When you gotta catch ’em all but also need to fight giant robots in space
Anime North is entering its 21st year of volunteer-run festivities. With a new camera in tow, a trusty media pass and a knapsack full of snacks, I was prepared for everything. Let’s do this!
Most of my friends are only moderately into anime. They don’t watch many shows, they don’t get hyped and they don’t like being called otaku or anime fans. Still, they moderately enjoy anime and are curious about anime conventions. So while 3-day Anime North passes are a no-brainer for me, most of my friends will opt for 1 day passes…and they have to choose wisely. Which day is the best day? There are very unique events for each day, so here’s a quick guide to choose which day to attend. Alternatively, if you’re there the whole time, you can plan which events to prioritize. Time flies, so keeping a tight schedule is important!
PROS: raves, concert, flea market
CONS: longest badge line-ups, shortest dealers room time, bad if you get sleepy or don’t want to commute in the dead of the night
Friday is where it all begins. Everyone is still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, in contrast to the inevitable sloth-like blob of exhaustion they will become on Sunday. Most of the events on this day revolve around hyping up the start of the convention. If you like music and dancing, you can go straight from a concert to the rave and just go wild. I’m not much of a rave person, but they have some genuinely catchy anime and video game beats being spun, and the crowd’s enthusiasm never seemed to wane. If you’re not into flinging your limbs around wildly next to neon-clad congoers, there are still plenty of other options. The flea market Nominoichi, is actually a good opportunity to find one-of-a-kind deals. So although the total time you have for the dealer’s room is short, you might be able to make up for it here since people will give away things for next to nothing here out of desperation.
PROS: longest dealers room time, masquerade, best cosplayers, night life
CONS: most crowded
If I had to pick a single day to go to Anime North, it would be Saturday. While it’s the most crowded, that also means it attracts the best cosplayers looking to show off the fruits of their labour. If you can’t catch them around the con, you can find them all in one convenient place during the Masquerade. Unfortunately, this year’s Masquerade was smaller than usual since another cosplay competition had occurred earlier this month, thus disqualifying all competitors for re-using their costume here. Still, the costumes were great! Events go on until 3am, so as long as you can stay up, there’s a ton of night events to go to. The rave goes even longer than the one on Friday and there are tons of oddball sessions to attend. I went to a wonderfully researched and very funny session about Korean Bootleg Anime lead by Mike Toole from ANN. Afterwards, we saw a huge line-up of people eager to watch hentai together. Anime North truly provides fun bonding experiences for all tastes.
PROS: not commuting home in the dead of the night, dealers room deal$
CONS: everyone is dying, very few special events
Sunday is casual. It’s the day you spend doing all your leftover shopping since there aren’t as many special events. Everyone is just barely alive at this point, after all. However, this means that some tired artists are desperate enough to slash their prices so they don’t have to lug all their unsold merchandise back home. Make your rounds in the last hour before closing to get some great deals. Just be wary, your favourite booth may not do any discounts and they could run out of what you want. Other than that, it’s a pretty quiet day. I did find a fun new event though – the pop idol dance! It was filled with girls in regular clothes dancing to k-pop with a bit of hip-hop flare thrown in. As a result, it didn’t really feel like it belonged at Anime North…until µ’s came on and did an amazing rendition of No Brand Girls. I’ll be back next year just to see groups like that!
THOSE GAINS THO
Trapped her here for a photo because I didn’t think she could get far in those boots
He died doing what he loved…
The undertale fandom has like 50 different timelines and AUs I can’t keep track of, but I love it
Last year was all LoL. This year Overwatch took over the con.