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VAX 2016 has made its splash, and as usual, we have something to talk about the convention’s second year running. So here’s what we think.

For those not in the know, the Visual Arts Expo (or VAX) is a returning convention where the goal is to showcase the latest in visual arts, aka animation, comics, film, music and video games on top of the usual cosplay and doujinshi offerings.

Due to this year’s opinions on the con being pretty mixed, we’ve decided to split this article up into two parts, the good and the bad. So let’s start off with the awesome stuff first.

The good

Hall was wide and spacious, great amenities

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While the location wasn’t the best (we’ll get to that later) the actual venue was quite big and spacious enough to feature a whole row of itansha cars and bikes with lots of legroom to spare. Booths weren’t tightly packed, and they still managed to fit in a wrestling ring in the middle of it all. Even then, the doujin owners could still see the stage!

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Leg room is always appreciated, even though it was a little humid.

The premises were also pretty clean, with minimal rubbish left about in both the bathrooms and around the hall area.

Great helpers

I may not have been there for two days, but for the few hours I was there, I did get to see the helpers in action. Towards the end of the con, water was starting to come into the hall due to the open nature of the venue. Watching volunteers scramble about warning folks about their merchandise possibly getting damaged due to the wind and water so soon after it started leaking in is a plus; means people are paying attention.

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Also, the volunteers were cheerful and helpful!

Refreshments in the hall

Last year also had vendors in the hall providing food and drink and this year wasn’t too different. Visitors were also allowed to bring sustenance up to the hall, which was a lifesaver for booth owners who couldn’t leave their booths unattended, on top of the restaurants being so far down on the ground floor of the building.

Lots of things to do and see!

Like last year, VAX was home to heaps of panellists and lots of workshops for people to partake in. Including that of wrestling, which I admit is a bit of an odd addition to a convention but it was enjoyed nonetheless. Hope you managed to check out the doujin booths too!

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Occasional writer, gamer, artypants and owner of about seven+ years of craft related battle scars, she lives only half anchored in reality while still trying to figure out how anti-gravity anime hair works.
  • Mike

    I think there were just as many panel leaders or industry speakers FROM Japan this year as last. However, there were MORE not from Japan. Maybe this created a strange off-balance to the writer. I think an issue was that they did not use those visitors to full advantage. For example, they had a Samurai Sword artist there. Why not workshop led by him? They had a person that works in the music industry. Why no portfolio review by the music industry guest or a “karaoke idol” contest judged by the music industry person and the musical guest?