Saturday afternoon Henry The Intern and I made our second pilgrimage to downtown Lancaster for Zenkaikon 2016. Zenkaikon is a Cosplay convention in its 10th year. What is Cosplay you ask? Everyone dresses up as characters from ones favorite TV, video game, Japanese Anime, and well what ever ones heart desires. Graphic Artists, college students, police officers, and of course kids living in mom’s basement. Dressed and ready to share who and what they were dressed and acting as.
Henry, works mainly as my interpreter as I focus on taking photos, while asking questions. His knowledge of this world is amazing. He’s happy to admit his knowledge on Japanese Anime is lacking. We spent over 6 hours downtown meeting everyone, handing out great POL swag, and having a wonderful time. What amazes me is how friendly everyone is. Not shying from explaining their costume for the 243th time, or posing for a photo again and again. Talking with everyone is where the real magic happens. For Example take Lancaster local Amanda. Amanda is 17 and still in high school. Wanting to be a Character from The Black Butler she save for a sewing machine to make her dress. With no skills in sewing she spent a year and made this amazing costume.
“Many days i wanted to rip it in half. but id put it away and a few days later try again.” Amanda admitted
That was a huge theme all day. ” I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I made my own.” It was great to see that spirit and drive in so many young people. Taking on a skill set, learning it and using it to better themselves. We met plenty of cosplayers who openly admitted they got what they needed pre-made online.
The other great thing Henry and I noticed was the amount of people who were enjoying our wonderful city due to he convention. People need to eat and we found plenty enjoying downtown Lancaster’s many food options.
“We don’t get this kind of traffic on a Saturday afternoon.” Our waitress at Yorgos explained. Eating lunch beside a table of anime characters is new for me.
Below is just a small sample of who we got to meet walking downtown and the Lancaster Convention center.
Finally a small sample gallery of what we took in.
Next year take a day to enjoy the three-day convention; its everything you didn’t expect and nothing you thought it would be.