It started at 11AM so I decided to get there about 1PM.
I got off the bus, went to Sainsbury’s, and got 4 pints of milk for £1.
Then I went to the University, to where I thought the old Sports Hall was. I walked all the way round and it was just scaffolding.
Having doubts about the whole thing, I meandered along and met a guy with a bike. I asked him where the Con might be, and he said he’d seen some costumed people yonder. I followed his line of sight and nodded, and trudged therewise to find it.
5 minutes later, I found the entrance to the Con and went in. I bought myself a ticket. But at the Cloakroom entrance, I asked how much money to stash my bag and milk. She said £3, so I put the milk in my Ikea rucksack/bag. But the milk sprung a leak. A trail of milk followed me as I asked the woman what to do. She pointed to a nearby flip-top bin, and I put the milk in it. A kindly young lady went after the milk trail with a cloth and cleaned it all up with no blame attached. How kind!
Went round the corner looking for the main hall. I found a door and it appeared to open some 15 feet above the ground. Strange! But I went on and eventually reached stairs down, and showed my ID wristband to the guy at the door.
I was getting worried! What if it turned out to be a sham, just a bunch of tables selling stuff!
Luckily I checked my agenda sheet and it told me at the main stage in the centre front of the ‘new’ sports hall, there were ‘things’ on.
First I trudged around all the stalls. I found stalls selling T-shirts, buttons, manga books (MANGA means books, ANIME means cartoons). But no anime. Oh well. I did, however, meet the guy who runs the Role Playing club. He was pleased to see me, and said I can pop round in as early as May to join in some temporary/short RPG games. He said his stall was 10% off, but I didn’t want to buy anything as I didn’t have £20 to spare. Since I lost my wallet, I was taking care of my expenses.
Okay, so after the stalls was the main stage. The Maids Of England. Some oriental-looking woman and one white. Okay. It was okay but I wasn’t bowled over.
Then the Hoshi Dolls! 2 girls who were doing some crazy dance moves to some J (Japanese) Pop. This was my kind of thing! I just loved the way they performed their moves effortlessly.
Dubb That Anime was next. For about an hour from 2PM to 3PM, 4 pairs of people each (pair) were assigned a short (30 second) clip from an anime (cartoon). They watched it, then discussed their angle and what theme and what words to use in dubbing the clip, and then watched it again, speaking their ad lib into a microphone. (We could see the anime from a medium-sized projector screen which was setup at the front).
The best ones were guys who apparently had done well the previous year. Their angle is best described as ‘Bro’s for Life’ with 2 large guys bopping fists in the anime. It was crass, but hilarious.
This went on for an hour, though I missed the first 15 minutes.
Next I popped upstairs to see the ‘Games room’. This was a circle around a partition, and was just a setup of classic consoles and screens – LCD or CRT TV, depending on the console.
It looked fun, but I didn’t play. I just watched the intro/demo and looked at people playing the games. I don’t play computer games as I’m not too great at them.
Went back downstairs for the Liam Morgan 30-minute set on a Japanese guitar (Tsugaru Shamisen) which was quite dull.
After this was the 15-minute ‘Do You Even Pose’ which consisted of showing stills from manga and anime on the projector, and a group of about 12 people would copy the pose the best they could. It was totally hilarious!
Soon after sometime, I bought a book about cyber crime for £3.50 which seemed fun.
Finally, 4PM. I was thinking of heading off at 4.30PM due to that being 3 hours at the con. And to think I didn’t think I’d last 15 minutes!
At 4PM was the ‘Cosplay Masquerade’. Cosplay – Costume Play and was just people dressing as their fave anime/manga character.
They trooped up one by one, did some posing, then strode down the centre aisle and sat down.
At 4.45PM, I left, but the feeling of joy lingered afterwards for a while. All those people, all those attractive girls, and the craziness – even people dressed up as Star Wars Stormtroopers.
I look forward to my next ‘Con’. It might be Manchester in July, but most likely, it’ll be next year’s Majikkon.
One footnote is that apart from the RPG guy, I saw nobody I knew. Not Jason or Paul – who I told it was happening - from next door to my Mum’s. What is it with people?