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Anime North

(Wasn't that weeks ago? Why yes, it was.)

I'm even more impressed with the turnout for this year's Anime North now that I have some context for the numbers. Over 5000 people attended. YTV more than did their job in promoting the event, and they had high viewer numbers for the convention segments. Even better, the hotel could handle the numbers.

It was the first time I've been to an anime convention. The age range is much younger than that of other conventions I've been to in the past, with a heavy teenage component. Some of the con staff commented that their fanbase was aging, in the sense that largest group of attendees back when the con started were in their early teens. Since it was the first time, we sampled: a few video sessions, art room, artist's alley, one of the guest of honor Q & A sessions, masquerade, hall cosplaying.

The lineup for registration was immense. Given its length, we actually went through it fairly quickly. David and his minions were sensible and handed out registration forms to fill out while we were all still in line. We had a nice chat with some people who had driven up from Michigan for the con.

Video: We watched four episodes of Princess Tutu (one more than I'd seen before!), and two episodes of Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar - I'm curious enough I wouldn't mind seeeing more, and of course I'm still interested in more of Princess Tutu. Later, at C.'s curiosity, we saw some of Soul Hunter, which would have been a better experience if the person running the room had managed to successfully turn off the English dub. So we all watched it with both English subtitles AND dub, which, of cousre, made for some unnecessarily amusing comparisons in translation style.

Artwork: The art room was overkill. The con really could have better used the space by having artists from the artist's alley using some of it. Half the boards were empty, and we were there on a Saturday. Artist's alley, however, was very good, and where much of the best art was. C. bought a print (in the sense of photoreproduction - the same will be true any other time I use the word in this particular post.) There were also Animatrix posters and freebie, to go along with advertising both its full screening at the Con, and the "Flight of the Osiris" which one of the tv channels up here showed a week or two ago. YTV also had an area for Beyblade fighting.

Dealer's Room: I bought things, but it was also a good experience in realizing that some of the Rightstuf coupons really do give some impressive discounts. Most of the dvds cost more than I was interested in paying, but we found most of the Steel Angle Kurumi discs for a cheap enough price I bought the set. It's not that I was desperate to own it, but that I don't think I'll be able to see the rest of the series any other way. I also spent money helping to keep Dragon Mango alive and well. They were doing a raffle of rabbit dolls, but promised that stuffed sheep would be forthcoming. I also bought a print (see above) of some anime-style art deco season fairies.

Guest of Honor Q & A: We went to Midorikawa Hikaru's (Zelgadis, Tamahome) guest of honor Q & A, which was at least as entertaining for the fangirl enthusiasm as for the voice actor's genial responses. For the first half hour, he was joined by his English-language Gundam Wing counterpart, Mark Hildreth.

Cosplay and Masquerade: Of course there were lots of costumes, and, as usual, I can't tell you where half of them are from. Of the 3 or 4 Wolfwoods, there was one really good one. There were some fabulous tarot-card like costumes, who also showed up in the masquerade. Speaking of the masquerade, there was a fairly spectacular Final Fantasy group - 10 of the game's characters! (They looked vaguely familiar, so I'm thinking it's whichever one I saw excerpts from when I last visited darkling_dreams.) There were 90+ entrants in the masquerade, so I can't begin to remember them all. (Kuomori: only one Belldandy, that in hall cosplay, and she would have been no competition for you.) The masquerade would have been improved in the MC had been either audible or funny.

Odds and Ends: Now I know what Irwin, theengineer, and so many other people have been slaving away on all this time. It was good to see so many people we knew, but ALL of them were very, very busy. We were too tired to stay for the dance.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2003 07:44 pm (UTC)
*WHIMPER* I'm SOOOOOOO envious! Because of Rosh Hashana I'm having to miss Anime Weekend Atlanta this year, but I go mostly for the fannish panels since they've never had any guests I've been interested in. But anime cons are much fun! And the dealers' rooms are way too dangerous to one's wallet.

But...you got to see Midorikawa-san in person? Wai! That's just too cool!
Jun. 8th, 2003 08:18 pm (UTC)
Indeed I did! He was relatively young, with blond-dyed hair and practically no English. His translator, unfortunately, didn't know his roles or anime-speak, so that hampered some of the fan-requests, but he was obliging and good natured and had no memory for anything he'd spoken or sung. (Which makes sense - it's not like he had to memorize any of it in the past.) When someone asked him to sing a song, preferably from the last album he recorded, he said he didn't know the lyrics. Happily, someone in the audience had the cd with liner notes and lyrics handy, so he sang a verse or so.
Jun. 9th, 2003 05:30 am (UTC)
Re: Midorikawa-san
He's looked like a total cutie in all the pics I've ever seen of him (not to mention a total goofball, which seems just the opposite of almost all the characters I've heard him voice). And singing? I'm even more envious! (Some of his character image songs were badly written for his range, but I've heard a few things that he's done that were just...*swoon*) Why yes, I would've quite definitely been contributing to that "fangirl enthusiasm". ^_~
Jun. 9th, 2003 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words Shana. Registration could easily have been a complete nightmare this year is over a dozen people from the club USS Hudson's Bay hadn't volunteered to help out, all with lots of experience. My brother usually has a lot of trouble trying to find enough warm bodies to run registration properly, and this was the first year he was really relaxed at it.

YTV did a tremendous job promoting the con, and from what we hear they were very happy. They're probably going to be putting together a half-hour show about the con for later this month or early next month.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )