I think it’s fair to say I’ve grown up with (but not exactly grown out of) the mad world of UK comic conventions and anime expos. Last week, I attended MCM London Comic Con – 11 years after my very first one.
My love for anime and other media exploded in my teens and I made a lot great friends through various conventions I went to. After university, I sort of lost touch with the ‘con scene’ as my attention turned to work and book-writing (both of which are still at the top of my list) but I recently decided that I needed to get back into it. For blog purposes, of course!
Over 131,000 descended on the ExCeL Centre for the 30th MCM London Comic Con. Whether it was anime, manga, super heroes or video games, there was something to cater to every geek’s taste. I was particularly interested in the anime guests of honour, Naoyoshi Shiotani and Takeshi Honda (more on that below) and there were plenty of other high-profile guests attending throughout the weekend – including the voice cast of the popular RWBY series, videogame legend Suda51, Square Enix video game producer Shinji Hashimoto – and many others to add to that long list.
Naoyoshi Shiotani was the guest I was most looking forward to meeting (and, in the end, the only one I actually had the time to meet)! He’s the director behind Psycho-Pass, one of my all-time favourite anime which I actually reviewed and raved about on this blog last year. I went along to his panel and signing but there was also an opportunity to get a photo with him with the famous ‘Dominator’ gun, which I had to do. I wish I’d smiled rather than attempted to look cool in my photo though but oh well. The other anime guest of honour, Takeshi Honda, is one of the masterminds behind the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, so that’s a very high quality of guests!
Whenever I’m at conventions like MCM, I can’t resist taking photos of all the cosplayers. The level of skill involved in some of these costumes is unbelievable and I admire the dedication of people who traipse around a big venue like the ExCeL Centre in full-on battle armour. I’ve put a few of my favourite costumes from Saturday in a slideshow below, but you can find the rest of the photos on Facebook and tag yourself if you’re in there!
Another highlight for cosplay fans was the seventh EuroCosplay final, which showcases the best of cosplayers for around Europe. This year’s winner was from Czech Republic, cosplaying as Pharah (Anubis skin) from Overwatch. In second place was Germany, cosplaying as Count von Krolock from Dance of the Vampires, and in third place was Russia cosplaying as Blood Moon Kalista from League of Legends. You can check out the other finalists on MCM’s website.
It felt good to be back at an MCM Comic Con after what felt like a long absence. Despite the massive crowds (worse than central London at rush hour at some points) everyone is friendly and very accommodating of people who keep stopping them for photos when they’re just trying to get from A to B. My only regret is I probably spent too much time indoors when I could have been taking more photos of cosplayers, but I know for next time!
The next MCM London Comic Con will be on 26-28 May 2017 and I plan to be there! If you can’t make it to London, there’s plenty of others taking place around the UK, so check the website when there’s one coming to a town near you.