Kollision Con 2013
This is Kollision Con’s fourth year and we feel that they are getting better at what they offer their con-goers. This quaint anime convention featured some great voice actors this year and offered more entertainment than we expected. Highlights for this year’s Kollision Con featured an accessible hotel, expanded game room hosted by IPG, a good variety of voice actors, and enjoyable panels. This year’s Kollision Con took us to the Crowne Plaza O’Hare hotel, a location which is becoming more and more popular among small to medium sized cons because of its proximity to local transportation. The hotel itself is very close to the CTA Blue Line and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and offered a very familiar area which con-goers are already accustomed to. The hotel itself felt just right for the amount of people that were there, although it felt a little cramped in the dealer room and in some hallways. Things were easy to find, however a major complaint that we heard almost everywhere was the parking, they dropped the ball. During the three days of the convention people who were not staying in the hotel were not permitted to park at the hotel parking lot instead they were vaguely told to go park somewhere else. This parking lot was nowhere close to the hotel and we had to pay an extra fee for parking there. I hope that this isn’t a problem next year.
Video Game Room
We very much support the idea of conventions upgrading their video game rooms. Kollision con made a right move to expand on its small game setup from the past few years to a fully hosted arcade and game room from IPG and Credits Remaining. IPG sported a huge room full of the newest toys from PS3s to Xbox360 gear to the newly released PS4. Credits Remaining brought every arcade room staple like Dance Dance Revolution, Beatmania, and even some old school flair with a projector on the wall playing REZ on a Sega Dreamcast. Although there were all of the newest toys in the game room we would have liked to see an old-school corner setup with things like SNES, NES, or a Sega Genesis action and more support for portable system tournaments. Other than that, Kollision Con made the right move to support a fully stocked game room.
Kollision con did not disappoint this year with their voice actor guests, Richard Horvitz (Invader Zim) J. Michael Tatum (Black Butler), Chuck Huber (Yu Yu Hakusho), Scott McNeil (Beast Wars) were there to relish their fans with their stories and advice on how to make it in the business. Scott McNeil was exceptionally friendly and took the time to not only sign autographs, but even walk around and talk with his fans throughout the weekend (though he did run from a few fans who wanted him to dance at the Formal Ball). Convention staples like the masquerade, two different raves for the night owls, and the ever popular guest improv where there to keep everyone busy throughout the day. Not to be missed was the guest improv show, with this year’s line-up of voice actor guests it was hilariously entertaining especially if you were able to join the late night 18+ session. A nice addition to the convention was the Formal Ball, unfortunately due to some miscommunication, not many people showed up and it became just a normal dance after that. The masquerade ran pretty smoothly and was hosted by Acen’s beloved MC’s. We were a bit disappointed at the number of people that signed up to participate evident by the number of skits that were entered (there was one skit entered which automatically won by default as the only entry). Regardless, what was seen was very good craftsmanship, a hilarious halftime show by Ninja Ninja and his Ninja Ninja Challenge and the addition of a hair styling competition that was being recorded for a reality TV show. Although we had no problem with their presence at the con as a whole, they were distracting and a bit obnoxious during the masquerade. Absent to the convention schedule was Karaoke, which is a favorite and a staple for a lot of con-goers who prefer to sing the night away rather than dancing.
This year Kollision con had a revamped dealers room with a much bigger space than previous years. They had everything you can think of that would make your inner anime or inner child jump for joy. Anime figures, custom costumes, furry hoodies, board games, sci-fi, DVDs, manga, posters, wall scrolls, all from your favorite established anime vendors. The space looked big and open but the aisles felt a little cramped and even though there were a lot of people walking through the aisles it never felt too crowded. We would like to highlight the artist alley for this year; there was some amazing talent and we even got to meet the original artist who drew Ariel from the Little Mermaid.
We had a fun time this year at Kollision Con and there were enough events and panels to keep everyone entertained throughout the day. With a revamped game room and dealer room, attendees had more choices with what to do with their downtime. Even as a small sized con, Kollision Con was able to fill the whole day with fun activities for everyone to enjoy. Our only improvement we would like Kollision Con to do is the accessibility for better parking options and more 18+ panels which felt lacking.
-Signing off your friendly neighborhood anime reviewer