Kitacon Karnival isn't usually something we'd take a look at here at Nerdversity 101 Podcasts, but we thought that we'd go and check it out. We're not big anime buffs, but we're glad that we attended. Yes, there was anime there, but the primary focus was more on the community aspect and the world of cosplay.
Kitacon Karnival ran from 1st-3rd April at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham, right next door to the NEC. Tickets cost £40 for the entire weekend.
There were events going on throughout the day that varied in theme, but a large majority of them dealt with the ins and outs of cosplay and were aimed at cosplayers of all skill levels, ranging from people who are just starting out to experts and also aimed at people who do this kind of thing for fun, but also guides on how to make a social media career out of it. There was a disco every night for 3 days that played a mixture of Japanese music from anime, J-Pop, J-Rock and K-Pop to nostalgic hits to get people on the dancefloor.
Panels across the board were varied throughout the day and by night actually turned very blue and risque, definitely not for younger attendees that one, as the main focus was on hentai and various aspects within it. Many of them were really good, some of them were boring, but that's the gamble you take on an event like this.
The show had a series of movie screenings where fans could sit and watch Dragonball Z: Resurrection of F and Battle of The Gods. They also had showings of Mad Max: Fury Road and Big Hero 6,
The final thing on the list was the gaming room. Now, this was make or break for many people, as it had a handful of video games like Street Fighter 5, Tekken Tag 2 and Smash Bros WiiU. The video games were rather lacklustre and didn't offer much variety outside of fighting games. I know this isn't a gaming event, but the organisers could have done something better to offer more variety for people outside of Street Fighter and Smash. My only other thing is that people couldn't play games outside of the sanctioned 3 tournaments for Pokemon and Magic. Players were required to bring their IDs and then pay and extra £15 for Magic and £5 for pokemon. They really should have set up an area where people could play for free and not in a tournament setting.
That being said, the event was all done for charity, with S.O.P.H.I.E and Attitude being the chosen charities to support this year. S.O.P.H.I.E is a charity in the UK created after the death of Sophie Lancaster who was killed in a park for being a goth and Attitude is a charity aimed at giving disabled and deaf people access to live music and live events.
Finally, I'd like to say a big thank you to the organisers and staff, they did a terrific job of keeping everything running smoothly, directing people and overall, being really polite and helpful.
This is the sort of convention that I'd say I wouldn't necessarily take children to as there was a lot of adult content on display on the stalls and at the panels, so that'd be something to be aware of, but overall, yeah. I'd recommend this event if you're a gamer, have even a remote interest in anime or Japanese pop culture and are interested in cosplay, regardless of the levels you're at.