Otafest 2012 Coverage

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this wasn’t California

Yep. More con coverage. Otafest is held May long weekend at the University of Calgary (Calgary, AB …Canada) pretty much every year. This is my 4th year attending and so I figured I’d cover it for Metanorn. Yaaay.


I DIDN’T ACTUALLY ATTEND ANY PANELS/ ANIME VIEWINGS. AHAHAHAHA. I managed to make one of the Lix concerts (yeah, Lix was there. For you Anime North people, apparently they came to you as well), but I normally only go to buy crap. …Plus I was distracted on one of the days for reasons you’ll find out later. But yeah, people of note VA-wise who were there were Andrea Libman (I’m sure the MLP people were ecstatic) and Brendan Hunter (not that I saw either of them). Otafest hasn’t had that many notable people as far as I remember (…maybe Johnny Yong Bosch at one point), but even since last year, they’ve been bringing in Jrock bands (it was The Fool last year. I went to their panel and listened in extreme agony as fangirls asked questions like : “Do you like white girls?” to the band). Maybe the guest list will extend to Japanese seiyuu in the future.


Now since I actually cosplay for these, I figure I should comment more on this. This year, there seemed to be less cosplaying and more people dressed up for the hell of it. My Little Pony was also ridiculously popular. A guy I used to work with (and who I had no idea even knew what anime was) was even running a booth for it. It was everywhere. Another ridiculously popular thing was Homestuck. Now, I know it’s a game and it has something about the zodiac, but that’s about it (if you want to bother explaining it to me in the comments, be my guest). I got lazy with taking pictures by Sunday, but here are a few that I did bother with. …If they’re strange sizes, it’s because I cropped some of them in an attempt go cut out random bystanders.

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…But you know what there was a lot of? PERSONA!! This is the first year I’ve actually seen anything Persona at Otafest, and apparently there was a big forum planning a group cosplay. I had absolutely no idea this was going on until the day before (it was by crazy coincidence that I was even cosplaying from the same series), but we got together the next day and did a mass photoshoot. I hung out with complete strangers for about 2 hours. It was awesome.


How did I manage to get away with not being megane all weekend? ….I, uh, double layered my contacts. That’s right. I wore my red ones and then put my prescription ones overtop. THE THINGS I DO (please don’t try it at home, I don’t want to be responsible for any lost vision OTL). I’m going to be vain here though and say that despite the contacts annoying the hell out of me all weekend, they made my eyes look awesome.

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So as far as the anime merchandise otafest sells, it’s mostly bootlegged stuff from China, anime/manga at US pricing, or pretty damn expensive originals. Four years ago they mostly had just manga/anime booths, but throughout the years, they’ve also been branching into figures, plushies, and other random crap. My shopping method this year was if it’s otome game related, BUY IT WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT. …There was a depressing lack of ANYTHING UtaPri related (or any other otome game for that matter), but there was a ton of Hakuouki crap. Needless to say, I bought most of what they had. Hakuouki isn’t even close to being my favourite series. I just bought it because it was there. I even almost got a Okita dakimakura (for me to regret later and hide in my closet with shame) but then JUST as I was about to ask for it another girl bought it OTL. Instead I settled for a smaller and uh, less embarrassing Hijikata pillow (and also compensated. …Uh, you’ll see). I have no idea wtf to do with it, but it’s mine now. I also bought some out of print CLAMP crap and D. Gray Man related stuff that I’ll probably regret later, buy hey, it got me a free OreImo poster (not that I have a clue what I’ll do with it).

There’s another part to this convention called the Artist Alley, where artists have a ton of fanart posters, buttons, keychains and etc. for sale. THEY HAD HEART NO KUNI NO ALICE RELATED STUFF(…don’t let my link fool you, it’s actually an otome game). I bought the One Piece poster for the lulz and the others for uh, …reasons. Though I think the best part of all of this for me was that I bought all of this and actually stayed within my extremely limited budget. Being a student is suffering.

