And welcome back to the second part of my report from this year’s Animecon. If you missed the first part, you can find it again by pressing on the link right here. So, it will probably not come as a huge surprise that since the convention is called Animecon you are able to watch a lot of anime there (No really? That’s astounding! Never would have guessed that!). Okay, let’s quit with the joking and check out what I saw at this year’s con.
Otaku no Video (1991)
This was the opening film of Animecon and a classic that I had not yet seen myself. At the time of it’s release it spurred quite a bit of controversy as it portrayed fans (Otakus) as people who were ashamed at themselves for being fans, and included live action excerpts of a documentary. This version though, must have edited these segments out, as I saw not a single one of these. What remained though was a comedy about a young man named Ken Hubo who gets invited by a former friend to a group of anime and manga enthusiasts. Eventually Ken sets out to become the Otaking and take over the entire world making everyone a Otaku. It was a completely over the top and at times quite hilarious anime film. Part of it’s charm was the old school animation style and music, and a lot of older animes like Gunbuster and Macross were also featured in this film. It was an okay film, nothing more, nothing less.
Garo: Vanishing line Episodes 1-5 (2018)
Ahh, now this was more like it. This was shown late at night and rightfully so, as it was quite brutal and scary, but definitely highly enjoyable. Garo: Vanishing Line takes place in the future where a conspiracy is taking place in a dark city. A man named Sword is trying to get to the bottom of it all, his only clue a word: El Dorado. What I really liked about this anime were the fight sequences. Sword drives around on a big and quite frankly spectacular motorcycle, fighting against all kinds of monsters that some of the citizens are turning into. It also featured quite a bit of fan service, but mostly this served as a kind of comic relief, and luckily did not become the focus of the series like for instance Highschool of the Dead. The first five episodes were shown, and I am definitely going to finish this series soon, as it left me thirsting for more. You can expect a full review for this series somewhere in the future.
Your Name (2017)
This was the only movie that was shown on all three days of the convention. Most of you that watch anime will probably already have seen this film. It’s been hyped and gotten rave reviews all over…..and that usually let’s warning signs go off in my head. This was for me the first time that I watched it, and I have to honestly admit that it did not live up to the, admittedly, high expectations that I had of it. Does that mean that I did not like the movie? No certainly not. A movie this big though, deserves a proper review and synopsis, and that’s why I am not going to eloborate any further but save it for an upcoming review of this film later this month. I will also watch it a second time before I am going to write it, just to let it sink in better and maybe even change my final verdict for it.
Comic Girls Episodes 1-
5 (4) (2018)
On the last day I had to wait a bit to kill some time, so I decided to give Comic Girls a chance, the first animeseries that was shown on sunday. Well, you know how much I am a fan of comedy series (erm NOT!) and this was a full on comedy, not two ways about it. In Comic Girls we follow a bunch of cute girls as they aspire to become manga designers. Sounds interesting? Well…I have to be honest, this was just not for me. If you love magical girls/comedy series you will probably love this. I did laugh a couple of times but eventually the high pitched voices of the girls and the slapstick antics started grating on my nerves. I made it to four episodes, and with only one more to go I left the theatre not looking back. Sorry Comic Girls, my sincere apologies.
Revolutionary Girl Utena the movie (1999)
This last movie was a surprise. Not in the sense that it was a surprisingly good film, but more that it was kept secret until the last second, something that they do every year. With this film the convention also came to an end. And wow, talk about your seriously weird animes, this one should probably rank at the top of your list. Apparently (I did some research after seeing this), this movie isn’t supposed to make much sense if you haven’t seen the animeseries it self. Strangely though this is a retelling of the original tale and stands on it’s own. I would be hardpressed to tell you what this film is about. It deals with magical girls, lesbian sexual tension, swordfights and girls that turn into cars for some strange reason. It was very hard to follow it all, and at times it felt like I had taken some kind of weird psychedelic drugs or something like that. Either way, and that’s the even stranger part, I still enjoyed it. Oh well, maybe we all were under some kind of spell when watching this.
Well, one thing you definitely need when you go to a con is money. Unless you are a sadist and want to torture yourself with looking at all the stuff that you can’t buy. This year’s Animecon just had way too much stuff that was a serious health hazard for my wallet. Needless to say I bough way too much, that’s for sure. I made a slideshow of all the best items, and I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves.
Yesterday I mentioned something that was for me the highlight of the convention. It wasn’t anime, it also wasn’t a movie, nor was it all the delicious food. No…it was a performance by the band Necronomidol. I discovered this band about a month ago and was both surprised and delighted to hear that they were going to be performing at Animecon. Their music is very hard to describe as it is a mix of dark wave, black metal, hardrock and even small dance influences. The show began about twenty minutes too late, but boy was it worth the wait. The energy they brought to the stage was infectious and they truly managed to urge the crowd to go completely nuts. The set lasted well over an hour, and was incredible and one of the best concerts that I ever attended. They even spoke to the crowd in a few Dutch words, which was absolutely delightful. After this show, even though I already like their music, I became an instant fan, and managed to buy a few nice merchandise items as well (see the picture below). You could even meet the girls in person later on the day, but as there were a few things more I wanted to check out, I declined. (Honestly I probably would have been to shy to say a single word anyway, lol). If you want to find out more about the band, you can find them on Spotify. (I highly recommend listening to the song Skulls in the Stars, which is absolutely amazing).
And with that this year’s report from animecon draws to a close. But what is that ominous note above mean? A call to arms? Are we all going to go to war? Erm no…but I had a crazy idea. How cool would it be if we could all go to Animecon together next year? In 2019 Animecon is going to be held in the city of Rotterdam (yes they are going to change cities), and will start on the 14th of June to close it’s doors on the 16th of June. If any of you ever had plans to visit Holland in the first place and love anime how incredibly awesome would it be if we could all meet up. Hell, I will even buy the first round of bubble tea. Seriously though, it’s a crazy idea, I know, but it would be really cool if we could somehow realise it. We all talk here every day, and it would be incredible if we could meet up on an event that is this cool and share our love for all things Asian. Well, just a thought. Interested? Let me know in the comments section.
Anyway, that’s it for this post! I had an incredible time at this con, and after all the crap of the past few weeks it was pretty much what I needed. Tomorrow Raistlin0903 is going to be back in business as usual. That means I’m finally going to be performing my normal blogging routine, which means reading your posts, placing comments and of course sharing new reviews about all things geek! Thanks all for reading, and your patience in letting me come back. Have a great day!