Anime North 2014 Coverage

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Anyame North

I’m still a bit wobbly, but I made it back alive from Anime North! This year I was kindly given media passes (thanks to the AN staff!), so I really stepped up my game and didn’t just throw money at people in the dealer’s room. I took more than twice the amount of photos, actually went to panels, saw the Masquerade for the first time, and even invested in a hotel room to make sure I wouldn’t miss a second of the action. From Friday to Sunday I ate, slept, and breathed nothing but anime. I’m exhausted because of it, but it was totally worth it!

What’s Anime North?

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This is only one room

This is one of the largest anime conventions in North America, and the largest one in Canada. With over 22,000 attendees, it’s amazing that this thing is run by fans. But they make it happen! Although I honestly haven’t been to any other anime convention, I think this one is pretty unique. First of all, it takes place in the middle of nowhere by the airport. The main shopping and photoshoot opportunities take place in a huge building and its parking lot, but there’s too many events to confine it to one building.  You’ll have to check out the hotel across the street or play a bit of Frogger and dodge traffic on the highway to get to the rest of it. It takes a lot of walking to find things, but it’s definitely an interesting experience to go hotel-hopping to see everything. The events range from the usual fare such as an artist’s alley, dealer’s room, concerts and cosplay photoshoots to the more…strange. Does your con have a corner where you can hold and take photos with pythons and geckos? Or circus performers and pro wrestlers in the middle of the artist’s alley? Maid and butler cafes? I’m pretty sure AN has just about everything to please every taste.

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Merch Booths

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Swords ‘n snakes

It is verrrry easy to spend money here. On Friday there’s Nominoichi – the flea market – where you can buy used goods from anime fans. It’s only open for one night so it’s very crowded. The good thing about it is that you can haggle, get free stuff, and find some pretty unique merchandise. You can also buy brand-spanking new stuff from artists and jewellery/clothing makers at Artist’s Alley. Finally, you can buy official merch from stores and companies over in the Dealer’s Room. I think most people buy manga and figures, but I always buy clothes and handmade accessories. I sunk most of my funds on some lolita dresses and jewellery that looks like food. Let me tell you, AN has the food-related clothes market down pat and that is my ultimate weakness.

As a side note, this is also where all the weird, random stuff is located. The wrestling and reptile corner are here. So are miniature events like auctions, dance contests, and board game competitions (which I peeked in on but ultimately wasn’t too keen on). Unfortunately, I missed Daizystripper‘s concert here because it was at the same time as the Masquerade but that just goes to show how jam-packed your schedule can get!

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Panels and Events

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My favourite group in the Masquerade~

After seeing Totally Lame Anime After Dark a few years in a row, I decided to try the similarly-themed Anime Hell. The latter is a collection of random and ridiculous moments from anime, Japanese commercials and movie trailers. It’s hosted, so you get context for what the heck you’re watching. It was a hilarious way for us to spend our Friday night and you can bet I’m going back next year since it seems that they update it with new, relevant stuff each year.

There were also some great panels this year, with my favourite being the Pokemon Biology panel. It’s a panel where they hypothesized legitimate scientific explanations for how Pokemon breathe fire, fly with tiny wings and evolve. For example, they proposed that fire-type pokemon breathe fire using sacs that store chemicals for combustion-like reactions. When you go to a Pokemon Centre to restore PP for fire-type moves, you restore these chemicals back into their body. Neat stuff! It was like the Discovery Channel of the Pokeworld.

Finally, I attended the Masquerade, which is a cosplay competition where competitors have 1 minute to pose, act, dance, sing, or do whatever they want to win over the judges. It’s a huge event where you have to get wristbands to sign in beforehand and then stand in line for hours before the actual show. Thanks to my media passes, I got to just breeze by the line and sit near the front to score some great pictures! Which is really handy considering that all of the major events are on Saturday and I would have missed so much if I had to use up all my time twiddling my thumbs until it was show time. I still haven’t seen the results posted on the site yet so I don’t know who won, but here are some more of my favourites under the spoilers tag.

More Masquerade Photos: Show ▼

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Puzzle Time!

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Even though I can’t sew, I love cosplaying for the pure fun of it. So I suppose photos of my cosplay contribution are required. My boyfriend I cosplayed as Emmy and Layton from the Professor Layton games, so we went on a hunt for anyone from the same series. We found a total of 2 Emmys, 1 Layton, and 1 Descole. Thanks to all the fellow puzzle-lovers who took photos with us!

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Photoshoots

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A butt of titanic proportions

One of my favourite parts of AN is seeing all the amazing cosplayers. This year the cosplays were much more varied. In other words, I didn’t run into 50 Narutos in a row or get squished by a bunch of Mikus. As per usual, there were tons of great photo opportunities to be had by just stopping people randomly or by going to the scheduled photo shoots. You can check out some selected ones here, but I took almost 200 photos so I can’t put them all on this page or else I’d break Metanorn…

Instead, you can view the entirety of my AN journey through pictures in the full album by clicking here. You can do the same on our fanpage album.

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JoJo shoot. How they don’t break their backs, I’ll never know

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Good to see so many Dangan Ronpa cosplayers this year!

