Setsucon 2020 day 1
Setsucon 2020 is another fantastically fun anime convention hosted in Altoona, Pennsylvania. For the second this year, we presented our visual novel panel and just had an awesome time. I began the journey to Setsucon early on Saturday morning. First I head into the city with Ariana to pick up Linnea at our favorite little cafe, The Bean. Then our true journey beings, driving through the beautiful mountains in Pennsylvania. It’s a long drive for us coming from New York City but it was at least a very scenic drive.
We arrive at Setsucon early in the afternoon with plenty of time to spare before our panel. We walk into the convention and take a look around. The convention is all contained inside a nice sized convention center and cosplayers were everywhere! The whole convention all takes place on one floor in the convention center, which makes it a convenient cozy experience. There were two different panel rooms, the main events hall, a dealer room, a workshop room, a manga library, board games, and video games!
Ever since our time playing card games at Kotoricon, I’ve become very interested in tabletop gaming. First, we began playing the sushi stacking card game. This game has really cute designs and was pretty quick to learn. There are different ways to earn points depending on the sushi you put down. However, we found that with only 3 players, it ends too quickly in just 3 hands. The next game was the Sushi Tower, which is basically like Jenga with sushi. This was made extra challenging as we attempted to use slippery plastic chopsticks to play. Our towers fall quickly but it’s such a hilariously good time.
Dinner and a panel
For dinner, we decide to go to Denny’s since they were giving a 20% discount as well as it being a good weeb choice as Denny’s are pretty popular in Japan. While we have many diners in New York, there’s still something special about eating Denny’s. I order a peanut butter banana milkshakes along with this spicy sausage skillet dish. Everything is delicious but I become very full so I save half for lunch the next day.
We head back to the convention center as our Setsucon 2020 panel is coming up really soon. We sit in for the panel before our own which was a really interesting discussion on the historical references in Fate. I really enjoy hearing about the legend of Gilgamesh and Ishtar as well as the background on Gae Bolg. One of my favorite things in Fate are all the references to myth and history as I am a big fan of these subjects.
It’s now time for our panel and despite some technical difficulties, everything goes really well! This time we have Ariana reading Moka’s part while Linnea and I have an open discussion on the history of visual novels. The audience seems to really enjoy the presentation and we have some post-panel discussion with a few of the remaining attendees.
Setsucon after dark
After our excitement in the panel room, we walk next door into the manga library to take some time to decompress. Linnea took this time to work on her artwork. Ariana picks up one of her old favorites, Peach Girl while I start reading Chibi Vampire.
Next up for us is the hilarious 18+ fanfiction panel. I can’t say too many details on this as I want to keep this blog PG-13 but I will say we were all cracking up. We hear stories on Shrek & Shadow the Hedgehog and a gripping romance between Thomas the Tank Engine and Lightning McQueen. One of the funny moments is when I walked in wearing my Monokuma costume while they read a Danganronpa fanfic. Let’s also not forget the beautiful romantic stories of Billy Mays with Mr Clean, complete with caps lock!
After the panels, we head back into the room to read the visual novel Amnesia together. All three of us took different characters and voice acted the story. I really enjoy this story a lot so far and we keep reading until we can no longer keep our eyes open. I can’t wait to read more Amnesia, this is a high-quality otome story! Reading through this story with my friends has been enough to convince me to add this beautiful visual novel into our panel for the future.
Our second day we all feel really tired from staying up so late reading Amnesia the previous night. This day, we spend most of our time back in the board game room. We first go shopping in the dealer room then head onto the games. First up is the video game room where we play guitar hero as well as some old school Atari on an old CRT TV.
After that rush of nostalgia, we walk into the wonderful board game room. This time we pick out Munchkin Cthulu, an action-adventure card game where we face the dark horrors from the world of HP Lovecraft. Luckily while setting up, we make a new friend that helps us to learn how to play the game. The game starts off innocently but becomes quite cutthroat as time goes on. I send off monsters to attack my friends, or I help my friends take down monsters depending on the benefits to myself. We have a dramatic ending where we unleash all our cards against someone that was about to win. Toward the end, our new friend gave me a one level up card which ended up being enough for me to win the game on my next turn!
We had a wonderful time this year at Setsucon. Our team has fallen in love with board games and our bond grows stronger as we spend more time together. I feel very privileged to have such good friends working together with me at Chaos Cute Soft and willing to travel across the country with me to share our passion for visual novels. We received a lot of positive feedback for our panel and overall I’d say this has become one of my favorite smaller conventions. If you are anywhere near Pennsylvania I definitely recommend checking out Setsucon in 2021!