Article: London Anime Con 2012
London Anime Con 5 - Getting Started
So I'd never been to London before. Ever. A whole lot of people had warned me about how hard it was to navigate through the Underground system. Upon first glance at one of the four tube maps I had handed to me at Euston it certainly did look like a mammoth task. Regardless of that I thought I would give the labyrinthian tubes a go - the whole thing reminded me of those huge tubes they have in Futurama, only a lot... warmer...
London Underground is a sauna, quite simply put. I had my camera with me and another bag and my oh my, did I feel the strain. I must have blended in however, with some American guy asking me if this was the right tube to "Buck-ing-ham Palace?" I apologized and said I had no idea, and then it hit me. No one who uses the tubes at half past one in the afternoon are from London, it's just full of tourists, so if I was going to get lost down there I probably wouldn't survive; it would be every man for himself I thought.
Just as I was running a rather "Resident Evil-esque" scenario in my mind the lady robot voice of tube said the next station was mine - I'd made it! Once you get on the underground it's actually quite easy to navigate, just make sure you get the right ticket. With my rail card I could have gone anywhere in London for about seven quid, which is pretty good in my book.
On my way up from the Underground I passed a Tifa, a Cloud and a Black Butler, from there I just followed the hairstyles until I came across the complex. It was a pretty sunny day and I did feel sorry for some of the cosplayers, looking as if they immediately regretted putting 10 tubes of gel in their hair to get the anime style. It was great to see people had made the effort, there were some really good costumes on show; I'll get to these a bit later on.
As I came through the main area to pick up my press pass and I was trying to get my bearings, I saw were some people playing Mortal Kombat. It was a bit of a strange place to put six TVs, right at the entrance; there were a few vendors there as well and it all looked a bit jumbled up. After spending about five minutes watching a guy get a good ten flawless victories with Sektor I decided it would be a good idea not to add to his tally. I'm more of a BlazBlue player anyway... ahem...
Further from there was a stage and some couches to chill and a few tables to sit and have a drink. A band by the name of “With Ether” happened to be belting out some classic acoustic tunes much to the delight of the audience. They finished their superb set in style with the Power Rangers theme - awesome! From here I could spy some cosplayers, lots of people had turned up with friends and looked to be having a great time, I spotted a Misty and the Portal girl and snapped away with my camera.
Another room next to me had some anime screenings on the go (albeit on quite a small screen) - it was a good job most of the screenings were subbed, the music was really blasting out and it was difficult to hear much anyway, I managed to catch some Angel Beats though, which I was pretty happy about. The room also had about twelve TVs set up with different consoles; I saw the usual PlayStation 3s and Xbox 360s, but they also had a NES and a Dreamcast which I thought was pretty cool. The main purpose of the room I quickly realized was a huge TV set up to play Street Fighter 4. A whole bunch of males had turned up with their fight pads to challenge each other; there was a lot of shouting and general "Aww Yeahs!", with lots of testosterone being thrown around. Come to think of it I don't remember seeing any ladies at all on SF4 (although a girl did totally smoke me on Soul Calibur for the Dreamcast).
From there we had a short walk outside, with enough benches for people to congregate and a food stall selling burgers, chips and so on. It was good to sit outside in the sun with a beer and relax from all the craziness going on inside.