On Saturday Dokomi hosted a Cosplay ball which is super popular and quickly sold out every year. I wasn’t there because I attended the FFXIV Fan Gathering with my friends instead. The people I talked to were excited about going though. The Dokomi team arranged practice lessons to give everyone the chance to brush up on their ballroom dance skills or be taught the basics by professional dancers. If you’re planning to go it’s important that your outfit complies with the dress code because if it doesn’t you aren’t able to attend even if you have a ticket. You can get your outfit approved on Saturday afternoon. If you’re unsure or have any questions it’s best to ask the team beforehand.
For those who don’t know anyone who’d like to go with them, there’ll be maids and hosts available to dance with. As someone who often ends up going by myself, I love this idea. Nobody has to be scared to attend because they don’t know how to dance or don’t have a partner to go with them. This system makes it impossible to end up alone in the corner not being able to dance because of the lack of a partner.
There are a few other things Dokomi offers which I don’t want to leave out. They’re noteworthy but I either didn’t see much of them thus can’t comment on it or they wouldn’t fit in the other categories.
- Bring & Buy: Bring your old Anime/ Manga merchandise, set a price and let the team put them on display for sale
- Gaming area including companies like for example Nintendo and Square Enix
- Signing sessions, e.g. Thomas Astruc, Liui Aquino and Toshio Maeda
- Various fan projects
- Japanese Food Corner
- Cosplay stage with performances, concerts and lolita fashion shows
- Workshops about cosplay, lifestyle and gaming
- A system which makes it easier to find people with similar interests
- Kyudo (Japanese archery) demonstration
- A ball pit, laser tag & a card game area
Dokomi 2016 – yay or nay?
Dokomi was on a weekend while I was struggling a lot with emotional baggage like I already mentioned in my Deponia Doomsday Tour post. I nearly dropped out of going but looking back now I’m glad I didn’t. Seeing my friends again after a while in such a welcoming environment was a good way to forget about everything negative on my mind.
Dokomi focuses on selling, buying and celebrating the love for Japanese culture. The Artist Alley and Fashion Area dominated the convention while the large new extra hall offered dozens of anime and cosplay merchandise. The additional hall for Dokomi was a good decision and the extra room made dividing the crowds easier. As a result, it didn’t feel too crowded compared to other conventions. The workshop rooms, in contrast, were too small for the number of people interested and it wasn’t as enjoyable sitting cramped in.
The tickets were quite expensive compared to bigger conventions like Gamescom. I paid 30€ for both days which doesn’t include travel costs for the area. The idea to offer visitors the chance to donate money for more star guests etc. is a good concept which helps Dokomi grow. If I had to choose between Gamescom and Dokomi though I sadly have to say that Gamescom would win. Gamescom offers more for less money (including travel expenses in their ticket price). They do have a slightly different focus but if you’re not too keen on the artists, special guests and workshops Gamescom will offer you a similar experience.
I realise that my summary sounds more negative than positive which isn’t my intention. Dokomi offered many amazing opportunities but with a limited timeframe, I couldn’t catch them all. Thanks to Dokomi I had one of the best weekends this year so far (except for RPC)! So even though I mentioned a few negative things, it’s a convention I would always recommend. In case there’s anything else you want me to cover feel free to mention it in the comments. I’m already working on a second Dokomi post talking about the artwork I bought and artists I’d love to introduce you to!
After having read all my experiences at Dokomi what do you think about it? Have you been before and/ or do you maybe want to attend next year? If you’ve been, I’d love to hear about your experience and thoughts, what you really liked or what you would improve in the future. For those of you who aren’t from Germany: do you have similar conventions in your country or area? I’d love to read about different conventions all over the world, so feel free to share your stories in the comments!