of the series, including a video of a live orchestral recital of
some of the games tracks. There was also a peek at the Phoenix
Wright musical, which looked quite hilarious and fantastically
camp). An 'Ace' panel then, and one of our favourites of the
Then came the state of industry panel. Major representatives
of the UK industry spoke in an informal Q&A session answering
questions on topics such as future releases and if UK legislation
could affect those releases. Digital distribution was raised,
but its future still seems uncertain. Manga Entertainment
have the technical ability, and MVM are going through them
for their digital distribution, but it appears very few UK fans are
aware of their online streaming. Whether western anime
adaptations could help more anime get released in the UK also came
up, but the panel said it would most likely remain a niche
due to the quality of said adaptations. Although they did
admit that the upcoming Hollywood version of Cowboy Bebop had
potential. It was an interesting panel but did cover many of
the topics from other industry panels and conventions prior to
Ayacon. If you weren't at those events though, it did
offer a small insight into the industry and the informal tone made
it easy for one to ask questions and was fun to watch as a spectator
to the discussions between the panel and audience.
Running opposite the industry panel was a cosplay panel covering
make-up application. It was presented by
(who presented the fairy wing panel the previous day) and looked at
the basics of cosplay make-up. During the panel two lucky
people were selected to show different make up techniques which can
be used. The first person was applied with plain make-up
first, which could have been used with most cosplay outfits.
This involved using a moisturiser first, before applying a
foundation and contouring make-up. JoEllen went further by
showing how to apply natural eye shadow and how to make it last
by using an eye shadow primer.
This base make-up was then evolved into makeup for Zelda. This
involved applying heavy eyeliner to the eyes before applying fake
eyelashes to complete the look. Before we knew it another hour
with JoEllen was over with and we barely had enough time to cover
make makeup look ghostly. Yet again this was another
interesting panel from JoEllen, which we wished could have lasted a
bit longer as there was so much that you could learn.
Following the make-up panel, a documentary entitled Surviving
Kitacon was shown. This student film by
Cheung and takes non-anime fan Adam Phillips and places him,
completely unprepared, into the anime convention world. Filmed
at the Northampton convention
Kitacon, the makers follow Phillips throughout the weekend and
present his reaction to the camera. The presenter quickly
takes to Kitacon and the people, he even wears cosplay in the
final half. It was great to see Ayacon where willing to
show a film regarding a different convention, and an entertaining
one at that. The funniest moment is when Phillips expressed
surprise that the girls at Kitacon were actually attractive!
You can view a short version of the documentary
After viewing the documentary we attended the Kaiju panel.
Kaiju, meaning strange beasts, was a look into the Japanese monster
genre and, quite specifically, Godzilla.
We were given a brief history of the genre, including its origins,
which sprouted from old American movies, such as King Kong
and 1960's film The Lost World. We were also given an
interesting fact that Godzilla is the longest running
film-franchise of all time, currently standing at 29 films, beating
the Bond series which stands at 22.
A few videos were then played, including clips from some of the
latest movies, most notably one from Godzilla: Final Wars.
In it Godzilla faces off with the American Godzilla and kills it in
about 10 seconds. There were also some western video clips,
including Godzilla meets Bambi, and an American advert where
Godzilla faces off with a giant Charles Barkley. (no, we don't know
While Godzilla was the main focus, we also got a brief look at a
pair of other popular creations from the monster genre; the space
turtle Gamera and Ultraman, who himself spawned (or at
least inspired) the Super Sentai/Power Rangers series. Overall
it was decent look at the kaiju sub-genre and good fun.