Tekko! A Summer Blast!

Published by Joseph Neal on

This has already been one summer to remember and it just started. We have recently returned from Tekkocon in Pittsburgh PA, we enjoyed the con as we always do, fortunately, all the planets aligned allowing Tekko to actually take place this year, as it almost didn’t happen at all.  Tekko was held from July 21- 24th 2022. This was the first time they held the event in the summer and will be the norm for the foreseeable future. With the fear of not being able to have Tekko happen this year to a fantastic show of love from the community, it has been an emotional rollercoaster for everyone.

Banner of Tekko Donors

Just a little over a month before the convention was to take place, Tekko had informed its loyal community that there were some issues that had arisen and they needed help. According to Tekko’s website “Due to our lack of funds for 2021 and the subsequent payment plans we needed to initiate, we are now forced to pay many of our post-con expenses upfront, before July 2022.”. With everything that has happened from covid, Tekko was put between a rock and a hard place. They needed help so they decided to have a fundraiser to get it from the community. The community came together going above and beyond to help their beloved convention. The goal was to reach $100,000 by the time the convention would take place. Tekko needed $60,000 to secure this year’s convention; the rest would help ensure that Tekko would continue in the future. With over 1,200 donations totaling $102,056, the goal was met. From photographers willing to do photoshoots for people that donated, to Schell Games willing to match up to $20,000. The community showed how much they loved Tekko and what they would do to make sure it goes on. 

Voice Actors ( Left to right – Sarah Wiedenheft, Cassandra Morris, Alejandro Saab, Trina Nishimura, Jeannie Tirado)

With Tekko going full steam ahead, the convention was packed with some amazing voice actors, industry guests, and musical guests. In total six voice actors attended Tekko this year. This list consists of Bryce Papenbrook, Jeannie Tirado, Sarah Leeann Wiedenheft, Alejandro Saab, Cassandra Lee Morris, and Trina Nishimura. They cover some of the most popular anime characters, and game characters ranging from Cassandra Lee Morris as Leafa in Sword Art Online to Bryce Papenbrook as Adrien aka Cat Noir & Felix in Miraculous Ladybug or Jeanie Tirado as Android 21 in Dragon Ball FighterZ . Some congoers come just to see them, to have the chance to listen in on a panel that they host, or to get an autograph and talk to them for a minute or two. It is amazing to see them at these conventions interacting with the community, and their fans while seeing them enjoy themselves too. They bring joy, laughter as well as happiness to so many others, we can not wait to see them again year after year. Hopefully, they will return to Tekko in future events, we can not wait to see who else Tekko will be able to get to attend next year.

Samurai Dan and Jillian along with their dogs at a panel they hosted.
Nancy Kepner performing.

As for the Industry Guests, they had Samurai Dan and Jillian, Nancy Kepner, as well as Charles Dunbar. They all bring something different to the table adding so much to the experience that attendees at the convention get to enjoy. Some experiences would be that of self-defense classes and knowledge about Japanese weapons in the case of Samurai Dan And Jillian. They have had some of the best panels at the convention filling us with laughter as well as the knowledge that is indispensable in the case of a zombie apocalypse. Charles Dunbar has lectured about the folklore, history, as well as culture of Japan, he has taught us so much about how the lore in some anime merges with real Japanese lore, that we never would have learned if it was not for his devotion and enthusiasm. Let us not leave out the talented Nancy Kepner. She writes many intriguing songs about fandoms, such as but certainly not limited to “Graduating Hogwarts” or “The Explaining Anime to Your Parents song”, bringing a smile to everyone when she performs at Tekko. The Industry Guests have been a huge part of Tekko over the years and have engraved themselves into being a big part of Tekko. 

ACME (Guitarist)
ACME (Vocalist)
ACME (Drummer)
ACME (Base)

Every year Tekko has been able to get some of the best-known music artists to perform, and this year was no different. The musical guests that attended were NANO and ACME. Each had a stunning performance on Saturday running for about an hour each, both were a blast to attend. The concert started off with ACME performing and what an energetic show it was. They put so much energy into the performance, that everyone who attended couldn’t help but reciprocate that energy right back. Hopefully, they return for another showing in the future as they were so fun to listen to as well as watch. NANO followed ACME’s performance, it was truly an amazing one at that. She even stated that it was going to be tough to perform after ACME but she gave it her all, doing such an amazing job. There was so much emotion in her songs making it feel like she was connecting to the audience with every word she sang. She gave everyone a performance to remember and remember we shall. She embodies the spirit of Tekko and the community as a whole. For anyone that gets a chance to see these performers, we highly recommend it.  

Model from Fashion Show.

Tekko has been well known to have their masquerade and fashion show that most attendees really look forward to going to, that showcases the community’s talent. The fashion show covered eight different designers and is made up of two fashion guests, and six regional designers on Friday. Over the years we have seen so many stylish designs in the fashion show, each year being bigger than the last. Each designer brought their own flavor to the show to display. The designs were slightly different from previous years as Tekko having been held in April reflected the designs that were for the season. This year with Tekko being held in July there were more summer designs which brought a nice change to the show. The show started off by showcasing Midnight Springs followed by The Angelic Forest, Empire Noir, Kittykaya, Belladonna, Hoshibako Works (RinRin), Puvithel, Axes Femme Kawaii (RinRin), MILK/MILKBOY (RinRin), Haenuli. Each one had a twist to the style they were showcasing and was amazing to see the models walk the stage in their designs. 

Cosplayer from Masquerade.

The masquerade took place on Saturday and had a couple of dozen cosplayers displaying what they were wearing at the convention. It was amazing to see the passion and devotion of each one that walked the stage being the center of the spotlight. You could hear the crowd filling with excitement as the cosplayers were showing some of their favorite characters from anime, movies, or games. Once all the walk-ons finished, the skits portion of the masquerade began. There were roughly seven skits that were performed, each one being very entertaining to watch. It is one of the focal points of the convention that we highly recommend partaking in the show whether as an attendee or as one of the performers. 

After a wild weekend of panels, guests and shows the convention came to an end. The attendance for Tekko 2022 was 8,030; up from the roughly 5,000 that attended in December. It is a good sign for Tekko in the future. As time goes on it looks like they might be able to return to pre-pandemic numbers(~12,000). I believe Tekko still has a lot of potential for growth and adaptation. They have the space to grow and have a solid team behind them. It is very possible for them to become one of the top anime conventions in the country, becoming a can’t miss event for congoers. With another successful convention in the books, we are excited to see what Tekko does for next year and can not wait to attend and see the amazing community that comes with it. 

                                  Till next time stay safe and have fun.


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