Kitsunecon 2023 – A Library Convention which Gets Better Every Year

Kitsunecon is a free convention organized in a library located in the nearby municipality of Turku in Kaarina. Kitsunecon 2023 was held on August 19, 2023. The event has been organized for several years now – once even as a remote event due to a certain cursed disease. Although the event is new in the Finnish convention scene, I have been able to follow its growth closely, because my friends are organizing it. It has been wonderful to notice that such a smaller event is able to develop every year and always attract more and more people.

I was pretty much stuck with cosplay duties all day. I still thought I’d take a look at how the event went in general.

In the library, essential things such as manga were displayed.


Kitsunecon offered a lot of different activities for its size. There were lectures, workshops, role-playing games, escape room, video games, board games, mahjong, karaoke, competitions and quizzes. For a free and small event, this is a really big range of different things to do. It’s wonderful that so many people wanted to participate in organizing the event. Of course, some of the programs were repeats from the previous year, which made me feel a bit like they just tried to fill program slots. But I can let that slide.

Because of my work duties, I couldn’t participate in any activities.

Vendors and Artist’s Alley

In addition, there were a few vendors and an artist’s alley in the convention. There were relatively few sellers in the vendor area, but in an small event like this, every vendor who is present is a good thing. In addition, there were a few vendors who I have not seen at other conventions, which is always nice. This makes the event feel even more local.

You could almost capture the whole vendor area in one picture.

The artist’s alley had a nice amount of vendors. Its location was changed from last year, because the queue to the alley blocked the main hallway in the previous year. It’s nice that there was an attempt to improve, but the artist’s alley still needs a little reflection. There was a REALLY long line there throughout the event. I never had a chance to get there myself. In addition, the queue split into two at some point and this was not supposed to happen. The security personnel should have taken a bit more of a firmer grip on the situation. I still appreciate that the artist’s alley is organized and I hope that a reasonable solution will be found for it next year.

To the right from the picture there was a huge line to the artist’s alley throughout the event.

It was also delightful that there were also some services outside of the venue. For example, you could buy huge cotton candy and artisan ice cream there. At an event like this, it’s common to hang out outside, so it’s nice that the visitors have been thought of in this area as well. In addition, you could also battle with foam weapons outside.

Outside atmosphere.


I myself was a cosplay mom for the first time this year. Cosplay moms help with tasks related to cosplay competitions. This year, before the cosplay contests, these included organizing registration for the contests, timing the contestants’ judging, taking care of the contestants, and instructing them. During the competitions, cosplay moms guide the contestants to the stage, assist them on stage if necessary, and act as handers of prizes to the presenters and contestants. Work is very important for the success of the competition. Even though the work was quite difficult for an introvert like me in terms of sociality, it was really rewarding. Kitsunecon is a beginner-friendly event when it comes to anime/manga/cosplay hobbies, and so are the cosplay competitions. It felt amazing to be able to ensure a great competition experience for cosplayers starting their competition career. The work was also rewarding, because when I saw the contestants succeeding in their competition performance and smile after the competition, a big smile came also to my face.

The arrangements for the cosplay competitions were mostly well executed. Registration took place as a speed race, meaning those who reached the counter first got a place in the competition. I noticed that some of the competitors didn’t feel it was fair, if there wasn’t room for them in the competition anymore. The reason for this decision stemmed from the experiences of previous years, because in previous years Kitsunecon has also tried pre-registration (because there were not enough competitors in the on-site registration), but the majority of those who pre-registered contestants canceled their participation. The registration process is clearly still taking shape, but I’m sure that an event that develops as quickly and actively as Kitsunecon will surely find the best solution to this problem in the end.

The audience was packed.

The competition event itself worked well for the most part. The contestants arrived one by one on stage to pose and then left to sit in the audience. The contestants stood in a line outside the hall, from where they were allowed on the stage. It was my responsibility to let them in. There were a few problems with this. The queue of contestants somewhat blocked the already narrow corridor, and was located on the edge of the vendor area, where there are a lot of visitors always. In addition, next to the door leading to the hall, there were open doors out of the venue, through which a steady stream of people passed. The stream of people sometimes blocked the contestants from entering the hall. These comments were indeed related to the problems outside the hall, but there were not many problems inside the hall during the race itself. The only small confusion happened during the prize distribution, when the markings of which prize belonged and to whom had come off the prize bags. This must have been due to human errors. These things happen and we learn from them, and otherwise the competition rolled forward nicely.

Photoshoot Competition

Along with the cosplay competitions, there was also a photoshoot contest, where photographers had been able to send in advance a cosplay photo they had taken and edited for evaluation. The jury had chosen the winners in advance, and during the competition all the pictures were presented one by one with the host explaining the background of the pictures. It was nice to hear what the person who took the picture thought about their picture. By doing this, you realized nuances in the pictures that you wouldn’t have understood without an explanation, and in some pictures the amount of work that went into it was highlighted nicely. It was a little sad that, as I understand, due to technical problems, the pictures had to be shown from Kitsunecon’s website and not from a slide show. Because of this, the images were sometimes only partially visible. Still, I appreciate that a competition like this is organized, because cosplay is really much more than just making costumes, so it’s nice that other aspects are emphasized.

Flea Market

In recent years, the Finnish conventions have had a flea market as one of the activities. It’s wonderful that the flea market is also present at Kitsunecon. I used this service, so I can comment on the functionality of it. The registration to the flea market was done by e-mail, so the fastest got the spots. The reply came with comprehensive instructions on how to bring the goods to the flea market and it also included materials for pricing the goods. On the day of the event, the goods were brought to the flea market, identity was proven, and then the flea market employees took care of the job. At the end of the day, we arrived at the flea market, counted the profits and collected the remaining goods. Everything worked very well. The only thing you can slightly criticize the flea market for is its location. It is located upstairs on a balcone, and the space is really small. Thus, I can understand that the flea market cannot accommodate many sellers, because it cannot even accommodate many visitors at a time. However, I don’t know if the flea market was constantly full, so it may be that the space is big enough for its needs.

The flea market was also crowded all the time, but fortunately it was quickly browsed through.


Kitsunecon is a really well organized event for an event of this size. There is always something small to improve, but organizing a perfect event is almost impossible. Even if things were planned really well in advance, anything can happen live. I look forward to seeing how Kitsunecon develops when it is held again next year!

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