Connichi, one of the biggest conventions in the German speaking area is about to take place next weekend from Friday 7th to Sunday the 9th of September. The event drew in over 26’000 fans last year and will take place in the Kongress Palais in Kassel as usual. I attended Connichi for the first time in 2009 and this year will be the fifth time visit the event.
This convention has many strong points speaking for it, be it the diverse and rich program, including workshops and concerts or the large park behind the venue that is also well-frequented by the curious locals. Cosplay is a major topic at this event, as can be seen from the several international competitions taking place. Also, many workshops are centered around various topics including everything from planning over sewing to showcasing the self-made outfits.
Cosplay für Einsteiger — Friday 15:00 – 16:15
Geld verdienen mit Cosplay — Friday 16:00 – 17:00
Perücken-1×1 – Saturday 15:15 — 16:30
Many workshops are also centered about Japanese culture and contemporary topics.
LGBT-Rechte in Japan — Friday 16:45 – 17:30
Matsuri: Japanische Volksfeste — Saturday 13:30 – 14:15
“Fukushima”, Bürgerbewegung, Japanologie — Sunday 14:45 – 15:30
Of course, guests from the Japanese animation industry will also be present. I am looking forward to hear from Seiji Kishi (director), Makoto Uezu (director), Nao Hirasawa (producer) and Tomohisa Taguchi (director), as well as two representatives from Studio Gainax. From the musical side, heavy-metal band Mardelas, show act Karasu and composer Hitoshi Sakimoto will take care of the concerts. Listing all the invited guests goes beyond the scope of this article, so I refer you to the complete listing of the event.
One recently added activity is the Matsuri, the Japanese festival, that takes place during all three days until the evening. The highlight is certainly the fireworks display on Friday and Saturday evenings (21:00 – 21:30).
Speaking of new additions, the new format Connichi Couch, a live streamed discussion panel that presents various lectures and discussions, was very well received last year. Also this year there will a rich program catering to all sorts of interests. Last year I had the pleasure to join a discussion panel about travelling in Japan. You can watch the full recording here.
Last but not least, I look forward to the classic Connichi activities of such as the AMV contest, the noodle slurping contest and the bring n’ buy.
To conclude, the long-running convention has much to offer for all kinds of interest. I will attend the event on Saturday and Sunday and upload some personal impressions of the event.