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.
…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.
THERE WAS EVEN NYX.
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.
I BOUGHT THINGS.
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.
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.