After having had five editions in the western part of the Netherlands, the organisation decided to move to yet another old location of Animecon: Theaterhotel Almelo. For many with good memories of Animecon at this beautiful location, it was a good reason to travel to Almelo.
However, the number of visitors was a bit disappointing. Friday was pretty empty, as if the visitors who came on Saturday and Sunday didn’t know that Nishicon was a three-day convention from this year on. Saturday and Sunday saw more visitors to the convention, which must have done the organisation, event participants and dealers good! Also the regular activities like the karaoke, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and the Gameroom were well visited during the weekend. Although the DDR was unlucky because it had to move a few times and had to let people know by means of A4’s where the new location of the DDR was.
The programme was so jam-packed that there was more time for the visitors to socialise. Still, I missed a band performance, although that seemed to have been replaced by Deshima Sounds. The DJs celebrated their 10-year anniversary, the hall was not completely filled but that did not bother the DJs’ at all. It became a nice party with nice beats. Nobody stood still for long! Deshima Sounds was definitely a highlight during Nishicon.
Another highlight was the LED workshop and panel, which was very interestingly put together. After these two activities, the visitors were mostly talking about it. It is worth repeating. Another plus point during Nishicon was the range of anime on offer, which was even shown at night.
A low point was the event Your Waifu is Trash. The event was announced on Facebook and seemed to be a very original activity. But it made me think that it was Your Anime Sucks! in a very wrong way. The three presenters seemed very uncomfortable on stage and were allowed to roast 2D anime characters, only it didn’t come out well. They even seemed to be roasted by the first contestant. The large stage will probably also have been part of the awkwardness, but with more practice, this would have been a better activity, without using too many simple swear words and making really funny remarks, so that Your Waifu is Trash can be a real roast!
Cosplayers aplenty during this edition. Several photographers, including the famous photo corner of NozLan would have been busy photographing the beautiful outfits of various anime. The latest craze of the Korean otome game Mystic Messenger showed up at Nishicon in terms of cosplays, but also Black Butler, Sailor Moon, Naruto and Haikyuu.
Because not everyone is familiar with the old location of Animecon – I couldn’t find the Maid Café for instance – it was a bit of a maze for many. The organisation had provided a booklet with a 3D floor plan and schedule, but a 3D floor plan didn’t seem to create much clarity for visitors. It caused some strange situations, where it was not even clear whether the reference of A4 sheets to the sushi workshop with question marks was a joke or serious. Of course, everyone, including the organisation, will have to get used to it.
The dealer room was divided into two. The creative people and conventions were in the Amadeus room, which incidentally was not always well-attended, while the dealers were in the Beethoven room. At the entrance, there were a number of tents where you could buy food, including Japanese, taiyaki and noodles. But these seemed a bit too pricey for my taste. Besides that, the Theaterhotel is located in the centre, which made it easy for many visitors to get cheaper food elsewhere. In the Theaterhotel the food was okay, but still for a festival price. Also during this edition, you paid partly by means of a coin system.
Friday was a rough start and it is suspected that it was not clear to everyone that the convention consisted of three days this year. In terms of location, it is mainly a matter of getting used to. It has been a while since a convention was held in Almelo and there is also a new generation of convention-goers that has little to do with the history that the Theaterhotel had with Animecon. It will at most be cold feet. I am convinced that next year more people will show up, especially if the programme is filled up with new activities next to the old familiar ones like the CMV competition. I also hope that next year the convention will take place in November, so that it will not be in the way of CAMERA JAPAN and FirstLook, among others. Because of this, the convention will have missed some visitors this year!
For next year I am convinced it will be a bigger success with a sold out Nishicon, provided there will be better promotion!
Photo’s: UWCosplay (cosplays), DeSchuurr (atmospheric photos)