusual, so it turned out to be wonderful. So from ‘Kingdom of Hearts II’ on, I’ve done all of them.”

Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

Other highlights of Kintoki-Con that I witnessed included a charity ball, an Aimee Lee Lucas K-pop workshop, a masquerade, Semi-Formal Pan-Asian Dance, Culturally Asia Fashion Show, a Performance Showcase and various other entertaining events.

Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013
Kintoki-Con 2013

There were many entertaining, informative and fun activities in this family-oriented convention. There were some complaints that need to be addressed for future cons – slow lines, scheduled events not starting on time or being canceled. In order to respond to guest concerns, Kintoki-Con currently has a “Convention Feedback” page on their website for input.

Kintoki-Con has also begun getting ready for next year’s event and announced their first guest of honor for 2014, Ryu Moto.

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.

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