Just over a week ago (on the 3/9) I was at the Madman Anime Festival, wearing a blue wig and my cosplay outfit I made. Not only was I able to wear my own costume, but I was also able to quickly make one for my brother. Both of which turned out really well, especially since my brother and I were asked for photos.
This year was the first year that the Madman Anime Festival (Mad Fest for short) was run, so my friend and I didn’t quite know what to expect. Initially we thought it would be like any other convention, but with a much bigger focus on anime/manga/Japanese video games. Judging from their website and Facebook page my friend and I thought it would have a huge Japanese focus and be kind of like a Japanese festival cross with a comic convection. There used to be quite a few conventions dedicated to anime/manga, but they disappeared since they aren’t as widely know and don’t appeal to everyone. Usually anime/manga are only a (very) small part of bigger conventions such as Supanova and OzComic Con, which is why I was looking forward to this convention so much.
I was both disappointed with some aspects and highly pleased with others, bearing in mind that this is the first year Mad Fest has run. One of the things they organised quite well was the tickets and more specifically the wristbands that you get. Usually at conventions whether you buy your ticket online or not doesn’t make things any quicker or easier when it comes to the actual day. There’s always an extremely long line that you have to wait in for ages, but Mad Fest had a way to avoid the wait. Like OzComic Con this year Mad Fest provided people with the opportunity to go to the venue on the day before the event to receive their wristbands. So when I arrived at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre I only had a short wait while I walked in with everyone else (who had got their wristbands early).
Once inside I was eager to do something that I’d never done before (ever) and that was get an autograph. For all guests, except for Sora Tokui, autographs were free so I felt more inclined to get one. I was interested in getting an autograph from Siera (aka ClamWings) since I’d since her enter the Madman National Cosplay Championships before. In fact I ended up getting two autographs (technically you’re only allowed one per token), one from Siera and one from Wirru (another cosplayer that I’ve seen in the Madman National Cosplay Championships before). Both cosplayers were very nice and we all complimented each other on our costumes. The only downside was that although Madman said on their website: “There will also be a number of complimentary images for you to get signed if you don’t have your own item.”, no such items were provided. Siera and Wirru were kind enough to sign the back of my token, since I didn’t have any thing else.
My friend and I then took our chance to wander around the stalls. These were pretty good however we were expecting more stalls and more specialised ones too. The stalls that were there were the same as the other conventions and therefore weren’t selling specialised anime/manga goods, but just general geeky stuff. I admit there were some more specialised stalls, such as the Japanese food stall, but not many. This, however didn’t deter my friend and I from enjoying the stalls and getting some cool stuff.
See below for some pictures of some of the stuff I got and stay tuned for Mad Fest Review part 2…