Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
MANGA.TOKYO covers most anime events from anime screenings to conventions, from locally in Japan to America. This is the first time, however, we cover a convention from the land down under, Australia!
Back in July, I attended a local anime convention, called Avcon. Sadly, I could only attend for one day this year but I still wanted to share with you guys a bit of the Australian convention scene. How do us Aussies do anime conventions? Let’s hop on right into it!
Avcon is a non-for-profit Anime & Video Games convention held in South Australia, Adelaide. The first Avcon was launched in 2002 and was run by volunteers from South Australia’s Adelaide Japanese Animation Society and Adelaide University Video Gamers Association. It stayed at the University of Adelaide until 2009 and then expanded to Adelaide Convention center. It has been growing ever since.
The people behind this convention are known as Team AVCon. Each year, they elect a newly appointed team. These individuals elected consist of former and existing volunteers whose one goal is to make AVCon always a fun environment for con-goers and it’s fans.
Avcon is a three-day convention, held every July. This year it was on 20-22 July. Since 2005, they have a theme for every year, and past ones have been such as School Days, Space Opera, and others. The theme ‘Evolution’ was chosen for 2018. Why Evolution? It was chosen in order to represent how pop culture has changed in the last twenty years, entering an age where we have virtual idol singers – the times are changing! I thought it was an appropriate theme to choose. Having themes for each AVCon (plus the mascots) was just a fun addition.
One of AVCon’s non-changing traditions is the Friday opening ceremony and Sunday closing ceremony. The opening ceremony is a pre-hype occasion for many co-goers,. It’s always an exciting and electric atmosphere during the opening. The staff from Team AVCon always put on a well choreographed, silly dance or skit to officially open the convention, showcasing the conventions guest in addition. This event has gotten popular over the years, leaving the main hall always packed. It’s a great sight to see so many con-goers attend and it is becoming the norm now for people to come in cosplay. Over the years, I’ve always traditionally done a cosplay to attend the convention. After the opening there is always a special screening of an anime or related pop culture film.
The ending ceremony is always a must-attend for AVCon. Sounds silly to say as it marks the end of the convention but many people come for the auction where anime, video game items, signed merchandise, are up for bid. Over the years, we’ve had bizarre items, such as giant size letters. This is always an entertaining time; the bidding can get insane at hysterical points – people still have money to burn. All the auction money goes to charity. This is one of my personal highlights and I always try to attend.
For 2018 AVCon, I could only attend for one day, on Saturday. It was exciting with a friend who had never been at the convention before, or to any convention. First arriving, it was straight off to Artist Alley, always a main attraction at AVCon. Held in the main foyer, it features over 70 local and interstate artists, showing off their work, from cute fan art prints to adorable key chains. Later in the day it can get very crowded, which is why I always buy stuff in the morning. Directly alongside Artist Alley you have the epic dealers hall, local and interstate exhibitors who come from all over Australia, e.g. Madman, Hanabee, etc. A wonderful place; I find myself stuck in for hours, just like in the Artist Alley.
Unlike in previous years, the layout for the convention this year was well organized and more spacious. Especially in the dealers hall, they spread out the exhibitors evenly; it is great not to feel claustrophobic for once. During past conventions it was very cramped. One cool thing I noticed in the exhibitors hall was that one of the local libraries had a stand and gave away old library manga books for FREE! – which was an awesome thing to see. Hope this will become a regular thing for future AVCon’s.
My friend was excited to see the gaming area which was the most spacious I’d seen it in a long time. In previous years everything felt squished together. Making room for a bigger space was a huge plus for AVCon this year. In the gaming area throughout the weekend you’ll find tournaments going, board games, RPG games. This year they had an entire area set up for old game lovers like myself, which was AWESOME. A main gaming attraction which is always busy is known as ‘Indie Games Room’. It showcases young Australian and New Zealand game developers who show off their latest games. The indie room this year was massive, and it impressed me to see how many young developers were there – most I’ve seen in years.
Now no convention is without its guests and over the years, AVCon have brought us names like famous cosplayers Jessica Nigri and female voice actress Caitlin Glass. This year we had six guests, most we’ve ever had. Voice actors Spike Spencer was a returning guest from his first AVCon back in 2013. Alongside Spike’s voice actor Neil Kaplan were four well-known Australian cosplayers: Major Sam Cosplay, Beke Cosplay, Vera Chimera and Knitemaya. I personally was not bothered about the guests this year, only because I didn’t know the cosplayers guests. Cosplay guests seem to becoming the norm in conventions as cosplay these days has become so mainstream – but was good to see different cosplayers from different states.
Speaking of cosplay, another main highlight is the annual Cosplay Competition, held on Sunday. It is always a blast getting to see other cosplayers costumes and sheer hard work gone into a theme. Fun fact: we don’t just have one cosplay competition; they hold another on Saturday, known as Madman National Cosplay Competition. This is held in every Australian state at various conventions and they hold the main championships at the end of the year in Melbourne where all the state winners compete for the final prize. Sadly, I got to see neither of these events this year.
Honestly, I might be here all day writing about what AVCon offers as a convention. We have competitions for AMV’s (Anime Music Videos) and Art. Plenty of anime screenings throughout the day play older and newer anime titles. This year there was a great mix – thanks to added addition of new streaming service HiDIVE. The Maid Cafe is always a popular one, for a bite to eat during the con. But two of the best things to do during AVCon is the annual Saturday quiz night or after-dark party for 18+. Out of the two, quiz night is the best. Getting to answer anime and pop culture questions and meeting new people is always awesome. They can even put you on a table with a bunch of strangers which is even more fun.
My experience for AVCon 2018 was a great one, especially looking back on my first AVCon in 2008. The convention has come a long way, and it gets better each year; it was personally great to see old faces and the amazing cosplays – such high standard. One of the best things about AVCon I’ve had brought up in many discussions with people is its friendly atmosphere. This is one thing that has never changed about AVCon and what it’s best known for. It’s a happy atmosphere always at the convention among the fans and hard-working volunteers. AVCon depends and rides on its volunteers, who always work tireless to keep things organized for its con-goers, making it stand out from the rest of other Australian anime conventions. AVCon is a convention about community and one of friendliest conventions you’ll ever go to.
If you’re ever in the aussie land attending any of the Australian anime conventions is a must, But start with AVCon first!!
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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