Probably no other convention in Belgium tries to put as many things on its program as Atsusacon.

Atsusacon Ghent Belgium
Atsusacon in Ghent, Belgium, August 7 (Hilde Heyvaert)

First of all, let me say there is probably no other convention in Belgium that tries to put as many things on its program as Atsusacon. Nor is there a convention this good at making sure that people know what’s on, when and where during the event. The ICC has a good infrastructure for information, with the screen and first-floor desk, and Atsusacon makes full and great use of both.

We visited Atsusacon on the quieter of the two days: Sunday. The second we entered, we were given an extensive program and map, much obliged.

Sadly, a lot of the workshops got canceled on Sunday, which can happen, but everywhere we looked, we saw people having a good time and making the best of it. It may have been a quiet day, but it didn’t put much of a damper on the spirits of those in attendance.

Besides, after big and busy cons, it’s a relief to be able to browse shops at leisure, not having to be there an hour in advance to get a good seat for the cosplay competition or being unable to stop and talk to others without blocking the passageway. It was so relaxed, it was sheer and utter bliss.

Atsusacon was, as is an Atsusacon tradition, very varied. They make use of every nook and cranny of the ICC and organize workshops, competitions, card games, if you can think of it, Atsusacon probably has it.

There was a mobile chip shop outside and inside a few other stands offered Japanese food and drinks. 8tea5 bubble tea was present and for those not in the mood for either traditional drinks or bubble tea there were several vendors that sold Asian food, drink and candy. Generally at your average convention price, but c’est la vie.

Bringing your own food and drinks was not an issue, though, and the organization had made sure that there was more than ample room on each floor for people to sit down and relax a bit

The cosplay competition and catwalk had the undoubtedly best presenter of such events I have ever seen and her poke-ball costume deserves extra mention. A for awesome all around. She was funny, respectful to all characters, interacted with the crowd in a fun, clever and witty way, so seriously: best presenter ever. She should present every cosplay event in Belgium from now on!

Speaking of cosplay, Atsusacon is probably the last and only convention in Belgium where beginning cosplayers can go to hone their skills in workshops, but also to wander around in costume without fear of ridicule or being intimidated by the sheer professional level of some other cosplayers. Here you see cosplayers of all levels, hanging out and having fun together, and that’s awesome.

Cosplay Cloud also offered a free cosplay repair service, which was a great touch!

Atsusacon was once again a convention you don’t just go to to hang out with friends or shop, it’s a place to actively see and do things and that, as well as the general relaxed and friendly atmosphere, is one of the reasons this convention is so great.

They don’t organize anything for steampunks specifically, but if you wanted to go to the con wearing steampunk (like several people did), you could totally do that without issues. Alternative fashions, Asian fashion styles, cosplay, regular clothes, it’s all good at Atsusacon and this year this was no different.

Even though a lot of the Sunday program got cancelled, I would still say this was a great day at the con!

For more photos of this edition, click here.

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