“Steel mill convention.” That’s what “Tekkoshocon” meant, with “tekkosho” being the Japanese word for “steel mill.” This popular Pittsburgh anime con has since shortened its name to just “Tekko,” but it’s still long on fun!
Tekko 2015 was held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, as it has been for the past few years. If you’re unfamiliar with the venue — it’s amazing! The DLLCC is a massive convention center that overlooks the Allegheny River. It’s an extremely modern facility with plenty of room.
It’s so roomy, in fact, that Tekko only took up a portion of the convention center, and everything was so spread out that it didn’t feel too crowded. The panel rooms were divided up among two or three floors, and if we had one minor complaint about that, it was that you’ll do a lot of walking between panels, the dealer room and other events at Tekko. Thankfully, the facility has plenty of benches and other seating to take a much deserved break! If you have a chance check out the roof area. It was a hot spot for cosplay meet-ups and photos.
The event schedule for Tekko was pretty full, and we only had a chance to see a fraction of what the con had to offer. The ‘Attack on Titan Jeopardy’ was great fun after some minor technical snafus, and the game room had some long-forgotten arcade classics Virtua Fighter Kids and King of Fighters. We didn’t get to participate but they had some great LARPing events. They also had many panels, a nice manga library, video rooms and AMV’s. Funimation was a sponsor and Tekko boasted a dedicated Funimation screening room.
The dealer room and registration was a bit off the beaten path from the event rooms, but it was pretty large and always, always full. Like most cons, there’s a line to get in when it opens so plan accordingly. There was a great variety of artists and vendors, and some seriously cute stuff to be had.
- So many awesome cosplayers, and plenty of room to take pictures! Some of the most impressive ones I can remember included a guy dressed as Howl’s Moving Castle. Yes, all of Howl’s Moving Castle!
- Pittsburgh is a pretty friendly town overall. Rudeness levels seemed to be to a minimum.
- The views are spectacular! Again, great for photo shoots!
- Prices are reasonable compared to cons in bigger cities.
- Spontaneous cosplay parades!
- Parking was a problem. The convention center parking lot was filled quickly, and construction compounded the problem as several spaces were unavailable because of the expansion.
- Walking. You’ll do a lot of it. The DLLCC is massive and it takes some time to get from one event to another, so be prepared to walk.
- We only saw one food area in the DLLCC, in the vendor room, and the lines were long.
Tekko is a great anime con, and definitely adds something unique to the growing list of cons in the Steel City. With Pittsburgh’s reputation as “America’s most livable city,” we only expect attendance to climb in the coming years. Thankfully, the DLLCC can more than accommodate it!
Full Disclosure: The contributors received complimentary press passes to attend the convention
You can also find a gallery of more convention pictures here.