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Chag’s Anime North 2011 Adventure

Ah, Anime North – the annual pilgrimage for tens of thousands of weeaboos in the northeastern part of North America. I have been to the convention four times thus far, but during those visits I tended to stick exclusively to my group of friends and typically wandered aimlessly through the dealer’s room and outdoors amongst the cosplayers. I’ve always had a good time, and it’s hard not to – combine in a group of good friends and the infectious cheerfulness on the convention grounds, and the good times come to you by themselves.

But this year my plan was different – maybe it’s because of blogging, but I was eager to meet new people and do new things. I paid 55 bucks to get into this freak show, and by God I was going to make good of every penny! If Anime North was a seal, then I would be the hungry Eskimo, waiting to descend on his prey and take every chunk of it back to his igloo.

In Canada, Hockey season is ALWAYS on — even during an Anime Convention.

So how did the convention turn out? The shorter answer would be that it was like a rollercoaster ride – both fun and nauseating. As for the long answer, hit the jump to find out!

Friday

Of the three days of AN 2011, I have to say that Friday was the definitive highlight. The day began with a lot of waiting in line to pick up my preregistration pass, as well as that of my friend Mundel’s. After that was even more lining up to gain access to the dealer’s room. I heard rumours that the convention was planning to put a cap on attendance next year, and after seeing what I saw over the weekend, I am inclined to agree.

There were plenty of opportunities to take photos of cosplayers who were also stuck in line during this time, and I found that the crowd on Friday had a much better ratio of good cosplayers.

Special mention goes to the baby Link and the Naruto family. The former was criminally adorable, and the traumatized state of the little Sakura in the latter group made for amazing amusement to everyone else present at her own expense. Yay!

Of course, being the classy gentlemen that we are, we bolted straight for the doujinshi dealer’s booth the moment the dealer’s room line began moving. My friend blew $218 right off the bat by snatching up some Udon-Ya Monster Hunter doujins and some Takeda Hiromitsu books. I, on the other hand, held back on my lustful urges since most of the books I’m interested in have already been scanned, and I didn’t feel like taking a $16-25 gamble based on the covers alone.

After the initial rounds through the dealer’s room, we checked out the flea market – a gathering place for people with crap to get rid of. There were volumes Death Note and Fruit Basket all over the place, but I was able to luck out and snatched up a MG Zeta Gundam ver. 2.0 for 30 bucks. We also checked out an Evangelion panel after that, which proved to be amusing, despite the presence of a handful of smartasses who couldn’t stop talking while the speakers were talking. Did you know that the first prints of the Rebuild BDs contained subliminal animation frames featuring key information on the story? The more you know~

We were ready to head home after the panel, but a quick text message and phone call had us suddenly abandoning our original destination for Stefan’s hotel room.  Looking back, it seems almost absurd – I mean, we didn’t even know each other past a couple of brief exchanges at that campus anime club and a few tweets, but there we were, amongst strangers with the intention of sleeping on the floor overnight.

We were supposed to take another shot of this with condoms scattered all over it, but sadly that did not happen =(

So there we were, eight dudes crammed in a room meant for only four people. I didn’t know anyone in the room other than Mundel and Stefan, but the ice was almost immediately broken when we started talking about con loot. As I’ve always said, “Porn is the black soil on which friendships blossom” and this case was no exception. It turns out that between the 8 of us, there were was $618 worth of doujinshi. We quickly inspected each other’s bounties and talked about the various authors and series, as well as the questionable legality of it all.

The conversation drifted from porn to other subjects as the night went on, and fighting games were had. The occupants of the room were all charming people, and I am really grateful for the unexpected overnight adventure. I do slightly regret not checking out the Friday night rave, but who am I to say no to some good ol’doujin talk? It’s not often that you get to talk so openly about 2D smut!

As may be expected from an overcrowded hotel room, sleep was sparse for the entire party. I don’t think I actually had any sleep during the night – rather, I drifted in and out of states of consciousness of varying levels of external awareness, which lasted about 2 hours in total. At five in the morning, a bunch of us were already restless, and I soon decided to hop by the nearby Tim Horton’s for some coffee and breakfast.