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This was probably one of my best years yet.  Event-wise? It’s nice to see the vendors expanding their merch selection. …I can’t say much else to be honest though since I didn’t really attend much. Though the cosplay contest looked fun. Here were the people that won best in show xD:

So yeah, overall it was fun. …Though I think the majority of that was me running into old friends from high school at least once an hour. Plus I’m still amazed that I managed to get along with complete strangers so well in the photoshoot. I’m pretty sure it was the people there that made the con for me. But anyways, I’ll definitely be attending next year. …Who knows, maybe I’ll actually attend the events. I also have an idea in the back of my head about running a table in the artist alley (… I did the math including production costs and I could make so much money in a span of 3 days. It’s ridiculous). Anyways, that’s it for Otafest, but I’m seriously considering going to Animethon in Edmonton this year. …Depending on my funds.


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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30 Responses to “Otafest 2012 Coverage”

  1. Kitty says:

    So many cons….. you guys have been busy!!! Wah~~~~ You have Alice thingys!!! Jealous!! I loved that manga I really wanna see the movie but no one will sub it ;_;

    • Toori-chan says:

      Another one will be coming in a week or two~

    • Karakuri says:

      Ugh, I don’t even think I’ve found it raw to be honest. OR VITAMIN X. OTL But yeah, I was super surprised when I found the Alice stuff. I felt extreme love for the artist that day and I don’t think she even knows it xD

  2. tofu says:

    i think that’s Azula, not zuko 🙂

    • BlackBriar says:

      Yep, it is Princess Azula. Notice her clothing, hairstyle and the hairpin in the center keeping it together. And there’s no burn scar on the eye. If it was Zuko, the make-up for the scar would have been big and broad.

      • Karakuri says:

        ….I don’t think I’ve ever watched past the first episode of Avatar. OTL Sorry!!!

    • Karakuri says:

      weird, I SWEAR they told me it was Zuko fixed!

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Seems the whole Meta Team is taking part in cons wherever they may be.

    Long live the cosplayers!!
    So, who’s responsible for releasing pedobear out into the outside world? Hehehe…

    Pirates vs Ninjas. It happened. I’m placing my bet on the ninjas to win. After all, there’s a Jinchuuriki among them. LOL.

    You made a mistake, though. That’s Princess Azula against Aang. I know that evil face anywhere. It would’ve been something if she used her lightning on him.

    The Megane-chan not being megane over the weekend? What a shocker!! Nice red eyes, a bit creepy, though but awesome. What were you cosplaying as exactly that needed almost glowing red eyes? I have a few theories of my own but I’ll wait for your answer.

    I REGRET NOTHING I’m a terrible excuse for a human being. LOL. You got your hands on some stuff so don’t feel any regret.

    • Karakuri says:

      Heheh, I wanted to do this last year, but I figured no other Metanorn person did this kind of thing…. and then Jrow’s Animazement post came out OTL

      Seeing my friend as Pedobear was… frightening. He was seriously stroking children. And chasing them. I think it was his shining moment though xD. He went through A LOT of trouble to get the costume.

      There were several of the Jinchuuriki with them, I just have horrible photography skills. I dunno though. Luffy is pretty badass.

      Fixed it. No, really, I SWEAR she told me that she was Zuko, I’m not making this up, I swear!!!

      Heheh, shocking, I know. I love my red contacts, but I got a lot of freaked out looks from walking around with them…. Plus several old women asking where I got them (true story xD). My cosplay? Ahaha. This one here. The hair clips gave me the most grief though.

      Not even 20 seconds in my room and everyone zooms in on the pillow. …Luckily, it overrides the fact that I have half naked girls on my wall now xD

  4. Gecko says:

    I would buy all of that loot you bought. So don’t worry.
    But who were you cosplaying with those eyes? Gosh, I would stay as a megane and find cosplay that required glasses, rather than going with contacts. (Yep. I’m a wimp.)

    And those Madoka cosplayers, gosh, I was not expecting that. But it was funny probably because I remember that meme going around through the internet during the run of Madoka.

    • Karakuri says:

      Good to know! I felt so alone buying things. OTL It was so awkward asking the vendors for them too. “Excuse me, do you see that poster of that half-naked guy? I want it. How much?” AHAHAHA… the conversation didn’t actually go that way, I swear.

      I was the female protagonist from Persona 3. … Glasses would be less strenuous for my eyes, but I do love my contacts.

      Ahaha I half wished they did the Madoka rap, but apparently the competition needed a theme.

