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Published on May 6th 2013

Sci-Fi London Anime Marathon-Was Awesome!

sci fi london bannerAs part of the Sci-Fi London 2013 festival, the folks at the Stratford Picture House played host to a few all nighters for movie fans. This is exactly what it sounds like, Sci-Fi films shown back to back at night.

The ‘Anime All Nighter’ event started at 11:30pm, possibly because this is when the screen wasn’t in use, or maybe it’s just a more atmospheric way to capture the darkness and anxiety of how the common folk in Sci-Fi universes feel about the dawn of a new technological, more advanced age…I dunno, personally it would be nice if the event started earlier in the evening so it’s not quite a struggle! (If anyone knows the reasoning behind this I’d love to know!).

I’ll be writing some survival tips soon so make sure you give it a read before attending an anime marathon.

The Arrival

I arrived at 11:30pm and queued outside (the wrong) screen for about half hour eavesdropping (I was alone…) into in some interesting discussions about what goody bags we got last year and how one mother put on Attack on Titan for the kids to watch with their breakfast this morning.

Once the queue started moving and you got to the door, some lovely staff clad in Sci-Fi London t-shirts of a snotty green shade handed out goody bags and posters. There are some slight variations as to what you get but here’s what I got in mine:

my anime all nighter goody bag

1x (Book) Boneshaker-Cherie Priest

1x  (DVD) Clone

1x (DVD) Ice

1x (DVD) Samurai Commando Mission 1549

1x (Book Extract Sample) Red Moon- Benjamin Percy

2x (Pin badges) Ban the Lycans, Sci-Fi London

Once we were all sat down, someone (I presume a member of staff) shouted “Who needs 3D glasses” and everybody put their hand up. There was a lot of excitement as glasses were passed along and the odd remark like “wow you look a lot better in 3D” were (vocally) made by the recipients. Some helpful viewers even helped the staff to distribute which was nice.

The Man

Once everyone got their glasses, the head of the Sci-Fi London (Louis Savy) stood out in front making a bit of banter, explaining what we had signed up for, and few ground rules:

Smoking is permitted outside the building

Don’t be freaked out if someone falls asleep on your shoulder (it’s an all nighter) shove them gently

Don’t worry if there’s a zombie apocalypse outside as they’ll deal with it

In general don’t be dicks!

He then turned his attention (and ours with him) to a box he had in his arms, asking who wanted ‘Full Metal Alchemist’ and throwing it out in the direction of whoever’s hand was up. As I sat near the front, I thought “hurry my time has come! There’ll be free stuff thrown within my reach at last!” but the gentleman with the box had other plans and walked towards the back and started dishing freebies out there instead. Which is nice to see once in a while, but unfortunately sucked for me on this occasion.

When all the freebies were gone, someone yelled “Can I have the box?” and his wish came true- I’ve never seen someone happier with his lot in life!

Let The Marathon Begin!

Once we were all pumped up, it was time to settle down to 009 RE: Cyborg (3D). I won’t review the film as there are probably lots out there and this blog post is about the event! Suffice it to say that it was really cool to watch a 3D anime in the cinema which made up for the plot.

After 009 RE: Cyborg (3D) ended, there was a 15-20 minute break for us to use the toilets (no queue at the ladies surprisingly!) and get free tea or coffee. Mad Dog Lemonade was also available for free too, and it’s true what it says on the can, it’s an energy drink that doesn’t taste like sickly sweet and sticky syrup (sorry Rob, I know how you bum Rock Star and Red Bull but give this one a go!).

All watered in all the senses of the word, the staff ushered everyone back into the theatre ready for Beserk Golden Age Arc I. Unfortunately there were some pretty major technical problems. First try, the sound didn’t work, but wait, everybody in the room pitched in and did a voice over, I was too busy laughing at first but I managed to record part of it here:

Apologies if the embed doesn’t work: click here to watch anime geeks voicing the film. 

All made funnier as one of the main characters’ name is ‘Guts’ and the other is an androgynous male (bit of a shock when we watched the thing for real).

Then we had sound but no picture, at this point someone yells out “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” and we all tittered like little children.

Attempt 3 we had picture but no sound again, and finally at attempt 4 we got the full shebang and everybody calmed down after a final rendition of the sound effects they did previously. The film was great- I really enjoyed this one and it was gutting when it ended, I heard a few people also exclaim-“oh no…”

After Beserk Golden Age, a short break ensued but this time there was ice cream! I re-entered the theatre slightly earlier and had a power nap ready for War of the Worlds: Goliath (another 3D film). There was a short 5 min video intro of the studio saying thank you for premiering it in London and I was like “oo he’s talking to us!” and they showed the film.

Now I’m not particularly proud of the next bit, but I was pretty nakered at this point the film wasn’t really my cup of tea so…I slept through it trying to re-energise…sorry fellas…I think others agreed though, the guy next to me was also asleep and when the credits started rolling someone yelled “AT LAST!”

Another short break, but not many people went out for this one, and finally it was time for Street Fighter II, I heard a few people wondering out loud whether it would be the dubbed version but it was in Japanese with subs so woop!

Street Fighter II

Image credit: Capcom

I look to my right, the next to me was still asleep…

A Premature But Happy Ending

When Street Fighter ended at 7.15am, I saw a few people leave and I thought that the marathon had ended, I could have sworn the guy also said that they were showing four films and the event finishes around 7am. But looking at the programme now, they were also showing Loups=Garous!

I must have missed this one!! Gutted…If anyone saw it please let me know!

All in all a great event to go to and I’ll definitely be attending next year. It’s a great vibe and you’re surrounded by clusters of people who love anime. The free stuff is great and it’s such a great experience to watch anime on the big screen, and in 3D with surround sound.

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