Meta Con 2018
Merchandise. Meta con had a small but decent merch room. Most items one could be looking for were there, exception being an abundance of wig and cosplay shops, as expected for a small convention. Usually attendees at a small con aren’t planning on purchasing cosplay there anyway. the real appeal of a cosplay booth is for people who are going to their first con and feel the need to participate in cosplay. Hopefully, this year’s Meta con wasn’t many peoples first.
Artist Alley. Meta con maintained a ‘meh’ artist alley. While I wasn’t blown away by the artists, this is typical of the midwest per my explanation provided in my Anime Midwest 2018 review. This year, Meta’s artist alley grew, and gained some more talent than earlier years, however even the new talent couldn’t draw in the attendance needed for Meta to live up to previous years as a whole.
Organization. Evaluating the organization of Meta con is proving to be difficult, for good organization truly shines when a con is crowded beyond its expected attendance. Picking up a badge was efficient, however I’m not sure if this is due to the low population of attendees, or the con organization itself.
Panels & Guests. One thing that Meta con always does well is organizing a strong variety of panels for its attendees. There were many that were worth attending, but the most standout one to me was the ‘Diversity in Cosplay’ panel. Few people were even at the con when it occurred, so naturally there were only about 5 guests present. That said, the panelists facilitated an insightful discussion about prejudice in the cosplay community, and the various ways it is handled.
Events. The costume contest/masquerade was standard fare. There’s always a vocaloid. There’s always the above and beyond armor, and there’s always the craftsmanship award that the audience never quite understands since they don’t get to see the garment up close. The real showstealer was the Nerdlesque Show. An R-rated experience that is clearly the prized jewel of Animecon.org’s convention series. My one major complaint of the Nerdlesque show is the trigger warning they offered. This year, the theme was ‘Horror.’ Prior to the show, the host issued trigger warnings for violence, gore, etc. What the host failed to mention was the rape/nonconsensual acted scenes that would follow. Many audience members were unprepared for this, and some found it damaging. This lack of warning took what may have been the greatest part of Meta Con and turned it sour.
Venue. The Hyatt in Minneapolis remains not-the-greatest-place for a con, however, the staff is always very kind, and meta con did their best to utilize the poorly structured space, as there aren’t many (or any, to my knowledge) other venues that are willing to host in the area.
Rave. My team and I attempted to go to the rave multiple times. Over the course of Friday and Saturday nights, however there was never more than a measely 20 people present, which deflated the experience. We were dressed, so we took the opportunity to go out and ended up on the southeast side of town at the Kitty Cat Klub, which did the trick.
Overall rating: 2/10 - Someone, please restore this con to what it once was. Perhaps don’t hold it on labor day weekend/the same weekend as CRX.