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London MCM Expo October 2016 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I am back on my blog to talk about the London MCM Expo, I missed the convention back in May but decided to give the October one a go and after my session on Saturday I just wanted to share my experience with you all. 🙂

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So for those not in the know, the London MCM Expo is pretty much the most notable UK convention for anime and manga, comic books, films  and video games held two times a year in May and October. And just like last year I attended just for the one day (mainly because I dunno if I could handle all three days), and for the most part it was a good time. And while I’m no longer wowed by a lot what happens at this convention because I’ve been attending this madness since 2008, there’s no denying that MCM is still a good time.

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Now like last year’s review I’m going to talk about what I got up to and separate this review into two halves; what and I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked

This year’s Expo experience was a little different as I was technically like a tour guide for my mates who had never gone before so it felt weird to have to explain certain things and show off my knowledge haha. But it was nice to be with a group of people who were taking in the energy and had that surprise about seeing all this stuff for the first time like me and my friends had a good few years ago. As usual I enjoyed just being in the Expo hall, walking around, seeing what was new, what was the same and checking out the clothes, artists, toys and games. And there’s the cosplayers, while a lot of them were the usual suspects, but at the same time there was a lot to love with a good people dressed as Rey from The Force Awakens, Spider-Man was in full effect (especially ones from Civil War) and the amount of cool-looking dudes I saw dressed as Deadpool and the BvS Batman was pretty impressive too. As for the games I didn’t dabble in much this year, however, me and my best mate from uni had a few rounds of Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse 2, and it was surprisingly fun. While I don’t think it’ll ever replace my love for the Tenkaichi series, it is definitely more fun then than a lot of the recent DBZ games I’ve played.

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This man was the best cosplayer I saw all day, I’ve not seen many people dress up as Hagrid at the Expo, but this guy was the best one ever, so accurate! 😀

I also ended up buying some really lovely art, got to talk to some cool artists and got my picture taken with Danny John-Jules who plays Cat from Red Dwarf which was awesome as he’s my favourite character next to Lister and Kryten. And then the night ended with this crazy winner stays on style of lightsaber battles just outside of the Excel Center, it was pretty cool and funny to see different people stepping up and having these fun little duels.

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Meeting Danny John-Jules was great, I was very delighted.

What I disliked

Organisation, or should I say the lack of was fairly evident this year. Now I know this convention gets bigger every year and so it can be hard to accommodate so many people, but considering how many years this convention has been going down you’d think the basics would have been covered and yet there were a few issues when it came to:

  • Lines to get in: Even though there was still organised lines for the people who had general and priority tickets, they got rid of the barriers that helped keep people structured and streamlined. So when me and my friends got to the Excel it took ages to get inside because there was a swarm of people rushing to through the barriers, plus I was very surprised by how little staff there were to check tickets and give out wristbands.
  • Lines for Photo shoots: While it was a little better than last year, this year’s Expo still had problems with lines in terms of placing people and getting the photo shoots with specific celebrities to happen on time.

The only other things that I wanted to note was that this Expo felt a little lacking when compared to previous sessions with the types of guests, the amount of good games and unique stuff to buy.

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In conclusion the MCM Expo in London was a good time. It is great to know after all these years that the Expo is still going strong with so many events, cosplayers, games and so on. While this year’s Expo will probably go down as my least favourite of my convention experiences, there were plenty of unique and memorable elements that made it worth attending. 🙂

So did you go to the recent MCM Expo and if so what did you think? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post. Laters! 😀

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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London MCM Expo May 2015 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, today I am here to give you my review on the London MCM Expo. Now it has been AGES since my last review of this convention (the last one being in 2011), but I felt like I had to talk about it considering all the madness that’s took place. Now before I get started I just wanted to mention that I only did the one day because I just didn’t have the funds or the free time outside of work to attend all three days. But that’s about it. Okay, let’s get going!

