After much debating I made 2014 the year of outside London conventions, following a successful Buck who’s Cosplay competition and gaming area was run by Anime League I thought it was time to see what the Leicester counterpart of London Anime Con was about. Based in the halls and De Montfort University grounds it was like occupying our own town.
Alcon fit in 1,400 people who enjoyed anime screenings, movies, panels, voice actors, merchandise and workshops for four days. 4th to 7th September, Leicester was taken over by con goers not students. Tickets were completely sold out and accommodation full to the brim.
I saw a bunch of familiar faces from the LAC and lots of returning staff rearing to get things done with a smile. Accommodation was pretty comfortable in the student halls, clean suitable big and with the few lock issues everything was fixed promptly by the in house university staff. Con goers were welcome to congregate in the hall grounds or at the convention main building where the bar was open till late and often ran out of alcohol, you would think a uni bar would be more prepared?
The event itself was a pleasant experience the new system included VIP tickets where the ticket holders could go to exclusive meet and greets with the guests such as voice actress Trina (voice of Mikasa, Attack on Titan), the Abdridgers, Megran would be able to talk intimately to the con goers.
Alcon also arranged the Abridgers meal which again entitled people who paid extra the chance to eat a great buffet meal with voice actors from their favourite fan dubs including Little Kuriboh who came from America. The abridger guests vary from year to year on who you can meet and great way to meet fellow fans or writers/VO’s in training. It was a pleasure to have met so many talented people (not including the Abridgers), all of this was not possible without the help of Alcon, something I have not seen at other conventions.
It was an absolute thrill to see Beckii Cruel perform in person on an intimate stage and talk about her new fashion line in her Q&A, where people got to know what she up to since her last single. Other panels included the A-Z of idols that was an insight into what was trending, the do’s and dont’s of idols and even the hardcore fan dances which were allowed or illegal. Panels had first few rows reserved for VIP ticket holders.
The highlight without a doubt was Trina Nishimura, best known as co-lead-protagonist Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kojin) where she poured her heart out in the Q&A’s about how important the anime series was in showing people we don’t have real ‘titan’s destroying our towns and lives. We deal with our own person ‘titans’ everyday and beating them is a no lesser victory. Giving advice to fellow voice actor’s in the audience too and telling us her favourite character – Armin of course and being a pleasure to talk to outside in the signing or in the general building.
A new sensation for me was watching the epic Megaran perform some raps to video game music, the guy talked of his fame spreading to Capcom the company and being contacted to work on projects. This guy had bags of enthusiasm and happily stopped for photos and laughs with fans.
Londoner Chiquitita Cosplay hosted a make your own cat ears workshop for people wanting to learn about basic Cosplay, where you leave with your own pair, this was free and part of your ticket – however workshops filled up fast so held on first come first served basis.
They had a great range of stalls from top quality figures at Kamikaze who sell often at events and online. However it’s not all Otaku based merchandise you had Angel’s Cave where owner’s custom make dolls and clothing for all your moe needs. With great selection of plushies from Cartoon Passion including Japan only Pokemon plushies on sale.
The nightlife was never ending from themed music on each nights and famous balls where everyone got dressed fancy even wearing masks and the guests were there too mingling with the crowd and I even got stopped and complimented by Brentalfloss. It was all closely monitored by staff and security. Cosplay portraits even provided a free photo at the ball for attendees.
Alcon also raised a lot of money for charity being divided between Wishable and Epilepsy Action items auctioned included a huge hamper of baked anime goodies from The 3 Baker Tiers which raised over £100! An art book, Japanese plushies from Cartoon Passion, lots of merchandise from chain store Forbidden Planet.
Find more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.712772492110535.1073741847.554115554642897&type=3&uploaded=54