Join us at Philcon 2017! | Zenkaikon, Anime & Sci-Fi Convention, Lancaster PA

Zenkaikon, Anime & Sci-Fi Convention, Lancaster PA

April 1-3, 2016, Lancaster County Convention Center

Join us at Philcon 2017!

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 6:08pm

Philcon, the world's longest-running conference of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, is coming up quickly on November 10-12, 2017! Our friends at the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society are busily making final preparations for their 80th annual convention, and we're very happy to be working with them to help put together a jam-packed schedule of programming for the Anime & Animation track!

Philcon is located at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ. While the full schedule is available here, we also wanted to give you a preview of what we hope you'll join us for. (Of course, keep in mind that final schedules are subject to change.) We also owe a big thanks to Sentai Filmworks and Funimation Entertainment who provided permissions for all of the great screenings that will take place.

First off, here is the programming you can expect as part of the Anime & Animation Track:

A First Look at Star Blazers 2202 and the Return of the Comet Empire!

Join us for a look at the Star Blazers 2202 (aka Space Battleship Yamato) series currently in production in Japan.

Anime Armaments & Toon Tactics

What does the Colt.45 have over the almighty Wave Motion Gun? Why does the German Panzerkampfwagen tank trump the RX-78 Mobile Suit Gundam? How can Judō possibly beat the feared Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū martial arts style? The answer is simple...REALITY!! Strap on your flak-jacket and bring a helmet as we discuss the all-too-rare accurate depictions of military hardware, tactics and strategy in animation.

Anime in the "Before" Time

Join us to share stories about anime...before it was even called "anime"!

Anime You Should Be Watching: 2017 Edition

Join us for a look at the best anime of the 2017 season, and learn what you should be watching.

Great International Animation

Japan and the U.S. certainly aren't the only places producing great, compelling animation. Join us for a look at what other countries have to offer!

Kickin' It Old School, Star Blazers Style

Amy Howard Wilson shares her fond memories of dubbing this awesome series.

Nautical Nonsense: A look into Japanese Naval History and the Anime It Spawned

From Kantai Collection to Arpeggio of Blue Steel to Space Battleship Yamato, the history of the Japanese Navy has inspired many beloved Anime. Join us as we discuss these series and the history that inspired them.

Rejoice Philcon, Your Wish Will Be Granted [18+]

A Type Moon and Nasuverse Panel. Can Shiki Kill Servants? Is Being Lancer Suffering? Join us as we discuss Mana Transfers, Chairs that need to die, and all other things Type Moon.

Social Progress Through Monster Girls

Recently there's been a surge in monster people related anime and manga. In this panel, we'll highlight how some of those series are using this to tell stories related to multiculturalism, congenital defects, social cliques and coming of age to an audience who might not normally look for these topics.

The Golden Age of Anime?

When was the golden age of anime in the US? Was it the late 70s/early 80s with Starblazers and Speedracer? The late 80s/early 90s with Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball? Was it the early 2000s with Spirited Away? Or the present day, when there is more anime available than ever before? Join us for a lively discussion!

The Hunt For The Tuatha de Danaan: Full Metal Panic and Tom Clancy

Despite being set in a world where large Mecha dominate the battlefield and technology is derived from the visions of psychics, Full Metal Panic draws heavy inspiration from the works of the late author Tom Clancy, especially those works set within his "Ryanverse".  Join us as we explore the connections between these two fictional universes

The Life & Works of Hideaki Anno

Evangelion has been wildly successful and popular worldwide. But despite its popularity, its principal creator, Hideaki Anno, remains shrouded in mystery for many people. This panel will take a look at his life and works, and provide biographical information about the man who created Evangelion. Presented by Aaron Clark of and

The Life & Works of Satoshi Kon

Satoshi Kon was a unique talent that was tragically lost much too early. Join us as we reflect back on his life, his directorial works (Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, Paprika), and the impact that he had on the anime industry and its fandom. Presented by Aaron Clark of and

The Mythology Behind Sailor Moon

The influence of Greek myths on Sailor Moon goes far deeper than the names of our heroes.

The Other 362: Other Anime Stuff to Do

An overview of other conventions, events, and clubs in the local community where you can share your love of anime with fellow fans the rest of the year!

You, Too, Can be an Anime YouTuber!

In this panel, we will take a close look at each and every step in the process of producing your own show on YouTube. We'll cover the entire video production process, working within the protections of fair use, building up a viewership, and monetizing your content. You've got questions? We've got answers. Presented by Aaron Clark of and

Screening: Elfen Lied [18+]

[TV-MA] Lucy, a beautiful young mutant, is bred by the military to be the ultimate weapon. Now, with government killers on her trail, the disposition of a five year old, and a hair trigger for ultraviolence, Lucy and her young friends must unravel the dark secret of her legacy before it's too late.

Screening: Momotaro: Sacred Sailors

[TV-PG] Setting the stage for the rise of anime, Momotaro, Sacred Sailors was Japan’s first feature-length animated film. A notable accomplishment for its time, the project was funded by the Navy Ministry of Japan during World War II. Along with another early masterpiece, Spider and Tulip, these films are preserved as milestones of the industry and historical artifacts of the war.

