2002 was the year in which I attended my first ever anime and manga convention.
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Sometime during the fall of 2001 I'd refound my burning passion for anime and manga and with that came my desire to visit a real life convention. I'd scoured the Internet and couldn't find _anything_ but conventions in the States, England or Germany. But then on some remote and hidden page I found a refference to a small convention in the Netherlands... Something called the 'Anime Oddysey'. Apparantly this convention had been a couple of years ago, but luckily the people who'd done that convention were still at it! After a long and arduous search I found out that these people would be organising the 'Anime 2002' convention in Veldhoven in february of 2002. I immediately drummed up a couple of my friends and tried to get them in the spirit of things. Unfortunately that didn't work with Marlijne that time round and she would be skipping the convention.
So after long months of preparation and anticipation the time was finaly there! On friday the 8th of February we _finaly_ got in the car and left for Veldhoven! OK, so we got lost on the way... And we _were_ stuck behind a tractor for ten miles... And we _were_ so good at annoying Menno who was the designated driver for that weekend... But who cares?! We finaly got there! Immediately we were very impressed by the sheer size of he hotel. There were only two or three floors, but the complex was HUGE! (We really hope that 'Anime 2004' will be held in Veldhoven again).
After checking in and getting settled in our rooms, Niklas and me would prepare our cosplaying costumes... I was done in about twenty minutes, but Nik had to wrestly and fight both his hair and all of the wrappings/bandages for at least an hour! -_-'
Aniway... Dinner was pretty good and we tried to get the hang of all the different rooms and the video programme. Friday night's always the quiet night and people were arriving till deep in the night.
A yummy breakfast helped us survive a very busy day. Numerous trips to the game room and the video rooms kept us busy until the Dealer Room finaly opened up (was it 'round eleven?). Right after opening hours the room was packed so we decided to wait out the rush and watch some Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar :)
I have no idea how it happened, but during that weekend I spent near 500 USD on anime, manga and merchandise! :D Oh well, things happend and Mar was very pleased with all the Inu Yasha books I brought home ^_^
The evening program had the renowned Digi Charat Marathon which showed ALL of the episodes, including all of the specials, in one running... That's three-and-a-half hours of pure, cutesy, random lunacy!
Right after that came the cosplay contest... It was pretty scare to be in it, but also a great blast! I had joined up with the wonderful folks of Team Baka to do a Digi Charat sketch and we'd only figured out what we were going to do about two hours ago ^_^' Aniway, we had the audience in fits and won a bottle of sake and shirts for us all as "Best sketch".
I also want to congratulate all of the other people in the contest (and all of the other winners): You guys're all great! Let's do it again next year!
Sunday brought us more of the same: yummy breakfast, loads of anime and having talks with Internet friends and other interesting folks. At the end of the day was the Closing Ceremony during which Niels (Wapiko) told everyone that it was _unsure_ whether there'd be an 'Anime 2003' due to a disappointing turn up. (Luckily a couple of months later it was announced that there was a green light for A2003!!).
All in all it'd been a lovely weekend!
Now I know that I haven't told you guys very much about the con, but that's probably since it's all gone hazy :D I'm writing this up on July the 10th, so I'm already halfway to the next convention!
I hope my crappy pictures make up for what I left out in the write up :p
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All content, with exception of "borrowed" blogpost images, or unless otherwise indicated, is copyright of Thomas Sluyter. The character Kilala the cat-demon is copyright of Rumiko Takahashi and used here without permission.