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So the London MCM Expo, the biggest UK convention for anime, manga, comic books, movies and video games held two times a year in May and October, it came back this weekend, and I attended for the first time in two years. Last year marked the first time I hadn’t attended since I started going in 2008 which was really random to me, but since I had a great time at the London Film and Comic-Con in July, that more than made up for it. That being said, this event, even though it has gotten absurdly huge and different in appearance over the years, I have such a heavy load of good nostalgia associated with this convention, so it was only a matter of time until I went back. And my Saturday experience was a combination of joy, extreme happiness, tiredness, frustration and confusion. Make no mistake, MCM is still a great place to go for a unique and joyful experience, but some of its pleasures come at a cost, and I’m not just talking about you wallet.

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Now I’m going to talk about what I got up to and separate this review into two halves; what and I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked

This year was all about seeing what’s new, what’s remained the same and enjoying myself, and there was plenty to enjoy. Going to the Expo this year I noticed how huge the hall space was, I feel like it’s doubled in size since my first time in 2008. Walking from one side to the other felt like a 5-10 minute walk, but if you weren’t walking straight, stuck in walking traffic or had to make certain turns at different spots, then it would be a slightly longer trip.

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There was this nice wall of cat drawings and I contributed as well, the one cat with his eyes closed and arms crossed on the yellow paper was mine. 😀

In terms of what I got up to, well I didn’t play too many games, see too many talks or even see the Cosplay Masquerade, but I did get to talk to some great artists, play some games and get some photos with some guests. I took a fair few photos of cosplayers. After 2012 I really lost interest in taking photos because I stopped making YouTube videos and it felt more like work than something I liked doing, so I really wasn’t going to do much this year, but then I got a good few photos this year. And just in general there was a lot of great costumes on show, loads of Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman, Spider-Man, Final Fantasy and Nintendo-related characters among many others. I was surprised by the amount of Game of Thrones characters with a good few Margaery Tyrell and Daenerys Targaryen ladies walking about.

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When it comes to games I viewed some cool matches from Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse, enjoyed seeing J-Stars Victory VS in action and looking at all of the crazy attacks and multiple characters from different anime in one place. The only other game I checked out was One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, it looked a little more impressive than I thought, while the game looked just like your standard hack and slack with really dumbass CPU enemies that run around just to get beating up, but when I saw Fujitora in action with crazy attacks, combos and finishing moves it made me want to by the game. But when it comes to the games I actually played, it comes down to Splatoon and Super Smash Bros. Wii U.

Firstly, even though I’ve had no interest in Splatoon at all since its reveal at E3 last year because it wasn’t my kind of thing, I thought I should have at least given it a try. So with the demo on show I gave it a try and I found it to be pretty fun and much better than I expected. Running around, shooting ink, swimming and defending your territory, it was pretty fun. I even ended up getting the most ink covered for my team and didn’t die once, for a first-timer that was great. The controls felt a bit weird though with the use of the Wii U Gamepad to move the camera around and that threw me off when I trying to move around and defend myself from enemies.

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But then I played some Smash Bros. and that’s when things got interesting. For me, this game series is my jam and this was the first time I got to play the game with a Gamecube controller (and it felt amazing), so we played a 6-player stock match, 5 humans and 1 Amiibo and 3 lives. The first match was hectic and it came down to me as Captain Falcon vs Ness, unfortunately I lost, but in the second match I came back with a vengeance as Lucina and schooled Ness as I sent him plummeting into the abyss! The final match I played as Fox, but was knocked out fairly early on because that tricky Mega Man Amiibo kept moving all over the place and giving me problems. 😛

Super-Smash-Bros.3DS-WII-UOh yeah you that where there’s an Expo there will be some Smash Bros. action for me!

But the highlights for me was three things:

  • Meeting John Noble
  • Meeting Iain De Caestecker
  • Meeting Jon Schnepp and seeing “The Death of Superman Lives”: What Happened?

