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It was a sad morning as Animetion rose, knowing that it was the final day of Ayacon and the fun was going to end soon.  We were expecting Sunday to be a quiet day to end the weekend, with less events then previous days in order to wind things down.  It was anything but quiet though and was still a packed day. 
 

   The first panel we attended was the Phoenix Wright panel.  Panel host Maz gave us a look into the popularity of the Ace Attorney game series, from its origins on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance (It was ported to the Nintendo DS for America and Europe) to the various spin-offs and fan creations it has spawned.  After the introduction, we were given a sneak peek of the next game in the series 'Ace Attorney Investigations' which stars Miles Edgeworth.  The game was all in Japanese, but Maz was at least able to show a handful of new features in the game, including the 'crime scene recreation'. 

After this there was a peek into the fan-culture

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 weekend.

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 JoEllen (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 longer
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 how to
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 Michael Hirst and Homan 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 here

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 why either)

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. 
 

Straight after the kaiju panel was a workshop on kanzashi, the Japanese art of making flower ornaments through the method of folding fabrics.  Despite some technical faults at the start of the panel, we were treated to a display of numerous decorations that had been created beforehand, along with a lesson about the kanzashi themselves.

Kanzashi are worn by Maiko (apprentice Geisha) to show they are in training, with more elaborate designs for headpieces to show their higher level of training.  The ornaments themselves have quite elaborate designs and there are many made throughout the year, with specific designs for each month.  May for example is based on cherry blossoms, to represent the blooming of the flowers at that time of year.  The flower-making process itself is a long process, which involves starching, then folding many small squares of fabric to make a single flower petal/bud.  We were then given some time to try some basic folding methods ourselves, and while itís a simple process, the time it must take to make whole flowers and full ornaments it is quite mind-boggling. 


Running opposite the kanzashi workshop was one the many highlights of Ayacon - the There Will Be Brawl panel.  The talk on the web series was held in the lecture theatre and hosted by the stars Matt Mercer, JoEllen and Matt Key.  It was very unique as Matt Mercer was on live feed from America at approximately 7am in the morning (US time) and also quite lively panel to be in.  It started with Matt Mercer being placed into a dress as he had promised to the previous night!  From here a round of questions were asked such as how the outfits were created?  Where did the ideas come from? And how expensive was it to produce?  All of these questions were answered really well and in great detail.  Finally, as a treat to us all, we were all shown an outtake video from all the episodes filmed so far.

Just before one final night of entertainment, Animetion attended the AMV showcase & panel.  Another event that experienced some technical issues right from the start unfortunately, with a rather slow machine and a number of different video file-types, which caused delays between videos as the hosts would have to switch back-and-forth between different media-players.  The videos themselves were good quality, but the bulk of the videos seemed to be quite serious with only a few funny videos in-between.  A lot of the videos had just taken some footage and had not done much work with it, and were, despite their decent picture quality, just basic music videos running along with some anime/videogame clips.

After the AMV panel was Sunday's biggest event, Sunday Night Live which was a stage show in which any attendee could put on a performance.  It promised music, dance and plenty of laughs and, for the most part, it delivered.

It was a little more unique compared to other cons, as rather then being completely focused on anime and games, people were encouraged to do some more original and diverse performances, which gave us some unique entrants, which included a poi demonstration from attendee Sephirayne, along with duet of 'What Is This Feeling' from the west-end musical Wicked by GunstarVixen and Silver.  There was even a Full Metal Alchemist magic show by Tab and Xaerael, as well as an impressive burlesque act. 

While most of the varied acts were enjoyable the highlight of the show was, undoubtedly, Team Giblets, with another appearance from 'That Man' as they left the audience rolling with laughter in the aisles with their blending together of Final Fantasy and Resident Evil (click here to see the video).  It was a fitting end to a brilliant variety show that was truly entertaining from start to finish.  A good example to other conventions how variety shows should be done. 

After the excellent Sunday Night Live there was another party of various Japanese music which lasted until midnight.  It was the end of the convention and the next day would see a return to the humdrum of everyday life, until the next Ayacon at least.  Click next to go to the next page which contains the conclusions of each of our writers for this feature. 

                                                                                                                          

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