Screening: Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water

[TV-14] The World's Fair, Paris, 1889: a young inventor crosses paths with an enigmatic girl and her pet lion. Suddenly they find themselves pursued by villainous trio intent upon stealing the magical Blue Water. Thus begins an epic adventure partially inspired by Jules Verne's masterpiece 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Screening: Princess Tutu

[TV-14] Once there was a writer, who was blessed with the ability to bring his stories to life. But when the writer dies before his story is finished, what becomes of the characters left behind? For the girl known as Duck, the world changed when an old man gave her a pendant that transformed the duck that she was into a young girl. Yet this gift comes with a task: to gather the shards of a shattered Prince's heart and resolve a saga not yet told.

Screening: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

[TV-PG] Something strange has happened to Makoto Konno. Time has suddenly stopped and moved her backwards. With her newly discovered ability to literally leap backwards in time Makoto finds that tests become a piece of cake, embarrassing situations are corrected and she can have her favorite food anytime she wants. Unfortunately her carefree time traveling has adverse effects on the people she cares for.

Screening: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes

[TV-MA] For decades, the Galactic Empire has been locked in an interstellar war with the Free Planets Alliance, a conflict that involves thousands of spaceships and millions of soldiers on both sides. Two new commanders enter the conflict with great hopes: Imperial Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm and the FPA's Yang Wen-Li. As they deal with superiors and subordinates, maneuver through complicated political arrangements, plot strategies, and win battles, each will be tested...

Screening: The Vision of Escaflowne

Hitomi Kanzaki is an ordinary high school girl who runs track and has an affinity for tarot reading. But when a brash young man named Van appears from a beam of light, Hitomi is spirited away to a mysterious new world called Gaea. On Gaea, soldiers in magnificent armored mechs wreak havoc around her. Humanoid animals walk and talk like people, and foreign empires are embroiled in war.

Screening: Valerian & Laureline

[TV-14] A French/Japanese animated television series based on the French comic book series written by Pierre Christin and drawn by Jean-Claude Mézières. Two humans must investigate a mysterious shift in time. The couple settle in the galactic capital and realize they are possibly the only humans left. They begin a new life as space mercenaries and adventurers, exploring the new space-time continuum while at the same time attempting to rediscover the Earth.

Of course, the Anime & Animation Track isn’t the only thing to enjoy at Philcon. As the nation’s oldest science fiction convention, Philcon has a variety of panels, workshops, and other programming related to literature, art, television, film, anime, comics, science, gaming, cosplay, music, and other topics of interest to fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.

Here is just a small selection of other programming we think our members might be interested in:

3D Printing Costume Accessories

Just what goes in to creating props using this method? How much do you have to know about the softwares and hardwares involved in order to fabricate something yourself?

Beautiful Art in Video Games

In 2010 Roger Ebert said "video games can never be art", but countless games out there prove him wrong. From those that look like animated watercolor paintings (like Valkyria Chronicles and Ōkami) to ones with worldbuilding to rival any novel (like BioShock and Dark Souls), come talk about the fantastic finds that prove it's content- not medium- that defines a quality product.


We've now put together the Avengers, the Defenders, the Justice League, and the Inhumans. How are the ensemble portion of the various franchises working out? Is watching the weaker films and shows that act as introduction for some of the members necessary in order to appreciate or understand what is going on in the current story arcs? What team do we expect to see next?

Kimono: Reality vs. Fiction

What do novels, film, and even anime get wrong when it comes to kimono? Learn about historical and modern kimono, proper dressing procedures, and how a person actually runs while wearing one!

LitRPG: MMOs in my fiction!

LitRPG (a combination of “literature” and “role playing games”) is the hottest new genre you (likely) haven’t heard of.  It’s part video games, part portal fiction, and 100% geeky goodness.  We’ll discuss where it came from, the attention Ready Player One has brought to the genre, and where it’s going from here.

Roundtable: What Wizarding America SHOULD Have Looked Like

There's lots to love about the world J.K. Rowling built for her Harry Potter series- and there's also lots to take issue with, particularly with her assertions for how magic schooling in America is set up. Ever since her first press release about Ilvermorny, fans having been coming up with far more culturally nuanced and credible suggestions. What's yours?

Stranger Things

Science fiction meets horror meets D&D in this 80's-era themed series, as three boys uncover a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one strange little girl while in search of their vanished friend. One year later, it becomes clear that the rip between realities isn't as sealed as they thought it was. How much stranger- and deadlier- are things going to get in this small town?

The Future of Godzilla Films

A discussion about the recent Japanese Godzilla films as well as Legendary's Godzilla future films.  Should other companies besides Toho make Godzilla films in the future?  What old or new kaiju should Toho use for future Godzilla films? Should Pacific Rim be considered part of the franchise?

The Philadelphia Cosplay Scene

Meet fellow cosplayers local to the area, learn about events and other cosplay opportunities, and find out what kind of projects your fellow fans are working on.

The Worst Science I've Seen on Film

If you cringe every time you hear a movie scientist assert that humans "only use ten percent of their brains," you're not alone! Bring you suggestions and join our panelists as they try to identify the worst science ever put forth on film.

Women in Comics: Amazon Edition

Oh come on, you know what we're really going to end up talking about - Wonder Woman! She came, she saw, she....well, went Amazonian on their butts. From the ruins of B vs S emerged one true savior and her name is Diana. So let's celebrate her!

There will also be a variety of other panels and workshops, a vendor and artist room, a tabletop gaming lounge, an art show, a Friday night dance, and the Saturday night Masquerade.

If you're planning to attend, you can view registration information on Philcon's website. Discounts are available for students, children, teens, and active duty military. Memberships will also be sold at the door.

More info is available on the Philcon website.

We hope to see you there!