22-24 November 2024 - Leonardo, Milton Keynes

Event Descriptions

We had a lot of amazing content for HotaruCon 2023 and you can read all about it below!

You can find the full event timetable here.

Event Title Description Badge 1 Badge 2 Badge 3
20 Years of Weeb Shenanigans: An Evening With King Dice For new goers and veteran goers, story time with a con veteran who has done quizzes, game shows, yoga, and the occassional singing skit or chess performance - stories of 20 years cons, the evolution of cons and what has changed, along with some fun stories and performances along the side.

NOTE: Maybe encouraged by the committee to have had alcohol prior to the event. (The committee does not encourage this for most panelists, but for Chris it'll be funny so yay.)
King Dice Badge
A Brief History of Gojira: King Of The Urban Redevelopers! Everything you ever wanted to know about everyone's favourite kaiju, that could be crammed into a 50 minute presentation.
Science,  art, and chance collide into a tale almost a century in the making!
Marvel at the true tale of their origins, shudder at the lowness of the production budgets, and gasp at the international sociopolitical impact of someone in a rubber suit stomping on toy trains.
All I Have Is My Phone Camera!! Cosplay Photography Edition v2 Taking cosplay photos with your smartphone? Come along for tips & tricks on: finding locations, composition, framing, lighting and posing! No prior knowledge required! Cuddly Cookie
Author Q and A (Industry Panel) Unravel the mysteries of writing and publishing with our industry guests Rose Black (Till Death do us Bard), Luke Partridge (Alex Winters series) and Francis White (Voyage of the Damned). They're here to discuss the tips and tricks in this fun and informative panel and they're happy to answer as many of your questions as they can! HotaruCon
BGSS - Kings of Hotaru-tokyo Become a kaiju, roll dice and claim victory in this team-based boardgame supersize version of King of Tokyo. Erithacus
Blood on the Clocktower  A Social Deduction game where even death is not the end. Is the empath drunk? Is the Virgin really the Scarlet Woman? Is that a toe in the pie the Chef just made? Could they be the demon? Who is bluffing and who is telling the truth? Play the game and find out.  Em
Closing Ceremony HotaruCon's closing ceremony, sadly an amazing weekend must draw to a close and as we do we will be announcing winners of all the competitions, the final tally of the charity donations, and giving some important announcements for upcoming dates for the diary! HotaruCon
Comparative Coffee Tasting 1 & 2 Everyone has an idea in their mind of what coffee tastes like. Come with me on a journey through a comparative tasting of several different specialty coffees to find out how it can be so much more than that. Badge
Cosplay Ball Time to get fancy! Dancing away in your spectacular cosplays and fancy clothes (not strict dress code just have fun) there will be live musical acts all of which to get you ballroom dancing across the floor.  HotaruCon
Cosplay Cafe Fancy a break amongst the hustle and bustle of HotaruCon for some coffee and cake? Purchase tokens for a drink and/or piece of cake, with all profits going to Stonewall and take a load off. The Cosplay Café is being hosted by the Eevolutions for an elemental experience. j0y.cos
Cosplay Chess Cosplay Chess comes to Hotarucon! For those of you who don't know, Cosplay Chess is a game of chess played between two characters, using other cosplayers as the chess pieces! To take a piece there's always a battle - be it a fight, a dance off, or a duel. Some come and watch this fun, dynamic mish-mash of characters, from all the series being cosplayed across the con, battling it out for victory!  TheSparkOfRevolution CereselCosplay
Cosplay Chess Rehearsal  Rehearsal for those involved with Cosplay Chess TheSparkOfRevolution CereselCosplay
D&D's legal drama The D&D community had a big shake-up this year. Learn about the history of RPG publishing and how the OGL affects content creators and you. Shrink Laureate
Dancing Lessons Be your most spectacular self at the cosplay ball by learning to dance. Shrink Laureate
Disney Sequel Showdown The Disney sequels are well know for their... variable quality.  But which one is the best, or at very least the most-not-bad?  The world needs to know, so I watched them all and have prepared myself to put them in a tiered list.  Come and experience my suffering second hand! Aloe-Badge-r
Drink and Draw  What's this?! A panel that's encouraging art and drinking?! You bet! Either grab a drink at the bar or come grab a soft drink with us and let's get those creative juices flowing!

Can't think of what to draw? Not a problem as we'll have the weeb 5000 to help randomise a prompt

