At Zenkaikon, our goal is to ensure that a great time is had by all. Seeing as how 2011 marks the fifth consecutive offering of the largest anime convention in the greater Philadelphia area, it’s safe to say that this goal has been repeatedly met. While gathering a healthy dose of guests, vendors, and activities under one roof is a key component in meeting that goal, we must also establish a series of rules. Most, if not all, of the rules outlined on the convention’s website are common sense and not exclusive to Zenkaikon: be cordial to fellow attendees, don’t damage hotel property, no attempts at Human Transmutation without a Philosopher’s Stone, etc.
This year, Zenkaikon is enjoying a third day of operation for the first time in its history; presumably, this will be the case next (and each subsequent) year. We con attendees are used to 362-363 straight days of our collective interest satisfied (at best) in small doses. When Zenkaikon opens its doors, however, that period of time comes to a dead end and we are met with 72 hours of anime in every form. Sports fans have multi-month seasons for their interest to be sufficiently satisfied; we anime fans have 2- or 3-day-long conventions (on average) once a month or so, only a handful of which we can afford to attend. We want to squeeze as much enjoyment out of this extremely limited amount of time as possible, for our next foray might not come for weeks or months. Thus, things like, oh, the proper care of our bodies tend to be pushed to the back burner of our consciousness.
Thankfully, an unwritten rule governs this phenomenon.
The 5-2-1 rule.
What is the “5-2-1 rule,” you may ask?
5 – Get at least five hours of sleep each night
Well below the 8-hour standard, it is encouraged that you sacrifice at least 15 of your 72 hours at Zenkaikon to the Sandman. High levels of energy are prominent at anime conventions and we don’[t want to rob Zenkaikon of that trait by turning into a bunch of costumed narcoleptics mid-Saturday. Not even fans of the rave are exempt from this rule; only actual insomniacs and members of Zenkaikon staff are. Besides, after spending several straight hours in the thick of an anime convention, any and all dreams you have while you rest will be AWESOME.
2 – Eat at least two meals per day
Again, we bend the “3 square meals a day” rule a little bit and insist on two. And no, a can of Red Bull with a side of M&Ms does not count as a meal. The convention center and its adjacent hotel feature a selection of restaurants, while a free shuttle bus will take you to the nearby King of Prussia Mall. As the East Coast’s largest indoor shopping center, it certainly counts a wide variety of food places among its tenants. Even Chick-Fil-A.
1 – Take at least one shower each day
This is priority. You’re supposed to have 8 hours of sleep each night; we settle for five. You’re supposed to eat 3 meals a day; we’re happy with a double visit to Burger King. But when it comes to hygiene, we will not budge. Even if you only take three showers all year, take them all this weekend. Zenkaikon V features a video game room (hosted by our good friends at Nexus Gaming Alliance), complete with a variety of games; do you really want to enter a confined space that also contains a hardcore DDR fan who has not lathered himself/herself up since Thursday? Conventions get crowded; please have respect for your fellow otaku and have one shower (or bath; your choice) per day.
The 5-2-1 rule: 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals, 1 shower EACH DAY. Learn and live this rule. Doing so will help not only you, but your fellow fans, enjoy the entirety of Zenkaikon V.