Whoever doesn't know Atusacon yet(your missing out!), here is a short introduction. It is one of the bigger Japan conventions in Belgium. Featuring many, many elements of Japanese culture ranging from a vast gamesection, cosplay and the more traditional historical subjects. Its based in Antwerp and takes place only once a year.
So How about a quick overview of the event and what transpired during day 1? When we arrived right after opening time. Already lots of people have been gathering at the entrance, which are fronted by Japanese arches. Processing the waiting line goes fairly well organized and tickets only need to be scanned into the system to get in. The convention is separated into 3 floors. The main action takes places on the ground floor and contains a very large game area, a merchant section and small corners for food and sport demonstrations. You can even attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony! Especially for the Gamefreaks this is a must go to. Atusacon has managed to gather an enormous amount of consoles ranging from the earliest Atari's to the latest Nintendo offspring. This is a game heaven and you can battle it out versus other gamers and relive ancient nostalgic times. Suddenly you are reminded of the origin of the phrase "button bashing" as you pound on the buttons next to the joystick of a really old console. Most notable is the dance-dance revolution stand. Where you can knock yourself out tapping the input blanket with your feet.
The second floor is where the big stage room is situated. This is where the Taiko drum demos and the cosplay contest is held. Especially the Taiko drums left a very epic impression. After a half hour Demo you could list yourself for a short workshop to learn the basics of Taiko drum. It is tougher than it looks but once you nail the basis you get an epic feeling of the synchronous drumming sounds. I can assure you that! boom pata boom pata pata!
The 3rd floor is separated into 4 different area's as you can see on the floor plan. We've had an excellent sushi/sashimi lunch in the dining area and had the chance to enjoy some anime screening too. It was very well decorated complete in Japanese style with lanterns, ground tables and other accessories. After lunch I've attended one of the many lectures of that day. Which was about figurines. Detailing cost, where and how to find them and much more. Very intresting to see all the details layed out like that. A big kudos to the Cosplay Cloud people.
The last event we wanted to see is the big Cosplay Contest, which is what this day is all about. You could already see loads of people with very excellent and elaborate costumes in the hallways and halls prior to the contest. But to see them all gathered is always a very special and fun sight to see. Some have really gone out of their way to create super detailed costumes. As they go on stage some performed well thought out routines and others where well not so well thought. But as always it is very entertaining, and an excellent photo opportunity.
Afterwards of course is the obligatory group picture and then everybody wonders off chatting and showing off in the main room. After taking some quick final snapshots on each floor, we take homewards.