Atsusacon 2018

Summer is always a joyous time, especially when you got sun, vacation and a con. One of the smaller, but cozy, events of the year is Atsusacon. This convention targets mostly cosplayers and people who are interested in the Japanese culture and goods. This year, they even boasted their ‘School’ theme, which really set the bar high. Let’s dive into the review and see how the event evolved.

Just like last year, you could search for certain posters across the event to compete for prizes, but it wasn’t really well-explained and clear what you exactly had to do. It was rather underwhelming and not inviting to participate. The information table was at the entrance of the event but wasn’t very appealing nor visible as it wasn’t decorated or highlighted. The lay-out of the event changed a bit too, as now the wrestling mat was in the middle of the way to the escalators. There were tables foreseen but some of them seemed to be reserved for certain games, which wasn’t that clear too. For some reason, the gaming shop was split from the other vendors. Of course, it was next to the retro gaming area but it did feel odd.

The second and third floor still had the same lay-out as previous years, with the Neko Neko Ni maid café and the ‘school cafeteria’. There were some low tables and pillows for enjoying your snacks and a lot of open space. On the upper floor, the Anime to Play and workshop halls were situated, with other tables and activities for you to enjoy. In the end, both of the floors felt a bit (too) spacious and it would have been nice if the anticipated school theme was more present. Yes, some screens did look like a schoolboard but that’s actually the only difference we noticed. It feels like there was more potential for this theme as it was barely present.

 

Dealer wise, it felt like there were more sellers in the designated area. Of course, the general items were on display, like the swords or pop figures, while there were also other stores that carried a different variety of goods. You could get some bento boxes and other Japanese related items, which certainly was fun to see. Even more, there were some artists on the scene as well, showing and selling their art. It’s good to see that the organization wants to get different types of wares on their event, just like the different food stalls which were also well-picked. A con without bubble tea is almost unthinkable, while there were also Taiyaki being sold outside. Fancy something else? You could also get some candy and even fudge in the dealer room, together with some dried fruit and jerky.

Atsusacon is known for its workshops, mostly related for cosplayers but there were a lot of other panels available for non-cosplayers as well. You could go to the sake brewing, attend a kpop dance initiation or listen to some yaoi reading. Interested in adding leds in your cosplay or which materials to use when? This con got you covered. Just as last year, there was a booklet available which was a nice way to determine what you would like to attend. Of course, there was again a cosplay competition and catwalk, where different cosplayers could show off their work.

 

In general, this year’s edition felt different than last year, but not in a good way. Tickets in pre-sale and at the door were rather expensive and there were a lot of complaints about being not worth the prize. The dealer room was bigger but still rather small and if you weren’t that interested in the panels, you would be outside again in a jiffy. As said before, the theme this year feels like a missed opportunity and it feels like there was less engagement between the organization and the attendees.

Conclusion

Atsusacon is the summer con that boasts being cozy and tinted for the Japanese lovers, but this year it felt off for a reason. There were a lot less attendees, the school theme wasn’t that present and although there were more dealers, you would still be done rather fast. This event, it felt like the fire was doused and hopefully this is awakened again for the next edition.

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Chun-Li
Chun-Li


Faster than lightning

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