_Kitacon returns for its fifth year running on 28th-30th March 14 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. The first one took place in 2009 with it following every spring except for it taking a break in 2013.
Kitacon is a British non-profit convention for those who have an interest in anime, games, manga, Japanese culture and for those who may consider themselves a ‘Geek’. The convention is very different to the MCM expo’s which are mainly for selling/buying of merch. Kitacon is always held within a hotels premises and runs all weekend…literally. Due to this and the more adult atmosphere it is a 16+ con. Photographic ID is required for registration to check you are who you say you are and check you are over the age limit. 18+ get a different name badge colour to distinguish the difference between those who can basically drink and go to the ‘adult panels’.
Some of the events which take place are as follows:
- Opening ceremony- Takes place around 3-4pm on the Friday usually and includes the introduction of guests/events and information/rules of the conventions. Also videos by some of the guests/staff.
- Build a Mecha -ever wanted to be a cardboard mecha…now’s your chance. This event has been going since the first Kita and is still very popular. A great way to relive you childhood.
- Pub quiz- Prove how much of a geek you are and be bloody proud of it.
- Masquerade- show of your Cosplay’s
- Kita’s got talent- Those who want to show off their talents from doing a skit, singing, dancing or just being funny.
- Yaoi panel 18+- For those who just can’t get enough of ‘Boy Love’. Will include some freebies from Yaoi Kingdom (http://www.facebook.com/yaoikingdom)
- Hentai panel 18+ ??- Usually runs, however I’ve seen no announcement on that so far.
- Moe Maid School!- New event this year to train you to be a Maid/Butler
- Amateur Voice acting- New event, learn about voice acting???
- Evening parties
- Guess the game- Game quiz
- Kpop- Panel on Korean pop music
- Maid + Butler cafe- Maids of England cafe
- Cosplay chess
- The AMV set- anime music videos from around the world
- Gundam fight, ready go
- Anime running throughout the weekend
- Closing ceremony
At a convention, there has to be guests. This year there will be John Patrick Lowrie, Leon Chiro, Professor Elemental and the return of Ellen Mclain. Unfortunately, were not seeing the return of Chris Patton (voice actor)who appeared at the first two cons and made them incredibly special with his hilariously interesting late night panels.
The convention includes a dealers room with the likes of:
- UP1 (United Publications)
- Genki Gear
- Yaoi Kingdom – UK Yaoi seller of manga/doujin Facebook account
- Nerdcraft – Etsy site
- KamikaZe anime
- Gundam Mad
- Estatic arts
- Mime shop
Some of the main things to remember about Kitacon are that there are no shops around except a few small ones at the NEC which are pricey, so bring along some food and drink. You can also order take away. There is a lot of drinking going on throughout the course of the weekend, keep merry. Finally party likes its 1989.
There will be a follow up article after the convention early April. I will be on the look out for awesome cosplays. Please look forward to it!
For more information on Kitacon Invasion, go to http://www.kitacon.org/.