You guys are in for a treat this review was written by seasoned cosplayer and congoer Nicholas Devonish. Enjoy! 😀
Ramencon Review 2013
As a fellow con goer, student, and cosplayer, I would like to enlighten the public on my experience at Ramencon 2013. Ramencon was held at the Radisson Holiday Star Plaza in Merryville, Indiana. This is the convention’s third year running and would be classified as a small to medium sized convention. The hotel area around the convention was wonderful; there was a mall down the street with a variety of restaurants like Dennys, Hooters, Dairy Queen, etc. I managed to get a good meal before various events because of how conveniently close the pub was. The Irish pub, Guinness, which was stationed inside the hotel, had very reasonable Ramencon drink specials which ranged from 3 to 6 dollars. The hotel and staff were helpful and courteous. The hotel had an amazing pool area, which was very cosplay friendly. The convention staff put up plushies of various anime characters such as Naruto, Ichigo, and Luffy around the front desk registration area. Staff members from the hotel were completely supportive of Ramencon that they too wore Naruto leaf village ninja head bands. In my opinion, Ramencon’s badge prices were a steal.
The con had various activities to do throughout the day but like every other con, it has its downtime where it was hard to find something to do. Many of the panels were aimed towards people who had a particular interest in a specific series. There were a couple of panels which were aimed to a broader audience, for example Anime Underground, and The Quest. Anime Underground was a series of videos shown on a big screen, showcasing various abridged anime series, references to memes, and anime. The Quest was an 18+ panel that was held Friday night. Due to the nature of the panel (and because we were told not to tell anyone) I won’t list the details here but it was incredibly fun and to top it off it was hosted by the voice of Duke Nukem himself Jon St. John. Another popular event during the con was the foam sword fighting held on Saturday and Sunday. This event was one for everyone to enjoy. If you wanted to learn how to fight with the foam fighting weapons there were various assigned times were you could come in and learn the basics. There was also a tournament that decided the best foam sword fighter in the convention. The dealer room was small and unimpressive. It was housed in a small area of the convention and it seemed like it was held in 1 room with only about 12 vendors. I honestly expected more out of the dealer’s room for this convention and really hope that next year it improves. I would definitely like to see more vendors in there or bigger vendors to sell more anime loot.
Ramencon’s Masquerade was positively entertaining. Winners of the masquerades’ categories got trophies and gifts. Ramencon had a very unique feature I would like to see in other conventions, the cosplay malfunction station was for those cosplayers that happened to have minor problems with their outfits. In this station there were needles, various colors of thread to sew, duct tape and bobby pins. This of year’s highlight guests included, Jon St. John (voice of Duke Nukem), Tiffany Grant (voice of Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion), Monica Rial (voice of Mirajane from Fairytail), and Jamie Marchi (voice of Liz from Soul Eater).The convention featured two rave nights, the Friday night dance was sort of mediocre with low attendance and people less motivated to dance, while the Saturday night dance was very entertaining and high paced.
Another highlight of the convention was the game room which was run this year by I Play Games (IPG). Having a large variety of console games and game stations made it very fun to be there during the downtime of the convention. The game room held many tournaments from Street Fighter, Tekken, Dance Central, to Halo 4, and Naruto. The game room was open until 3am which kept all the night owls entertained during the late nights of the convention Overall, I’d say this was a good, moderately priced con for those who want to get a chance to hang out with their friends and meet some popular voice actors.
The constant hustle and bustle from bigger conventions was not there, but there was a good balance of activities going on at all times. I would definitely return to this convention next year.