My first convention of 2017 began last Friday (3rd – 5th February) so here’s my review for the whole event.
LAGC is located in the Rocket Complex of London (funny that), which is located next to the London Metropolitan University site. It’s very easy to get to – all you need is the Piccadilly underground line to Holloway Road Station and you’ll see it as soon as you exit the station as it has a massive clock above it.
But despite being easy to get to, the place is very small – even if it does expand over 2 floors and areas (I’ll get to that in a minute). It’s definitely smaller than the Tobacco Dock that attended for the Hyper Japan Christmas Market back last November – even that was quite cramped.
One the first floor, you have a stage, a bar (yes, really – this is the first convention I’ve been to that I’ve had to be IDed for…apart from EGX, but that was for the over 18s section), a room at the back for a couple of arcade games and a seating area – that is it. However, it does lead outside to the ‘food court’ (I’ve put that in commas simply because it contained just ONE food stand – a burger stand), a smoking area area and the Gaming area (only on Saturday and Sunday though the gaming area was closed on Friday). Upstairs lead the the main stage which contained the big events (again, I’ll come to that in a minute), another bar and a few stalls. And when I mean a few – literally 5 0r 6 because it was that small.
The Gaming area wasn’t much better – it expanded across 2 floors as well, with it’s own stage and a couple of stalls – there was probably 2 or 3 at most. I was pretty excited for the Gaming area because 2 of the sponsors for this event were Ubisoft and Bandai Namco, making me think there was going to loads of awesome stuff. And there was – but a good main part of it was good school retro gaming, such as DOOM, Crash Bandicoot and Super Smash Bros to name a few. The only new game I saw was For Honor, which I had already played the weekend before from the Free Beta Weekend. They also had a stall to preorder Ubisoft’s impending titles, such as South Park: Fractured but Whole and For Honor. They also had a small table area for board games and multiplayer areas for tournaments going on throughout the weekend (that’s in the next section).
Despite a small packed complex, a lot was going on at LAGC. As soon the doors opened, there was stuff going on.
The main and upstairs stages mainly had manga/anime and cosplay events/lectures going on, such as AMV Chillout (this consisted of parody tributes that people had made, such as “Let It Go” from Frozen being played during the brutal scenes of Elfen Lied and the trailer for The Time Traveller’s Wife coinciding with Naruto and Hinata’s relationship) and Q&As. When the other stages opened at the weekend (the Cosplay Stage, the Gaming Stage and the Tournaments), they featured similar things, such as Cosplay Body Positive (Upstairs Stage); tournaments for Overwatch, Smash Bros, League of Legends and Mario Kart 8 and things like The Art of Game Developing and Evolution of the Arcade. Basically, it had everything in the anime/manage, cosplay and gaming front. Most of the days were jam-packed with stuff until midnight (including after parties).
I attended a few events, such as the History of the Legend of Zelda lecture (hosted by Angel Magick Cosplay, who was amazing), which gave you a run up of all Zelda games produced by Nintendo (sorry CDI games) with a few fun facts thrown in. I also attended the Cosplay World Masters UK Qualifiers which I will say is hands-down the greatest display of cosplay I have seen thus far (and definitely one of the funniest) – the top 3 deserved their spots.
Overall, there was always something going on and many of the events I found very enjoyable.
As I previously mentioned, there weren’t many stalls at LAGC but were they all bad? Meh, they were OK, I guess.
Downstairs consisted of a few stalls – mainly anime prints, Pokemon cards and old Gameboy games. Oh, and let’s not forget the t-shirt and hoodie stall (which yes, I did buy from).
Upstairs in the anime section, they mainly had stalls of anime replicas, figurines, posters, bags, more clothes, keyrings and wallets. It was mainly stuff I had seen at previous anime stalls, including Japanese food and drink, but the majority of it was reasonably priced and had a few deals (such as buying 3 for 2 or a certain number of items for a certain amount of money). There were a couple of original items, such as prints and poster and jewellery, but everything else I had seen before.
In the gaming area, it was mainly old games and consoles (mainly the GameBoy) as well as preorder new games and a raffle to win Pokemon plushies.
The stalls were OK, I guess, but nothing particularly special. Apart from a Armin figure which cost £120.
Overall, I did enjoy LAGC, even if it was not what I initially imagined it to be. There was great events, great cosplays (both in and out of the competition) and friendly people. I would recommend going, but if you’re a gamer like myself, maybe wait until the weekend.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Feel free to favourite, comment and follow. Until next week, take care!