Returning after a little hiatus, Kraken Con is back in Oakland for their weekend event of anime happenings. It also seems like the last one judging by their site being archived soon. Dolya Gavanski (Overwatch) and Courtenay Taylor (Fallout 4) headline the special guest line-up, which offered fans unique opportunities to meet voice actors that aren’t at local events frequently.
The most surprising guest choice definitely goes to Dolya. I pay attention to a lot of Overwatch voice actors with their event schedules, and Zarya is not one you see often (or at all?). That is my main tank hero on Overwatch, so it’s no wonder why this particular guests had my attention. Kraken Con has always managed to put together exceptional special guests lineups that can satisfy a nerd of any medium.
Programming each day featured an individual guest in a panel that lasted about an hour with an interview and questions from the audience. These weren’t the busiest of panels in terms of attendance, so it felt rather intimate having a front row seat for those that showed up. One of the best feature of Kraken has been the easy experience meeting special guests. If you line up, wait a little bit, you’ll meet your special guest without any problems. The cool part if that you can even get a free autograph during their specific meet & greet sessions. This has always been the Kraken Con method since the beginning, and it makes me happy knowing the organizers maintain that.
Kraken Con utilized the Oakland convention center as usual, and it’s always been a great venue for the event. Over the years I felt like Kraken Con could downsize the duration to a single day instead of 2 or 3 days that it usually is. In essence, panels aside, I felt like I explored most of the convention in an hour. Perhaps this is the seasoned convention reporter in me, but I think I see so much of the same stuff return at this particular event. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just not keeping me staying as long each day. I enjoy roaming the artist alley and poking in at vendor booths if I see random products I might like.
I truly hope Kraken Con can return in the future, even if it isn’t in 2019. The bay area had a cute weekend event with Kraken Con filling in during some spring & fall weekends. I’ll be sure to keep tabs if anything comes about for a future event. It’s been a great few years covering this convention since they were one of the first events to recognize me as a press member back in the day. Thanks for the memories. :)