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Minamicon 21: Review

Minamicon turned 21 this year, and as expected was a fun-filled weekend of insanity and committee-member-harassment.

Minamicon’s 21st birthday coincided with my son HRH’s second ever proper convention, and the first time he got to wear a costume I had (almost) completely made myself. He debuted his Captain America costume at the masquerade, whilst I enjoyed wearing a stars and stripes dress. HRH is getting more into the masquerades, so next year should be a bit of a giggle!

This year’s Matsuri, opening ceremony and variety show had the theme of “Cyberpunk”, which is something I have never really thought of doing, so that took a little research! As it was, I was unfortunately unable to participate much beyond the outfit and grabbing some snacks, as myself and Romana had a dinner reservation. Friday night, post Matsuri and dinner, was social time, beginning the catch-up from last year.

(c) Pouncy Photography.  The Opening Ceremony/Matsuri getting ready to go.
(c) Pouncy Photography. The Opening Ceremony/Matsuri getting ready to go.

There were a number of brilliant panels this year, including two fascinating make-up panels run by Angel Aiko, as well as Fairy Wing Making and D.I.Y. Patterns for sewing. This year also saw the introduction of Cyberpunk Laser Tag and Locked Room Puzzles, neither of which I participated in, as the former I missed and the latter is something that an illogical being like myself tends to look at and panic. I have been told that the latter was absolutely fabulous, and many of the participants I spoke to have expressed a desire to see it return for Minamicon 22.

The ever-popular Sake Tasting event was running again this year, as was the even-more-popular Iron Cosplay. Saturday was, for many, a blur of alcohol and duct tape, blending into the Masquerade which was, amazingly, running perfectly on time. As mentioned above, myself and HRH participated in the masquerade, alongside my good friend Romana, but unfortunately I was unable to sit through the entirety of it due to having to get HRH to bed.

(c) Pouncy Photography. Minxie, Romana and HRH during the masquerade.
(c) Pouncy Photography. Minxie, Romana and HRH during the masquerade.

Sunday was a more laid-back day, seeing the return of Cosplay Cafe for the delight of reasonably-priced tea, coffee, and delicious cake. As always, it is a lovely atmosphere, perfect for relaxing after the insanity of the previously (especially if you had been participating in karaoke that night). Con Bag Transformations, in which the unused con-bags are crafted into things other than bags, was another great little event, especially as some of said creations ended up becoming most important for closing ceremony…

Half-past four saw said closing ceremony. Amidst the sadness that Minamicon was over, there was excitement for upcoming events such as Ame-Chibi and Kitacon. In addition to that, the total from the charity auction was announced. As ever, gophers were sent around to gather up any loose change from the audience, plus were given an incentive: if we could round the total up, long-suffering committee-member and tech destroyer P-chan would be dressed up in a beautiful con bag apron and bow. Money flew left, right and centre, and after a well-placed comment regarding PayPal, the total skyrocketed. More incentives were offered, cumulating in the top incentive being that both hosts Ben and Keith would also submit to dress-and-bow combos.

(c) Pouncy Photography.  Ben, P-chan and Keith looking fabulous at the Closing Ceremony.
(c) Pouncy Photography. Ben, P-chan and Keith looking fabulous at the Closing Ceremony.

With the kindness of an attendee pledging a decent amount via PayPal, and of DDR:UK doing the same with a three-figure sum, the eventual total came to £2,197.38 for the British Heart Foundation, and all three men were duly dressed, be-wigged and be-make-uped. It was magnificent! It is always a great event to attend, and things like this make everything even more awesome.

After Closing Ceremony there was an hour’s break, as the highly popular Kotatsu Lounge was set up. The con technically ends after the Ceremony, but as so many people choose to stay the Sunday night and travel, the last few years have seen the advent of the Kotatsu Lounge, where there are games a-plenty to keep people entertained. In addition to this, Retro-oke was running, for all our retro karaoke needs.

So that was Minamicon 21. It all flew by far too quickly, as it always does, but planning for cosplay for Minamicon 22 has already begun, and it’s not even a full year until it kicks off again. It’s all good!

(c) Pouncy Photography.  Minxie and Romana during the Opening Ceremony/Matsuri.
(c) Pouncy Photography. Minxie and Romana during the Opening Ceremony/Matsuri.

NB: Contributor Minxie apologises for the lateness of this review, as she was awaiting photograph permissions.

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