Ichibancon is a bright, lively three day festival of anime and Japanese pop culture. The word Ichiban is derived from the Japanese word for ‘best’ or ‘number one’ and it certainly lives up to that accolade.
It has a busy programme of events, including workshops and guest panels, dealers and vendors, artists, contests, karaoke, and loads more. There are two Cosplay competitions, with masquerade skits and catwalk displays in front of the judges, and throughout the weekend, Glow Stick Dances are happening, with bassthumping beats, motion and lights. The music is provided by Speedycake and his Japanese Hardcore sound, DJ4x, who specialises in an original blending of eclectic tracks, and Drum and Bass DJ Haji.
The Okatu Flea Market is the place to clear out all your unwanted collectables and other items, and the Art and Craft Fair is a chance to fill up that space you’ve just created in your collection.
Classically trained violinist and self confessed anime geek, Taylor Davis will be playing and chatting to fans; Taylor has recorded music for video games, including The Banner Saga, and has recently completed a US/UK tour. Richard Epcar is also speaking at Ichibancon; Richard is the voice of Batou in Ghost in the Shell, but has also appeared in front of the camera many times, including roles in Cheers and Broken Spirit. Another Ghost in the Shell star is Ellyn Stern; recently working with Martin Sheen and Matthew Bodine, she will be answering all your burning questions on the industry.
The improve troupe Laugh Out Loud, with their hilariously manic audience participation show, similar to Who’s Line is it Anyway? will be keeping everyone laughing and Samurai Dan are holding demonstrations of their skills, honed over 35 years, as martial arts instructors; the husband and wife team from Iowa worked together on The Way of the Samurai, and have written several books and articles.
Ichibancon lives up to its name completely and certainly looks like being a number one convention, with well thought out guests and entertainment from across the board.