* PLEASE NOTE - responsible drinking is a must as want all to feel safe and can be included * 
Foam armour basics Introduction to using foam for cosplay armour  RoBadgeJellyfish
Game Panic Special: Thanks, Konami! The videogame game show that shows how videogame shows should be shown is back for Hotaru! However, this time round, we invite you to come along and beat your friends at the madcap challenges of Bishi Bashi Special, the game that mercilessly stole the idea of Game Panic...despite being released 18 years previous. Of course, there's prizes on offer for the winners. Oni-91 Lady Oni
Ghost Stories With Tyler and Veronica  Have a ghost story to share or love hearing about Cryptids? Come and join us - we have snacks!  Whisksarebae HoneyPeach011
Hotaru Game Night Join Oni and seven of his very special guests for an evening of Jackbox fun, skullduggery and backstabbing! Join Team Audience, and earn points for the chance to become the first ever Hotaru Game Night Champion of the World! Make sure your phones are charged, this is going to be a good one! Oni-91
HotaruCon Feedback Panel Got something you want to let the committee know about how HotaruCon went? Come to the feedback panel and let us know, we welcome all feedback with a view of making HotaruCon the best we can for all of you. HotaruCon
Idols and anisongs... live! Idol and anisong live performance from duo Guruguru Himawari! Bring your sunflower yellow penlights!  Luluko
Japan via JET Programme Ever thought about teaching English in Japan? I did it for 2 years in the 00s. Come listen to the good, the bad and the ugly, and (hopefully) some useful things to know if you're considering doing this yourself! I'll also be fielding questions (as apparently things like the application process have remained pretty similar). EthanFox
Japan's weird obsession with Disney Have you ever wondered why Disney is so popular in Japan? What makes it so special in a country that creates tons of its own cartoons, merchendise and entertainment in general?
I think I might've found an anwser to this question... but that's probably not going to be something you've expected.
Drop by and see what makes Japanese Disney otaku go crazy!
Karaoke! Come and sing some of your favourite tunes! HotaruCon
Kpop 101 Welcome to the maximalist dreamland full of colour, high concept-performances and videos, a plethora of performers and unrivalled choreography. This is Kpop 101!
Join Ginshi and Cinnamodoll as we take you on a journey from the very start of to present day Korean Wave!
Whether you are a total newbie or a hardcore stan, everyone is welcome! (bring your merch!)
Cinnamodoll Ginshi
Laser Tag Arena Grab your friends, grab a laser blaster and engage with other players with this interactive battle simulator.  Unleash your inner Gundam/Trigun/Gunsmith Cat/John Wick* with up to 15 players.

*You are not John Wick
Tsubasa Rei KuroLily
Luluko is funny? Join Luluko for a stand-up comedy show about being a weeb, life in the 2020s and and her generally bizarre existence. Could be funny, could be a disaster, who knows? Luluko
Masquerade and Firefly Lounge Rehearsals Rehearsals for both the Masquerade and the Firefly Lounge. This will run through from the Masquerade and into the Firefly Lounge so if you are only participating in one or the other you do not need to remain for the entire rehearsal. All to arrive for the briefing and health & safety talk for both events to start then will be given a time scale for how each rehearsal section will run. HotaruCon
Masquerade! A convention staple it's the MASQUERADE!
Cosplayers take to the stage showing off their amazing costumes, all levels and styles are welcomed and enjoyed! Come show your support, grab some of those awesome photo opps and see some amazing characters brought to life.
Name that Tune The classic game of I know this song!...', hopefully you can remember which series it's from RoBadgeJellyfish
On your marks, Get set, Cosplay! Words pulled from a hat create your prompt...random items (some may even call junk) are your materials, from there you have a time limit to use the items provided and your own imagination, and a member of your team as a model to create your cosplay. The loudest cheer at the closing ceremony wins! HotaruCon
On your marks, Get set, Draw! A list of words...random words...pulled from a hat to create your prompt, from there you have a time limit to draw your own creation using these prompt words and the HotaruCon mascots to inspire your creation. Paper and pencils will be available but feel free to bring your own materials. The loudest cheer at the Closing Ceremony wins! HotaruCon
Opening Ceremony Time to get the second HotaruCon up and running!! The official opening of HotaruCon, come meet the committee and hear about some of the amazing things we have planned for the weekend along with important announcements you won't want to miss. HotaruCon
Queer and Neurodiverse Representation in Media  Are you Queer, Neurodiverse or an ally? Great! Come share your thoughts on representation in media with your local community member!  Whisksarebae
Random Drabble Challenge Come and test your fanfic mettle! We challenge you to create a fanfiction of exactly 100 words on a randomly drawn pairing (from fandoms you know, via spreadsheet magic). Optionally, read out your result for instant applause from your peers, and add to our special Hotarucon AO3 collection! Sixy
Rizin to the occasion: a history of Japanese MMA A potted history of Mixed martial arts in Japan, and how they influenced the international scene. Athena
Searching for Japanese Spooks: Obakeyashiki Haunted Houses & More There’s few countries quite as hauntingly creative at producing spooky attractions than Japan! Inspired by fiendish Youkai folktales, abandoned hospitals, stories of “spirited” revenge and more, join your ghostly tour guide Karen for an immersive exploration of Japan’s various Obakeyashiki haunted houses.