The main reasons I went to this convention was for those three points listed above. When it comes to the photo sessions, when I saw that John Noble, yes, the Walter Bishop from Fringe was gonna be there, I literally exploded in my mind at the chance to see him. So waiting to see him yesterday was insane, long and extremely tedious, but just getting there, meeting him, shaking his hand and being so humbled by his kindness, it was the best kind of overwhelming experience. It was a heartpounding and lovely moment. And then I got to meet Iain De Caestecker later on, I liked him in Filth, but I’ve mainly been invested in his performance as Leo Fitz from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the guy was SO nice and friendly, loved it.

Me,Noble,DeCaesteckerOverwhelming happiness, that’s what it these photos were all about yo!

And the final part of my day was seeing a screening of The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?, the documentary from Jon Schnepp looking into the cancelled Superman film from Tim Burton starring Nicholas Cage. Seeing this film was great, it was such an intriguing and informative look into a film that got so far into development but then got canned. All of the great guest contributors, archive footage, editing and humour all came together in such a fantastic and fascinating manner. This was definitely a story that needed to be told and I’m glad that Schnepp was able to get this documentary finish. And speaking of Schnepp, I just wanted to comment on how great it was to see the man in person. He introduced the film and then did a Q&A afterwards and he was just as hilarious, charming and humble as he is on AMC Movie Talk and getting to meet him after all of these years of watching the online show felt like a dream. Oh and shaking his hand was such a delightful feeling. 😀

TDOSLWH-posterSuch a good film, one I would recommend to anyone who is curious about this project.

What I disliked

Firstly I have to address the LINES!

south-park-s05e06c05-lines-lines-lines-16x9Now I know exactly how Cartman felt, it was enough to drive one to madness.

Now I’m no stranger to standing in lines at events like this and I’ve gotten used to it especially when it comes to playing games, watching the Cosplay Masquerade or getting autographs/photos with celebrity guests… That being said, usually there’s a system in place so that you know where to go when you start to queueing and avoid collisions with the general public just passing by, but NOPE, not this year. Those guys at the Excel really dun goofed this year. When it came to photo sessions specifically there was no order, everyone was everywhere, lines for certain people were spread across three different locations, some people skipped the queue altogether and the general public just trying to get by had to force their way through. There was SO much frustration and it was all because of miscommunication and lack or order.

And the staff, they had no clue. Really, you could have asked four or five staff members where you were meant to stand before you got the correct answer  and by that point you had probably wasted 30-45 minutes of your time. And only after allowing you to stand in the wrong places do the get organised and attempt to get a system in place for the different queues passing into each other, and even then, there was conflicting information and a lack clear instructions because no one had a bloody megaphone! I know I complained about the waiting periods at London Film and Comic-Con last year for their outside lines, however, at least their photo session tickets had clear sections to stand in and system in place for calling you up when it was your turn. This kind of thing can’t continue in the future as the fans I was standing with were ready to revolt out of anger, confusion and sore legs.

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Now imagine these lines, but with 5 to 10 times as many people squashed in one spot. Chaos!

The only other thing I would complain about is more of a nostalgic nitpick, and it relates to the state of the Expo. A few years ago this convention was big, but it was controlled, fun and felt unique, but in recent times the convention has gotten a little too big. There’s so much going on with the stalls, events and guest stars, I feel like the event’s gotten too big and out of control. Sure making the Expo bigger to accommodate more stuff is always interesting for new and returning fans, but I feel like this isn’t the event I remember and some of the charm has been lost.

In conclusion the MCM Expo in London was a good time. After a little break from this convention it was nice to go back and revisit the place that exposed me to the madness of fans and the content on display. This even was pretty frustrating though, unorganised staff, loads of queues and lack of information really knocked this experience down a few pegs, if the Expo is to continue then it needs to get its act together. But other than those formalities I had a hella good time and should I find a reason to return in the future I may do so.

So did you go to the recent MCM Expo and if so what did you think? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post. Laters! 😀

 
 

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Dragon Ball SD Chapter One Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I return with my mini review of the first chapter of the Dragon Ball spin-off manga, Dragon Ball SD.

