Japanorama took place over bank holiday weekend in Leicester’s National Space Centre, this unique venue gave attendees not just a convention but the opportunity to look around the centre’s exhibits. This con is one for the whole family to enjoy, and a great introduction for those newly interested in j-culture with cosplay competitions, introductory panels and workshops with martial arts, Japanese fashion and cooking.
Highlights of the weekend included all girl band, Oishii!Ichigo (tasty strawberry) managed by Beckii Cruel. Japanorama marked the groups third performance; Kelsey, Scarlett and Cherry all natural performers, charmed the crowd with their energetic performance of j-pop tunes; including anime fan faves such as Ouran High School and Sailor Moon themes. I think we will be seeing a lot more of this girl group at future events!
The convention, just like the space centre itself was very interactive with plenty of workshops and demos for attendees to participate in; such as Hackspace – a workshop introducing people to the art of cosplay and prop construction using basics such as tin-foil and cardboard! As well as kitchen demonstration by Yuki’s Kitchen of sushi and other Japanese treats – which attendees could sample afterwards! Yummy! Another highlight, was Urban Arts a martial arts team, running interactive demos, although I didn’t get a chance to participate myself, a friend did and loved it! Remind me not to mess with her…
The event even included an unannounced, surprise guest appearance from Sparkles aka Tom from gajin rock band Area 11, singing with Youtube sensation Beckii Cruel,who also performed a super kawaii performance on both days, including the infamous Danjo.
The convention hosted two cosplay catwalk competitions; Saturday’s winner Becky Wilson, who cosplayed GoGo from Kill Bill, commented on her win “I was completely speechless when they announced me as the winner. It made me so happy hearing everyone cheer and the prizes were amazing! Thank you to everyone at Japanorama for making it such an awesome event”.
For its first convention, it was great! With some minor technical difficulties regarding the PA systems, which at times prevented attendees from hearing some of the Q&A sessions clearly. The only recommendations I would have for future Japanorama’s is a more varied time table, the event virtually had the same performance twice a day, both days. A slight restructure would be nice for those attending both days. The way the cosplay catwalk is judged may also need some stricter guidelines, especially as the convention grows and attracts more serious cosplayers; such as separating the handmade costumes from the pre-bought and/or including some pre-judging categories.
To view the pictures I took from this event https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151437362164639.1073741832.503569638&type=1&l=19a185c870