moebius

Alcon 2014 by Aisha Anime

anime league stage brentalfloss

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?

cosplay

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.

the abridgers

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.

beckii cruel

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.

group attack on titan trina

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.

andy valentine workshop

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.

Follow on Twitter: @Angels-cave

Follow on Twitter: @Angels-cave

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 herehttps://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.712772492110535.1073741847.554115554642897&type=3&uploaded=54


~Aisha Anime~

Terracotta Festival 2014: Phillipines by Aisha Anime

press terrorcotta

Any film goer would be highly anticipating the Terracotta 2014 lineup, with a spotlight on Indonesian movies last year with proved to be spot on as The Raid had become a hit at the same time. This year's spotlight is on the Phillipines cinema looking at the mainstream and indie sectors.

FIlm -SHIFT

FIlm -SHIFT

Friday 23rd May

20:40 On the Job

Dangerous inmates Tatang (Joel TORRE) and Daniel (Gerald ANDERSON) are granted temporary release from prison—but only to carry out traceless assassinations for crooked government officials before being returned to their cells. While Daniel seems to relish the violence, the older Tatang wants out; from the contract killings and from prison for good.

Saturday 24th May

16:00 Shift

Estela’s tomboy slacker routine is shaken when she is assigned a mentor.  Senior Sales Agent Trevor (Felix ROCO) is smart, funny, and cute and the two quickly become close friends. Although Trevor is openly gay, Estela, ever the idealist, secretly falls in love with him.

20:40 A Thief, a Kid and a Killer

Little Maximo Rooney (Arvy VIDUYA), bullied and ridiculed at school, arrives home one day to find two strangers hiding in his apartment. Small-time thief Nico (ROCO) and his cousin Lloyd are on the run after a bungled jewellery heist, with two corrupt detectives in hot pursuit. Although separated by age and background, Nico and Maximo become firm friends. But with a handful of black market diamonds at stake and cousin Lloyd becoming increasingly twitchy, all bets are off.

Sunday 25th May

TBC How to Disappear Completely

A young girl (Ness ROQUE) searches for a way to disappear from a suffocating existence, from parents more concerned with drink and religion than their own daughter. Her silence and inertia slowly transform into violence and vengeance, spurred on by an unnatural presence in the surrounding forest.

TBC  TUHOG

A swerving bus and a single steel bar bring three strangers together, very literally.  As a team of doctors work to extract the bar, the events that led each stranger to be on the bus that day are untangled through a series of flashbacks.

Tuesday 27th May

20:40 In Search of Weng Weng

Director Andrew Leavold, former owner of Australia’s largest cult video rental store, turns detective and investigates forgotten Filipino superstar and diminutive James Bond, Weng Weng.

Film: UNBEATABLE

Film: UNBEATABLE

Wednesday 28th May

20:30 Unbeatable

An involving action drama, from influential Hong Kong director Dante LAM (THE BEAST STALKER, THE STOOL PIGEON), set in the world of competitive mixed martial arts. Disgraced ex-boxing champion, Scumbag Fai (Nick CHEUNG, ELECTION, EXILED) is chased out of Hong Kong by debt collectors. He starts afresh in Macau, where he meets two fellow life-beaten souls: struggling single mother Gwen (Mei TING), and Lin Si-Qi (Eddie

Thursday 29th May

20:45 Warrior King 2

Director Prachya PINKAEW and star Tony JAA bring their trademark daredevil stunts and action choreography once more to the big screen, this time joined by hip hop legend RZA (MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS) and female fighting sensation Jeeja YANIN (CHOCOLATE).

Friday 30th May

13:05 Remote Control

A coming-of-age story which traces the blurred lines between reality and fantasy in a young man’s world. Teenager Tsog (Baasandorj ENKHTAIVAN) moves from the country to a makeshift home in the city, where he becomes fixated on an older woman, Anya (Nergui BAYARMAA). Desperate for a connection, he steals a remote control and begins to manipulate her television—and perhaps more.

15:30 Forever Love

Energetic septuagenarian Liu Chi-sheng (LUNG Shao-hua) is confined to a hospital bed after a biking accident. Worried about his wife, who suffers from dementia, he tells his visiting granddaughter the incredible story of how they met.

18:25 Be My Baby

BE MY BABY traces the aftermath of a party attended by a group of drop-out twenty-somethings, all running into or away from flawed relationships. Rooms are dimly lit, floors strewn with trash, clothes grubby and unkempt; this is a gritty, smutty world populated by characters blithely caught up in a vortex of insecurity, betrayal, and manipulation.

21:10 Moebius

A spurned wife seeks revenge against her adulterous husband. In a fit of rage, she grabs a knife and tries to castrate him. He fights her off, so instead she lashes out at her teenage son. Distraught and driven by guilt, the father explores desperate methods in order to help his maimed son.