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Through the publishing power of Shueisha’s Super Strong Jump magazine, a new Dragon Ball manga emerged in December 2010. Dragon Ball SD (discounting the manga adaptation of the Dragon Ball OVA of 2008) was the first piece of new Dragon Ball manga to be released since the original series ended in 1995. Now Dragon Ball is very well-known, it’s loved all over the world and has been adapted into all parts of the media whether it be TV, film, video-game, toys, clothing or other forms of merchandise. Now a lot of fans have wanted new material from the Dragon Ball universe for years. But fans have been teased by Toei Animation with their opening animations for DBZ video games or the other animated Dragon Ball short films like Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! and the 2010 remake of Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans.

So after original creator Akira Toriyama stated that he was not going to continue the series, all hope seemed lost. However, Ooishi Naho wrote and illustrated a new spin-off series of Dragon Ball. Now in this first chapter we have the return of three of the main characters in the Dragon Ball manga; Son Goku, Krillin and Master Roshi. And without getting into the plot of the first chapter too much let’s just say that this chapter covers several scenarios that took place over the first, second and third volumes of the Dragon Ball manga. But what’s nice is that it alters, combines and condenses those scenarios into one chapter with a nice pace and it feels like being re-acquainted with old friends.

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Now in terms of the visual style, Ooishi Naho gives us a very respectable version of Toriyama’s original work. Sometimes the similarities are uncanny to the original and make you laugh and smile like when you read the original manga panels. You recognise all that you see in there and it almost feels like your watching an anime because of the attention to detail in the colour pallet. From the character actions to the facial expressions to the overall foreground and background locations, everything looks grand and since it’s all in colour its there’s a real vivid and fresh feeling to the chapter and it makes the chapter attractive and draws you in. While the story isn’t the most amazing or original introduction to a manga, fans of the Dragon Ball story will get a kick of it and obviously in time I assume things will start to pick up, but by the end of the chapter you know great things are set to happen.

Rating: 7.5/10

Well that’s it for now, come back another time and I should have some other stuff to blog about 😀

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Anime, Media, Reviews

 

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One Piece Anime Review

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another review-related blog post. Tonight I am going to give you my thoughts on what I believe to be one of the best anime shows in existence; One Piece.

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Firstly I shall give out a little background information as to what One Piece is. Like most anime, it started out as a manga and was first published in 1997. Eiichiro Oda is the author and illustrator of One Piece and because his manga was so successful, the animated adaptation was born in the shape of an Original Video Animation called “One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzack!” that was produced by Production I.G in 1998. A year after the anime started airing on Fuji Television through the power of Toei Animation, the studio that gave life to Dragon Ball. Since then the series has had over 500 episodes (538 at the time of this review), 11 movies, 3 OVAs and several specials. Yes, One Piece is a pretty huge when it comes to anime shows.

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When it comes to story it follows the journey of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who wants to become a pirate but not just any pirate, he wants to be the pirate king! In order to do this he must get a ship, a pirate crew and search for the legendary treasure known One Piece that the deceased King of the Pirates, Gol D. Roger left many years ago. Along the way Luffy acquires 8 unique crew members, obtains a ship and travels across the sea to many locations, making new friends and enemies and battles other pirate crews, the marines and the seven warlords. The great thing about the story of One Piece is that it is always interesting, the whole concept of pirate lifestyle has always been a captivating one with potential stories of adventure, action, drama, romance and so on. All of those types of stories are realised in the world of One Piece in a strange, happy-go-lucky and dramatic fashion thanks to Eiichiro Oda’s good storytelling and capitalizing on the adventure aspect that made Dragon Ball so successful. But what makes One Piece so great is its ability to be fresh but also familiar, and this mainly comes from Oda’s amazing knack for creating new material which is just as good or better than what has come before, and the world of One Piece is so rich with content and mythology that any time we learn something new about the past, it just adds more quality to the overall universe.

