Saturday, May 30, 2015

Anime North 2015: Sunday

Sunday was another chill day. I think I spent most of my time at the convention running and sitting around. There weren't that many deals: the deals were on items that were initially over-priced. The convention seemed more crowded on Sunday than on Saturday.

The dealer's room and artist alley were expanded this year: there was more space between tables and a lot more tables. I was impressed with the number of dealers because it reminded me of Fan Expo. Even with the extra space in the hall, I felt claustrophobic in the dealer's room and artist alley. I freaked out at one point because I thought I wasn't going to be able to get out of the building. Staff weren't letting me out and all the no exit signs left me even more frustrated. I hated how I was lost during the first half of the convention in the TCC building. I hated the signage and lack of exits even more. At least I had a better weekend than the cops on traffic duty. One of them was frustrated to the point of angrily shouting at people. (He shouted at me too and it was not a nice feeling. It felt like I killed someone.) I hope there are more arrow signage and maps around the convention next year.

The whole weekend was tiring, but I guess I had fun. I plan to spend more time at the hotel next year. I don't stay at hotels that often, so I want to try spending half a day awake in one.

Should I cosplay next year, I'm thinking about cosplaying someone from Girls of the Wild's or someone else from Tower of God. I look forward to Beyblade battling next year too. Nothing like watching spinning tops bumping into each other.

Best part of the whole weekend was seeing this:

I'll never be able to have a tsundere license plate but at least I witnessed it. Hope you all had a great Anime North 2015!

Anime North 2015 Album

Friday, May 29, 2015

Anime North 2015: Saturday

Heads up: to access all the full-sized photos I took at Anime North 2015, click on the album link at the end of this entry. Warning: blurry shots ahead.

Saturday was picture day. I wore my Lo Po cosplay during the first half of the day and changed back into normal clothes around 1 PM because it was very warm. Since I was in costume, I asked people to help me take pictures. Thank you for the help, everyone.

This lady took a picture with me and I asked for a picture on my camera too. She wasn't too happy about it.

Mascot buddies

Disgaea penguins

I was holding them up from where ever they were headed to.

During the later half of the day, I spent most of my time taking pictures and trying to figure out how to keep myself hydrated and well-nourished. I don't know the character of some of the cosplayers, so feel free to share in the comments.

Livia and her cosplay of Mystique

Carolyn and her cosplay of Princess Mononoke

She bumped into the Forest Spirit

Lady Lor. Not sure what she is cosplaying as, but well made
as always.

Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon tying her shoelaces

A group of RWBY cosplayers
and more RWBY below.

League of Legends (???)

Horo from Spice and Wolf

Zero suit Samus and Captain Falcon

Tiger from Tiger and Bunny

A Suicune sorceress from Pokémon (???)

Street Fighter

Some of the cosplay photoshoots were crowded to the point where I didn't want to go near it. There was no way I could get a good shot, especially when most of the photographers were over 1 foot taller than me...

The One Piece photoshoots were 3 times more crowded

I did manage to get shots from the Super Smash Brothers, Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon, and [a lot of pictures from the] Fire Emblem photoshoots.

When I arrived at the Fire Emblem photoshoot, everyone was everywhere and there was disorder. The photoshoot didn't start until 15 minutes after its scheduled start time. People were leaving, COSPLAYERS were leaving, and I was in need of pictures of the cosplayers for reference. So I was like...

After a bit of yelling and apologizing (because I've never played Fire Emblem before and I know almost nothing about it), the photoshoot started. My voice sort of died 10 minutes later because I've been raising my voice since Friday while wearing my costume. Thankfully, a friend and two other fans were there to take the baton and run the photoshoot. The cosplayers were helpful with what kind of shots they wanted to take too. All was well.

Until they all decided to battle it out.

The best part of the Fire Emblem photoshoot was this scene:

This guy.

In the late afternoon, we were preparing to attend the masquerade. We weren't sure if we needed the wristbands this year because people online said the convention wasn't using wristbands anymore like they usually did in previous years. We asked Anime North staff at the information booths and they gave us mixed messages: they either said yes, no, or they didn't know and to visit the International Plaza or the North building for information on the wristbands. After an hour of running around, we learned that there were no wristbands this year. (No thanks to the information booths, but thanks for directions to the washrooms.)

In the evening, we lined up to watch the masquerade. I fell asleep while waiting in the line for the masquerade with my friends. Before the masquerade doors were opened, I left to grab food and attempted to enter the Jojo panel. It was too late: there was a line to get in the Jojo panel and another line for the line to get in. The room was already at full capacity. The staff that was managing the line was on edge and let me know that I would probably not be able to get in, but I let her know it was okay. (Don't worry, you did a great job.) I walked around, had dinner, took a few pictures, and visited the outdoor rave.

Well made cosplay, but I don't know what they're from.

Well made armor, but not sure where the character is from.

Not sure who this is, but he had a good skin paint job. Maybe could have cut down on the paint around the arm pits.

It's not easy to manage cosplay with fur.

Junaid, you need to help me with the name of your character.

Unicorn kigurumi

Really well put together Amon from Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Around 11 PM, I visited the outdoor rave again but this time with the troopers. We partied with what little energy we had left and had fun. It was cold outside but warm in the rave area because of everyone's body heat. We didn't get back to the hotel until near midnight. Everyone was so tired, we fell right to sleep.

Anime North 2015 Album

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Anime North 2015: Friday

After a year without going to fan conventions and skipping the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, I was excited about going to Anime North. It was my first time going to the event with hotel and a badge: the whole package. True to its brand, Anime North was the same as always.

Friday started with a long early morning bus ride with my big-ass cosplay in a bag and 2 good friends. We took the longer way from Kipling station because there are less people on that route. When we arrived at the location, we went to eat at Sushi Dragon. FYI: most of the eateries in the area had an "Anime Menu" for the weekend. Even Tim Hortons! That was new for me.

We were later greeted with the pre-registration line. One of my friends was a first time anime convention attendee: we warned her about the long line-ups at fan conventions. She was impressed with the line, I know it. It didn't take long for us to get the badge, check into the hotel, count our rations, freshen up, then head back to the Toronto Congress Centre (TCC) to get into the dealer's room and artist alley. That's when we were greeted with another line, but this time it was 5 times longer. The dealer's room line stretched across the whole TCC property and probably could have done so three times over. What sucked most was how cold it was that day.

Our rations

Half of the troops

What I can see without lifting the mouth of the costume

Lo Po Bia Ren cosplay from Tower of God

There was a random panel on Climate Change-- one of the least attended panels I've seen. There were only 5 people in the audience when I arrived and people left halfway through it. It didn't help that the presentation was exactly like an university lecture with the technical numbers. I was excited about it at first because I expected a brief Climate Change 101 and a Q&A session with a climate change expert with some geek twists to it. I left 10 minutes after I arrived. I'm already familiar with most of the information and I had the feeling that most of the people in the room were too. I think the presentation style of the Climate Change panel should have been catered towards the theme of the convention. It has so much potential! (If you were the panel host and you're reading this, give me a holler and we can work something out for next year.)

I didn't take many pictures on Friday because I was on a mission to buy things and to chill as much as possible. Most of my time was spent watching Elmo wrestle (heck ya) and standing in lines for my registration card, entering buildings, and buying food.

At the end of the day, we relaxed in the hotel.

Anime North 2015 Album
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