During the weekend of April 7 and 8 the 5th edition of TomoCon was held in Oss. And of course AVO was there to report. There was something for everyone again this year. Workshops, lectures about different topics related to Japan, games and a lot of cosplay and of course stands with all kinds of items.
What was there to do?
Divided over several areas of the building De Berchplaets in Oss you could find all kinds of things. Inside on the ground floor, there was the stage where lectures, the cosplay competition and of course the performances of the artists were held, as well as the first dealer room where most of the merchandise was related to anime like figurines, manga, everything you can call kawaii and cards from for example Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!.
On the first floor there were more interactive activities like the workshops (Needle Felting, drawing manga and chibi, Gundam model kits, Danganronpa V3 Cosplay Panel, DDR and Become a YouTuber by Trainer Steevee), Bubble Tea, Tomo Speedmeet and the game room (where both card games and video games were available to be played) and on the second floor there was a cosplay photobooth and the Kinjin game room.
Outside there was a tent for karaoke, a spot to feel like a sumo wrestler for a moment, a bouncing castle with a slide and of course the large dealer tent where you’d find even more anime, manga and kawaii, but also food and beverages imported directly from Japan, swords and artists eagerly awaiting to display their works to the people walking by. And of course a spot for the people who were camping on site on the Tomo Camping.
All those activities obviously cause you to work up an appetite, and that wasn’t forgotten by the organization either. They ensured a variety of foods being available at the open area at the entrance. Fresh noodles, crepes, ice cream and of course some fries for the ones not that into Asian foods. Long story short: no matter what your taste is, there was something for you. Even though the ice creams did seem to be the most popular item because of the warm weather.
This year there were two musical guests at Tomocon 2018.
Dress Up Town
First up, the butlers and lady Myu Strawberry, aka Dress Up Town. On both the Saturday and the Sunday they had not one, but two setlists a day in which the group (sometimes backed up by the brother of Myu) performs a lot of well known anime songs like for example the Pokémon theme song (original by Jason Paige), THE HERO (opening theme of One Punch Man by JAM Project), Unravel (opening theme of Tokyo Ghoul, sang by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure), and many others. This year they didn’t only have anime songs, but also an original song written by Myu Strawberry: “Prince Charming”.
No Japan-related convention is complete without a “real” Japanese artist. This year people could admire SATSUKI in the evening while he was on stage promoting his new album REBOOT. Even though it was a little later in the evening already there still were quite some interesting people who flocked to the stage (among which a few butlers and Myu Strawberry from Dress Up Town) and they quickly became enchanted by his music. Jumping, dancing and occasionally singing along. All of this made sure there was a big smile forming on SATSUKI’s face, and that completed the circle. Artist makes the audience happy, the audience makes the artist happy, and the result is a cheerful setlist which both parties really enjoyed. So much, they even begged for an encore. A request SATSUKI didn’t count on, so -according to himself- there had to be some improvising on which song he wanted to play as his final song of the night. Eventually, he picked BURNING OUT, which can be found on the APOCALIPSE album.
Aside from the promotion of REBOOT, SATSUKI had brought something else with him. This being a few new jewellery items which he makes himself under the name of Sacred Traditional Kingdom Melody, or S.T.K.M for short, as well as a few works of art which he created during and after his EPOCALIPSE tour.
(Before the show AVO had the opportunity to sit down with SATSUKI and ask him some questions about his new release. You can read the interview here.)
01. WITH BEAT I GO ON
03. Attack on Titan OST (cover)
04. Lily-月影に魅せられて- (Lily-tsukikagenimiserarete-)
06. SOCIAL NETWORK SERVICE
09. BURNING OUT
Photography: Arlequin Photography