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Give it some time and these characters will become attached to ya, they’re THAT awesome 😀

When it comes to the characters of One Piece whether they be main cast, secondary cast or people who just show up for 1 or 2 episodes, each person has their own personality and style that they bring to the show. Monkey D. Luffy, the main protagonist is a happy-go-lucky lad, full of charisma and energy; he is also very naive and stupid, but also very strong and has a great sense of justice. If this all sounds very familiar let’s look at the character I call Luffy’s predecessor, Son Goku from Dragon Ball. Now it’s obvious that they share many similar features as the ones pointed out above, but they also have big appetites and don’t fight or move well without food among other things. Luffy’s other comrades are: Roronoa Zoro (a man known as the pirate hunter who wields 3 swords), Nami (a thief who loves money and is the navigator), Usopp (a cowardly fighter and inventor), Sanji (the Cook), Tony Tony Chopper (a reindeer who happens to be a doctor), Nico Robin (archaeologist), Franky (the cyborg shipwright) and Brooke (the skeleton musician). Each member of Luffy’s crew including Luffy himself have dramatic backstories full of hardship, suffering, death, and some more painful than others, and when these events of the past cross over into later points in the series you’ll come to understand and sympathize for the people involved. The villains are also interesting coming in all shapes and sizes, literally. All have different types of powers or weapons and normally come with a stylish or wacky dress sense. And most importantly each antagonist comes with their own levels of charm, charisma and evilness whether they are the main enemy or subsidiary members. My favourites are Captain Buggy, “Hawk-Eye” Mihawk, Admiral Aokiji, Bartholomew Kuma and Rob Lucci to name a few.

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One of the key aspects that make One Piece such a good show is the story and narrative. It’s all about adventure and the journey that you as the viewer go on, it can be an emotive one as you feel moments of anger and sadness but at the same time moments can also very funny and joyful and gives you a reason to smile and laugh even in the face of danger. As previously mentioned the show is funny, the stupidity of certain characters will have you in stitches and has to be experienced to be understood. The story arcs are very intriguing and surprising with a good deal of complexity in some areas. Now I have heard some people say that One Piece is for children, but then isn’t most shōnen anime? However unlike most children’s shows, One Piece has very dark stories and characters that affect the overall tone, that along with a lot of adult themes and levels of violence involved, you are left with a show that really isn’t that well-suited for kids. Plus in my opinion there are a lot of story elements and dialogue that younger audiences couldn’t begin to comprehend. At one point back in 2010 I happened to see on a website where someone compared One Piece to Fairy Tail and said that Fairy Tail was much better, less child-like and for mature audiences… Now I’ve watched a good number of Fairy Tail episodes and I have found nothing that makes it any more ‘mature’ or ‘better’ then One Piece. At this point I feel One Piece is more mature due to themes, morals and ethics, violence and the emotional stories of characters involved. It should also be noted that the filler arcs and TV specials of One Piece are also pretty good and while some filler can be a bit tedious, here they’re a lot better than other anime where the filler doesn’t advance the series and normally are skipped because their lack of quality.

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Visually One Piece is one of the most unique anime out there; one could say that the look of One Piece is very abstract when compared to most other anime of present in the same genre or any genre. this is mainly due to Eiichiro Oda’s art style crafted in the manga which has a very unique and unusual look when compared to other manga. Some people have even put off watching this show purely based on the look of the show which is a darn shame because they are doing themselves a massive disservice. While One Piece isn’t as detailed as other shōnen anime like Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto or Bleach, which have highly detailed characters in the facial, hair, and clothing areas, One Piece has is simple in composition but has a lot of artistic flair and creative things that you’d never find in other anime. The characters are very simple, not very detailed and look kind of wacky and funky when compared to other shows. However I feel that the look of One Piece‘s characters, creatures, settings and animation are very interesting and is one of the unique selling points of the show and if you give it time you will adjust and come to love it.

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Just look at the different between episode 1 and episode 474 and tell me you can’t see the difference in quality here.

