Atsusacon 2017

There are quite some cons during the summer season and one of them is Atsusacon. It was the fifth time we could attend this event and get a whiff of the Japanese culture and workshops. Last year, the con was more targeted to cosplayers than the broader audience, so let’s dive into the setting and see if anything was changed.

atsusacon

For the 7th event, the organization wanted to do something different so they added ‘Monsters vs Mechas’. You could pick one of both teams and do several challenges to earn yourself some stamps. With eight stamps you could get a goodie at the front desk and get that score up for your clan as the winner was announced during the ending ceremony. It is a fun way to get the attendees together and provide some extra activities but it looked like this initiative didn’t take off as expected. It wasn’t also communicated when entering the convention and it was also hard to spot where the stamps could be collected. It was a good idea but it might need some tweaking to get the crowd wild.

Some of the areas were closed off, just as last year, making it more cozy. On the third floor you could have some nice Pokémon battles or show off your dance moves with the DDR area. The activities and workshops were still held on three different floors but there was a change in layout. For instance, the Honey Garden was replaced by the Neko Neko Ni Maid Café and was now on the second floor rather than on the third one, placing it in eyesight and making it more accessible. The second floor had other eating possibilities as well, like the Hotdogzilla and Susuru ramen, providing authentic Japanese ramen for you to enjoy. Don’t worry, the ground level also had some small snack stands while the dealer area had a small Japanese candy store. More than enough possibilities to get something yummy in your tummy.

Atsusacon 2017

The dealer area itself was rather spacious but the art section and some info stands also joined the scene, reducing the amount of shops. There was a diversity of wares, but you were done browsing rather fast. Next to the gaming area and shop, the professional photo booth and the martial arts section, there wasn’t much else to see. Atsusacon has several workshops, but a lot of them are for the (starting) cosplayers and might not be that attractive for the bigger audience. They do try to add other ones, like manga drawing or sake brewing and with the new Monsters vs Mechas event, it looks like the organization wants to attract a bigger and more diverse crowd. At least some things never change, like the all-known Hentai voice-over panel and the cosplay dating show.

Last year there were pamphlets with the timetables, this year a nice booklet was provided with some info and a short description for each activity or workshop. Thanks to this handy tool, you could determine beforehand what would be interesting to follow and at what timeslot it was held. There were also several paper sheets available that had an overview of all the activities as well but such a nice booklet is always a fun goodie.

Atsusacon 2017

Conclusion

In comparison to last year, the organization added some extras to spice up the event while also keeping the old formula in place. Although this is the first year with something extra, let’s hope that the bigger audience finds their way to this rather small and cozy convention so they can enjoy the beauty of cosplaying but some other interesting workshops too. The Japanese culture right in the center of Ghent, it is possible.

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