MinamiCon 15 2009
Report by Jonathan Cullinane (nert) posted Tuesday 21st April 2009
The Southampton triumvirate of Novotel, Ibis and Etap hotels once more found themselves home to a weekend of oversized cameras pointed at exotically-clothed anime fans. With its trademark freezing March dockland winds in full force, MinamiCon 15 opened its doors on the Friday to one of the largest crowds that I've ever seen present!
With the recent surge in con attendance, Minami registrations sold out in a mere four hours when it opened late last year and the demand was clearly justified. Typically Minami has a quite late start, people trickling in on the Friday leading up to the opening ceremony at 7 - this year it was packed many hours earlier, with many an attendee in full cosplay attire!
Curiously by the opening ceremony, many had relegated their cumbersome costumes to the closet and the traditional opening party was largely plain-clothes, leaving Saturday to be the big cosplay day.
Being the longest running UK convention and hitting the big one-five, as well as the sentai theme running through the events and official artwork, the distinct cosplay theme was retro! Celebrating 15 years of UK fandom, costumes to be found included gems from Saint Seiya, Dragonball Z, Ghost in the Shell, Captain Harlock, Armitage III, Dominion Tank Police, Magic Knights Rayearth, Slayers, and even some more western influences such as Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Earthworm Jim!
Modern themes not to be shunned, plenty of sizable tributes to Soul Eater, Street Fighter, Sailor Moon, Trinity Blood and even Pokemon were to be seen in all corners of the Novotel's corridors and entrances.
Surprisingly this year there was very little cosplay from the usual staples: Naruto, Bleach and Final Fantasy, a sign of changing trends or freak accident? Only time will tell.
Following increasing demand, many more photographers were on the prowl, both in dedicated photoshoots and wandering the halls so if you were in costume over the weekend you should have plenty of evidence to look forward to in the widespread galleries, which of course we fully expect to see appear on your profiles here!
Events are expanding still, with this year featuring authentic Japanese food stalls, takoyaki cooking, chopstick-candyfloss and sake tasting for undernourished congoers, some highly amusing additions to the opening variety show, as well as cosplay workshops from some of our very own members!
The masquerade this year was certainly not to be missed, top class costumes one after another down the aisle, sprinkled with some hilarious and well-prepared skits. Many more are pre-recording voices for performances and making use of video projection as well as on-stage acting skills so with any luck the bar will just continue to be raised each time.
Next year's dates are set a little later than we're all used to, and will be taking place in the weekend of the 16th-18th of April! We can likely expect registrations to open sometime in the late quarter of this year. Remember places are limited so if you're hoping to join us for MinamiCon 16 keep your ear to the ground for then!