Saturday 31st May

12:35 Chinese Zodiac

Ready to tackle any job, as long as the price is right, maverick treasure hunter JC (Jackie CHAN) and his team of experts are hired by the Max Profit Corporation to track down six  missing bronze sculptures, part of a set of twelve representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

15:00 Commitment

A taut spy thriller starring CHOI Seung-hyun, a.k.a. rapper T.O.P. from super group Big Bang, as a North Korean secret agent undercover in a South Korean high school. Imprisoned in a North Korean labour camp, Ri Myung-hoon (CHOI) is offered a way out if he agrees to work as a spy. Leaving his younger sister behind, he heads South to track down a mysterious assassin picking off fellow agents.  Allegiances become muddied when he befriends bullied classmate Hye-in (HAN Ye-ri), but Myung-hoon is ready to do whatever it takes to see his sister again.

18:00 Special ID

Chen Zilong (Donnie YEN) is deep undercover as a high ranking member of a ruthless Hong Kong gang. He is ordered to the mainland to deal with Sunny (Andy ON), an old adversary who is causing problem for both police and the underworld alike. On hand to help is fellow cop and love interest Fang (Jing TIAN), whose tiny physique belies some hardcore action skills.

20:15 Snow White Murder Case

The devastating power of rumour in our super-connected age is thrown into relief in this contemporary suspense, based on the bestselling novel by Kanae MINATO, whose work was previously adapted in the award-winning CONFESSIONS. The murder of beautiful Noriko Miki (Nanao) becomes fodder for today’s scandal-hungry media when newbie director and Twitter addict Akahoshi (Go AYANO), prompted by a tip-off that dowdy Miki Shirono (Mao INOUE) is the killer, begins an unofficial investigation.

Sunday 1st June

12:15 The Face Reader

Set in 15th century Korea, the film follows gifted physiognomist Nae-kyung (SONG Kang-ho, THE HOST, SYMPATHY FOR MR.VENGEANCE, SNOWPIERCER), who seizes the opportunity to cast off his peasant existence and advance through the ranks of the warrior nobles in the capital.

15:00 Firestorm

An explosive cops and robbers thriller starring Andy LAU (INFERNAL AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) and LAM Ka Tung (SPARROW, COLD WAR). Tou Shing-bong (LAM Ka Tung) is released from prison and falls in with mainland crook Nam Cao (HU Jun) and his gang of armed robbers. Straight-laced police inspector Lui (Andy LAU) hunts them down, but due to a lack of evidence Nam continues to slip through his fingers.  After witnessing the gang’s brutality first hand, Lui’s actions become obsessive and desperate, and his clean-cut facade begins to crack.

17:15 Judge!

Hapless ad agency employee Kiichiro Ota (Satoshi TSUMABUKI) is sent by his almost-namesake boss to take his place on the Santa Monica Advertising Festival jury. Lacking in confidence and English competence, Kiichiro drags along his brilliant colleague Hikari (Keiko KITAGAWA) for support.

Terror Cotta Horror Night  Saturday 31st May  22:40

Killers

Two twisted paths cross in this provocative psychological horror from Indonesian directing duo The MO Brothers (MACABRE) and Executive Producer Gareth EVANS (THE RAID).

Troubled Indonesian journalist Bayu Aditya (Oka ANTARA, THE RAID 2, V/H/S/2) finds himself compulsively drawn to a members only website, hosted by Japanese serial killer Nomura Shuhei (Kazuki KITAMURA). After Bayu uploads footage of his own, they strike up an uneasy online relationship.

Tik Tik: The Aswang Chronicles

A vampire folklore horror from the Philippines with a macabre sense of humour and plenty of blood, guts, and garlic, from director Erik MATTI (ON THE JOB). Cocky layabout Makoy (Dingdong DANTES) travels to a remote village to reconcile with his pregnant girlfriend. When he’s angrily turned away, he tries to win favour by purchasing a suckling pig for her birthday feast. Although a bargain price, the pig isn’t quite what it seems, and soon the family are fighting for their lives from a hoard of vicious, vampire-like Aswang.

In the Dark

Joseph (WANG Po Chieh) finds himself plunged into a world of nightmares when he defies a fortune-teller’s prophecy and proposes to his girlfriend May (Jennifer FOH). She is soon killed in a car accident, and Joseph, distraught, teams up with May’s friend Vivien (Candy LEE) to reach out to May’s spirit. Instead, they stir up other demons better left in the dark.

Lesson of Evil

Cool and charismatic English teacher Seiji Hasumi (ITO) is popular with students and teachers alike. He inspires trust and respect from his class, greeting many with an affectionate, if irritating, ruffle of the hair. But his actions soon take a turn, revealing something dark behind that charming smile.  Students become suspicious when friends slowly start to disappear, but little do they know that absolute jaw-dropping carnage is just around the corner.

Terracotta curator, Joey Leong

Terracotta curator, Joey Leong

Terrarcotta have chosen a varied line up to offer something to every audience whether they appeal to the MMA fan in you or offwer family fun with Jackie Chan. I know the Kpop fan in me is looking forward to seeing T.O.P in Commitment. For more information on the films, watch the trailors or buy tickets go to the Terracotta Film Festival website.