ShadoCon is an annual anime, video game, and comics convention held in Tampa, Florida. Generally, ShadoCon is held in early November and is a three-day event spanning Friday through Sunday. Ever since its inception in 2010, ShadoCon has grown substantially in size each year and currently boasts over three thousand attendees.
Some of its popular events include the Breakdance Breakdown, the Shado Tournament, the Final Fantasy Ball, AMV Contest, Cosplay Showcase, and ShadoCon Talent Search. ShadoCon goes late into the night and features late-night raves, a well-populated video room, tabletop gaming room, video game room, LAN gaming, a huge dealer’s room, an artist’s alley, fan-hosted panels, and so much more. Many people cosplay while attending ShadoCon, and there are lots of gatherings for various anime, manga, and comic book series. While ShadoCon is based around anime, video games, and comic books, it is open and welcoming to fans of other genres – science fiction, popular TV shows, and the like.
There are three main events at ShadoCon: the Breakdance Breakdown, the Shado Tournament, and the Final Fantasy Ball.
The Breakdance Breakdown is a breakdance comedy show. It combines the storytelling and epic plot of a stage show with the epic flips and tricks of breakdancing, as well as the fun and popularity of characters from anime, video games, and comic books. Don't miss this ShadoCon original.
The Shado Tournament is a tournament-style fight show, using live steel weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, as well as other character-specific weapons. Actors are trained for months to put on the best, most death-defying show they are capable of.
The Final Fantasy Ball is a romantic interactive dance that hosts a show centered around the universe of Final Fantasy. Attendees dress in formal wear and dance with the characters in the show – as well as each other – while enjoying a romantic and complex storyline performed on stage.
There are three different types of panels at ShadoCon: fan-hosted panels, interactive panels, and guest panels. Fan-hosted panels are created and submitted to ShadoCon entirely by its attendees, and range in subject from sentai rangers to a history of anime in America. They are always new, different, and interesting.
Interactive panels take the panel experience one step further. These are panels that encourage audience participation, and can be anything from scavenger hunts to quiz shows to performances. These can be hosted by attendees or by separate performance companies.
Guest panels are the attendee's chance to learn whatever they want to know about their favorite special guests. They give the guests chances to tell stories and share anecdotes, and also let the audience ask questions.
The Dealer's Room at ShadoCon boasts a wide variety of vendors selling everything under the sun, from Japanese rock music to anime dvds to figurines not available anywhere else. If you are looking for that final comic book to complete your collection or that video game only available in Japan, ShadoCon's dealers room is the place.
The Artist's Alley is a place for amateur and semi-pro artists to display their work and their wares. Artists from all over the country gather to show off their drawings, their crafts, their plushies – anything they made themselves. You can also buy anything that might catch your eye, or commission a one-of-a-kind piece from an artist who caught your eye.
One of ShadoCon's coolest features is its huge video game room, featuring consoles from every generation from Sega Genesis to Playstation 3. This past year, there was a DDR machine in the video game room, and tournaments were held and enjoyed by all. Not only does ShadoCon host console gaming, it also boasts an excellent LAN room where attendees can PC game their hearts out.
Every year ShadoCon hosts a variety of video game tournaments. In 2013, there were four – Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Street Fighter IV, and League of Legends. Each year there will be different tournaments based on popularity and demand, so make sure you let ShadoCon know what you like!
A fan of Dungeons and Dragons? Looking for a chance to show off your dice-rolling skills? ShadoCon's tabletop gaming room is the place for you. This is a room that is always open for both scheduled games and spontaneous ones. Bring your base books and your character sheets, and you will have a good time. This is also a place for card games such as Fluxx, Munchkin, Cards Against Humanity, and other popular games, so if you are a fan of those make sure you check inside for fun.
The ShadoCon Talent Search is exactly that – a talent competition. Not just for singing or dancing, ShadoCon encourages talents of all types to enter. Gymnast? Musician? Actor? This is the place to showcase what you can do!
The Cosplay Showcase is both a costume competition and a cosplay skit contest. Attendees with amazing costuming skills are encouraged to enter their works, and stand a chance to win one of several cool prizes. There are a variety of categories, such as individual, group, novice, technical, prop, fan favorite, and of course – best in show.
The AMV (Anime Music Video) contest is a competition where attendees submit homemade music videos based off of anime or video game series. They are designed to be hilarious, thought-provoking, tear-jerking, epic, and all around fun. These videos are vying for awards in various categories, including parody, action, drama, comedy, horror, original film, and professional. Whose videos will reign supreme? Make sure you attend the contest at ShadoCon and find out!
Each night of ShadoCon there is a dance, hosted by some of the best DJs from around Florida. Each year the theme changes, which keeps everything interesting. The music is EDM, techno, hard trance, house, and other hard-hitting extremely danceable beats. If your idea of fun is dancing the night away surrounded by lights and glowsticks, ShadoCon's night dances are for you.