With the Irish con scene fully under way I was glad to see another con being held at the Ballsbrige Hotel. Nom-Con was geared up towards all things anime, nice for a little change and still equally as fun as its counterparts. Nom-Con has been running since 2009 and it seems to be growing each year. It’s not just anime it tends to celebrate all things Otaku. It’s less a con and more a cultural exchange. Just looking at their website you can see they want to bring Japanese Fashion, music and even tea ceremony’s to Ireland, it’s quite fascinating, being able to submerse yourself in another culture just for a weekend while still being surrounded by all your home comforts (like a pub).
Few cons can say they have the dedication and resilience that Nom-Con had. Last weekend saw Ireland hit with some horrendous weather, part of the Motorway to Dublin was shut on Sunday and even on the drive back to Belfast we struggled to see more than a few feet in front of us. The weather was so bad that part of the BallsBridge Hotel had actually flooded. The staff where fortunately very quick to reschedule and move evens about, true that a few things where missed but through some quick thinking the con continued without major incident. My hats off to them as it was a very impressive and skillful move.
I might as well kick off with the big draws for this year’s event. Christopher Sabat, he is well known as the voice director behind DragonBall Z and voice actor for such characters as Piccolo, Vegita, Kami and many others. His range is magnificent covering the legendary swordsman Roronoa Zoro, in One Piece, plus two of the most intense and hilarious (yet oddly deep) anime characters ever Ayame Sohma in Fruits Basket and Alex Luis Armstrong in Full Metal Alchemist. It’s a real honour that he would come to Ireland and shows how big Nom-Con really is.
Next up on the list is the lovely Jamie Marchi. She is best known as the voice behind the Witchblade (Masane Amaha), large and in charge Ellie from Borderlands II ( you really would not think it), and the lovably filthy Panty from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. Last but not least is Funanimation veteran Ian Sinclair. You will know him from Dandy in space dandy, to multiple roles in One Piece and several other great series, this guy has payed his dues and is another great versatile actor.
There was so much more than these guests with plenty of panelists, animators, artists and designers this con had a lot to offer, check out the variety here. I have to say out of all the panels I saw one of the most informative was Sundays voice acting panel, like many other ones over the weekend it was filled with plenty of useful and in-depth tips for anyone breaking into the voice acting world, plus sprinkled with a little bit of humour to lighten the load, it’s the best way to describe the entire weekend.
As with any good anime event there was plenty of cosplay. Nom-Con boasts one of the biggest and best cosplay events in Ireland, I can think of two that maybe rival it. They had standard cosplay and plenty of skits; we might have sat in and watched the rehearsal of a few of them, there was definitely some talent on display. Plus the Irish league of the Eurocosplay was being held at Nom-Con. It’s quite a prestigious win for anyone who wants to be a professional costume designer.
Then there was the thing my wallet hates the most the trade floor and artists alley. I feel if my wallet could express emotion it would cry as I walked in here, crying at all the spending I would be doing, it’s not the biggest room but there is a lot on offer.
Another great idea they had this year was the bring and buy table. Basically if you have any anime and manga related merchandise that you want to try to sell, then drop by the table and in exchange for a marginal fee, they will display said item and try and sell it for you. It’s a pretty sweet offer for those too lazy to eBay something, such as myself.
There was so much to do sadly I missed their Maid Café, yes Nom-Con had their own Maid Café, but we spent too much time trying to figure out if we could steal I mean borrow their life sized cut out of Professor Oak that we may have missed a bit. Though I was very pleased to see a last minute panel set up for all things Rooster Teeth, this pleased me.
It was a great way to spend the weekend and if you were lucky enough to be there the whole time I’m sure you’re glad that Monday the 4th of August was a bank Holiday, because I’m sure you will need the rest and I’m sure the staffers for this con will be glad of the extra days rest too. Thanks for putting on a good show and hope to see you there next year !