Animaga 2014

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Article by Daniel Coomans

Photography by Matthew Murphy

Animasia came to our shores on the last weekend of September (27th & 28th), donning a name befitting to its latest destination: Animaga. Another jam packed convention for the growing numbers that are flooding the Japanese pop-culture scene. We started with a stroll around the traders hall and one thing was apparent; the organisers were being cautious.

After looking at all the things that I knew I couldn’t buy, and those that I wished I could by, I sent my photographer on his mission to collect as many photos as he could and like that he was off like lightning. I on the other hand went and had my photo taken with the honoured guests; my favourite cosplayer, Neneko and her sister Momo who had come all the way from Taiwan. There was a slight error with printing the smaller photo sizes so I ended up getting both a small and large one for the price of a single small one! What a catch!

After this, myself and a few buddies headed down to Animasia’s Gunpla Workshop where we built the Gundam model kits that we had bought, a true sense of accomplishment is felt when you complete a model kit. It was wonderful to see just how many people have actually embraced these models and it was great to see that Animasia even went so far as to give newcomers a free beginner style model kit to start learning the art of Gunpla building.

From there we went to the Neneko and Momo signing area where we waited an hour and a half to get photos we’d bought earlier signed by either sister, or if you fancied; both sisters. We hardly noticed the time it took because we had so much fun talking to one of the other gentlemen waiting in line! The signings were more than worth the wait and to have them personalised for each individual was absolutely amazing.

We then went to the maid café and had ourselves a much needed early dinner; being served by the lovely maids and well-mannered butlers was a welcome relaxant to our busy first day, and closing with a sweet photo with the maids was the icing on the cake! Day two was slower paced, but the cosplay was amazing as always; guest judged by Neneko and Momo!

The entire set up was much smaller than I had anticipated and there were fewer things to see and do, there were also many noticeable absences; Siren Visual and Hanabee being the obvious no shows. However that did not impact the enjoyment and experience that I took away from this convention, it, like many other conventions, has a lot of room to grow and I look forward to seeing its amazing potential.

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