Nan Desu Kan 2007

Denver, Colorado. September 14th – September 16th, 2007.
Reporter(s): EtchHawk

This September 2007, my husband Kyle and I attended our fourth year at Nan Desu Kan (or, commonly known as NDK). NDK has been hosted at the Denver Tech Marriott Hotel for the past two years now. It’s always a pretty popular convention, and was claimed this year to have been the best in the region. We always have a good time at this con, and because it was really my first time staying the whole weekend I’d have to say that it was overall a very fun, and fairly easy-going experience. The room was a little more expensive than we had bargained for but we were still prepared. In fact, not only was obtaining the room simple, but it was actually bigger than we expected it to be. 
A Note on Cosplaying: We all know that Naruto is a very popular theme amongst cosplayers, and as with a lot of anime conventions about half of the population decided to dress up. Naruto seemed to be the most popular this year, but even though we also enjoy it… the convention seemed to have a little bit of a surplus in Naruto characters. We’re not saying this is a bad thing, it’s a great idea to support your favorite anime by dressing up like your favorite character, I admit I was one of the Kankuros running about…but a little bit more variety would have been nice to see. For a tally of Naruto characters, we would have to say that we lost count of all the Narutos and Sakuras… and there were only a few Gaara’s and a total of 5 Kankuro’s (including myself). There were also many characters from Bleach, the Final Fantasy series, and even Pokemon. As usual, there were many Resident Evil zombies lurking about and even the cup of instant noodles made her appearance as well. 
One of the features of NDK was Artist Row; it’s kind of like a dealer’s room except that artists are allowed to show off and sell their personal artwork, which can also include crafts such as hats, t-shirts, buttons, wands, customized panties and hair extensions, and much, much more. We found this to be a great way for new coming artists to show off their stuff and get their name out there. There were some really interesting things to see including the bunny hat I bought, attached to which are ears that are just about as long as I am tall. Similar to Artist Row, the dealer’s room was as plentiful as ever. So many thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, Japanese candy, and anime dwelled in this room that one could officially die happily. Although most of this all seemed rather expensive, most people seem more than willing to pay a little more for what actually was a pretty good deal. The only downside to the dealer’s room was that it was very crowded, and very quickly became incredibly hot and stuffy—especially for the heavily clad cosplayers. Honestly, it would have been difficult to move around if your costume was very bulky or had large accommodations because the free space once in the room easily became very small. Some good advice for places like these in conventions would be to please include deodorant to your daily cosplaying schedule. 

Now, we were supposed to have a one on one interview with Abe Hisashi from Madhouse but it didn’t quite work out as expected. There were at least four other groups who wanted an interview with Abe-san, and he decided that he would much rather draw a name out of a hat. Of course, it wasn’t us. :’( However, as luck would have it we were able to sit in on one of his open panels. We were not allowed to video or voice record the panel, and we were not allowed to write down direct quotes. We were able, however to take a few notes for our report. Much of the conversation consisted of Abe-san’s work as an artist and a director, along with his past and present work in anime. He even recommended a few series to the audience from his personal list of favorites. Abe-san and his co-workers also discussed possible future plans for the Devil May Cry series. And, despite some rumors of a movie and other things, there is really no foundation or surety yet. However, we believe that the series is still going to be something to look forward to. Even though it was just a small panel, Abe-san seemed more intrigued in asking questions to his audience about their experience with anime. He even ended the session with a game of Janken (rock, paper, scissors) with the audience to determine who would receive one of three autographed anime produced by Madhouse. Sadly, we didn’t win either. 

Another feature of the con was a great concert performed by the Symphonic Anime Orchestra (SAO) who played variations of anime tunes including Wind from Naruto, and a Final Fantasy mix of battle music that was based off of a piano medley played by someone the previous year. To say it simply and to quote my husband, it was, “Just. Freaking. Awesome.” Also, as every year they had an AMV and cosplay competition, which were both run the entire span of the weekend. Movies and anime series were also featured, and even a DDR night took place among the event schedule. For those more interested in nightlife there was always something to do, including video game rooms and other game rooms (board and card) that would go on throughout the night. And, to celebrate the course of the weekend, a ball was held on Saturday night. 

The only real inconveniences about the convention were definitely the parking, and the elevators. Parking… was a nightmare. It took us about an hour just to find a parking place, which we deliberately refused to move from unless we absolutely had to. The only moving we did after that was for food. So, be smart when driving to a convention and carpool, or just get there really, really early. In addition—as Murphy would have it—on one side of the hotel only one of the three elevators was available for use. The other two were down for construction. This made getting to rooms a long and painful process depending on your costume and if you decided to take the stairs. On the other side of the hotel the elevators worked fine, but they eventually had to limit the number of people in the elevator to 6 at a time because the Hotel was so incredibly crowded. 

Overall, we had a very good time at the convention, and we would recommend it to anyone near to, or who would travel to Denver, Colorado. We absolutely love this convention and wouldn’t miss it for the world