I would also call One Piece an “evolution anime”, a term that I use on an anime that has progressed since its conception and become visually different. Now this can apply to many shōnen shows, but I mainly apply this term to anime shows that really have changed from a visual standpoint. Dragon Ball Z is a good example of an anime that looks noticeably different from when it started to when it ended, and while the main design of the characters and settings are the same in One Piece, viewers will notice differences in the levels of detail in episodes as time goes by. For example, when you look at an episode in the East Blue Saga when the series started in 1999 and then compare it to the Skypiea Saga, there are noticeable differences in the art design and animation thanks to the different animation directors that keep the look of the show varied and interesting. And when you take into account the 2-year Time Skip in the manga that eventually took place in the anime in October 2011, the look of the show now compared to the start of the series is incredibly different, thanks to a higher quality of animation from Toei Animation and the new character updates/redesigns from Oda which really add a new level of spice to the show’s visual style. Also I don’t think I could talk about this anime without mentioning the soundtrack which is handled by Kohei Tanaka and Shiro Hamaguchi. The music for this show is totally incredibly epic, catchy, and varied with musical themes for every scenario. Each character has a certain theme that’ll play while they’re fighting or doing something sneaky and the songs work very well. Another great aspect with One Piece‘s soundtrack is that the music evolves along with the show with different themes for new locations, characters or battle music and it really immerses you in that world too. Eventually you’ll find yourself humming away with some songs, whether they are opening songs or particular tunes in the show’s soundtrack.

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I believe that One Piece is the definition of what shōnen-based anime is all about. Now One Piece is a shōnen by genre which normally means that one is dealing with an action/adventure-based cartoon. The codes and conventions found in this anime are similar to other shōnen anime like Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach and Fairy Tail. You have the main protagonist who is a man, accompanied by other main characters who are either friends, allies or enemies. The main cast of protagonists are normally in a group or crew of some kind travelling from place to place of varying look and feel, coming across different obstacles and overcoming them through meeting their problems head-on and fighting their way to victory. And obviously as the journeys continue the obstacles become harder to triumph over. But I believe the way that One Piece does it is just wonderful, subtle and done with a great deal of style that it stands out from other anime.

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In conclusion, if you couldn’t tell already I am a major supporter of One Piece and I really do recommend it to anyone who wants to a different yet rewarding experience when it comes to anime. It is truly brilliant and very enjoyable with amazing stories, larger than life characters and crazy amounts of action and madness. Even though the series is over 500 episodes long you should give it a chance, I have been watching for almost 4 years come this summer and I’ve never regretted it, and if you start I doubt that you will regret it either 😀

Rating: 10/10

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2012 in Anime, Media, Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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London MCM Expo October 2011 Review

My my, it has been quite some time since I did a review of the London MCM Expo, there have been many reasons behind why I haven’t committed to those reviews in the past. A lot of it being due to time constraints or just being purely too lazy to write anything haha. But now in October I’ve decided to come back and do a write-up on my 7th Expo experience purely because this happens to one of the most different Expo experiences I’ve had in all the time I’ve been going down there.

Now before we get into the nitty-gritty aspects of my MCM Expo experience let be go about and establish a few factors to help you understand this story I’m going to tell you… Firstly for those who don’t know, the London MCM Expo ia also known as London Comic-Con, it is a convention for anime, manga, comic books, movies and video-games held two times a year in May and October. It is a joyous event for people of all ages to experience the joy of your favourite things all in one place for a weekend of unforgettable fun. Me and my two best friends (codenamed Touka and Microdroid) have been going for the last three years (well technically Microdroid missed a few Expos for a while now lol) and so far the Expo has never failed to disappoint and has always brought a new level of awesomeness to the table. However this time there were some variations on our Expo experience, firstly me and Touka were university students, secondly since I now am based up in Sheffield, me and the guys aren’t travelling together to and from Luton anymore and thirdly this is the first Expo where I missed the whole Saturday which is more or less the most important day of the weekend so yeah there is gonna be much to discuss so let’s press on…

Also one more thing before we begin, a lot of stuff happens at Expo so some stuff may be left out or be in the wrong order so apologizes in advance ladies and gents! Okay let’s start this thing!

