We spoke to Michael Hirst, founder of the Bristol Anime Club which hosted the Bristol cosplay night:

Q. How long has the Bristol Anime Club (BAC) been running?

A. The BAC has been running for roughly six years now, at first it was just an online community to help build interest in Bristol.  Later I met Homan Cheung, now my right hand man and we began working on a joint BAC using the City of Bristol College as a venue to show and host events. After we both left there was no one to pass on the society too and the College club sadly died. Over the next few years we were able to set up shop in Travelling Man, which was a small comic/roleplay and manga store for free on Sundays, but alas it was never to be a permanent thing and we were asked to move somewhere else.   Sadly Travelling Man has closed down in Bristol leaving Forbidden Planet as our main source of Anime and Manga.  So as a club we are unfortunately still in limbo ever trying to find a solid venue that we can afford and is fairly accessible to everyone.

Q. Is this the first cosplay night BAC have done?

A. This is the first one yes, although hopefully not the last! *note - since this interview was conducted it has been confirmed there will be hosting on Friday May 16th 2008!

Q. How successful was the night?

The night was a huge success given our inability to plan anything until two days before hand. The bar took well over 500 and the door takings were somewhere between 130 and 150, so we easily covered our outgoings and all that money will go straight into the next event.

Q. Did many non BAC members show up?

A. Loads.  I can't give you an exact number since we never really did a headcount all I can do is guess a rough figure between 20 and 30.  Which is ACE, because if it was just going to be the 'main' 12 it wouldn't have been quite so good, as much as I do love them all.


Q. Did the event have much support in the anime community, outside of BAC?

A. I can't say we did really.  I did post a few topics, trying to gauge support and to see if people had any ideas but didn't really get much back.  We had ADV contact us asking if we wouldn't mind showing some of their stuff on the night, but I never heard back from them.  So it was pretty much a solo effort from us.  * note - this interview was conducted before news of ADV UK's restructure

Q. Will there be another cosplay night?

A. Indeed there will.  We are planning on having them on a three month cycle, trying not to clash with other events though.  So yeah, I very much doubt this'll be the last. We are in the planning stages for one during May although dates are yet to be confirmed.

Q. What is your favourite anime & manga?

A. There's a kettle of fish.  My favourites usually change a fair amount although if I was looking at everything I've ever watched and read ever, my two anime faves would be Sailor Moon and Code Geass and manga wise it would have to be Hot Gimmick and Air Gear.  I can never nail it down to one choice, and doubt I ever will.

 Q. Overall, were you pleased with how the night went?  What worked well?

A. I was extremely pleased with the night.  I thought it was great how the staff pulled together and got the job done and had a lot of fun while doing so.  The morale was high and everything went smoothly and I only made three mistakes on the decks!  Can't ask for much more than that.

Q. Is there anyone you would like to thank, specifically for this event?

A. There are loads, but I must say that my biggest thanks go to Sascha, Homan and 'The Girls' (Sarah, Rachel, Holly, Tracy and Donna), this was far from a one man show and they all did their jobs perfectly and all deserve a mention.  And of course everyone who was able to attend, you also made the night memorable.

Q. Could you sum up how the cosplay night went in ten words or less?

A. A great if somewhat unexpected success!

Check out the gallery of the cosplay night by clicking next!