UnCon-Eventional Stories are event recaps more on the event itself than the experience.
Credits to Arts, Cosplay & Etc (ACE) for the featured image, and the various images seen in this post.
Well, for an event called ACE, the organizers sure…ACEd this event.
*distant “booooo” echoes*
Ah well at least no one’s tossing over a brick fro-…wait, what’s that thing coming from the dista-…
The FAQ is this?
ACE, or Arts, Cosplay & Etc as it’s called, is an ACG event that well…is about the Arts, Cosplay and etc I suppose.
Can’t really say much about the name that literally tells you what the event’s about.
Hosted at the exhibition hall of Starling Mall in Petaling Jaya on the weekend of 16th and 17th February, this mall unfortunately is not from Starling City of the Arrowverse.
However much I beg it to be.
Anyways, back to ACE’s origins for a bit.
Initially launched on December 3rd 2018, via a post introducing Aki-Kun, the newest member of AniManGaki’s mascot lineup, ACE was setting itself up for its event in 2019 by fishing for exhibitors and art booths interested for what appears to be a small scale first time event.
Of course, what’s a cosplay event without guests to spark people’s interest in it?
Featuring a lineup of guest cosplayers from South East Asia, such as Akiko from Malaysia, BoiledCurry and Haori from Singapore, and Ola Aphrodite from Indonesia.
This is before you include the cosplay judges like Dova, Yugana Senshi Uon and Kazuki Vinca to really add to the atmosphere.
And for being amazingly sporting folks for the on-stage performances.
Speaking of on-stage performances, ACE does arm itself with plenty of folks to take center stage on both days.
From the lineups alone, ACE was certainly setting itself up for a whole lot of squealing crowds watching everything on stage, despite being coming across as a small scale event.
That said, despite being an event that pushes for quite a lot of cosplay activities and performances, the public invitation of guest artists was something I’ve yet to see from events before, which was pretty neat.
One thing ACE brings to the table that has yet to be done by events I’ve covered so far, are well, surprisingly, Workshops.
The kind with its own section in the event, rather than something that takes up the stage area like at Star Supa Comic last year.
I have a personal fondness for the workshop on Kalimbas, basically mini pianos you can carry around playing and lob at some scumbag snatch thief like a brick.
…don’t do that though.
In short, quite a pretty large lineup for a first time small event, which may or may not draw similarities to Star Supa Comic from last year, considering it too was a first time event at a kinda ‘small’ scale.
The Good Goods
- How to do Entry/Exits right
I love it when events know how to handle navigating, as proven by the fact how you enter is how you exit, through the same way you exited/entered!
Granted, the hall for the event is pretty small, which makes it kind of worthless, but future event hosts, do take this into consideration.
Visitors already bought your tickets, they ARE going to spend time in your event anyways regardless of how they exited the event.
Making the process of exiting and entering more convenient ensures people keep coming in and out, especially if they’ve got a free afternoon weekend to kill.
- The Musical Arts
One booth that certainly got my attention was the music booth featuring Ukulele and Kalimbas, instruments that are kind of unusual to run into in Malaysia, let alone at an ACG event of all places.
This is the kind of surprising stuff events should be pushing, stuff that compliments what their event’s about, in this case the art of music and how any kind of instrument could play anything.
Speaking of surprises,
- Luck of the Surprise
I did not expect getting a bonus just for attending this event, especially after getting early tickets at the super cheap price of RM 20 bucks for two days.
A PRICE THAT STAYS THE SAME AT THE EVENT ITSELF.
But anyways, the bonus.
It’s a simple lucky draw of Red Packets, that would either let you walk home with prizes or coupons to Dominoes Pizza, either of which is pretty neat.
What’s important to take away here is the surprise factor, because I personally did not know about this until I attended the event, and while I would later discover this to be something announced on the ACE page itself, I would suggest not.
Good surprises like this, especially ones that benefit the visitors, if you can surprise them rather than pass it up as another announcement of what the event’s offering, it would certainly keep them reminded of this small good time they had at the event.
- JUST DO IT
Ho boy, where do I start with the stuff to do at the event if you’re just a wee visitor.
Drop by the Infinite Carnage booth, waggle around the joysticks for fighting games, Jump Force and have a jolly good morning until the next stage show.
Swing by the Vivae Board Games Cafe for a workshop for TRANSFORMERS, a surprisingly entertaining game of flipping cards off.
Hang around outside the event hall to play shoot the bottles with Nerf guns, or Just Dance till you get enough!
For that plushie by the prize booth outside.
Seriously, even visitors without tickets can do something at ACE, this is before you even bring up taking pics of cosplayers. Speaking of which,
- The Shooting Gallery
Not an actual shooting range mind you, I meant the places to shoot photos.
