This week, there are three posts awaiting to be published. And all of them are anime conventions too! The first one we’re going to take a look at is GamepitCon 2015. This event was held on the 3rd of January, hosted by none other than Gamepit. From what I’ve heard, it’s the first edition, and it comes with something Japan can’t pull of that easily; it’s an anime convention held inside a church! It does come with its drawbacks though… Because it’s a church. Read more to see why.
When I arrived at the Sint Eusebius Church, the first thing I noticed is that it’s not really being used as a church but more as some kind of symbol for the town. It’s an old church that withstood the wars, having a really tall tower at its disposal. However, together with being old comes the fact that it needs to be restored back to its original state so you can see scaffolding everywhere. In the mean time, you can still pay a small fee to take the elevator up to have a great view over the town, and the building is still being used for conventions and small events.
Too bad I have to emphasise small here. Despite having a tall tower, the church doesn’t really stand out in size itself. The site promotes the event saying it has along the lines of a “big gameroom” and a “spacious dealer room”, but the spaces were just divided with just tables, really. The convention ran from 11:00 till 23:00, but believe me you’re quite done with it after 2 to 3 hours (aside the fact that I wanted to go home at a reasonable time). And that’s by a long shot, since I tried to stick around for some nice pictures of Dutch cosplayers. Truth to be told, when the tickets are only €7,50 or €5,- when you buy them at other conventions, there’s not a lot to expect. So basically it was just a small day off at this church in Arnhem.
Let’s cut to the chase, what about the actual content? Well, at first I wanted to check out the gaming section. As expected, everyone was really hyped for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U since that was only about a month old at the time. There was a tournament for it as well, but I arrived tad too late to sign up for it. Hardly could see the screen they were playing on… That shows how many people just wanted to play some offline matches of Smash. I was able to spectate this Amiibo Tournament though, which is quite an interesting concept. It follows almost the same rules as 1v1, but instead people let their trained Lv.50 Amiibo fighters do all the work. I was already happy that 2 Luigi’s made it into the top 4. He really needs that love. Whenever I get my hands on playing the game, I always take Luigi. Apparently he’s high tier in the pro scene as well.
After having a photoshoot with the local Dutch maid café (you can find them on Facebook here), I passed the DDR zone to enter the dealer room. Again, you have to visualize that the zone was just one square meter, so you probably wouldn’t even hear the music you have to dance on. The dealer room filled the back of the church, with the typical stands. Some having figures, some having merchandise, some having manga… But I don’t really feel that attracted to the standard stuff any longer. However, I did visit two of my favourite stalls: The perler stall and the authentic Japanese food stall. The latter should not come as a surprise, but the former actually comes from my home town, hence the instant familiarity when I met the merchants.
In the end, I bought myself a T-shirt depicting the Luigi Death Stare – he’s the best character and you know it – and looked around for some presents for my brother as the next day would be his birthday. He was really happy when I gave him a T-shirt of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and a perler of A Link to the Past to add to his collection of Zelda merchandise. Wish I could have gifted him a figure of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders instead but it would’ve been too late (and kind of expensive as well). The cosplayers were pretty cool, but it seems the majority this time came not from an anime but a game instead: League of Legends. Kind of saddening since I’m a Dota 2 player myself, but I can understand the popularity in the sense of fashion since I’ll be honest here, the costumes for Dota 2 heroes are either shabby or impossible. I’ll gladly take a picture of this Templar Assassin though!