What: Asiamania convention
When: August 6 & 7 2016
Where: ICC, Ghent, Belgium
First of all, let me say that there is probably no other convention in Belgium that tries to put this many things on the program as Atsusacon, nor is there a convention this good at making sure that people know what’s on, when and where during the event. The ICC has quite good infrastructure for information, with the screen and first floor desk, and Atsusacon makes full and great use of both.
We visited Atsusacon on the quieter of both days: Sunday. And the second we entered we were given an extensive program and map, much obliged. Sadly, on Sunday a lot of workshops got cancelled, which can happen, but everywhere we looked, we saw people having a good time and making the best of it, having fun with friends instead. It may have been a quiet day in itself, it didn’t put much of a damper on the spirits of those in attendance.
Plus, let’s be honest, after big and busy cons, it’s a relief to be able to browse shops at leisure, not having to be there an hour in advance to get a good seat for the cosplay competition or being unable to stop and talk to others without blocking the passageway. It was so relaxed it was sheer and utter bliss.
Atsusacon was, as is an Atsusacon tradition, very varied. They make use of every nook and cranny of the ICC available to them and organise workshops, competitions, card games, if you can think of it, Atsusacon probably has it. There was a mobile chip shop outside, and inside a few other stands offered Japanese food and drinks. 8tea5 bubble tea was also present and for those not in the mood for either traditional drinks or bubble tea there were several vendors that sold Asian food, drink and candy. Generally at your average convention price, but c’est la vie. Bringing your own food and drinks was also not an issue at all, and the organisation had made sure that there was more than ample room, on each floor, for people to sit down and relax for a bit.
The cosplay competition and catwalk had the undoubtedly best presenter of such events I have ever seen, and her pokeball costume also deserves extra mention. A for awesome all around. She was funny, respectful to all characters, interacted with the crowd in a fun, clever and witty way, so seriously: best presenter ever. She should present every cosplay event in Belgium from now on!
Speaking of cosplay, Atsusacon is probably the last and only convention in Belgium where beginning cosplayers can go to hone their skills in workshops, but also to wander around in costume without fear of ridicule, or being intimidated by the sheer professional level of some other cosplayers. Here you see cosplayers of all levels, so to speak, hanging out and having fun together, and that’s awesome.
Cosplay Cloud also offered a free cosplay repair service, which was a great touch!
Atsusacon was once again a convention you don’t just go to to hang out with friends or to shop, it’s a place to actively see and do things (ok, mostly if the schedule is active, but cancellations happen, c’est la vie) and that, as well as the general relaxed and friendly atmosphere, is one of the reasons the convention is so great.
They don’t organise anything specific for steampunks, but if you wanted to go to the con wearing steampunk (like several people did), you could totally do that without any issues. Alternative fashions, Asian fashion styles, cosplay, regular clothes, it’s all good at Atsusacon, and this year this was no different.
Even though a lot of the Sunday program got cancelled, I would still say this was a great day at the con!
For more photos of this edition, click here.