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So on the Friday I had checked the times of the trains from Sheffield to London just so I was sure to meet my friends at London St. Pancras train station, after a partially lengthy train ride I got down just in time and was waiting only mere minutes before my good friends showed up and the Triforce of power (that’s what I call me and other two friends) was complete again. So then we ventured on down to the good old Etap Hotel, dumped our stuff off and went back to the awesomeness that was the Excel Center. We lined up and then got let in and my god, it literally felt like I had come home, whenever you come back to the Expo it feels like time has never passed and everything is at ease with the world, especially for an Expo veteran like myself. Cosplayers abound, video games all over the place, manga on several shelves, costumes on sale, tv monitors showing trailers of films and anime… My god it just felt right and to be honest this was probably the most busy Friday that I’d seen for quite some time.

And so me and my friends cruised around and at one point we lost Microdroid because he went off to talk to one of the artists in the Artists’ Valley, so I went back to the Nintendo Unleashed section to try out of Super Mario 3D Land and my much-anticipated game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. With Mario on the 3DS it’s literally like playing a scaled down version of Super Mario Galaxy with a ‘Mario 3’ style and level structure. It was alright but nothing to shout about, plus I don’t really like playing Mario with the 3DS Slider, it feels awkward and wrong when compared to a standard control stick, but that’s just me. Skyward Sword on the other hand was a hell of a lot better, it was exhilarating. I went straight into the boss battle with Ghirahim, at first I subconsciously went waggling the Wii remote around like Twilight Princess forgetting that the game works with Wii Motion Plus, so after being told to change my style of play by a Nintendo representative I finally got into the groove and I blocking and swinging. And while the battle with Ghirahim did take longer than it should have because he kept blocking most of my sword attacks and the sensor wasn’t picking up my movements very well I was still having fun. After that I decided to have a tour of the new dungeons in the game and fight some of the new enemies that respond fairly well to the new style of gameplay. Overall Skyward Sword was fun and the game really does look lovely when it’s in front of your eyes, screenshots and trailers don’t do the game justice in my opinion.

After my time on the game Touka and I did some more cruising, bought some manga and other items  and then returned to the hotel and suited up into our cosplay uniforms. Yes, after 3 years of Expo we were finally gonna cosplay, not anything too complicated, but no less important. We were dressing up and as Friend from the manga 20th Century Boys. We had tested out the way in which the masks felt before we headed out and they were impressively made, I still love Touka for crafting them for us. So in our masks and full suits (besides Microdroid who just went in his mask coz he didn’t have suit) we went back to the Excel Center and my god, trying to test out the masks in the evening sky outside in the car park felt impossible to be honest. The lights from lampposts and the buildings was all in my eyes! I’m sure we all had a bit of trouble seeing so we took off the masks and waited until we got closer to the building and then put the masks back on as we headed inside. Even though my vision was partially impaired I could see that we were getting some proper strange looks and it was hilarious and amazing. Went we went back inside of the Expo hall and cruised around and it felt completely exhilarating, but the best part was when some guys walked past us and was like “Who the fuck are they supposed to be!?!” It was so funny. We got around 4 or 5 pictures taken of us that day I think, though I can’t recall at this point in time. But after a bit we decided to power down and it was short but successful cosplay, though had for a long duration of time, plus my mask kept shifting upwards and messing much my eyelashes! And so then once that day was over we went back to the hotel, however I had to leave for another station in London to meet my dad to take me back home in Luton.

Saturday

Well haha, basically I wasn’t there. Yep. I missed the most important day of Expo, however I had a family anniversary to go to so that was mandatory for me and I still had a great day outside of the Expo. Although I did miss my mates that were only coming down on that day specifically, plus I missed the Euro Cosplay Contest and overall it felt wrong to miss out, I mean it was my first Saturday away from the Expo in like forever so it felt and still feels wrong haha.

