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Saturday, 22nd June 2024

Irish Born Chinese

Eirtakon 2011 & Animé

Created Saturday, 12th November 2011, 19:38 by Whykay

Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of Irish Animé fans at Eirtakon this year. We arrived in the morning and was greeted with a queue coming out of The Helix as we didn’t pre-register tickets. Good thing it was nice and sunny out and we got to enjoy watching all the cosplayers which to our surprise, were actually good. 

After a short wait to get our tickets, Mick was still smug that he was right that it wasn’t a Helix event so it was just cash only to buy our tickets. We bought our day tickets and we headed to the Bring and Buy and Artist’s Alley first. The Bring and Buy area was sufficiently big, with plenty of plushies, keyrings, clothing, DVDs, manga, weapon props, hand-made items like hats, cosplay costumes, posters, artists materials to satisfy any manga artists, Gundam, etc. 

The stall that caught our eyes was Genki Gear Tshirts. I got the “Attack Kitten” t-shirt, Mick wanted the “Cow Abduction” t-shirt but didn’t have his size. But he also wanted the “Fail” tshirt, and they had that one, yay!  

We decided to wander to Artist’s Alley and we ended up picking up a print by Anthea West. There were some good artists there as well, but somehow, this print caught my eye. It’s now nicely framed (thanks to IKEA).

We went to Liam O’Brien’s panel in the main theatre. Didn’t realise he was a voice actor for so many animés and video games. It was really entertaining with many requests for him to re-enact voices from various gigs he did. Mick was also happy to hear that he’s just like us in our mid-30s, still interested in games but not enough time to play the stack of games (similar to his taste, like Arkham Asylum, Unchartered 2, he even asked about SkyRim), and plays on his iPad/iPhone inbetween busy times.

There was two let-downs was the panel about “Japanese Art and Ireland”, that was aside from the bad signage to find the panel room in the first place. I was hoping for more manga and animé like a seminar I attended in DCU a couple of years ago. It was really interesting though but was presented by two nice ladies, one worked at Collin’s Barracks talking about wood block prints from the Bender Collection and the other who’s from The Chester Beatty library talking about storytelling in scrolls to how they probably influenced manga as we know nowadays. I was also disappointed in missing the Steampunk workshop which was on the same time as this talk.

The other one was the Fair-takon. I thought it was gonna be blinged out carnival but it was a bit limp when we arrived on the first floor foyer. Hopefully it will get better than cardboard cut-outs in the near future Eirtakons. *Hint to hackerspaces out there*

We didn’t attend any screenings though, even the Dragon Ball Z Abridged Marathon, I wanted to but Mick never really watched DBZ before. 

The one we both wanted to check out was the Cosplay Masquerade. Aside from a bit of logistic and registration issues, they kicked off a with some kooky animé music and some of the cosplayers were wonderful. The troll face ones were just pulled on just because they are troll faces. I don’t know who won though, but everyone who went onstage to show off their costumes went to a lot of effort and for the rest of us, lots of laughs were to be had.

One thing that sticks to my mind was the comment by one of the convention goers to Liam O’Brien was that he didn’t realise that Liam’s kids were so young (2 & 5 yo) and didn’t mean to ask if he watches animé with his kids. I don’t know what people think of animé, but it doesn’t mean teenage and adult animation. There are animés that cater for younger audiences. As a kid, I grew up watching Dr. Slump (Cantonese version), Mashin Hero Wataru (Cantonese version), Dragon Ball (Cantonese version), Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (Cantonese version) and more that I can’t remember. So there are kid-friendly animés. It’s not all just Akira and violent or other crazy adult animé. This also got me talking to Mick, and he said when he was a teenage he was a awestruck with Akira as it was his first proper animé, seeing a style that’s never seen in cartoons we see over here on our telly. But we do have our joint favourite cartoons from our schooldays. Remember Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Once Upon a Time… Life, M.A.S.K., Transformers… the only one I wasn’t a fan of was Ulysses 31 when I was a kid as it was too dark and had too much talking in it, Mick on the other hand was a huge fan. 

So that’s my walk down memory lane, I hope it was for you, the reader as well?

I hope Eirtakon 2012 will get bigger, I hope they have more content in the quiet times, as I wasn’t a cosplayer so there was just a lot of standing around for half an hour here and there. So all round, I’ll be back again next year, even though it’s on tomorrow, one day is enough for me.