The London Anime and Gaming Con was held in London last weekend and with three different stages for talks and performances and a number of tournaments going on there was plenty to keep guests busy. Below are a few of my favourites of the weekend

A history of Failed Video Games Mascots – DJ Slopes

This was a humorous and entertaining talk on some of the more obscure and forgotten heroes of video games long gone. Thanks to his talk I now know Lord Alan Sugar’s big mistake. Next I see Lord Sugar, I’ll be saying “Your video game mascot was a disgrace! You’re fired!” New videos are added DJ Slope’s youtube channel every week and they do make for some very entertaining watching. So if you have some free time and you’re interesting in learning some of the game industry’s most obscure secrets then you might want to check out his youtube channel linked below.

Top 10 Tips for creating Comic/ Manga – Mayamada

These guys are great. Their passion for storytelling and creative expression really came through in their talk and their top ten tips are useful for anyone looking to tell stories in just about any medium, be it Manga, novels or TV/ movies scripts. They give out some great advice to those seeking to get started in the industry. From their talk and their work in helping young people realise their creative potential, you can see that they have a real passion for inspiring creativity in others.

If you’re interested in storytelling in any medium, and you see these guys are giving a talk at a nearby event or convention then I would strongly advise you to attend where possible. You won’t regret it. You can check out their published work and their charity work by clicking on the link below.

Lele Performance – Lele

Lele was on a number of question and answer panels on the Gaming Stage on Saturday and then did a singing performance on the downstairs stage in the evening. Not only is she a great character but also a very good singer. If you are into Japanese Pop or Electronica then you might want to check out her facebook page below.

Monica Rial – Voice Actor Q & A

Question and answer sessions are usually quite boring affairs but Monica was great in hers. Not only did she give a great insight into the life of a voice actor but she also gave some very good advice to those seeking to get into the industry. It was great to hear about some of the many characters she’s voice over the years along with a list of her favourites, she likes the crazy ones. She told us of the inspiration behind some of the fans favourites character and highlighted the impact the shortening gaps between airtimes is having on the industry; with many episodes now airing only a couple of weeks later here and in the US than in Japan.

All in all, her talk was both informative and entertaining. If she’s ever giving a talk nearby then I would definitely suggest that you check it out.

Cosplay Championship UK Final

This is one event which turned out to be a lot more entertaining than I had expected. I had naively assumed that cosplay was just creating costumes and then giving a quick spin on stage to show it off. However, the finalists here had to create short performances which ranged from acted scenes to singing sea shanties and dance routines.

I’ll confess to being a little disappointed by the final three chosen. My personal favourites were Edward Kenway, Wonder Woman and the Warhammer Costume. However, those are, admittedly, biased choices, particularly when it comes to Edward Kenway – I do enjoy a good bit of Assassin’s Creed. I’m not a cosplay industry expert as the judges were, and the three cosplayers who won, did do some of the better performances. So I certainly can’t argue with the judges choices, even if my heart was set on a different line up.

Overall, I really enjoyed this event. All the costumes were impressive and it’s clear to see how much work went into creating them. It’s not something I would ever have the time to try out myself, but I deeply admire those who do.

Across the whole weekend there was a good array of stalls selling all the gaming and anime merchandise you could ever want. One stall that I would just like to mention was that of the Shades of Vengeance team. They’ve created some great card/ RPG based games and are also open to ideas for new ones. So if you happen to be a budding RPG/ traditional game designer then why not check out their website linked below:

Unfortunately, a number of events had to be cancelled on the gaming stage on the Sunday, due to one of the main guests calling in sick at the last minute, due to illness. It was unfortunate and did leave a large gap in the programme, but the staff did work hard to fill it with audience role plays and other impromptu events.

I particularly enjoyed the Gaming Lounge, which was a great place to chill and hang out between events with a good collection of retro games to play. Or you could do what I did and just sit down with a drink and watch people play Mario Cart. I never had the guts to have a go myself.

This was a great weekend. The event staff were great and anime and gaming community turnout was high, with the queue running half way down the road on the Saturday morning.

The Anime League runs conventions across the UK. Below is a list of their upcoming events, in case you are interested in attending one in your area.

7-8 April – Manchester Anime & Gaming Con –
28-29 April – Bristol Anime & Gaming Con –
5-6 May – Birmingham Anime & Gaming Con –
6-8 July – London Anime & Gaming Con –
4-5 August – Liverpool Anime & Gaming Con –
18-19 August – Cardiff Anime & Gaming Con –
(Provisional) 30th August to September 2 – Alcon 2018 –
October 6-7 – Bristol Anime & Gaming Con –
November 10-11 – Norwich Anime & Gaming Con –