Sunday

And so Sunday came, the last day of the Expo. Every time you wake up on this day the dreadful realisation that Expo will be over in a few hours sets in and it breaks the hearts of Touka and I greatly, though on Sunday I always try to live in the present and never look into the future or think about the boring reality that I’ll have to go back to. So then we went in and Touka and I cosplayed as Friend once more and got some pictures taken of us only mere minutes after we got in, I think Microdroid went off on his own again so me and Touka cruised around for a bit and chilled by a wall for a few minutes and got some more pictures taken of us. While there I noticed some people looking at us all funny when they walked by, again it was funny as hell. But was really surprising was when some guys were looking at us from a distance and I saw one of them changing their body position and the next thing I see is some bang against the wall next to me, the bloody guy tried to throw something at us! The cheek of that guy! And he then came over to us and asked us if we could see through the masks and we both replied yes to his question. He blatantly tried to through something at us just to see if we could see anything through our masks, what an asshole!

Anyways after about 10 minutes we took our masks off and cruised the Expo hall looking at some fancy artwork, talking to some artists and I watched Touka buy lots of stuff from food to artwork and so on lol. We had also watched 2 panels, one on anime and asian film cinema distribution and then we watched a panel with the winner and the other 2 top cosplayers from the Euro Cosplay Contest, which was every enlightening, heart-warming, inspiring and interesting to watch. Also took a random look outside but there really wasn’t anything going on, especially when you compare it to the crazy happenings that took place back in the May. At one point we came across Masa-kun, the epic violist who we saw at the May Expo and we watched him, Daniel-san and some drummer guy play some songs for ages, it was incredible. I requested like 3 songs, I even got to hear him play the Green Hill Zone from Sonic 1 which made my day! After a bit Masa-kun started to draw in a small crowd of people and even had a mega epic jamming session with one lass with a ukulele, she was just walking by and got drafted into the crew and I think they played a song from Super Mario Bros. and it was just beautiful! At one point Masa-kun had lost his crew and required a drummer to tapped the box, but no one answered and then he looked in my direction and asked me to join him, but I had to say no because I knew if I had gone up I would have messed it up somehow and looked like prat. But I still looked like a fool for not going up after being called up. So we watched Masa-kun for a while after that and then when he finished Microdroid forced me and Touka into picture with Masa-kun, not that it wasn’t awesome, it was just wasn’t of my own doing.

So after that we went back into the Expo and cruised around and after a bit we had done all that we could do so we decided to go to line up for the Cosplay Masquerade, as we headed out there were people saying once you left the Expo hall you couldn’t return inside which troubled me a bit. But since we were going to line up I thought it’d be alright, however the place where it was meant to be was closed and we thought it was somewhere else. So we asked at the entrance but the person there told us it was the place where we thought it was, so we were a tad confused. When we asked at the exit apparently the line for the masquerade had gone in already and I like “I knew it! The line that was forming while we were watching Masa-kun was the line for masquerade because they were lining up proper early.” So at one point I had given up hope and thought “Shit, we’re fucked.” But Touka didn’t give up hope, we went back to the entrance of the Expo hall, asked the staff to be let back in because we had gotten our tickets already and after one of the guys had talked to one of the people on the other end of walkie-talkie (which was a very tension-building moment) we got let in and got some amazing seats at the front. It was an awesome feeling! The masquerade started a lot earlier than I expected, but it was still pretty impressive with some great performances and wonderful costumes on show, though the whole masquerade on whole seemed to move fairly quickly and ended so much swifter than previous masquerades.

And so after that, it ended. The latest Expo, there and gone like a flash of light. It felt like I blinked and it was all over, but I did miss a whole day so it was a pretty quick experience for me. So after we left the Expo hall Microdroid, Touka and I suited up one more time and got some pictures taken and did our crazy walk to finish up our time at the Expo in true style! It was hella jokes to have the whole group back again, though I still felt detached from the guys because of my one day away, but heck we still had a good time regardless. Here’s hoping I’ll be going back to the Expo in May and be able to rock the Excel Center full-on next time round!

Thanks for reading yo! 😀

 
 

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