If I can sum up my first time at Anime North, it would be with one word: Worth.
The buses and the subway were not prepared for the stream of people going to the event, and so our travel time was increased by about 20%. There were constant anomalies and situations that arose from the transit services that resulted in multiple schedule changes, which was kinda like them saying “Oh, what was that? There’s a huge event happening that would require us to operate at full-function and on schedule? How about we do all of our maintenances and screw up the transit schedule like we always do! That’ll be a barrel of laughs right? RIGHT????”.We had to wait for 30 minutes to get to the next bus, and then endure an hour of loud hellish banter from the crowded vehicle. The hot weather intensified the fact that this was not an enjoyable ride whatsoever. Bodies squished against each other. Loud laughter and irritating rants pounded my eardrums. I started to question myself if all of this was worth suffering for.
Upon seeing the convention site, with all the cosplayers, the beautiful surroundings, and its beckoning promise of fun and excitement, I felt something rush inside me: adrenaline.
And a feeling of belonging.
I was here. I am finally home.
I screamed one word, as I had a breath of fresh air upon finally exiting our sardine-can of a bus: “Worth. Totally worth.”
Yeah that was quite poetic, wasn’t it?
But no poetic limerick can even begin to describe my experiences at this amazing convention.
What’s up everyone, my name is Ken from thebuttonsmashers.com and today I am catering to the demands of all fanboys and fangirls out there by presenting a much-anticipated coverage of Canada’s premier anime convention: Anime North 2015.
So, Anime North, eh?
The convention’s website describes Anime North as “…an anime convention located in Toronto, Canada that celebrates anime, manga, music, games and all other forms of Japanese Culture.” However, with what I saw, I believe that there are no words to describe the awesomeness that is this convention, which, in the 3 days it has, features countless amazing cosplays, interactive and entertaining panels and events, merchandise EVERYWHERE, whoops of joys and smiles of amusement, competitions for all things that people can be competitive about, and many, many, MANY more.
Sooooo, shall we get started? Let’s allons-y into one of the best North American conventions by far!
Cosplayers? More like, “Cool”-players! Eh? No? Ok…:
Imagine yourself arising from your transit-based imprisonment. After an hour of intense heat and mingling aromas, you are finally released from your prison. You take that first step outside into the convention site, and what do you see?
One of these things is not like the others…
I personally came into the event in my cosplay, but upon seeing all of these majestic, creative costumes, I felt inferior and said to myself, “Damn, these guys know what’s up.”
That’s how impressive those cosplays were.
Seriously, look at how damn impressive these are.
This one is my favorite out of the bunch.
Some had hand-made stuff. Others had simpler costumes.
Some had giant hammers.
Some had threatening weapons. Others were just plain terrifying (in a good way of course).
Some were ready to save the world. Others just want to watch the world burn.
Some had giants shields and giant spears.
Others had giant………..whatever those weapons are, I can’t really describe them properly.
And some had wings.
Some just wanted to get chance and luck.
Others just wanna pose and show you their moves.
All were impressive and fun to interact with, as they were all really into character, both when being photographed and when you talk to them. It made the convention a lot more fantastic, as these people, along with the traditional con-goers, essentially make up the bulk of what makes Anime North so awesome in the first place. Seeing a Rider (from the Fate/Stay Night series) walking across the street and responding to you yelling out, “Hey look! Isn’t that Rider?” by screaming back “HELL YEAH!” while being totally in character just proves how everyone in this event, cosplayers and con-goers alike, are united as one big fandom, and it was something that struck me the most during this event: this is the anime community.
Ok, enough sentimental rants, let’s get on with the rest of the event.
Deal or no deal?:
They have the dealers room, which is the land of milk, honey, and all the anime merchandise that you can ever want. They also had beautiful artwork hand-crafted by artists, all anime-related.
Would you like to open a panel?
They have various panels that featured famous voice actors/actresses, special anime screenings, topics about anime and various Japanese pop-culture, and many others that I can’t really name right now due to me wanting to keep this article short.
There were gaming events, from the retro to the MOBA experts. From the melee pros, to the more Brawl-oriented gamers. And from the duelists of all ages to the beybladers of all ages.
To sum up, those were just the meat and potatoes of the event.
Actually, scratch that, there were TONS to do during the 3 days of Anime North, I just wasn’t able to visit all of them, but you will almost never run out of anything to do at this convention. If you’re an anime fan, or even if you’re just a pop-culture fan in general, then I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy going to this event. There’s just so much to love about AN: the atmosphere is extremely homely and hospitable, the staff are helpful, the con-goers welcome you like a long-time friend, and basically it was like stepping into a different world. It is definitely like no other feeling in the world, and I am extremely happy that I got to cover this event for my first convention.
I came home exhausted, but I felt that it was all worth it. Walking around for hours and hours on end never felt so rewarding.
Undeniably the sweetest cosplay-pairing ever.
Thanks again to Anime North and their media coordinators for the opportunity to represent the website during the event. You guys are awesome and I hope to be considered for this role again next year.
Well, that’s it for my coverage of Anime North 2015.
Stay tuned, because my next article will detail one of the highlights of my visit at the convention:
My interview with the majestic J. Michael Tatum.
As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this article, on the event itself, or if you would like me to discuss anything. And, speaking of liking, give the article a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it.
Aaaaaaand, with that, I bid you all adieu. This has been Kenji, and I’ll see you guys in the future.
Cheers to Anime North 2015! See you all next year!