Wai-Con the biggest and best yet

Wai-Con 2012by Adam O’Grady and Geoff Searle

It was the biggest and most successful Wai-Con convention yet, and we were lucky enough to score tickets to check it out. From intense rounds of Street Fighter to learning how to create the perfect cosplay (costume play) outfit, Perth’s premiere anime convention had all bases covered. Here’s how it all went down.

After a bit of time getting the lay of the land I tried my hand at BlazBlue for the first time and threw my hat into the competition arena. I was quickly trounced in the very first round, suffering a mildly humiliating ‘perfect’ against me in my second match. Although I spent a considerable amount of time checking out other areas of the convention, as usual I found myself back in the gaming room on several occasions, redeeming myself in Street Fighter and Mario Kart.

My first port of call was to check out the presentation on the life and works of Hayao Miyazaki, one of the major names in anime and a cofounder of the amazing Studio Ghibli. After that, most of my time spent in the theatre was for two of the major competitions – cosplay and Anime Music Videos (AMV). While the competitions were great, the panels that followed seemed to have been put together in a bit of a rush. That said, the examples of AMV were truly inspiring, ranging from the beautiful and emotive to the slapstick funny.

Wai-Con 2012Geoff: The Cosplay competition is always one of the highlights of Wai-Con. This year certainly didn’t disappoint. There were some amazing costumes on show and comedian John Robertson did a great job of presenting throughout. The theatre was packed and the audience was excited. The highlight of the show was seeing the competition winner bring Pokémon to life with his remarkable Aggron costume.

Adam: Outside of the cosplay competition itself, large numbers of con-goers still dressed up anyway, representing their favourite characters from books, movies and video games just for fun. There really is something truly unique about the geeky convention environment that brings together so many different people in the spirit of good cheer and geeky fun.

Geoff: I made my way back to the theatre later in the day for John Robertson’s comedy show, Dragon Punch. John’s efforts at hosting the Cosplay competition earlier had been quite impressive so I was looking forward to it. While it dragged on a little in parts, some of the jokes were hilarious and the show was thoroughly entertaining.

Wai-Con 2012Panels and workshops
Although my previous experiences with fanfiction had left me a little scarred, I went along to the fanfiction panel with an open mind. The panel looked at things like staying in the style of set elements (characters, settings, etc.), avoiding pitfalls like including original characters or the dreaded ‘Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu’ (a self-insert character that reflects a perfect ideal of the author). It also touched on some other important elements of writing such as the importance of editing and tracking changes/characters as the story progresses.

To close out my time at Wai-Con, I also checked out Cosplay 301: Props and Photography which explained how some of Western Australia’s top cosplayers make their props, puppets and advanced costumes. It was amazing to see the ways materials like yoga mats, Tupperware containers and hobby electronics can be used to build realistic wolf puppets, giant robot costumes and glowing rainbow swords.

Geoff: In the end I had a fantastic time, spent way too much money buying comics and got to indulge in a number of my favourite geek hobbies. If you enjoy comics, manga, anime, gaming or watching great performances by passionate people, be sure to make your way along to Wai-Con next year. I might even see you there.

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