November 15, 2015

Kitacon 2015 – When "sosiaalikerho" was born!

Hello doods ~

I attended Kitacon in Kemi, Finland, yesterday on 14th November. Because Kemi is in the north Kitacon's mascot has always been some kind of human with reindeer traits –aka horns– and this year, I must say, the mascot was especially nice! (yes, it changes every year)

Kitacon's schedule leaflet feat. this year's mascot.
So yeah, I attended Kitacon this year with Jäätynyt Enkeli, Sacchan and a good ol' friend of mine called Kiivi. Sacchan was kind enough to offer a ride for all of us and so we didn't have to pay the bus. Thanks a ton! ~ ;u;
I also need to mention that even though I had plans on cosplaying Japan from Hetalia that just didn't happen, sorry. ^^" The main reason is that I was simply just way too fucking tired on the morning, lol. I've seriously had a lot of problems sleeping lately and because of that I'm tired as shit during the days. It's really annoying because I just can't fall asleep, mumble mumble. ._. Another legit reason is that the weather has been pure crap the last weeks (where's the sun??) and the Kitacon day was no different – on the morning it was super wet outside and it was blowing so hard that I was worried that if I had cosplayed Japan I would have sailed away on my haori or something, lol. Or worse – the wind might have blown my contact lenses out of my eyes! Yeah, that can happen.
So yeah, I decided it was a better idea to leave the cosplaying for another event and strut to Kitacon in my casual gear. Haters gonna hate, eiku. Or well, I wasn't ultra casual – I still had my Monster Hunter Tigrex plush hat, a wig, and a face mask, combined with a geeky t-shirt.

Kitacon advertisement upgrade – fabric banner!
I woke up early in the morning to take my medicine and then I went back to bed. I ended up sleeping a little bit too long (hello, tiredness) and wasn't really out of the bed until 10 Finnish time, which is, honestly, quite late considering that Kitacon opened its doors at 11 – if I'm not mistaken. Oh well, I dressed up and called Jäätynyt Enkeli to ask if they (Sacchan and Kiivi were at his place) were ready to leave. I grabbed my camera bag and headed out into the moist hell outside. Sacchan drove us to Kemi and we listened to some hilarious songs in her car. I'M GONNA SMOKE SOME WEED, ONLY GOT 20 DOLLAS IN MY POCKET ~

Khrrm. Yeah... hrrhhrr.
Kitacon was held in Sauvotalo in centrum, as per usual. As soon as we got there I got the impression that it felt more crammed than on earlier years...? Then again, they had less space in use on the first floor than on previous years so yeah, that might have been a reason why.

Kitacon's entrance. This was the sight we were met with when
we entered the building.
We first went to check all the selling tables in the "Merchandise Hall", which was on the first floor mainly. It struck me that there were more sellers than previously and some new ones I had never seen at Kitacon before too! That was a really nice and appreciated surprise because, if I'm honest, Kitacon pretty much always has some sellers that are there every year and they always sell the exact same things so, err, it gets boring/uninteresting really fast. No offence but yeah, I'm not gonna spend my hard-earned money on something that I've seen a hundred times before and –to top it all off– is quite obviously bootleg merchandise. Don't get me wrong though, some of the recurring sellers are really awesome (like Fantasiapelit) but yeah, there's that one seller that irks me greatly because of the counterfeit goods. ._.

The Merchandise Hall on the first floor.
There were a lot of people; I sometimes had problems moving around.
Kitacon doesn't offer a lot in terms of activities but there was a kind of crafts room (where you could draw freely or make "kimono ladies" out of patterned paper) along with some scheduled activities like the cosplay date and a quiz game for those with smartphones. There was also the obligatory photo studio that you could use whenever during the con day. I think there was also some kind of AMV-dance too...

Some people drawing in the crafts room, aka "piirustuspiste / työpaja".
The other table in the room, where you could make kimono girls
out of paper.
I mainly went to Kitacon to meet some friends so yeah, I actually don't have much to tell about the con itself. Kitacon is Kitacon – it's a small northern con where people seem to mainly go to hang with friends. Quite few seem to bother cosplaying so I didn't really regret going without a costume on lol. But yeah, I bumped into the ever-so-awesome Karri and we shared some hugs and greetings.
I also found Ronya (or well, she found me) quite early on and I was so excited because we had been talking prior to the con a lot online and hadn't met yet in real life; we had planned to play Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate together as soon as we got bored so yeah, I was stoked to get to play with her! o/ Jäätynyt Enkeli also joined in on the hunting because why the heck not? It's not like we didn't get bored after we had seen everything Kitacon had to offer.
I personally wasn't interested in any of the panels etc, except maybe for that panel about the Russian con called Polarcon – yeah, there was a panel about "the meeting of the northern conventions!" and some Russian guys were invited to talk about their con and the con culture in Russia. I regret a bit for not attending that panel but oh well, I forgot about it and realized way too late what time it was. :'(

Some random merchandise photos coming up!

