Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Anime North Day One - Fans and costumes everywhere, but not a bit COURAGE to be found...


Set out from school for the Toronto Congress Centre at around 4:00 and as soon as I got onto the bus, I knew this wasn't going to be some small convention where only the hardcore will be attending. Interestingly enough, though many of the geeks are dressed in plain clothes, it's very obviously who they are and what they're after when they gather in hordes like this.

About ten minutes into the ride, a fully costumed otaku walked tentatively onto the bus as a character who's name I'm not very sure of, but judging by the funky hair style, the colourful armour and the enormous Keyblade, I'm quite sure is from Kingdom Hearts.

At arrival at the convention centre I shuffled off the bus following the horde of geeks and otakus only to see an even bigger, nay, much bigger gathering of all that is fanboys, fangirls, anime, games and most of everything else geek related. Twas this moment that I realized just what an anime convention was all about and it. is. GLORIOUS.

--But what is Anime North About, you ask? Let's see now, the Anime North is proabably the largest convention in Toronto for anything anime related but it also attract other factions of the geekdom like gamers, comic/cartoon, LARPers. I was genuinely surprised by the diversity of the convetion's demography as I was only expecting to see anime related things for the most part.--

Soon after leaving the bus station, I saw something that surprised and delighted me quite a bit. It's BLUE team from Team Fortress 2! With lightning fast reflexes and uncanny reflexes, my hand flashed to the holster and grabbed the camera. 

Despite this, I only managed to snap a single picture before their dreaded and eternal rival showed up! RED!

And a battle promptly broke out.

The look on the Heavy's face is priceless!

After that, time passed by somewhat eventfully as I was greeted by an infinite queuing works, thankfully, there's Dan-Board at the entrance to the main building to lighten the mood before I moved on to yet another queue inside the building.

Ugh, waiting in line isn't nearly as fun, but at least I can look at all the funky costumes in this case!

Although the line-up was quite long and tedious, the rest of the convention was very pleasant as I came across quite a few interesting cosplayers in the dealer room. I am also delighted to say that most cosplayers are quite approachable and do like having their pictures taken!

Andy Waltfeld, or any other of ZAFT's desert officer for that matter.

After having bought the first volume of GaoGaiGar box sets in the dealer's room for about $31, I proceeded to do the one thing I came to the convention to do! To meet Hiyama Nobuyuki, the Gaine of Might Gaine, the Viral of Gurren Lagann and most of all, The King of Braves, Guy Shishio himself!! Needless to say, I was very excited and a bit nervous as well! Just as I was getting excited about meeting him, a pitiful sight struck me as very surprising and disappointing.

There he is, the King of Braves, sitting at his booth, but the line-up in front of his booth is surprisingly short! Looking around, I caught sight of the booth beside his belonging to Vic Mignogna's and with a strange rush of annoyance, saw that his line is, dare I say, thrice as long as Nobuyuki's!

The reasons for this is is quite simple I guess since Vic is the voice actor of Edward Elric, and since this show is much more popular over here than all of Brave Series combined, it's no wonder why fans would flock to him. So with this mindset, I guess a more proper reaction would have been to be more understanding and less of a fanboy, but alas, one does not care to admit the mistakes of ones youth.

The actual act of acquiring Nobuyuki's signature is much easier than my over-excited and nerve-racking mind led me to believe but nevertheless, I let out a sigh of relief as I walked away from Nobuyuki's booth, now with the signature on the first box set of GaoGaiGar. Sweet victory.

I can't describe how cool this is!!

Guess that just about sums up the first day I spent at the first ever anime convention I attended. Met a few old friends, made a few new ones and just about everyone was nice and approachable. This definitely re-inforced my belief that even on the large scale, fans aren't all that different from regular folks, but it also brings up the question of why there's still a sort of stigma against all this stuff. Maybe I'll try to explore this subject a bit more later on, but for now, let's call it a day.


Have a good day, everyone!

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