(WARNING! This panel will address some horror themes that some people may find upsetting)
Share the love: Worldbuilding Creating and exploring the world underlying your favourite stories is a lot of fun - what resources have you come across that are useful? From mediaeval demographics to how plate tectonics affect the growth of civilisation on another planet to development and evolution of alien species, if discussion of this sort of thing sounds like fun to you, please come and join us! We'll be sharing resources with the aim of compiling a master document which will be shared with anyone who wants it (and probably quite a few who don't!). This should be useful and fun for anyone who makes their own narrative fiction of any kind, fan or original. Sun Kitten
So you want to get into Gundam? Have you ever wanted to get into Gundam, but not known where or how to start? Then this panel is for you!
Starting with a dive into the history of the franchise, we progress onto how Gundam is structured, before giving recommendations for new fans to begin.
With Universal Centuries, Minovsky Particles and Witches from Mercury, Gundam's got something for everyone, and that could include you!
So You Want To Run A TTRPG? or Don't Do What Donnie Dungeons Does.
Are you a budding Dungeon Master or Storyteller? Want to know how to get started running your own adventures? Want to explore some systems outside of the mainstream? Kyrie is here with tips, anecdotes and 2 decades of cautionary stories to help you find the right game for you and get those stories off the ground. Recommended for those just starting out, but all are welcome.
The Cheese Board  Cheese, Board games, and chatting: bring a board game and bring some cheese (as in, actual cheese) for some light evening fun Tea
The Firefly Lounge Pull up your chair and join us for an hour that promises to be...entertaining as your fellow attendees dazzle you with their talents on the HotaruCon main stage. We have some surprises in store... HotaruCon
The Unofficial HotaruCon 2 Pub Quiz Come on down and test your nerdy trivia with a heaping mound of quiz! With picture, general knowledge, music and a super special round or two, take your chance at winning our coveted medals and other goodies! Or don’t, I’m still not your dad. QueersForFears
The Very Basics Of DJing Ever wanted to learn the basics of DJing? The Raggedyman is back again with everything you need to get you from novice to having your first dancefloor moving. Basic theory will be discussed and practical experience given. International DJ stardom is not guaranteed, but you'll have everything you need to play a party without too much going horribly wrong. Raggedyman
The Very Basics Of Panels Ever wanted to learn how to put together and run a talk at a convention? In an overtly meta presentation, The Raggedyman will take you through everything needed to get from having something you want to tell everyone about to being up in front of your first audience. Experienced presenters are also welcome to share their hard-fought tips, and maybe even learn some new ones. Raggedyman
The Wig Bang Theory  Want to untangle the mysteries of wig styling? From buying to brushing, washing to wearing and styling to storing...Come and learn all the basics from professional performer and cosplayer BexiBeans! BexiBeans
This panel contains filth and maybe hentai Wex is back to fuel your hentai needs and ruin your fandoms Wex
Turnabout for Teyvat - A Genshin Impact Panel Court is now in session for the trial of Tartaglia, the Eleventh of the Fatui Harbingers! Mixing an old school in character interactive Q&A panel where ALL off topic questions are allowed with the theming of a Fontaine Trial (without the magic show I'm afraid), join the members of the jury to find out the answers to all those burning questions you may have. Raine Valerian
UK Game Show Quiz With A Budget Of 69p We have had cons hosting variations of Pointless, Catchphrase, Family Fortunes and such - so we're gonna roll it into one huge pub quiz! Just one problem...the host is technologically useless. So, we've found a while to do it pub quiz style - so whilst we have a couple of traditional rounds, look forward to a Family Fortunes, Tennable, Catchphrase and some Pointless style rounds where you may or may not get dragged to the front... King Dice Badge
Ultimate Japanese Snackdown! It's a battle of the snacks in this bracket style tournament. Try a range of snacks and vote for your favourites Monsterhaul
Wait, What?  “Wait, What?" A quiz where you have to guess the anime, the opening and endings or even the character from the way people have described the show, drawn the characters or even run the opening and endings though a translator. Em
Walt Quizney World The sequel to Kokorocon’s Quizneyland! This Disney-themed quiz, while still scuffed, won’t be nearly as hard. Test your knowledge of everything Mouse, from live action, to animated, to the promised pictures and music rounds! Fabulous prizes are up for grabs, so come on down and prove that you’re the biggest Disney adult around. Or don’t, I’m not your dad.  QueersForFears
What the folk!? - An introduction to British folklore An introduction to what folklore is and an exploration into the fascinating world of British folklore. Do you know your Arthur from your Askeladd? Can you tell the difference between a kelpie and an addanc? Can you recall your yan tan tetheras? DJChay
Where's the E? - A Blazblue lore summary + discussion. Fighting games are famous for their bizarre stories, but even amongst them Blazblue holds something of a notoriety. Join us your hosts, a group of excited but equally confused fighting game fans as we attempt to explore the sheer entertaining nonsense of this epic saga without becoming sidetracked too often...  Moggiehoggie Strelitzia_crow MatzM
Who is GACKT and do you afraid? Hey Bros and Sisters. Have you ever heard the name GACKT and wondered who that is? Maybe you're already aware of him but you'd like to know more? Rest assured that by coming to this panel you WILL learn more about him than you ever thought was possible...you'll probably learn too much BUT it'll be a good time regardless. Raine
Wonderful Watercolour Workshop Come and learn how to use watercolour paints.  No experience necessary and all abilities are welcome.  Paints, paper, brushes and even pre-drawn line art will be provided, all you have to do is come and paint. Aloe-Badge-r