Manchester Anime and Gaming Con, April 2019

**Incredible atmosphere and buzzing weekend at Manchester Anime and Gaming Con: it was my first time attending and taking photos, I enjoyed it and can’t wait to visit again. I particularly appreciated the freedom of expression through music, dance, cosplay, etc. - and the friendly chats with many of the people attending who were eager to have their photos taken and pose for me. Thank you! Although I enjoyed listening to the talk on ‘Mental Health in Cosplay’, a real eye-opener and catalyst for an open discussion on anxiety, depression, and other mental issues that youngsters have to deal with. This is how I found out that the participants find their strength in the characters they love - they feel inspired by them, and in emulating them through the costumes, they feel protected, they feel so much better, and closer to themselves.