Summary of Event
The warm spring weather had only a few showers falling on the cosplayers traveling to and from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the 17th Tekko in Pittsburgh. Tekko, a 11,000+ attendee strong anime and Japanese cultural convention, is a yearly event. The event getting bigger too, growing 23% compared to last year. The Pittsburgh Japanese Cultural Society always brings in some big-name talent like Kira Buckland, Ray Chase, and Michelle Ruff. The panels don’t get boring, either. You can find discussion on the history of the Macross franchise, a track for young children, and the Tekko Gakko, a series of presentations on history, culture, and geo-politics.
Official Website: http://www.teamtekko.us/
|LOCATION|| The convention is held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center along the Allegheny River in Downtown Pittsburgh, USA.|
131-199 10th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
|LENGTH OF EVENT|| April 11th-14th|
Thursday 2:00pm- 8:00pm
Friday 9:30am- 12:30am
Saturday 9:30am- 12:30am
Sunday 9:30am- 1:00pm
|PLACE||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA|
|HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?|| General Admission covers all the days of the convention and is $50.|
Children’s Admission (Ages 7-12) is $25
Under 6 years old is Free
Sunday Discount $30
|HOTELS & TRANSPORTATION||You just need to get to Pittsburgh. The convention center is located near the train station and bus station and is about 40 minutes from the airport (PIT). The event reserves blocks of hotel rooms at a discount if you book early enough, for example The DoubleTree by Hilton is located at 1 Bigelow Square, right in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, making it one of the most convenient options for travelling back and forth from Tekko 2018. If you’re willing to pay a premium you can stay in an even more convenient location, the Weston Hotel, which is attached to the convention center by a skyway. The city has a lot of other hotels in the downtown area and in the suburbs. The cost of parking in the city is expensive, so if you stay in the suburbs plan on spending $15-20 for per day for parking at the convention center or one of the surrounding garages.|
We say this every time for every convention: you need comfortable shoes (even if you cosplay). The convention center is big, but not too big; you can usually manage to make it from one end to the other (e.g. from the dealers’ room to the main stage) in about five minutes. The food options are pretty good. You can now get curry on the second level of the center as well as various options for concessions in the dealers’ room. We still recommend bringing snacks or a bento. You will be able to find a place to sit at one of the many sitting areas and water is available at water fountains and water stations. You can also visit the restaurants downtown. If you are of age, Bakersfield has wonderful tacos and tequila. Bill’s in the Westin (attached to the convention center) has some amazing burgers. You don’t have to worry about your cosplay getting strange looks, either. The downtown businesses have seen it all and are welcoming even to our fur-suit friends.
What to do Day by Day…
April 11th (Thursday)
Tekko presents a screening of the film "The Night is Short, Walk On Girl" from director Masaaki Yuasa, the director of "Lu Over the Wall." If you are a panelist there is a meet and greet so you and the other anime know-it-alls can get to know each other. Do you want to make a wish? You can get started on that by learning how to make the first of your one thousand paper cranes in an Origami Workshop. If paper folding isn't your thing a “Journey Worth Taking” is a discussion on the wholesome anime from last year “A Place Further than the Universe.”
April 12th (Friday)
The game rental shop opens at 9:30 if you want to sit down with your friends and have some tabletop adventures. Are you new to cons? You can attend a panel on Convention Safety. The panel will give you tips and tricks to ensure that you have a great convention experience. A YuGiOh advanced tournament kicks off for you to test your card throwing strategy. Do you love cosplay? Do you love MAKING your own cosplay? A panel called "From Hobby to Career: How I Turned My love of Cosplay Into a Thriving Business" is there to give you a first-hand account of the challenges to pursuing your dream. A second aspirational panel for super-fans of the business is from Kira Buckland. The actor recounts her story about starting as a fan doing voice acting online and eventually becoming a professional. The video rooms are of course open and running a selection of fan favorites. Tekko is also offering "Big Time Wrestling" complete with a panel discussion with the wrestlers before the first match at 8pm.
April 13th (Saturday)
Do the anime Macross and Robotech look a little similar to you? A panel called Macross vs. Robotech will compare and contrast the two titles and look at the origins of each and how the storylines deviated from each other. You want to learn some hands-on handicraft, like making your own Japanese ring mail? The Armor Academy will get you started on your adventure by teaching you about the history of the armor. You will then test your skill at crafting some yourself. Lolita Fashion & Body Positivity is there to help give you the confidence to take a fashion risk even if you’re not a fashion model. Do you like to eat on a budget? Do you like noodles? Then you probably like Ramen. “The Wonderful World of Ramen” is a panel that teaches you all you need to know about the simple and yet sometimes complex staple dish of Japanese cuisine. You can’t have a convention without a chance to show off your costume or acting skills which is why most cons have a masquerade. The best part of Tekko’s masquerade is that it starts in the early afternoon so even the smallest of attendees can marvel at the fun and creativity of costumes. You will also get chances at various points to attend autograph sessions with the multitude of special guests.
April 9th (Sunday)
You have cosplay but want to add a little flair to it. The "Cosplay Prop Lighting 101" workshop will teach you everything you need to know about how to make your sword, gun, helmet or armor light up and glow. "Adventures in Amateur Voice Acting" features writers Nikki Flynn and Edwin Dantes and amateur VA Moby White sharing their stories of breaking into the business. The trio will give you a few tips and tricks to help you peruse your own voice acting career. The Kids TekkoBot Meet & Greet gives your chibi the chance to meet a tall, fully articulating robot made just for Tekko. If you're not young enough for the meet and greet a mid-morning 18+ panel called "Diving into the Deep End: Sexuality in Anime and Manga" might be interesting to you. The panel focuses on the treatment of sexuality and love as its portrayed in anime and manga and its greater role in Japanese culture. You can also remember the good-ole-days by sitting in on "Nostalgia: Then is Now" a look at how nostalgia is used as a marketing tool in pop culture and how it tugs at our heart strings and wallets.
The amazing convention community is one of the reasons we seek out these gatherings. A collection of cosplayers hanging out around a table eating lunch, laughing, and sharing in a fandom is one of the random sights that can bring warmth to your heart. The chance to meet others and hear their diverse ideas is a constant draw. We always learn new things about the anime we love. Tekko is one of the best conventions for the money. The friendly staff will help you with anything you need and the fans in attendance treat you like family. The size is still manageable, even though it gets bigger every year; you’ll still never feel overwhelmed by the crowds. The hotel and dining options are pretty good if you are on a budget, too. A trip to Tekko is a great place for you to get your feet wet in the convention world or if you’re a seasoned con-goer. The diversity of panels, selection of guests, and the amazing chances to make friends in the fandom make it well worth the trip.