________ ________ ________
2017-09-21 / \/ \/ / \
/ __/ /_ _/
This past weekend was Animaga, a / _/ / /
Melbourne anime convention - it's our third \_______/_\___/____/\___/____/_
year going but I think their fourth year / \/ \/ / \
running. / _/ /_ _/
/- / _/ /
Now I know I'm an old man and conventions \________/\________/\___/____/
are a young person's game but I try to see
them through because usually they make me feel nostalgic of the old days, this
one though I was really feeling my age. It just felt really flat, the content
was pretty bland and the crowd seemed really low-energy, like even the kids
letting their freak flag fly seemed subdued.
Let me break it down.
Saturday we rolled in and took a minute to check out the itasha parked out
front of the venue, they're always a highlight, then collected our tickets and
got inside, the hall was cold as heck which was a bummer but not the
convention's fault, the venue is ancient. The entrance leads straight into the
vendors area so we check that out and it's mostly the same crowd as any other
Australian anime convention. After that we checked out the schedule for
something to do and ended up sitting in on a Harajuku fashion show which was
just three girls in lolita outifts, not much of a show but good on them for
getting on stage I suppose. They were pretty cute. After that we just wandered
around for ages, the panels were so uninteresting and the guests weren't
anyone we were interested in. We orbited the doll exhibit but it wasn't much
to speak of. I'm glad they try but it just seems so low effort, they try to
create these dioramas but there's no signage or info or anything on why
they're there, just walking past you couldn't tell they were even supposed to
be there, it just looks like some doll people found a dark corner for an
impromptu meet up. That said though, I did promise last year that I'd offer to
help out this year and I didn't so I shouldn't point fingers.
I really need to take some time to figure out how I feel about the
Melbourne doll crowd. I want to participate again but I just don't have the
patience for people and it seems like my shyness and social anxiety is off the
After watching one of the artist guests do a Q&A and live drawing panel for
a little while we checked out the anime clubs panel but they were only
representatives from university clubs, not really relevant to a fossil like me
hahaha. I think we got something to eat after that then came back for a
cosplay parade and part of one of the cosplay competitions. Cosplay at
Australian cons these days feels like it's undergoing an shift, it seems like
old fashioned DIY, get up on stage and do a few poses cosplay is getting
squeezed out by bought-your-costume-online-but- learned-a-dance-routine Love
Live and similar cosplay. I've always maintained skits should be eliminated
from cosplay competitions altogether but at least a dance routine is less
cringey than some pale nerds in horrible wigs mouthing dubbed lines from the
After the cosplay we sat in on the Ball-jointed doll panel and it was
pretty good this year, a lot more structured overview and less ad-hoc Q&A, the
kind of panel I like. The guy that ran it this year was new and seems to know
After that we split to get some dinner and ate way too much BBQ chicken.
We ended up getting in late on Sunday too but there wasn't much we wanted
to see, the timetable for the two days were pretty similar unfortunately but
it is what it is. I had Ilsa with me this time so we drifted past the doll
people first thing but, I dunno, I wasn't really feeling like I could push
through shyness/social anxiety, so I just said hi to the few people I knew and
made excuses to keep floating around the hall.
Ilsa got a few comments, including one lady whipping her head around as we
walked past, crowing about how cute she is. Don't need to tell me, lady! Haha.
It occurs to me I haven't really talked about my doll family, I should
write a post about that, or at least a who's-who.
We hit up the maid cafe next and wow, let me tell you, even if I wasn't
feeling anxious this would have been torture. We've gone every year, last year
was really good because Hitomi from @home Cafe was there coaching the maids
but this year it wasn't so great. Our maid was pretty awkward and that just
amplified my awkwardness, it was so bad. I honestly thought it was just me but
another maid came over to help out and she was totally disarming, just
friendly and casual. I dunno! Anyway, it culminated in our maid WATCHING US
EAT and that was it, I wanted to kill myself.
After that ordeal we caught the lolita fashion competition which was nice,
everyone really did great, not many slouches in the lolita scene because they
eat each other alive hahaha.
We took another lap of the floor and caught a guest artist panel, ran into
someone who recognised us from the anime club and then checked out the second
BJD panel, more on doll care and stuff. It wasn't as good as the first panel
but good on them for doing it. We went back past the BJD area to say thanks
for the panel and then went to the main stage for the Animaga cosplay
competition and the closing ceremony. They were fun, the guy presenting was
pretty chill and did a good job of it.
And that was that! We left and went to our favorite Japanese restaurant, a
tradition for us, except it would be our last meal there since they were
closing the next day. I was genuinely sad about it.
It's also likely my last casual convention too, for reasons I'll go in my
next post in like 200 years.