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SIE SIND DAS ESSEN UND WIR SIND DIE JEAGER
(yes, that is a live ferret)

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Along the highway and sketchy bridge you have to cross to get around, I found Noragami!

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I’m surprised there weren’t more Kancolle cosplayers

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NUDIST BEEEACCHHHH

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I love how even the heights are accurate haha

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Brock never looked so moe

Until next year!

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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11 Responses to “Anime North 2014 Coverage”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Made it back alive, huh… What are the odds you’d gladly lay down your life at such an awesome looking place? I envy you guys able to visit these conventions. Sounds like you had a real good time, OC. Nice coverage.

    That entire open space was one room. Impressive. Makes you wonder how long in advance people prepare for these events that house so many attendees. I’m going to laugh a bit at the science researching Pokémon thing. It’s going to be never-ending. The researchers in the franchise itself still have a long way to go with the addition of the sixth region, Kalos, and its new breeds. Kalos brought in Fairy types.

    • Overcooled says:

      You have to be willing to risk your life to get good deals on merch! Also, at one point a HOTD cosplayer nearly impaled me with her sharp, metal pole because she tripped. I saw my life flash before my eyes T.T

      Yep, that’s just one section. It’s not even the main section because there are no booths there. It was even bigger this year and tons of fun!

      The Pokemon research thing is all in good fun. I dunno how far researchers in the franchise have studied pokemon considering they entrust discovering pokemon to 10 year olds…

  2. Joojoobees says:

    That’s the coolest ferret I’ve ever seen!

    • Overcooled says:

      It was adorable! One of the venders had him just hanging around and now I wish I had asked why.

  3. Kyokai says:

    Seems like you had more fun this year. I’ll send over this link the AN staff and copy some highlights from your album to metanorn fanpage.

    Loved the ferret (best idea ever). Just on curiosity’s sake, how did sports anime fair this year in terms of cosplay popularity? That Yato cosplayer is awesome! Has the pose to the T of perfect. And seeing Haikyuu! cosplay, I have only one question: where is the Ōsama~?

    • Overcooled says:

      I did! I utilized my time a lot better and got to see a bunch of new stuff this time around. Thanks for sending them the post!

      In total, I saw a decent amount of sports cosplayers…but they were mostly cosplaying Kuroko no Basuke. Other than that I only spotted 2 Yowamushi Pedal and 3 Haikyuu! cosplayers (and random guys wearing the prince of tennis jackets lol). The third Haikyuu! one I saw was King Kageyama himself, but he was about to cross the street so I didn’t get a photo D:

  4. akagami says:

    Not bad, in terms of cosplay it looked pretty decent, usually I find North American cosplay to be meh.

    Yato on a street railing was a nice catch, and that ferret!!! I don’t watch JoJo, so I have no idea what that back bending thing is supposed to represent.

    Aside from Soul Eater Not, was there any other cosplay from the currently airing season? That alien teacher was a surprise, didn’t thing the manga was that popular to get some action going.

    Speaking of Professor Layton, I still need to finish The Diabolical Box and then work through The Unwound Future and The Last Specter… I haven’t touched my DS in ages. Right now I’m playing Disgaea 2 on the PS2, because I am so slow awesome. Actually it’s the last game I have for the PS2, and then I can (almost) safely switch to the PS3. I say almost, because I got some old PS1 games I’ve never played and added them to my backlog (FFVIII (the only one I’ve missed), FF Tactics, Breath of Fire IV, Suikoden II, Tactics Ogre, Valkyrie Profile, and Xenogears). I swear I’ll get through most of my PS3 games when PS5 launches… probably.

    On an unrelated note, I just read that ClariS is breaking apart. ・゜・(ノД`)3 Coincidentally enough, Mint Gum by ClariS is playing on my music player.

    • Overcooled says:

      I think it depends. Almost every place has some expert cosplayers! But I think we all know the ferret is the best one of them all.

      Cosplay from the current season? Yep! I saw 3 from Haikyuu!, tons from JoJo, a couple of Sora’s from No Game No Life, 2 Kinjou’s from Yowamushi Pedal and 1 Ene from Mekakucity Actors. I didn’t get a photo from all of them because they were busy/eating/washing their hands next to me in the washroom lol.

      Even I’m a bit behind on the Layton games. But Unwound Future is my favourite so that’s a must play! I’m playing Disgaea D2 right now actually =w= Disgaea games are so good…Even if it is just endless grinding. Good luck with the backlog! Sounds like you’ve got some sweet games to get through.

      • akagami says:

        No wayz, you should have totally creeped on them right then and there and be like *snap snap* “Oh btw I luv your cosplay” *snap snap*

  5. skylion says:

    Damn, I wish I could attend Cons as easy. Wow, that looks like a ton of fun. I love climbing in merch halls, as you can find good bargains and surprises from stuff and fans alike.

    Took a look at the photobucket. You are almost as cute as me :-P

    • Overcooled says:

      You should hold a mini convention at your house where you just invite friends over to dress up and watch anime lol

      Haha, I aspire to one day be as moe as skylion! Don’t we all?

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