Neil Runge | Staff Writer
The 17th annual Tekkoshocon came to Pittsburgh just before Easter break — and it was amazing.
It was a sea of people in costumes. The quality ranged from creations that involved moving parts that had months of work, to outfits like what I wore, which was some things I grabbed from my closet.
For a little background, Tekkoshocon, usually just called Tekko, had its first appearance in 2003 by the Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society. Tekko is an anime and general Japanese culture appreciation convention along with a fashion show.
It’s not limited to just those things, though. This convention was the home to all things nerdy. I saw people dressed as comic book characters, people from podcasts and I swear I saw someone dressed as a car. Not a Transformer, just a plain car.
This year was my first attending; in my friend group there were those who had been a few times before. Even if I had gone there alone or in a ten-person group, the Tekko crew made the David L. Lawrence Convention Center easy to navigate. There were maps on the walls pointing me in the direction of everything I could need in a color-coded, organized way. There were also schedules that listed every event for the whole four-day con.
There were so many events throughout the four days, there was no way any person could see everything, but that isn’t a bad thing. It means that there’s something for everyone, from Naruto-themed Dungeons and Dragons sessions to escape rooms, a tiny hat making panel and so much more.
One of my favorite events that I attended was the escape room. This year the room was robot-themed. It was me and four other people all tasked to solve a set of puzzles in 45 minutes. My group got out of there with 15 minutes to spare, which we told was the best time of the night.
The escape room was surprisingly calming. The pressure fostered an instant friendship with people I barely knew or just met, which was wonderful.
The other event that ranked up there with the escape room for me was the dance competition. I didn’t compete, but cheering in the crowd was just as fun. There was a wide variety of performers, which included a group of about 10 people all dancing in perfect synchronization to hardcore Korean rap music, but also soloists dancing to beautiful ballads.
When I felt like relaxing or just wandering around, there was the dealer’s room. This room was a giant part of the convention center dedicated solely to art. There were posters, figurines, enamel pins, stickers, plushies, pretty much anything you could want with your favorite anime character’s face on it. This is where I spent most of my time and money. I walked out of that room once the four-day con was over with enough art to cover more than a few dorm rooms.
Kayce Boggess, a student at Duquesne University who introduced me to Tekko, went for her second time this year. “I think it’s pretty neat how accepting the convention is to different body types, races, etc.,” she told me. I agree, it was one of the most accepting environments I’ve been in.
Tekko is a good convention for beginners; it isn’t as big New York City Comic Con and it isn’t so small that there isn’t anything fun to do. It also doesn’t break the bank, which was a big concern for me. I only paid $40 for a pass for the whole event. I’ll absolutely be going back next year and I’ll probably up my cosplay game.