On the 27th and 28th of April, Hall 6 of the Feria de Madrid hosted this manga convention.
The convention was sponsored by
* Selecta Vision (the foremost Spanish anime publisher),
* Fandogamia Editorial (a Spanish comic and manga publisher),
* Norma Editorial (probably the biggest Spanish comic and manga publisher),
* Editorial Ivrea (actually an Argentinean manga publisher, but also the source of some series in Spain), and
* Japan Weekend (who host conventions around Spain, including a twice a year in Madrid).
All of which had stalls selling their wares, and with these stalls alone you had a dizzying selection of anime and manga in Spanish. These were not the only tables with anime and manga, but they were the biggest and best for those.
There were also five or six stalls of retro consoles, videogames and accessories, with a good selection of titles and hardware (although mostly 90s onwards). One of these stalls was operated by Retro Madrid, who host a retro videogames convention on alternate years, as well as the occasional activity for developers.
The con also played host to many artist’s stalls of, most with posters and stickers of their work, and several with their own manga. A few also offered portraits in their style, which is an excellent thing for those looking for something you can’t just buy in a store. Add to this a few stalls with handmade jewellery, ornaments, figurines, etc. and there were a lot of things you could find.
Naturally, there were also a bunch of stalls full of merch, with figures, t-shirts, keyrings, soft toys, etc. A couple even with Japanese snack foods. The merchandise was mostly anime and manga-related, but with some more general pop-culture, such as Game of Thrones, superheroes, Star Wars, and the like.
For those working up an appetite browsing the stalls, there were two eateries with Japanese food. It seemed like the most popular thing from either of them was the ramen (understandably, but still disappointingly the same sort of instant ramen you can get from many alimentacions). For those looking for something less rehydrated, between the two stalls takoyaki, taiyaki, doromaki, gyoza, and more were available. For those not in the mood for Japanese, one of the stalls also did hamburgers and hot dogs, plus the regular Feria cafe at the back the hall was open, for items such as beer, coffee, or sandwiches.
There were numerous workshops at various times throughout the day, including origami, a brief introduction to the Japanese language (made difficult due to background noise), quizzes, videogame tournaments, demonstrations of Kendo, etc.
For those wishing to learn a language, as well as the intro workshops, there were also stands belonging to two academies that offer courses and residential courses in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. One of them also had a lot of interesting information about Korea.
Speaking of Korea, there were Kpop dance competitions, trivia contests, and demonstrations (as well as some of the merch on sale being of Korean pop bands).
A small games library was available throughout the day. It was pretty tiny compared to the sort you’d expect at a games convention but was a pleasant addition for a manga convention. For those wanting videogames, rather than tabletop games, there were a couple of areas with those on offer, including an area with several machines playing Super Dragonball Heroes: World Mission and Jump Force. Also, throughout the day several small tournaments on other games happened in smaller play areas.
All-in-all, this was a nice, family-friendly convention, with plenty of kids as well as older geeks. The cosplay was likewise broadly inclusive, including Marvel, Adventure Time, and many more shows/movies, as well as the manga and anime characters I was expecting.
There was an excellent atmosphere, and I will definitely be attending the next time this event rolls around.
Official website: http://www.mangadrid.es/