Gateshead Central Library hosts a small anime and cosplay meetup for everyone to come and join.
Anime Attacks is a small anime and cosplay meetup held once a year at Gateshead Central Library. This event is ran by volunteers who meet up every two weeks to plan. I had the ability to speak to some of the organisers about how the meetup runs. Staff member Jack said ‘this time we had a key fund, it was level 2 so we got a bunch of money. But normally we just have a little bit of funding from the library and then we make money from tickets, food and stalls and stuff.” “Some of the money we used for the event today” said Melody, another staff member, “previously we’ve used the money to run smaller events and some online things.”
You might be surprised to know that the majority of the Anime Attacks staff are young people. They help plan and fund this event out of the goodness of their heart. This allows people to all come together, socialise and make friends with similar interests. Melody said that “it was something that I started liking in 2017 and I just kept enjoying it and finding new shows and games that I enjoyed” and that’s why she now helps organise the event.
Despite its name being about anime, anyone could turn up. There were people dressed as characters from video games, TV shows, films, as well anime. Anime Attacks ambassador, Button, said “I came here because I wanted to meet new people that enjoy the same passions as I do such as cosplay.” But even dressing up wasn’t essential, as there were multiple people without outfits helping out or coming to socialise.
Compared to other conventions around the UK, Anime Attacks is very small with around 40 attendees. That made for a unique experience. The space felt very communal, as if you were friends with everyone including those you’d never met. Many friendship were formed because of this as people got their chance to share their interests without being thought to be weird. Attendee, Charlotte, said she comes “just to meet new people and make new friends so I can get like a larger group of friends to go to cons with.”
The size of the event didn’t stop it from hosting many fun activities such as a free photo, quizzes, karaoke, just dance and spaces to play board games or draw. There was a space to do what they enjoyed, leading to everyone having an amazing time.
Keira is an A-Level student and aspiring journalist for Radio Gateshead, circus performer and musician.
Interests: Writing, expressing things creatively, and writing podcasts.