The global COVID-19 pandemic has proved an unprecedented crisis, necessitating the changing of many aspects of modern life including the shut-down of the global convention circuit in the interests of social distancing. Indeed here in the UK this past weekend would have been the first of the twice yearly MCM London Comic Cons.
Faced with these unfortunate circumstances, the pioneering Scotland based anime licensor Anime Limited have put their energies towards producing a pair of online anime social events.
The first of these is Cloud Matsuri, an online convention due to be streamed for free on YouTube from 30th-31st May. Working with partners including MVM Entertainment, Bandai Namco, Manga UK and Crunchyroll, the show will host a range of panels with creatives from the world of anime. Although the convention is primarily aimed at fans in the UK/Europe, the livestream schedule has been set to also be workable for viewers in the US too. In addition to the industry panels and special savings with the event’s affiliated partners, Cloud Matsuri will also promote a virtual Artist Alley and Cosplay Masquerade which fans can interact with by sending content for either to Anime Limited’s Instagram (@AllTheAnime) and using the tag #CloudMatsuri.
Panels for the event will cover a range of anime titles and spinoffs, including staff involved with such as Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, Beastars and One Piece and video games such as Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris and Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost On. Regular updates and scheduling can be found by following the Anime Limited Twitter account (@AllTheAnime) or by visiting the Cloud Matsuri official website.
The second event draws from the company’s history of hosting festivals such as the annual Scotland Loves Anime film festival. Starting 25th May, Screen Anime will offer fans in the UK and Ireland a paid for service in which they can watch a rotating selection of anime films and series. The service will be priced at £3.98 a month or £39.98 for a year. Initial titles, available until 21st June, include Promare, Wings of Honneamise, Patema Inverted and Penguin Highway. That last one will be the subject of a welcoming Twitter watch party from 7:30pm on the 28th May. Designed to encourage a social aspect to the service and welcome audiences new at anime, fans can join in the watch party using the tag #ScreenAnimeParty. In addition to the titles themselves, the service also plans to offer a selection of related bonus content.