August 17, 2016

Oulun Animeseminaari 2016 – Back to being good

Hi guys!

This summary is a lil' bit late since the event was held last Saturday, on 13th August. I know I have not informed anywhere that I was going to Animeseminaari this year and that's mainly because it was a rather sudden decision. You see, my original plan was to go to Nerdcon in Sweden instead because they both were held on the same weekend, aka 13-14 August, except that Nerdcon was a 2-day con while Animeseminaari was just one day. What made me change my mind was that I was really broke at this time still am and Animeseminaari had free entrance while Nerdcon did not – and, also, traveling to Umeå would be notably more costly than going to Oulu. Another thing was that I was to hang with Sacchan on a Saturday party after the "con", which directly affected how long I could stay at Animeseminaari and also completely ruled out Nerdcon for us. 

But now let's get to the summary!

Animeseminaari poster.
Saturday morning. We had prepared so that I'd be at Sacchan's place the night so that we'd have an easier time leaving and a little bit less to drive, since she lives closer to Oulu than I do. So yeah, the two of us woke up in the caravan (parked next to the house, aka our hangout place) and crawled out of it to get breakfast; the night prior we had decided that it would be better if we didn't cosplay because we had to be able to leave quickly and be instantly ready to move on to the night party.
We had some random breakfast, grabbed Sacchan's little brother Joni with us and then we left for Oulu – just the three of us. The drive took approximately one hour and the weather was shit – it was raining constantly for the whole day and we didn't regret one bit that we decided to opt out of cosplaying. Thank god we did because it would have sucked.

At Oulu we parked our car near where my aunt lives (2 hour free parking!) and then we headed to centrum to... do some shopping. Yeah, we totally went to check out a game store, a toy store and Anttila before heading to the con. :D Mind you, I had some geeky business to do and it was more important than being early at the con, lol. Oh well, after we were done shopping we went to refresh our parking time and then we headed to Valve, aka the con building. We walked through the streets of Oulu that were soaking wet from the constant rain that just wouldn't cease. There were pools of water everywhere and dumb me of course forgot to take my umbrella and a jacket so I walked through centrum with a soaked hoodie, soaked jeans and soaked shoes.

Valve entrance.
The cafeteria area, seen from above.
I must say that since my last visit to Animeseminaari it felt really good to see that they went back to their roots, aka holding the con in trusty old Kulttuuritalo Valve. Truth is that I had sorta boycotted Animeseminaari since that one disaster at the library, aka 2014, which was shit. It was a relief to see that said event had reverted back to being that comfy but small little local con that I was used to and which, although small and sorta crammed for space, did its thing. It's not a con that you go to with any high expectations, more like a con where you go to hang with friends and chill in a corner – and that's what I do.

View of the Dealer's Hall.
Fantasiapelit selling manga and art books.
Collectible figurines, rubber straps etc.
Eeveelution rubber straps! ♥
Ginga Densetsu Weed plushies for pre-ordering!
I even found some Monster Hunter merch! :D
I can't remember when exactly we arrived at the con but it was a bit late-ish, maybe 13:00 or 14:00 something. We first went to check out all the merchandise vendors and I must say that it felt like there were fewer bootleg products than previous years but, then again, it might just be me – but it did seem like it. I know that in the north there are some sellers circulating with the same fake items in all the local cons but yeah, it seems like even in the north people have now started caring and being able to tell apart the real deal from the counterfeit shit. I certainly don't want to support the illegal market and I hope that one day there will be no fake goods for sale at all – it's always a bother having to worry about accidentally purchasing a counterfeit product because you get ripped off on your money and, sadly, many times at cons the fakes are sold for the same prices as the legit products. :( The bootlegs are so widespread and it's the reason why I'm always super careful and sceptical of buying anything at cons so yeah, unless I can safely say or simply know that it's an authentic product then I tend to pass on it, just to be on the safe side.

I was happy to see that Touken Ranbu merch is finally
getting more common, even up here. C:
Pokémon stuff. Those Wailmer mascot plushies were too damn cute!
Of course there was a Pocky and Ramune candy booth.
The merchandise sellers were where they've always been; it's kinda crammed and narrow but it still works since there aren't that many vendors in the end. What I did notice though was that the Artist's Alley had moved to the second floor – it used to be in the cafeteria area but not anymore!

In the second floor there was a water drinking spot. That's new!
Artist's Alley was in a small and really dark room in a corridor on the second floor. By really dark I mean that the room was basically black. Items for sale ranged from your usual prints and stickers to magic wands. I ended up buying an adorable derpy Magikarp scarf, it spoke to me and I instantly knew that if I had not bought it I would have regretted it... deeply. We were meant to be.

Yes, that's the Magikarp scarf that I purchased soon after.
Magic wands and woodwork items!
Random stuff, including Pokémon Go team pins.
Super adorable legendary bird trio stickers. ;A;
I wish these had been magnets instead, would totally have bought a set!
Our trio spent about 2 hours at the con and then we had to leave – we had a time to pass because of the party, which was actually held to celebrate Sacchan's mom's birthday. The party was awesome by the way, rock 'n roll all the way! But yeah, even though we didn't stay long I didn't really feel like I missed out on anything. In 2 hours you had plenty of time to see what there was to offer and yeah, because I wasn't interested in any panels or programs it was easy to just go when we were done. Sadly I didn't meet any familiar faces but it didn't hinder me from having a good time.

In the third floor was a board game room.
They had some stuff for sale. That tower was a game on which
you picked your favorite dice from the cup, put it in the tower
and if it came out with the highest number you got to keep the dice!
Okay, so to conclude this short summary I'd say that it was a comfy small con and worth a visit – definitely better than that shitty library edition ever was. There isn't really much to do (unless you like dance games or board games) but it's not really a problem since I don't expect much from a 1-day con with free entrance anyway. :) The amount of merchandise is satisfying, considering the size of the con, and there's also a cafeteria in the same building where you could buy something to snack on if you got hungry. Valve, the con building, is good in the sense that it's in the middle of centrum so you can easily just walk out and explore Oulu city if you get bored. So yeah, Animeminaari is a nice little event to brighten up an otherwise dull and ordinary week and I'd definitely keep attending it, as long as they don't move to a bad location again.

Thanks for reading!

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