CHARLESTON, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – This past weekend, the City of Charleston saw the return of the popular Tsubasacon- a three-day convention that offers video and tabletop gaming, informative guest and fan panels, video programming, cosplay contest and gatherings for fans of anime, video gaming and pop culture. The event was held at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10.
Tsubasacon was founded in 2004 in Charleston, before moving its events to Huntington for several years. The event returned to Charleston in 2019 but was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
On Saturday, standing in the midst of a crowd of cosplayers, anime fans and other guests, Vice President of Tsubasacon David Richmond said it’s good to be back.
“It’s been long overdue for events to start back up,” Richmond shared. “We are just glad to be back and get the economic recovery started for West Virginia. It’s been pretty crushing to our state, so we are glad to be back and get an event going that people want to come to.”
In 2019, Tsubasacon welcome more than 2,000 attendees and, according to Richmond, this year’s attendance rate was on trend with those numbers.
“It’s good news, especially with the pandemic,” Richmond said of attendance. “It’s been difficult, but we’ve really made a commitment. In January of this year, we got all of our staff together and we said we are going to do it no matter what, and if we have less people, then we have less people.”
Richmond attributed the event’s success to its more robust offering in terms of programming, panelists, events, games and art.
Veronica Ratcliff, Director of Marketing and Sales for the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, agreed with Richmond.
“We are really excited that they are back,” she said of Tsubasacon. “They bring a very unique audience with them that enjoys being together. They always bring a great show with lots for people to do.”
The event kicked off on Friday with opening ceremonies, which were attended by Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin cosplaying as Disney’s Maleficent.
Throughout the course of the weekend, guests had the opportunity to attend a formal ball, EDM dance, and cosplay contests.
Benjamin Wood, a West Virginia cosplayer who won Best Armor at Tsubasacon in 2019, returned on Saturday looking to take this year’s award for Best in Show.
Wood was sporting Viking-inspired armor which he made completely by hand. According to Wood, the project took him nearly 200 hours.
“I live to make stuff,” he shared before explaining why he keeps returning to Tsubasacon- his favorite convention.
“Everybody is welcome and that’s what I like. You see a little bit of everybody here and everybody is a friend. You can run into people you have never met in your life, and they will treat you like you’re a member of their family.”
Tsubasacon isn’t just enjoyable for its guest but also its art vendors, who travel from across the country to share their work with the people of southern West Virginia.
Laren Adams, co-creator of RGB Creative Studios out of Columbus, Ohio, says Tsubasacon is a staple convention for her and her partner.
“We love it here. It’s the clientele and the environment. People are always so friendly here and over the years we have built a good relationship with the other artists. We just feel so welcome here and we love it so much.”
Tsubasacon held its closing ceremonies Sunday afternoon. During this time, staff announced their plans to return to Charleston in 2022.