  5. Toori-chan says:

    The only thing that I was really impressed was DAT freakin bicycle. Should I call that classical or modernized classical? The Uta-Prince group was really well cosplayed. When I saw the Persona group I went (O_o). That sudden dance of Madoka was totally unexpected. My mouth stayed opened as long as they danced.

    • Karakuri says:

      Uhhhh, I think he was aiming for modernized classical. I don’t know though, he was hard to get a hold of since people would stop him every 5 seconds for a picture.

      Ahaha I HAD to get a picture of the UtaPri group. It was just so… so…. magical. Also, fabulous.

      The Persona group were all really nice people xD. I’m so glad that they informed me that they were all gathering.

      As for the Madoka, I lol’d. I kind of regret not attending the thing, but I think I was fighting for a book at the time.

  6. Tofu says:

    So many conventions happening so close to each other~!! XD Kara, OC, Jrow… thanks guys, now I’m super SUPER jealous! (ESPECIALLY AT YOU JROW!! x3)

    • Karakuri says:

      There seem to be a ton of conventions this month. Toori said something about there being another one soon by her too.

  7. Alynn says:

    Well, technically Homestuck isn’t a game; its a webcomic. Its really weird and random. BUT THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

    I really don’t go to any panels when I go to cons; I end up wandering, taking pictures, and shopping instead.

    • Karakuri says:

      Oh okay, but it has something to do with computers?

      Yep, that’s my great plans for cons. After that one for The Fool, I don’t really feel like going to guest interviews anymore.

  8. Overcooled says:

    Uwaaa, it looks like you had so much fun! :3 Your Minako cosplay looks great, by the way. I wore red contacts last year and it killed my eyes by the end of it, and that was WITHOUT double-layering. I didn’t even know that was physically possible, oh my goodness. The photoshoot pics on your Tumblr look awesome too. You guys did some poses. It’s convenient that the con area is so grassy and natural. At AN it’s just a parking lot…LOL. Miles of grey…

    OH MY GOD, YOU ACTUALLY DID IT, YOU BOUGHT THE PILLOW AHAHAHA!!! I remember you debating so hard over whether or not to get it. It’s pretty damn awesome, although people may give you weird looks when they go in your bedroom now.

    • Karakuri says:

      D’aww, thanks OC! I haven’t had any big change in my prescription and I’ve been double layering them for two years, so I think it’s okay as long as it’s not often. Ahaha but the photoshoot was fun. I’m particularly fond of some of the Nanako poses. …That’s a big parking lot. Toronto sounds huge.

      YES I DID! Though if I had bought the bigger one the day before, I wouldn’t have felt the defeat of having someone buy it right before me OTL

  9. Kyokai says:

    SO MUCH CON COVERAGE. MY BODY WAS NOT LADY! I wish, I could attend one and soon!

    Seems like everyone had fun and man I LOVE YOUR COSPLAY~ <333 Reminded me to ask what Jrow did because Cools did an awesome job too.

    Also, that bike... How is that guy riding is beyond me. I hope he didn't picked up any hitchhikers... >.>

    • Karakuri says:


      Thanks, banchou!!! Ahhh, I look forward to the day in the future where all of Metanorn can meet at some conveniently placed con or something! Oh yeah! I want to know what Jrow did too!

      ….I don’t know. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how he got up there in the first place.

  10. Foshizzel says:

    OH MY GOD I love your loot and the One piece poster? Damn that is awesome.

    Dawww your cosplay! Very nice Kara <3

    • Karakuri says:

      Heheheh, I’m going through a One Piece phase right now. If I start calling you guys my nakama, this is why. xD

      Thanks Fosh! :3

  11. The_Magus_Killer says:

    Excalibur was in that convention since the 12th Century! LOL

  12. Fallenblackroses says:

    Oh man, I went to the London MCM Expo exactly a week ago and the sheer number of Homestuck cosplayers was insane. They had a meetup and I somehow found myself there with them (Had no idea who they were at the time) and it was one of the largest cosplay groups I have ever seen.

    Double layered contacts ftw! I hope they didn’t irritate your eyes or make it hard to blink.

    • Karakuri says:

      Right? I had no idea Homestuck was so popular. There were at least 40 people cosplaying it …Hell, I still don’t quite know what it even is.

      Ahaha nah, my eyes got used to it after the first day~

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