London Anime & Gaming Con

So, whilst I have been sick I decided to have a write about something that has already happened instead of giving you a detailed account of how I wasted a day in bed watching anime! (as fun as that was to do with my Player 2… And as great as Assassination Classroom is) The best thing to talk about seemed to be my latest Convention which just so happens to be my first one of the year, making it a great start to this very regular blog.

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I was lucky enough to be considered interesting enough to attend as a Guest to LAGC, something I have done a few times for Anime League and has always been a fun but professional experience. Each time I have been invited to give a talk, something that terrified me the first time and if I’m completely honest still gives me the nervous butterflies now! In a very brave and I would say compassionate move,  Anime League have allowed me to hold a talk on mental health, something we all know has a rather unattractive stigma tied to it which, when talked about in a public place, can invite those who are more ignorant to it to ridicule and possibly target.

I can quite proudly say this has never been the case at one of my talks. I have had a fantastic turn out each time with both familiar and new faces, all of which have taken in my ramblings and some have even taken the time to approach me afterwards with their thoughts. It may seem like a small thing but I really think talks like this help break down certain stereotypes and help people to realise that its ok to talk about these things.

Alas! I digress. The convention itself was held in the London Metropolitan University, also known as the Rocket Complex. It’s a really funky venue for a convention and has more of a club/pub feel in the main stage area than a convention. As you wander through the corridors however, you can find different rooms filled with merch stalls and artists galore! It’s any Weeb’s dream (including mine) I personally indulged in Pocky and artwork from my wonderful friend who I will boast about later! The convention hosts a cool gaming area with anything from dance machines to classic arcade games, with newer consoles set up and even PC gaming available. So you can literally go from sitting at home playing Overwatch to getting a train and sitting to play Overwatch! (I personally see no issue here) Throughout the day there are also numerous performances for you to watch, from singing, dancing to youtube panels and clan battles, I guarantee you will find yourself watching someone at some point! But as the name suggests this convention is also very Anime orientated, with hilarious anime reels running on the main stage screen in-between talks, oddly fitting but comedic music playing over famous scenes in anime. (Full Metal Alchemist scene with dog revealed as spliced with small child…to the tune of who let the dogs out) Most of the merch is also anime related, from cute Asuna key rings to full on Sonico body pillows, this convention is sure to fill all of your possible needs.

I spent my time mainly with friends, catching up and having photos taken of my Poison Ivy cosplay, I had taken a lot of time to hot glue the train together so I decided it was best to get some photographic evidence of something I made not actually falling apart!  This also happened on the Sunday when I decided to let out my inner Anime school girl and cosplay Miyuki from Lucky Star, prompting some very cute photoshoots! We mainly browsed the stalls and generally relaxed. As a guest one of my duties was to judge the Cosplay Masquerade, something that was quite gruelling by the end as there were an awful lot of entries! I never quite feel good enough to be judging others which usually makes me feel a bit inferior next to the other Judges but after a while I realised that I was the only one who felt like that and I had been invited to guest, so I was just as capable as anyone else. In the end we had an amazing Yuri on Ice couple win overall, their costumes were perfect and the performance was well rehearsed and perfectly in character.

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All in all this was a really nice start to the year, I saw loads of people, met new friends and got to talk about something close to my heart. My costume didn’t fall apart and no one died! Can’t ask for much more really. I had a childhood friend come along with me, someone who has never been to a convention nor known anything about cosplay until I came storming back into his life. Safe to say he blended in well and dare I even say he enjoyed himself!

I was also lucky enough to buy artwork from my favourite artist Sashdoesdoodles Who astounds me with his talent. He was kind enough to draw my Patronus (Aardvarks are cool I don’t care what you say) and I bought a pre-drawn print of a very cute bear for my own Player 2 bear at home. Go and check out his stuff. You will fall in love instantly I promise.

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