Kikori, in Nihongo aka Japanese, means Lumberjack; on March 6th – 8th the Little America Flagstaff hotel, nestled into the woods of Flagstaff (AZ), hosted a modest anime convention aptly named Kikori Con. Over the weekend our crew experienced a very serene atmosphere with relaxed attendees and supporting staff. Here is our take on Kikori Con 2020!
The Little America Flagstaff Hotel is located right off of I-40 in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was only about a 1.5-hour drive from the East Valley to this quaint venue. Check-in was quick and easy. The room was LOVELY and the weather was cold but beautiful.
Inside the hotel was a dining room called the Silver Pine Restaurant and Bar. Open from 6 AM – 9 PM daily, it offered a variety of fare at a reasonable cost. This meant we did not have to leave the hotel for any reason other than to explore Flagstaff’s surroundings. So, as far as convenience goes, this convention had it covered.
Kikori Con – Check In
The four of us were divided into different groups. Two were covering Media and three were scheduled panelists. Despite this, the Kikori Con Staff made check-in VERY easy. The badge art was AWESOME and they even provided us with free lanyards!
Kikori Con – Programming
A few weeks before the convention was scheduled the program guide went live online. Monkey Paw Entertainment, the company that runs Kikori Con, also released program information on their mobile app. This meant we could peruse the schedule in advance and create a calendar of events we wanted to attend.
For those of us who were panelists, there was confusion initially with scheduling our panels. Once we arrived this was quickly sorted and we were assigned three panels: Retro Anime, Obscure Anime, and a Steven Universe Sing-Along. The Sing-Along was our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE panel of the weekend as the room filled quickly and the attendees were quick to join in on the singing.
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-Photos by Kincart Photography
Kikori Con – Gaming
Something we look forward to every year at Kikori Con is their game room. It is a wide-open ballroom with tables set up to accommodate board games, tabletop games or even D&D sessions. The other half of the room is loaded with game emulators that contain hundreds of retro arcade titles such as Sailor Moon, Super Mario, Dragon Slayer, Street Fighter, Darkstalkers and more! In the back of the room are vendors peddling game-themed wares and the front of the room is a set of tables where you can borrow board games. It’s definitely a great place to get away from the exhibitor floor commotion and relax with friends.
Kikori Con – Cosplay
This convention is one where cosplayers outnumber regular attendees. The scenery is gorgeous and the hotel has areas with incredible lighting that are photographic gold. We joined in on the cosplay fun daily and had meetups for shoots and camaraderie.
Kikori Con – Masquerade
Despite a number of dropouts, this event was magnificent. The performers and competitors worked the stage to the delight of their audience. We give MAJOR kudos to all who got on stage and presented their work for public consumption. It takes guts and determination to face an audience live.
Kikori Con – The FULL Experience
In summary, this was a WONDERFUL convention. It was relaxed, the food was delectable, the attendees were friendly, the panels were quality entertainment, the events were lively and the full experience left us wanting more. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND this con.
Be sure to check out Thermo Cosplay and all of the wonderful things she is up to!