It’s a rare thing in the UK to be able to go to an ‘anime event’. If you don’t count the increasing amount of cinema screenings, you wouldn’t need more than the fingers on one hand to list off the events you go to where you’ll find a congregation of anime fans doing anime things.
Today though I got to go to MCM Comicon in London’s Excel Exhibition Centre a convention I described to one person before going as ‘a massive geek fest’. I’ll come to the anime in a minute, but MCM was full of all things nerdy from esports and games through to comic books and Japanese sweets. These are all things I enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised with just how many anime and manga stands there were ranging from memorabilia, t-shirts and hoodies, posters, DVD’s and Blu-Ray and, oh, so much manga.
If you’ve never been to a convention like this before (like me) the first thing that you’ll notice most obviously is the amount of people cosplaying. Going through the underground it took just one change to see the switch from people going about their normal Sunday mornings to an abundance of Harley Quinns, Harry Potters and Survey Corps Scouts. I didn’t cosplay and didn’t particularly feel out of place, but if you’ve ever had the urge to dress up as your favourite character, this would certainly have been the time to do it. For some people it was a simple costume to simply signify that they were visiting the event while for others it is serious competition with huge amounts of effort and time put into an outfit.
The other thing that I found today is that I wanted to buy everything. I mean, I live in a tiny flat and wouldn’t have space for half of what I wanted and most of it wouldn’t get much use, but that didn’t stop me almost reaching for my wallet on several occasions. It took a huge amount of restraint for me to stop myself picking up the Type-Moon 10th anniversary guide. For the mere price of £41, I could have had ten years of art and a couple hundred pages of interviews and lore in Japanese (nope, I do not read Japanese).
I did however pick up a few things which you can see below.
So I ended up (quite accidentally actually) with three new shows to watch – only one of which I had seen before! That is the first half of Charlotte, the second season of Durarara! and the first season of Owarimonogatari. The later of the three was a free gift that I got for signing up to six issues of East Asian culture magazine NEO. Finally, I got a pretty awesome poster of a Saber spirit (possibly, but by no means certainly Arturia?) in front of a stained glass window of all the spirit classes (I can’t find the artist anywhere, but if I do find it I’ll be sure to update it here). Plus, I got some nice bags to carry all of this stuff around in as well!
I had an absolutely brilliant day at MCM and feel like I would have benefitted from more time (and money!) so maybe I’ll go for two days next time?