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.