Saturday

Saturday was kind of shitty. The lack of rest certainly had a significant role in this, as the heat, humidity, and the endless crowds quickly sapped away my residual strength and good humour. Furthermore, the panels that I was most interested in (figures & otaku networking) ended up being piss-poor. They were both hosted by the same group and were both poorly organized and overly self-indulgent. I’m not going to dwell too much on the details, but let’s just say I was pretty disgusted when they spent 20 minutes straight talking about themselves in the networking panel.

Thankfully, the other panels I attended were a lot better. The “black kids like anime too!” panel yielded some very interesting reflections on black stereotyping and culture in various form of Japanese media. The Futuristic War Fighting panel had a group of university professors speaking about the likely trends of warfare in the future and works of science figure (anime or otherwise) that touches up on them. I never thought I would see a white-haired man talking about Saikano, much less in a completely serious and academic tone!

Still, the dirty stint of the two panels that flopped ended up defining Saturday for me. In retrospect, I think my general optimism towards the convention and my acquaintance with the hotel room gang raised my expectations to naïve levels. The con-going crowd isn’t exactly known for its maturity, and just because someone shares the same general interest area as you, doesn’t mean you’ll hit it off – if anything, I was aghast at how retarded some of these people could be. As I wandered around the convention grounds with Mundel and Tim, I wondered if I really wanted to be a part of this crowd while a mob of Gaiafags nearby sloppily gyrated away to the tired tune of Carameldansen. It was with these thoughts that I retired home for some much-needed rest.

Sunday

The comfort of my bed did much in rejuvenating my spirits for Sunday, and after a bit of self-deliberation, I decided to check out the last few hours of the convention in the afternoon. I met up with Laura, Sam, Bob and Teresa at the doll meet.

Though I am not a doll collector and am only marginally interested in them, I found the doll meet fascinating. Seeing the faces behind the dolls and seeing the amount of care and customization they gave to their dolls made me admire their passion for the hobby. Because of the nature of the hobby, I think doll collectors invest a lot more of themselves into their hobby, and I think there is beauty in such dedication.

Some doll collectors are downright delusional, though. I’ve heard about some collectors who made twitter accounts for their dolls and talked to themselves with them, and from what Laura told me, a “birthing ceremony” took place in the dealer’s room on Saturday to inaugurate the new owner of a BJD.  I am terrified to even imagine such a scene.

I spent the most of the afternoon talking with the gang, which reminded me of the joy in simply slowing down and taking a minute to enjoy myself. After we parted, I swung by the dealer’s room to pick up the final volume of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and went home with a pleasant feeling in my heart.

Final Thoughts

Now you know what I look like!

This year’s Anime North brought together the very best and the very worst of the con experience. By actually participating in the events, I now have a better idea of what the annual freak show is all about. I have considered doing a panel/presentation at a convention before, and now that I’ve had a taste of both good and bad panels, I am positive that I want in on the action next year. I’m thinking of either doing an introductory presentation on the figure collecting or a presentation on basic figure photography (or both). As I stand right now, I’m not completely confident in my abilities to present orally, nor do I think I’m qualified to give tips on photography, but I think I’ll be more than ready in a year.

Here’s that shirt I was rambling on about on Twitter. The heat transfer on the back looks a little off in terms of colour, unfortunately.

My Anime North 2011 experience wasn’t all positive, but it is definitely by far the most memorable. Many thanks to Mundel, Stefan, Jordo, Daniel, Charles, Gavin, Tim, Laura, Sam, Bob, and Teresa for a kick-ass time, and I hope to see you all next year as well! =D

For more photos of the weekend, hit up my Flickr photoset. To you readers out there: have you been to an anime convention before? What were your experiences? Do you have any amazing/horrible stories to tell? Let me know in the comments!

35 replies on “Chag’s Anime North 2011 Adventure”

First off… I guess you’re talking to Americans, because as I understand it us Canadians don’t use the word eskimo but rather Inuit. Though in a broader sense Eskimo covers more peoples than Inuit.