Some fleece hats with huge cute buttons on etc.
Wannabe's store. I can't recall having seen them at Kitacon before, yay fresh blood!
What seems to be Umbreon and Gengar hoodies. Oh, and Toothless fleece hats.
Cupcake Cult t-shirts and others...?
A small part of Fantasiapelit's manga selection.
... and of course no con is complete without Pocky!
On the second floor were the Maid Cafe, some (seemingly) second-hand manga sellers and the Artist's Alley. I need to say that I found the Artist's Alley quite late because it was kinda hidden. It was located in the main hall's (where the stage was) entrance. Sorry for the clumsy explanation but I mean that if you looked into the main hall –without actually entering– you might miss the Artist's Alley tables because they were placed next to the wall and were thus hidden by the wall quite effectively, if you didn't actually walk into the hall room, that is. If you just peeked in (without standing right in front of the door) you'd just see the chairs, the stage and that's about it. That's what happened to me because I didn't go near the entrance door to the main hall until many hours had passed since opening. I'm not saying that it was a bad positioning of the Artist's Alley because it wasn't – it was roomy and well-lit and all but I don't really get it why Kitacon doesn't put the Artist's Alley in the first floor? I'm just thinking that it might be better for the artists' sales if they were on the first floor too, together with all the other merchandise sellers... *shrugs* But I don't know really, it's just a thought I've had.

The sight you were met with once going up the stairs to the second floor.
At some point I got really hungry while we were on the second floor. I asked Sacchan, Kiivi, Ronya and the others (this was before Karri had showed up) if they were hungry too and it turned out that Ronya and her company had planned to go eat at Subway soon and omg, that was what my group had planned to do too! So yeah, we totally bonded our groups into one big group and everyone went to Subway. I treated Ronya to a 15 cm sub because I had a sale coupon and wouldn't manage to eat a full-sized sub in one go myself. I also wanted to at least give her something in return because she gave me some Sengoku Basara and Rurouni Kenshin rubber strap keychains for free. ;u; She seemingly doesn't really care about those series herself but knew that I'm a huge nut for samurai stuff, haha. She's so kind ~

The Maid Cafe. (and omg, there's actually a butler!)
Some yummy-looking bakeries from said cafe.
Once me, Jäätynyt Enkeli and Ronya had seen it all we moved over to a more quiet corner in the crafts room and sat there and played Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the rest of the con – MonHun for life! ♥ 
I need to say though that Karri would come over every now and then and talk with us but yeah, he ended up naming our gaming trio the "sosiaalikerho" (lit. social club) because we were/looked so... social. That's what online gaming with friends does to you – you can't pause without getting rekt by a random monster!! xD Oh and yeah, the whole "sosiaalikerho" thing kinda turned into a running joke and it was hilarious, hands down. And it got even better when Karri suddenly went "fuck this shit :D" and power-hugged us while we were in a heated monster battle. I'm surprised no one carted lol.
I do feel bad though for not spending as much time with Karri as I would have wanted but yeah, I had promised Ronya to play with her and it was just way too much fun. I'm so sorry Karri, next time I promise I'm gonna hang more with you too! ;_;

A part of one of the Artist's Alley tables – my favorite one actually!
The Ōkami pins! *u*
Kitacon closed it's doors at 20:30 but our group left some hours earlier because our friends had already left (Karri, Ronya) and yeah, there just wasn't anything to do anymore and, besides, we still had some other business to do in town. It felt like time went by fast but at least I got to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones too!

All in all Kitacon was a very fun experience and I'll of course keep attending it because hey, I live close and it has free entrance, woop! Gotta support the local conventions! :) I also like how Kitacon has a relaxed atmosphere and how it has that "little con charm" to it, haha. I don't feel stressed or get anxiety attacks when I'm there, compared to some of the bigger events.

This is my Kitacon purchases – a Monster Hunter art book from Fantasiapelit
and the super cute Ōkami pin from Artist's Alley.
The art book was expensive (48 €) but I couldn't help myself; I needed it because MonHun is the best shit ever, okay? So much concept arts and cool illustrations in it, hnnngh ~

That about wraps it up I guess. Thanks for reading and yeah, this was the last convention of the year!

1 comment:

Aki Ame Ōkami said...

That sounds like so much fun! I always love the feeling of "Little con charms".
A butler!!!! I probably would have spent a decent amount of time at the cafe....
That Okami pin is adorable :P

~Aki Ame Okami