Oh my gosh these past few weeks have been hectic! I have been on the go non-stop since the week before Comic-Con Africa and my body is just not used to it. So here we are a week and a bit after the end of rAge and I have a blocked nose, coughing and am I really tired. Still, it is better compared to how I was feeling this past weekend – hence the delay in getting this post done. I figure we have had enough of a delay so I shall jump straight into my rAge 2018 experience.
Everyone was curious about this particular rAge. How would they differentiate themselves from Comic Con? Would they stay true to what they are or would they deviate and loose what makes them unique? What changes would they be making and how big or small were they going to be? We already knew that the LAN would be moving off of the main floor to the Blue Wing. This made me nervous, where were they going to place the cosplayers and the Artist Ally?
Friday saw the first day that All About Anime would be attending as a ‘team’. It was an unofficial happening but I ended up walking around with Dylan (the new admin on the Facebook page. I admitted I needed help) and his friend Hennie. I saw some familiar faces and met a few new people. As many of us had anticipated something was lacking compared to previous years, but there was something fun and new too. Each day was the same but different like it usually is.
I love Friday’s for the quietness of the con. There are a lot less people and it is easier to walk around and try things out as well as easier to see the stands. Saturdays are great vibe days. There are so many people who are also enjoying the essence that is rAge. Sunday is great to to spend your money with those ‘rAge specials‘ which are deals but not really deals. Plus Sunday has the vibe of Saturday without the rush and volume of people.
There was a lot more floor space for which I was immensely grateful. This meant that the isles/walkways were wider so it was easier to move around. However, that did not stop me from getting lost (as I had predicted I would) and I wish they had had a map up or two with the stall list.
On the merch side of things:
I saw a lot that I wanted. However, I managed to stick to my con going rule – I can only purchase goodies on the final day. I first need to survive the actual con weekend with regards to food, cold drink and petrol. Thankfully with rAge I don’t really need to worry about the cold drink but the rest is of vital importance.
There were a lot of funko pops. I mean a lot. Nearly every second stand had them and each stand was selling similar pops. Dylan and I were looking for a cool pop for something fun…more on that later.
I walked away with 60 posters from the Coool Anime Store (yes it has 3 o’s in coool). I shall be placing them on my wall once I have the energy and time to.
On the cosplay side of things:
The area for the cosplayers really annoyed me at first. The cosplay hospital had been put behind everything as if a forgotten aspect that someone had suddenly remembered to include. I feel that if they had created a private area for the cosplayers where they had the hospital and included some chairs it would have been so much better. The back end was nice in that the cosplayers had some breathing space and you could take photo’s without blocking walkways but it felt like an afterthought. A little more attention to detail would have improved the space immensely.
As for the cosplayers themselves I was happy to see some regular faces and as I had thought, a couple rAge regulars were not there. The joys of having geeky events so close together. There were a lot of cosplays and I wish I had manged to get pictures of them all but I failed. I did still manage to get quite a few great pictures of cosplayers.
The number of anime cosplay is increasing which makes me really happy. It does make my phone space cry through. If you would like to see more cosplay pictures from rAge, click here. The link will take you to a Facebook album where I have uploaded them all.
As for the gaming side which is the true aspect or rAge, I will admit I am not the point of call for that. I attend for the other side of the geeky world. Instead I shall direct you to a fellow SA blogger’s post who also attended rAge. Check out his post ‘rAge 2018‘ which covers the gaming side that I will be leaving out.
I found this year’s rAge a lot more interactive than previous years and there was more breathing space. People tend to forget that rAge is an expo and this year they really harshly compared it with Comic Con Africa. Overall I enjoyed my stint at rAge and I am looking forward to and dreading next year’s event line up.
I have learnt that what really makes or breaks these kind of events for me personally is the company I keep and go with as well as knowing the point of why I am going. I know I am going for the cosplayers and the people and the anime merch so that is what I focus on. However I still take a look around and see what else is on offer and see what are some of the things other people are enjoying.
I know I will get lost and that has now become part of the fun for me. I know there will be points where I will be hunting cosplayers on my own. I am happy to do that. By hunting, I mean run after and randomly stop the cosplayers I see and ask to take a photo of their cosplay.
Overall I had fun and enjoyed this rAge. I jumped on a jumping castle, I lived on hot-dogs, Sprite and a can or two of RedBull. I laughed, I chatted, I took photos and I walked and got lost. We met up with fellow people from the Whatsapp group and we just enjoyed our time.