If you attended the Anime North this year, needless to say, you know how hard it was to get up Monday morning. And here I am, staying up late to write this… I’ll never learn 😉
Anime North was one amazing time. I mean–What a blast!
I hardly know where to start.
Let’s start with what it’s known for: the amazing cosplay. The Toronto Congress Centre, The International Plaza, The Crowne, The Sheraton, and hotels all around the airport, the streets; they were all packed with wonderfully handcrafted costumes. Seriously, the sweat, blood, and tears that went into these costumes was apparent in their beauty and intricacy.
Anime North has the largest vendor’s room I have ever seen in person and I love shopping for geek-gear, but I truly feel it’s the cosplayers that make the con. They create this enchanting atmosphere with all of your childhood and adult favorites that simply can’t be replaced. Without the cosplayers, there’d be no magic. Their energy and willingness to pose for pictures again and again keeps the convention going.
Being anime focused, most of the costumes were of course anime characters, however I did see a Newt Scamander, several Disney characters, and even a Deadmua5 costume! I was excited to see some anime characters I recognized as well, like The Seven Deadly Sins and Hiyao Miyazaki characters (my fave). I felt more at home this year than I did last year.
Apart from cosplay, Anime North has an incredible shopping draw, as I said above it has the largest dealer’s room I’ve ever seen. I had to restrain myself sadly, because I’d already spent too much $$$ on comics and books before the con, but I still walked the entire hall to window shop. Although, I happily admit I traded a book for some chocolate from Cakes Cove.
In terms of wanting to empty my pockets for
shit I don’t need more precious comics, books, and collectibles, what I really wanted to see was Doll North. Sadly I only made it to an evening doll swap and never got to see the Doll North dealer’s room. I was bummed, but I had such an incredible time with my friends and on panels, I honestly cannot complain. The swap was great too and I still got to see some awesome dolls and accessories.
Speaking of which, I saved the best for last! THE PANELS. I live for being a panelist, the discussions, the networking, and connecting to people through common interests–panels are my absolute favorite. Anime North did not disappoint.
I had my first panel Saturday night at 6pm on World Building and was shocked when I saw a line up out the door and a packed room with people sitting on the floor. Here’s to those people who sat on the floor to stay and participate in our panel–Thank you!
The other panels I participated on were Self-Publishing and the Ghost in the Shell controversy. Each panel had something to offer and all of the panelists and participants made each one a great experience. I hope that I offered to the participants and other panelists insight and advice that they can take with them, use, and become successful with. Apart from panels, I live for creativity, and want to see more of it in this world.
I hope that for the Ghost in the Shell panel in particular, that some people left more open-minded than when they entered. The panel itself focused on the controversy that arose from the main character of Ghost in the Shell being played by a white-woman and while yes, she was a talented actress, and yes she looked exactly like the cartoon character (and yes it was a good film), the issue is much larger than that. Why wasn’t a talented Asian woman an option? Why wouldn’t she have been a box-office hit making millions? I hope that those who joined us for the panel that day, help to create a world where TV and film finally represent everyone who watches and participates in them.
Apart from panels, shopping, and being trigger happy with my camera, I had a wonderful time seeing my friends and spending time with my fellow authors. Over all I had a wonderful weekend and cannot wait till next year.