Atsusacon 2015


After one con comes another! 2 weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go to Starcom, a comic book sci-fi con. This time, we were once again present at Atsusacon, which is a whole other thing. Atsusacon is an event all about Japanese culture, anime and manga. Let’s see how their 5th year anniversary was!

For the first time in 5 years, Atsusacon took place in another location than before. It used to take place in Antwerp but now it was in the International Convention Centre in Ghent. It’s a nice building with a beautiful park surrounding it, giving photographers the perfect scenery for some nice pictures of cosplayers. The convention spanned 3 floors. On the main floor you could find the dealers and also a martial arts area where demonstrations were given, a few tables for card games and a wall of games for you to play. You could also visit the Japanese cultural centre where you had the possibility to eat and engulf yourself in Japanese painting and some other typical cultural treats.

The dealer room itself was quite modest in size but however, there was a big variety of products. You had the typical sword stand for swords of your favorite anime, manga shops, a Pokémon corner and quite a few more. Keeping that in mind, shopping around and having a look at all the different stuff was very nice, but not having a lot of dealers that sell the same products of course means a bit higher prices.


Moving up, there was a quite big… empty room which had a couple of activities going on. There was the entrance to the theater, a sign up booth for the cosplay competition, a food and drink stand and a lounge where you could relax. In the theater, there were activities like an opening ceremony, a cosplay act competition (which was really cool), a group photo for cosplayers and a Mikaru concert. However, apparently the night before the first day of the event the schedule was changed a bit. Hence, the schedules handed out at the entrance of the convention weren’t up to date either. There was even a paper at the theater that said the opening ceremony started at 11:30, but apparently the ceremony was held an hour earlier, which really shouldn’t happen, ever! The organisation might have announced it on the Facebook event the day before, but not everyone checks that, it would have been more convenient to tell people at the entrance that the online schedule was the latest one to avoid misunderstandings.

The third floor was where the convention started to become interesting. On this floor, there were loads of activities and workshops you could take part of and of course you could have something to eat and relax. There were some traditional Japanese foods you could eat like Tori Kara-Age (Japanese chicken nuggets), noodles and Taiyaki (fish shaped pancakes). You could also have a look and participate in DDR games, which piqued the interest of quite a few people. Additionally you had the Poké- and Smash Play room where some small tournaments were held and some other rooms which held workshops and lectures throughout the day.

Now when we say rooms, we actually mean it. A lot of the activities on the top were held in little classrooms, which could easily be overlooked if you didn’t check the whole floor. There weren’t a lot of signs either to indicate that something could be going on there, which was quite strange. The DDR room for example was really fun to watch and quite entertaining, but it was tucked away in a little room on this floor. It feels like everything on the third floor could have easily been moved to the huge empty space on the second floor. It would give the impression that the convention was more than empty space and people could just walk by and look at the activities instead of having to go inside a room and miss everything else.



All in all, Atsusacon 2015 gave a little bit of mixed feelings. It was a very fun con if you attended some activities from time to time, but the dealer room was pretty disappointing for most visitors. On top of that, errors in the schedule and really bad room layout made it look like there were much less people than there actually were, which isn’t necessarily bad because nobody wants to walk on top of each other. If rooms were more accessible and the dealer room was slightly larger it would have made a world of difference for most people. Maybe next year?

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Atsusacon 2015, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. Gurenn
    July 27, 2015, 18:28

    The opening ceremony was always planned at 10.30 and it was like that on the schedules we handed out too, so the person who printed the paper for the theater must have made a mistake there. Thanks for letting us know!

    And well, the rooms are a necessity to have lectures and panels. You can’t organize those in a big hall, since you need closed space to prevent noise and you need screens and beamers for presentations. It’s like that for many workshops too. We did place all rooms and events on the schedules we handed out, so it shouldn’t be a problem if people check where everything is going on.

    The dealerroom really can’t be bigger at this point, the amount of visitors just isn’t high enough for that. We actually already have too many dealers for the amount of visitors we have at this point.

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