Article: Animagic 2012 - Anime convention German-style
Animagic 2012 Overview, Day by Day - Day 3 and Summary
Day three was somewhat lighter of events for the English speakers as a most of the events on offer featured the German voice actors, manga-ka and Japanese manga-ka whose works I don’t believe have hit the English language market yet, such as Kanan Minami.
Even though the third day, a Sunday, was the final day of the dealers room and of events, the queues into the convention built up rapidly throughout the morning, reaching several hundred people by the time the doors opened at 11am. The UKA crew met up early in the morning to photograph the cosplayers, many of which can be seen in the gallery, and wander around while observing the pleasant sights. Whilst I wouldn’t say its any better that what you can find in the UK it was certainly on par, and the sheer amount of it on display was staggering. The quantity of cosplay involving leather and bondage gear was... interesting, to say the least!
First thing in the morning after the convention opened I attended the Nitro Plus panel and signing event with Kanako Ito who is known for performing the music for Nitro Plus games. The signing event unfortunately suffered from the same issue which affected the entirety of the convention which was a lack of supply of signing materials to meet the demand. The give-away at the end of the event was presented by Kanako Ito again who, via a game of jan-ken-pon, gave the prize of a well endowed Super Sonico figurine which Seb would have been very happy to own, to a rather bemused teenage girl.
Afterwards I met up with Lorraine again, who took me to show that at Animagic the convention doesn’t just stop at the main site. A short five minute walk away from the Beethovenhalle took us to the bank of the Rhine where legions of cosplayers had gathered, most of whom were not even attending the con but had shown up simply to enjoy themselves in the brilliant weather. It was truly an amazing sight to see and had apparently been going on for both of the previous days with similar numbers of people. There were also a number of impromptu photo-shoots going on in the waters of the Rhine, which is a level of dedication almost beyond what is seen in Japanese photobooks and it created such a wonderful image and atmosphere that I would gladly head back to Bonn just to attend this amazing gathering!
After a quick check round the dealer room to see if there were any last-minute offers around, the UKA Crew re-grouped after the Kalafina panel to head into the closing ceremony, which featured not only the usual thankings of guests and confirmation of the cons return next year but also another set of live performances including some of the amateur groups who had been performing throughout the con on the outdoor stage (one of which had a hilarious moment where the lead singer forgot when to start singing) and another song from Kanako Ito.
It was an excellent end to an excellent convention, in my opinion.
All-in-all, compared to UK conventions there isn’t really all that much of a difference apart from the scale of the con (12,000 versus circa 1,500 for UK conventions) and that language barrier.
The Germans we talked to were the same as anime fans anywhere else: passionate, friendly and up for some fun! The language barrier did limit the enjoyment of the panels but this was made up for by the spectacular array of guests and the cosplay scene.
The one thing I would like to mention (and to point out to any other con organisers who are reading) is the convention goody bag. For just €20 more than the standard ticket you received a vinyl shoulder bag, two large T-shirts (the con shirt featuring Highschool of the Dead and another advertising the Supernatural anime), a full volume of manga, three full DVDs (volume 1 of Genshiken, Tenjo Tenge and Devil May Cry), a full retail copy of Final Fantasy XIV, chopsticks and a small mountain of other smaller goodies. Whilst it is all in German I certainly have no regrets paying for it as it made registration that bit more special and gave me a lovely gift to take away.
If anyone is thinking of heading out there I would thoroughly recommend, it though finding yourself a few people to go down/meet up with would be a good idea just to make sure you have some company!