Around two years ago, I covered the first MCM Birmingham Expo (which was a chance to check if it was worth going to). Since then I have gone to almost every one of them and it’s become a nice place to visit. However this year I wanted to do another convention I hadn’t been to but outside the UK. Back in 2013, There was an announcement for MCM Ireland Comic Con taking place in the Royal Dublin Society Hall, so I decided to take a four day trip to Ireland to cover the event.
Considering that I hadn’t been outside the UK for six years and this being my first trip alone, arriving at Dublin airport was pretty scary for starters but as soon as I arrived at my hotel, thanks to a pretty great coach system, my worries were quelled quickly.
Before the Comic Con weekend, I had two days to have a proper look around Dublin City Centre, so while I did some sight-seeing, I also went to see Dublin’s anime and manga stores, and here are the places I visited:
- Sub-City Comics – While mostly a shop selling comics, there is a small section for manga, also holds some playing cards like Yu-Gi-Oh, recently moved to Dame Street, so it’s easy to find.
- Forbidden Planet – This Forbidden Planet is similar to UK stores, with a large selection of manga on the basement floor including 3 for 2 deals, easily found on Crampton Quay.
- Tower Records – Mostly old and expensive anime DVDs including ADV and MVM single DVDs, worth a look around once.
- HMV – Again, much like stores around the UK, a small selection of recent anime DVD and Blu-rays.
- Chapters – Massive bookstore but only a small stand for manga compared to the large graphic novel section
There are most likely more stores I missed during my look around Dublin but these are the places I visited, with some nice selections and enough variation to keep you looking.
While my main visit to Dublin was MCM Comic Con, the Japan Film Festival was also happening, so there was a chance to see some anime films. My plan was to see The Wind Rises (which was unfortunately sold out) and my 2013 film of the year – Patema Inverted. (My review on the film can be found here) and I was glad that my opinion hadn’t changed. The festival felt well organised with some great posters which I took pictures of.
After two days of doing all that, when the Saturday arrived, I made my way to the MCM Comic Con and it didn’t take long for me to get inside the convention.
I spent most of Saturday around the convention. I watched some panels including the Red Dwarf one, took in a couple of wrestling matches, checked out the Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments and looked at various merchandise, including stuff from the MangaUK Stall.
For anime fans, the main draw was the guests: both Maile Flanagan (voice of Naruto) and Bryce Papenbrook (recently announced to voice Eren Yeager from Attack On Titan in the English dub) were present and they had an entertaining panel with MangaUK’s Jeremy Graves. Both were also signing at the MYM booth.
I must also mention the Royal Dublin Society venue, which I really like the look of from the outside; there is also enough space inside as well, especially in Hall 2. If there is one gripe I have with the convention layout, the main panel hall and the wrestling arena (even though there was a wall separating each of them), were too close to each other; when I was listening to some panels, the bangs from the wrestling were a distraction.
In the end though, the first Dublin Comic Con was well organised and very pleasant to walk around, and I managed to buy some Tiger and Bunny box-sets. I hope to come back one day, thanks to the people that came up to talk to me and made the convention worth going to.