“Being a host and getting fussed over by a bunch of girls might not be that bad. I wonder how I can pull it off. I’ve got it! I’ll just call everyone ‘dude’ and ‘bro’, now.”
- Haruhi Fujioka (voiced by Caitlin Glass)
Animeleague hold many conventions around the country but London is their epicentre. The organisation manages to churn out conventions at an alarming rate for the work load and London Anime Con happens to be one of their first. For Animeleague‘s first convention of the year LAC had to be a hit.
We attended with a table downstairs, selling our panda hats and t-shirts while giving out free samples of AnnaMay’s latest comic. Our stall went down well but due to our location (situated in front of the stage and in a walkthrough to the bar) we had a minute amount of con-goers visiting us. This was not just the case for our stall, many of the other vendors downstairs had similar problems as the attendees were more interested in purchasing alcohol than our products.
This outlines the general theme within London Anime Con. The event proves to be a very relaxed affair, something akin to that of a bunch of your school friends hanging out at a bar, where there just so happens to be anime playing and people walking around in cosplay.
The volunteers, hired to help organise the event seemed just as lost as the attendees when it came to scheduling. Although there was a clear timetable set out for the weekend, many of the events ran over, under, or jumped all over the place. There were problems with sound downstairs and many of the panels were hard to hear due to the close proximity of other rooms.
Without sounding like a complete downer, the convention did have positive points. The stalls upstairs were manned by some of the nicest vendors you will meet. Mayamada and Estatic Arts were selling some of the highlights, including unique t-shirt branding and some fantastic figures and merchandise.
The artists are always a pleasure, showcasing their artwork with prints, badges and even some unique tidbits. Destiny Blue was of course there, attending yet another convention and growing her loyal fanbase. Of course, this time around LAC managed to acquire a voice actor to attend. Caitlin Glass was an absolute pleasure and very charismatic on stage, a massive highlight to the convention.
Cosplay is always one of the highlighted aspects of LAC so we were very much looking forward to sitting in on the panels and getting a chance to take some stunning photos at the Otaku Fashion Show. Sadly though, the event was roughly 10 minutes long compared to the much longer event in previous years. With a sparse amount of models on stage and very little in the way of description and introduction, it was sadly a disappointment. We got our cosplay fix in the panel room with cosplay makeup from female to male tutorial with cosplay stars Kelly Jane and Teal Pirate showing a variety to techniques for manly jawlines, stubble and minimizing bosoms for the authentic look.
We managed to catch the end of the animation workshop which was hosted by one of the Otaku Fashion show models the PVC devil, she knows her stuff and it’s a cut throat world so she recommends to study it and if you still have the hunger and passion go for it.
The Q&A with Himezawa was insightful if you’re a hardcore cosplayer. She explained she had no idea what cosplaying was until a woman in a book shop approached her and asked her if she was one. She later researched and tried it out. She’s now a successful cosplayer competing in European championships which include acts on stage.
Cosplay around the convention was however very good. You can have a look at our cosplay and fashion photographs on our Facebook page. Attendees came out in force with particular emphasis on gaming culture. Speaking of which, LAC dedicated a very large room to gaming over the weekend, it was kitted out with plenty of consoles for you to have a go on and because there were so many, you didn’t have to wait too long to get playing.
The only downside to all this was that the Sunday was given the gaming emphasis, this put a strain on the stall vendors because most of them sell anime related goods for London ANIME Con. Animeleague have responded to the interest in the gaming side of LAC by creating an entirely separate con entitled London Gaming Con. Perhaps with this creation will come toning down the gaming focus at LAC?
London Anime Con may have its faults, but its intended audience enjoyed the day. They relaxed, had a few drinks and mulled around the convention enjoying themselves. Of course with the 18+ age stamp on the convention, there is no room for youngsters – maybe if there was, then there would be more control? Though the organisers know what they are doing, if people attend year after year then perhaps they are doing everything right.
We will have videos of the event up very soon on our YouTube channel.