AVCon 2019 heralded the convention’s 18th year of consecutive service to local and visiting otaku in Adelaide! Just as in previous years, we were there to take a look around, meet people, spend some money and play some games!
The schedule for AVCon 2019 had a slew of guests and panels. Paul St Peter has a huge portfolio of voice over work, including Cowboy Bebop, Naruto, Digimon, Kingdom Hearts and Dynasty Warriors. Joining Paul was DC Douglas. His work encompasses both live action work and voice talent in games such as Resident Evil: Biohazard and the Mass Effect series.
In previous year’s write-ups (2015/2016/2017/2018) I’ve talked about how there’s been an increasing focus on cosplay and this year was no different. For AVCon 2019 we saw SFX Images and Steamkittens keeping themselves busy on the lower floor over the weekend with plenty of other enthusiastic photographers roaming the halls (much like us!). In this spirit of cosplay, this year AVCon alse assembled a team of super-talented cosplayers as the AVCon Avengers. The featured cosplayers were:
- T_T Costuming
- Piltover City Customs
- Zumbo Blackheart
- Clutterfiend Cosplay
- Zalaria Cosplay, and
- Dad’s Cosplay Workbench
There was a heap of anime available to drop in and watch. This year Madman and Hannabee/HiDive took care of sorting out the screening room content throughout the convention. On the opening night Madman also hosted a screening of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection.
It’s great to see the screening rooms remain a staple for AVCon – we don’t tend to hit the rooms too much as we’re busy roaming the floor, but we appreciate it’s awesome to sit with a like-minded crowd to enjoy content you may not have come across otherwise.
There was a huge gaming presence at AVCon as always. The indie games area featured a separate section to demo some amazing content. One of my highlights was a proof of concept demo put together by some UniSA students. Their project was clearly inspired by classic Star Wars space shooters like Tie Fighter and put a great big nerdy smile on my face. While it’s all well and good we’ve moved beyond the idiosyncrasies of DOS gaming, but it doesn’t mean it gives me the warm fuzzies these days.
A stone’s throw away was a dedicated speedrunning area where we spotted some Ocarina of Time demonstrations, as well as huge blocks of modern consoles and Nintendo’s usual stately presence. While Nintendo’s booth was light on unreleased titles, it was great to see them supporting AVCon and the Adelaide community.
Retrospekt’s legenday retro gaming presence was in full swing and is a regular highlight of the show. The team featured vintage computers and classic console games were strewn throughout with some amazing arcade cabinets. A dedicated Mortal Kombat II cab sat next door to a dedicated 3-player Rampage which was a beautiful pairing. Returning from last year we also had a classic 4-player LAI TMNT cab at the entrance. Magnificent stuff!
The main stage near the Ultimate Gamer area had a flurry of different games and competitions on display. I saw some local developers talking up their latest titles as well as a great Nidhogg competition! The tournament schedule was pretty packed this year too. Nothing that I competed in, but great to see plenty happening.
The only thing I would have loved to have seen was a collection of Vewlix arcade cabs running modern arcade games. You know, titles like Ultra Street Fighter 4, Tekken 7, Blazblue or Virtua Fighter 5. I had a great time on what looked like Vewlix clones running Ultra SF4 on Xbox 360 hardware back in 2014 and would love to see them make a comeback at some point!
Checking it all out at AVCon 2019!
Over the course of the day we spent a good chunk of our time wandering around the convention centre. Artist Alley served as a main thoroughfare with a huge amount of activity and interest. This space has evolved over the years and features some amazing fanart. However, much like previous years the Exhibitor’s Hall held all sorts of awesome to check out.
In the Exhibitor’s Hall it was all about shopping. This year felt like they had mixed things up a little compared to previous years and not in a bad way. Some of the usual attendees weren’t there though, such as Hannabee and Gametraders Marion. With Pulp Fiction sadly closing up last year they were missing as well. While I remember splurging at Tamarket’s stand in 2014, I can’t recall if I saw them the last few cons. Regardless, we didn’t stumble across a booth for them for AVCon 2019.
In terms of familiar faces, the irrepressible team from Shin Tokyo had a huge booth this year. There was lots of interesting stuff available, with a big emphasis on figures and merch for the most part. I was on the hunt for some plushies for my son and was chuffed to come away with a squishy Kirby doughnut thing and an awesome Gabumon plushie.
Madman were there as expected with a great selection of figures in addition to the usual DVDs and Blu-Ray releases. They also had some interesting art books and manga available. Speaking of which, I had heard great things about the new Sailor Moon books Kodansha have started putting out. So, lucky for me Madman had volumes 2 through 4 onhand to check out. After a quick flick through I knew I needed to walk away with something and settled for volumes 2 and 3 to get me started. I’ll be sorting out volume 1 shortly so I can once again revisit the Sailor Moon manga! These are absolutely stunning releases and I’m sure I’ll wax lyrical about them later on!
For cosplayers there were stalls selling replica gear and cute accessories. I also noticed some interesting booths from sellers I hadn’t seen in previous years as well. They featured an excellent selection of figures and other random merch. Oh, Siren Visual and Greenlight Comics were also in attendance. I can’t remember if Greenlight had a booth last year, but it was great seeing one of the Adelaide CBD’s comic stores attending the convention.
There was a surprise small pop-up stall from Geelong-based Gifts for the Geek selling soundtracks on vinyl which was pretty cool. There were some video game OSTs, Hollywood movies, Disney movies and some other Western properties. I didn’t spot anything in the way of anime OSTs, J-Pop or some of the new and interesting vaporwave/future funk releases from labels like Neon City Records. At the time I thought these would have aligned with AVCon, but let’s be honest for a moment. While I’ve been enjoying listening to vinyl since I was an undergrad and realise vinyl’s a thing at the moment, I’m not in the majority and for all my excite over some of the above I don’t know if it would be the most pragmatic decision!
Tabletop gaming, community theatre and panels at AVCon 2019
Moving on to the other spaces, AVCon 2019 also featured a big tabletop gaming area adjacent the video game section that looked pretty impressive. The upstairs stage was setup as a community theatre/family room which had a nice chilled vibe.
The panels schedule had plenty happening too. Similar to the above, there was a big emphasis on cosplay-related sessions. There were also panels on video games, D&D, anime and even a live Evangelion screening with AD Vision alumni Spike Spencer and Amanda Winn Lee! The latter sounded pretty exciting but I wasn’t able to check it out unfortunately!
One of the big things we always find ourselves doing at AVCon is taking photos of some of the amazing cosplay on display! A huge thank you to everyone we spoke with or simply asked to take photos of. It was great fun chatting with people about your crazy passion when designing and pulling everything together!
The following captures a fraction of what was on show. If we’ve missed your online presence and would like us to link back to it be sure to tag yourself over on our Facebook page or Instagram where we’ll be uploading them once this post is live. We’ll then update this post to link back to your preferred source!
AVCon 2019 Cosplay gallery
Facebook: Dad’s Cosplay Workbench
We had an amazing time this year at AVCon 2019! The only thing I missed this year compared to the previous few AVCons was the lack of a dedicated app. Oh, and my rant above about Vewlix arcade cabs!
AVCon 2020 is sure to be amazing, we can’t wait to see what happens next year!
Anime Inferno would like to thank Team AVCon for the opportunity to have attended AVCon 2019 as a member of the press.