After the last edition in 2017 rumours were circulating already: is Animecon going to move to a bigger venue? A few weeks before the 2018-edition this was announced officially: Ahoy will be the new location, starting next year. This means that visitors during this last edition would be walking through the World Forum for the last time. The location is interesting, because of the various embassies and even Europol surrounding the World Forum, the building itself is pretty light and has various locations indoors and outdoors for photography and videography. It’s a beautiful location with a lot of room, but still the feeling of cosiness due to the placing and decoration of the various rooms.
No resources were wasted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the anime convention properly. The first performance of JAM Project in The Netherlands has been at Anime 2018 and this was the cherry on top regarding the music-related events, but there were more musical acts from Japan which were invited to perform in the World Forum under the name of Live Houses. A rock band, DJ-acts and even an idol act could take the stage in the Amazon Room. They all attracted various groups of interested people, and the idol act NECRONOMIDOL was close to 160 people as their audience. The combination of Deshima Sounds with the dj-acts Savage States and Numb’n’dub during the Saturday evening and night appeared to be the last pieces of the puzzle to create the complete experience.
There was enough room to get familiar with these acts, but the focus of every edition of AnimeCon is cosplay. And that’s not so strange, since the biggest anime convention of The Netherlands has to reserve a lot of room in their schedule for various interesting cosplay competitions. For fans of cosplay, this convention is perfect, especially because you can enjoy various big names who dare to take the stage in the Koning Willem Alexanderzaal to show off their cosplay creations. Aside from cosplay, there were various interesting games available in the game room, a good shopping opportunity, the whiskey tasting was a big success and this year there was a maid- and ninjacafé who came especially from Japan to join the convention. The location of the maid- and butlercafé Sparkling Potpourri and Royal Roulette had been adjusted to the ground floor, but the decoration had been done beautifully. Even though it was a bit too dark, the atmosphere was great because of the original decoration.
The take-outs from the various food options went great. The sales of Japanese foods remains as popular as ever among the visitors, especially when these are prepared right in front of you while you wait. The combination of the loaded schedule with over 200 events and various food and drink options ensured that you wouldn’t want to leave the location. That’s positive, because if there’s always something to do, even if it is meeting familiar people, then you did a great job as an event!
This year AnimeCon knew how to be a convention for different kinds of people. It was very interesting to see how the location had successfully arranged more musical acts. Hopefully, this trend will be continued in the next location. It’s extremely exciting to see how AnimeCon 2019 will look. To keep the feel of the anime convention there will have to be a lot of adjustments at the location, because this one is more like an expo or a comic con. Still, the organisation has assured they are working hard to get the visual aspect just like they want it. With the experience that is present already, there was a celebration for AnimeCon’s 20th year of activity just now, after all, it will surely be alright in the end.
20 years of AnimeCon has been celebrated beautifully in the World Forum, and it was a great goodbye to a beautiful location. But who knows, we might find ourselves in the World Forum sooner or later. There was something that the organization of AnimeCon was hinting at, while we might take that as a joke. You never know what happens behind the screens.
Photography: VI Young (except for NECRONOMIDOL and X Made Alcoholic Santaclaus: Francisca Hagen)