So this makes the fourth year in a row that I’ve attended Matsuricon and I’ve had a pretty interesting history with this event. At first, I was not too big of a fan of this con but as it grew better with management it became easier for me to see more of what this event has to offer. For this reason, Matsuricon has become one of my favorite cons to attend and this year was another satisfying year.
I’ll start with guests this time and just like every other year, Matsuricon does not disappoint. Eleven guests that were in My Hero Academia, I’ve actually seen My Hero Academia conventions with fewer actors from the show so this feat was very impressive. The autograph lines were handled just like previous years and I did not have a Plus Up badge this time to make things easier. It’s still pretty tough to get that initials spot in line and there was a bit of a snag at the end of the day Friday. According to staff about 600 people showed up for the session and crowded the entryway towards the autograph room, and this makes the perfect segway to talk about one amazing member of the Matsuricon Staff.
Matsuricon made a very smart decision keeping the same guy I brought up last year to manage the line again. The staff member, commonly referred to as Line Daddy, managed to take the entire group of 600 people and in minutes managed to create an organized line that did not violate any fire regulations and did not block any walkways or entryways. It was a rather impressive feat, unfortunately, with 600 people, a lot of people walked away with no autographs. Line Daddy was actually really upset that he couldn’t find a way to organize the lines to accommodate everyone and immediately started planning for Saturday to make things more organized. The guests were great and I think the autographs are in great hands to be improved for future years. Line Daddy really is the ideal person for the job and out of all the conventions I’ve been to, he is the gold standard for how I look at how staff at any other event.
Another highlight of this event is the panels. I once again went to the improv panel which was just as amazing as I expected and I went to the My Hero Academia panel which was one of my favorite things I did all weekend. I was actually afraid I wouldn’t be able to attend the My Hero panel so I didn’t initially line up for it, but when I saw that there were still seats in the back after the panel started I was not about to say no. Even without a VIP pass, all of the panels felt easily accessed and they were all incredible.
This was just ok for me. I really wish Matsuricon would invest in more room for vendors and get more booths out there for a better shopping experience. Granted I greatly enjoyed shopping and the layout made it so easy to just walk around and look at everything. Matsuricon does a great job at positioning the vendors to make it easy to just stop and enjoy yourself, but it’s an experience that’s over and done too quickly and I just want more. Maybe get another room and add more vendors for next year.
Finally, a con that I enjoy going to regularly that adopted the ribbon game. I have eagerly awaited a chance to play this game since Anime Los Angeles so many years ago. It was so much fun hunting ribbons down. I should’ve put more effort into hunting them down because my haul was pretty small but it was still exciting to add another ribbon to my collection. Next year I plan on investing more time and effort into ribbons.
So to the surprise of nobody, I’m already making plans for Matsuricon 2020. This time I plan to get badges early and go with the Plus UP badge again but I for sure will be going again. This is an example of a system that needs little tweaking so the same formula makes for an enjoyable experience. I do wish for more shopping to do and maybe some more organization to lining up for autographs but these are pretty minor things. Bravo Matsuricon, I drive five hours to this event knowing it’s well worth the drive.