Adelaide’s favourite annual anime and gaming convention, AVCon, took over the Adelaide Convention Centre 15-17 July 2016, and we joined the fray on Sunday morning to check out some anime, buy some merch and play some games.
This year’s guests included noted voice actress Caitlin Glass and ABC’s team from Good Game. The morning itself got off to a good start with Bajo, Hex, Goose and NichBoy rolling into one of the halls to prep for their session as I walked through the door. I’ll have to remember to prep the camera before I wander into the doors next year as I missed the chance to take a nerd photo to share!
Artist alley still adorned the main entry with all the big natural light serving as a great backdrop for entrants milling into the halls. The merchant areas were full of local and interstate stores with a variety of goodies – there was more of an emphasis on merch this year with not much in the way of games available to buy, but this may well be a reflection on the demand from attendees.
I had the chance to catch to catch up with a few regulars – the irrepressible Sly from Madman was busy with the team hawking DVDs, Blu-Rays, manga and merch. After having a chat, touching on the company’s 20th anniversary hitting this year and grabbing a few Blu-Rays (Evangelion 3.33 and The Boy and the Beast to be precise), it was time to head over to Shin Tokyo.
Speaking of anniversaries, store owner/operator Will shared that Shin Tokyo is celebrating 15 years of operations this year, an amazing feat given the size of the local market and specialised nature of the store. I remember when it was just a small nook in the Adelaide Arcade underpass between Hindley Street and the Adelaide Train Station! He took the time to share that they’re got some plans to celebrate, we’ll be looking forward to see what he’s got up his sleeve!
There were plenty of other booths up and running, including Hanabee, Siren Visual, Gametraders Marion, cosplay suppliers, some cool looking weapon and prop stalls, cel traders, local representation for makerspaces and education providers, and plenty of merch and figures from other independent sellers.
On the gaming side we had the indie corner that was a flurry of activity, a healthy area put aside for console gaming, a speedrun stage that was streaming on Twitch with commentary to accompany things, a dedicated LAN gaming area I didn’t jump into and some great family areas for handhelds and crafts for the kids.
The highlight on the gaming side for me was definitely checking out the excellent museum run by Retrospekt and their slew of volunteers who helped keep things going, fixing old machines as they chucked a wobbly and were happy to nerd out for a chat. They didn’t seem to mind that I started getting excited about all the vintage consoles on display and wandered about taking photos, which have been added below. I had an embarrassingly scrubby time in the X-Men vs Street Fighter Tournament, and thanks to Paul and his team for putting on the retro gaming love once again.
Upstairs saw a massive tabletop and card game room that looked super impressive, with a stack of games available to go up and play, food vendors as well as more rooms housing panels. The bottom floor saw more screening/panel rooms and areas setup for photographers to take photos of cosplayers.
Speaking of cosplayers, there was a huge array of series’ and characters represented – this year we grabbed a slew of shots which you can see in the gallery below. Many thanks to everyone for posing for their photos – if you’d like your picture to be credited, tag yourself in on our Facebook gallery so we can update this post as we go.
All up we had a great time once again at AVCon 2016 – well done to the huge crew of AVCon staff, volunteers, traders, attendees and cosplayers! We’ll be looking forward to making the annual pilgrimage again next year.