For 20 years now MangaUK has brought so much anime to our shores; from the VHS video to Blu-ray, good old British dubbed voice acting (I still have my Laughing Target video tape) and licensing the biggest titles in anime. I was very privileged to be a part of Manga’s 20th anniversary party.
While I was still a newcomer when it comes to London, I found it easy to find the Vinyl Factory once I came out of Oxford Circus underground station; for one at the entrance, there was an Akira canvas being worked on which I had to admire for a moment, then we went in to the lower levels of where the party was held.
Being one of the early ones there, this was a chance to have a look around the place. There were many projectors on the walls showing the history of MangaUK. One would hold series such as V.I.R.U.S, Akira and Ghost In The Shell and others would show recent and future releases such as High School Of The Dead, Redline and Nabari No Ou; it felt very fitting. There were also four PS3 pods holding demos of Ignition Entertainment’s latest offering El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron which looks to be a fun hack’n’slash game with some nice visuals to boot. A free bar was available containing two special anime drinks which were named by fans from a competition on twitter (if the two winners are reading this, excellent names) Full Metal Alcoholic and Sex On The Bleach, as well as a range of tasty sushi.
As the crowd grew I started to see many press, artists and photographers around the place. I had a great time and met a few people in the process; it was great to see Jerome again who is in charge of MangaUK and I was also happy to meet and talk to author and scriptwriter Jonathan Clements which was very unexpected and awesome event. Also present were cosplayers ranging from the Final Fantasy characters such as Wakka & Yuna from popular anime characters like Rei Ayanami and Kuroneko. Photographers were taking group shot pictures all around the place.
With DJ music thumping around, a nice speech by Jerome, a decent performance by Akira the Don and a lot of ginger beer down me I decided to take my leave and received a nice bag of Blu-Rays that I can’t wait to check out.
So as you can see it wasn’t bad for one of my first night-outs in London and what a way to celebrate it; I would like to thank MangaUK for such a great night out and I look forward to another ten years of quality anime. Thanks again!!