Atsusacon 2016

After our visit to Starcom, it is time to reflect on the weekend of Atsusacon. This convention was held in the ICC or International Convention Centre in Ghent for the second time. Last year, there were some remarks regarding the lay-out of the event and the several rooms. Let’s see if there are any improvements.

atsusacon

This is the 6th time that this event has been held and the several activities were located on 3 floors. An improved in comparison with last year is that the large, empty areas were closed off, making it feel more compact instead of having lots of space wasted away and having an empty feeling. The main floor was reserved for the dealer area, martial arts section and gamers zone while there was also a photo booth and the possibility to relax and enjoy some Japanese delicacies. On the second floor, there were several rooms that were reserved for the workshops and panels, whereas the third level held some activities as well but also the Honey Garden, DDR section, Pokémon area and boardgame room.

One of the bigger improvements were the pamphlets with the timetables and overlay of the several floors that were  available at the entrance. Even if you forgot to take one with you, you could probably spot a few on every floor, as they were put up on the walls. Even more, each of the rooms had some huge signs as well, which made it easier to spot your selected activity.

Atsusacon 2016

The dealer-room was quite spacious and there were quite some shops that sold fun goodies. Although some of the shops from last year left the scene, there was more diversity in the wares.  One of the bigger elements that was missing was the Japanese Cultural Centre. The previous convention had a complete section with kimono testing and a painting area, which wasn’t available anymore. On the other hand, there were a lot of workshops and panels though a lot of them were only interesting for cosplayers. The combination of the small dealer room & game area and the lack of activities for the bigger audience makes the convention a fun place for photographers and cosplayers but less for other people.

Talking about cosplayers, Be Cosplay held 2 cosplay competitions and catwalks for artists to show their costume and moves. This is certainly one of the bigger headlines of the two days as a lot of people attend. This also counts for the cosplay dating show and hentai voice-over panel. Not the standard events to find on a con but it is certainly appreciated when you see the attendance.

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Each floor had several areas to sit and relax for a bit, while there were food stands to get a small snack. The Honey Garden, a maid and butler café, also had some food servings while there also was a food truck outside for the hungry attendees that were craving for some fries. One of the disadvantages was that these facilities were closed rather fast when the closing ceremony crept closer. Especially the food truck outside was closed while the crowd was still leaving, which might be a bummer for some people who were looking for a fast snack before returning home.

Conclusion

The organization did their best to improve their event by improving some flaws of the previous year. Although this convention might have some cool and fun events for cosplayers, the bigger audience won’t really be interested  as there was a rather modest dealer room and gaming area. If you’re looking for a small and cosy event where you can meet up with some friends, you’ll certainly like what you’ll get. On the other hand, if you just want to browse the goods and play some games you might be leaving sooner than expected.

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