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London Expo October 2007

Date: 2007 October 26 13:19

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A look at the recent London Expo (featuring cosplay photos).

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It was time for the London Expo to land on Docklands Excel Centre and bring fourth legions of anime and sci-fi fans together under one roof.

Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan cosplayer

What's always struck me as interesting at the Expo is that you don't even need to actually go into the Excel Centre to have an interesting day. There's a large area outside the main entrance and there is often some gathering of cosplayers or fans doing something to keep an eye out for. While I had my lunch there was a large group singing along to the Village People's YMCA. But in true anime style, the chorus was changed to "Everybody loves Y-A-O-I". Moments after that finished there was a group of Lucky Star cosplayers recreating the cheerleading opening (and doing a very good job of it).


Inside the Excel Centre was a busy affair as there were several other normal events happening, which even lead to some interesting lines being overheard. My favourite of which was "What are all these freaks doing?"

Misa-Misa from Death Note cosplayer

The organisation was well thought out by queuing the main attendee's in one of the unused sections rather than the usual mass pile down the central aisle.

Vash from Trigun cosplayer

Inside the actual Expo arena was business as usual. Lots of companies all with stalls to tempt you and your money to part ways. In what appears to be a growing trend, there were a lot of anime/manga based stands. Is the sci-fi element slowly being over run?

Lucky Star cosplay cheerleader group

From my view, this was the biggest Expo in terms of floor space used. There was even a separate stage for the Anime Village section.

Bleach Wii game

Gaming was well taken care of with numerous pods set up to play some new and forthcoming releases. A lot of these were set up with the new Naruto games on Xbox 360 and PS2. The Manga stand also had two pods set up for the upcoming Bleach game on the Wii, however I only saw them up and running at one point in the day.

Another reason Bleach fans had to be happy was the attendance of Johnny Yong Bosch (the dub voice of Ichigo). In a difference to the Sci-fi guests, you didn't need to pay for an autograph, simply queue. Another bonus for anime fans. There were more anime voices as well in the form of Laura Bailey and Colleen Clinkenbeard at the MVM booth.

Bleach cosplayer

But one of the best things about the Expo is the people there. Everyone I spoke to was nice and friendly and none of the cosplayers minded having their photos taken. In a strange twist, this was the first time I didn't cosplay at the event but for the first time I had numerous people commenting on my t-shirt . For anyone wondering, I was wearing a Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann t-shirt that to my knowledge is only available in Japan (much to the annoyance of people asking where I got it).

Add in a few DVD bargains (Millennium Actress and Perfect Blue for £5 is a real steal!) and Japanese snacks and you have a great event that I'll be more than happy to revisit next May.

Source: Otaku News
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