In this case, outdoor gardens right outside the event hall make for awesome spots to take photos at, assuming it’s not raining like on Day 1 of course.
It makes for some of the best backdrops for photographers to work with, without having to drag cosplayers out of their way to the right spots to snap photos.
Of course this is all subjective, but this benefit is something that’s certainly nice to keep around for future events.
Hell, the cosplay parties could be hosted outside as well to be honest, to reenact some iconic scenes or what not.
In short, indoor places for photoshoots are nice and all, but options are always good to have around.
The Bad Blehs
- Workshop the Stage area
One pickle I really have to bring up about ACE itself, is how the workshop section is literally right next to the stage area, which almost guarantees the issue of making the workshops at the event total piss.
The workshops where speakers talk to their audience are guaranteed to be boned by the loud crowd squeals that make it difficult to deliver and receive.
I would advise perhaps positioning the workshop away from the stage, because of all the things at an event that shouldn’t be affected by loud external noise, workshops should be number 1 on the list in this case.
That said, you could say the same about the Infinite Carnage gaming booth as well, but here’s the thing.
The players playing games there are one, close enough to those machines that they’re able to hear what they need to hear, and two, always going to be concentrating on playing anyways, so outside noise wouldn’t affect them as much considering they’re doing their stuff with full focus.
- Starling Mall? More like Stalling Mall
Prior to this event, I don’t know wtf is Starling Mall, let alone wtf is it.
A simple post showing navigation towards the mall itself would solve this frankly, especially for visitors who aren’t local Petaling Jaya or Selangor folks.
It’s worth mentioning that the nearby TTDI MRT station is within walking distance to Starling Mall, pass a small neighborhood and up a sky bridge and you’re there!
In the event ACE does host at Starling Mall again, I would advise maybe posting that bit of info to the public, for ease of access of course.
- Lack of ACE-nnouncements
One thing I noticed on the schedule for ACE was the mention of the cosplay party gatherings, something that…for some reason, I was only informed about it via a volunteer asking photographers to drop by the shooting area, and never again.
What ever happened to the other cosplay parties if I might ask?
I may have missed this but, I don’t recall the stage announcing word about upcoming cosplay party gatherings across the hall, which was a bit strange considering ACE itself wanted to host cosplay party gatherings.
Just a bit weird I suppose, I figure the staff could in the future inform fellow photographers on site manually, in the event the stage area’s announcement doesn’t reach far enough.
Granted most photographers have eyes, but again, best to make it public via hearing as well.
- A is for ART…right?
A minor complaint, that really doesn’t matter to be fair.
But what’s up with the page not mentioning or promoting the various art booths to be present at the event itself?
Outside of the guest artists, I thought art booths would usually get one tiny bit of shout out or something, as obscure as most of them are a simple post promoting them would be neat no?
They’re already attending the event as an artist booth, might as well do them the courtesy of a tiny bit of promotion.
- Food for thought
I…uh, outside of the water booth in ACE itself, the venue has this one drawback, which is the lack of closely accessible food areas.
I can understand if food vendors run the risk of dirtying up the hall, but a day before ACE Day 1, when I dropped by the Exhibition Hall, there were a bunch of folks hosting some kind of…banquet lunch thing, which involves food!
So I was wondering if it’s possible to perhaps take food booths into consideration for future ACE events.
Cause a discount at NENE Chicken for the event kinda means jack s*** if visitors aren’t interested to dine there specifically.
So far, ACE did just wrapped up last Sunday as of writing, so plans for a future ACE is up in the air frankly.
But, this being a mini AniManGaki event, there is talk about AMG 2019 potentially being in August as usual, so at least there’s that to look forward to.
ACE itself however, that’s a 50/50 chance on whether the AMG folks are up for it again.
As of writing however, it’s future is not set in stone yet.
Unlike the Terminator movies.
How do I close this.
Yeah, ACE really sure did ACE-d its own event, even moreso if it’s the first ever one, because I will admit that I’m a bit uncertain if this is ACE’s first run in Malaysia.
There are some issues, some major ones that really need looking into and minor pickles likely to be ignored.
Though, if you’re looking to spend a weekend killing time at a small scale event with games, workshops, more games, cosplay contests, games with cosplay contestants, and near deafening squeals of the crowds, come on down!
Also it’s 20 bucks for two days, I sincerely doubt any event later this year’s gonna even come close to matching or being lower than this price range for tickets.
With that, signing of-
*Headshoted by flying brick*
*Anon just pwned writer’s head for 734 gold!*
Thank you so much for reading!
If possible, I’d love to hear your feedback on what can we do better.
Be it the bad writing, horrible pictures, or just the fact I need more water, I’d love to hear about it.
Wonder what the event is like in the field? Check out A Con-Eventional Story: Arts, Cosplay & Etc (ACE) 2019.
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