This blog post is a little late coming, but I’ve had a friend to stay again, and today has been my first chance to sit down and think about it.
So on Saturday July 20th, the MCM came to Manchester Central once again, and of course it would have been rude not to attend. I asked my friend Zoe to come with me and stay for a few days, so I picked her up from the train station and off we went.
I’ve attended the MCM in London, Telford and Manchester before, but Manchester is my closest. I haven’t been for a couple of years due to work, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of how busy it was going to be. The first time I went, I probably queued for about 30 minutes. This time, I queued for more than 2 hours. I’m really glad that they’ve decided to spread the expo across two days next year, because it really was ridiculous. I wouldn’t have been able to get to Manchester in time for early entry, and that was the only reason I had to queue so long.
Regardless though, for the first hour or so the queueing wasn’t too bad. I am British after all, and queueing is what we do best. I brought my 3DS with me to get stocked up on Street Passes, and I wasn’t left disappointed as I pretty much spent the whole day clearing them and getting puzzle pieces etc. I also love queuing for the MCM so I can see all the cosplayers. I didn’t have any pictures from the queue as I wasn’t anticipating it being so long, but there were some very interesting ones. One year I will go to one of these events in cosplay, but as a redhead who lacks visual creativity, I’m a little bit stuck in terms of what to go as. Rangiku Matsumoto is one, but I’d rather not have my chest on display all day, or I could go as Inoue Orihime, but a more covered up version.
The longer we queued for, the more people gave up. The queue started moving more when more people admitted defeat, but we still got no closer to our goal. Eventually, at 2PM we got in, and I was amazed at how much bigger they had made the expo since the last time I came. Now, I’m a big fan of anime and manga as well as video games, so this expo is perfect for me, and I was pretty much like a hyper child when we eventually got in. My friend Zoe is a bit of an artist, so we spent a lot of time around the comics, and found one that had a character that looks scarily like me. We also got chatting to some comic artists from Cheltenham (mine and Zoes’ hometown) which was a bit weird, but nice.
The floor of the expo was packed with cosplayers, so trying to make our way round was difficult at first to say the least. Making our way through all the pop up shops, comic artists and DDR stage, we found the Robot Wars Stage. We both absolutely adored Robot Wars as children, and I remember the first year I came to the MCM, Craig Charles was hovering around. He wasn’t this time, but we actually got through the crowd and watched a few rounds of Robot Wars Live which was great fun, and slightly nostalgic.
Unfortunately, the gaming area of the MCM is never very big, and featured mainly Saints Row and Zelda. I’m not really interested in Saints Row Personally, although they had a very good pop up section. I did have a go at the new Zelda game on the 3DS though, The Legend of Zelda a Link Between Worlds. I only had a quick go on it, as we were both pretty tired by this point and there were so many other people waiting to have a go, but it was pretty good fun. It had some very interesting ideas in there from what I could see, and certainly seemed like it could be a worthy addition to the franchise.
I also added another art book to my collection as I purchased the Hyrule Historia from the Travelling Man pop up shop inside the expo. A bargain at £20, I haven’t had chance to look through it properly yet, but I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it and absorb all the beautiful art and information.
Overall, the expo was great fun, and I encourage anybody in the North of England with an interest in games, anime or manga to attend next years expo. It may not be as big or as grand as the expo in London, but it’s a hell of a lot closer, and just as fun.