Not sure I buy the subliminal messages in the Rebuild of Evangelion Bluray but hey I suppose it could happen. I think that might be one of those times I’d like to have a sign that I can hold up that reads “[Citation Needed]”.

When I did the Anime North thing a couple years ago, I too slept in a room of people I’d only met that day. It’s a strange experience sleeping on the same bed as a self proclaimed furry. But they were a good gang of people, I did know some of them prior of course.

… I bet you all slept on the bed of porn and circle-jerked all night. Right? I thought so.

Hearing about the panel for futuristic war fighting and white haired professors talking about Saikano sort of makes me wish I attended that one panel. It sounds like it might have actually been interesting, if only for the fact they were talking seriously.

Your sentiments at the end of day 2 are pretty much my entire view of anime convensions and why I no longer attend. I can’t take the overall low maturity level of the crowd. Are the Gaiafags the new Narutards? Having been out of this scene for a number of years now I have no idea what the popular anime of today is and what the ‘tards all dress up as. Oh, it must be Bleach right? I think it even was way back when I went too, Naruto and Bleach.

I don’t understand how dolls can cost so much money. But then, when I talk to my co-workers about $100 plastic statues their reaction is similar to mine with dolls. The perceived value isn’t there. I suppose if I could do more with them there might be added value, but dress ’em up and pose them? As wonderful as that sounds I’ll pass.

Birthing ceremony? Maybe it’s best I stay the hell away from dolls. My co-workers already think I’m gay I don’t really need to add to that. I think my new persuit of purchasing a motorcycle will bring some much needed masculinity in my life. Wearing tight leather pants, a fitted leather jacket while I lean forward and clutch between my legs a powerful machine that does only what I command it. If that doesn’t sound manly I don’t know what does.

I’m aware of the term Inuit, but I decided to go with the less politically correct version to be funny. The image of seal chunks seemed appropriate.

I don’t have a link to the subliminal frames stuff, but my evangelion buff friend confirmed that it was in fact true. I’ll throw you the link when i find it out!

At least you got to slept on a bed! Having no comforts but a couch cushion did NOT make for an comfortable night. Hell, I’d join a half a dozen furries if it means that I would get a bed for the night!

There was not enough drinking that night to facilitate any circle-jerking, fortunately (or sadly). I don’t think I’d trust the aim of a bunch of drunk dudes working each other’s junks — it would be a really easy way to make those doujins “second hand”.
The war panel didn’t actually focus too much on anime. For the most part, the profs talked about the real world and made references to anime whenever the opportunity came up. They referenced novels a lot more frequently than anime, in fact. My friend told me that these guys are con regulars and covered a similar topic last year. They also spoke about the reality of the nuclear situation in Japan Saturday night, which I still regret missing.

Naruto and Bleach fans are still out in full force, though they no longer dominate the cosplay scene at the con. The thing about Gaiafags is that they are far, far more annoying than some kids who happen to like a particular show. These people are the types who recycle old and shitty memes and react to everything by the way of screeching like banshees. In short, they’re the reason why kids shouldn’t use the internet.

Eh, as you said, the perceived value in things is different for a lot of people, and I’m not going to judge people based on the amount of money they spend. I wonder how doll fans feel about these “special cases”, though. I’m sure it’s kind of like my frustration at hot gluers, but worse.

I wait eagerly for the day when I get to see a leathered up Aka riding his metal stallion hard and fast. Have you picked out your biker gear already?

Ah I see, politically incorrect on purpose. Good stuff.

I’m not so sure I’d like to sleep with more than one furry at a time, preferebly none to be quite frank. But perhaps had they been all dressed up as a furry I’d have cuddled with them a bit more. Like a stuffed animal or something. Er… I mean.. shit.

What would they have filled in that you haven’t already heard about the nuclear situation in Japan? I feel like I’ve heard everything already.

I’ll take pictures when it happens. I’ll be sure to get an übertinted helmet so no one can identify me.

Everyone always seems to go right for the doujin booth.  Makes browsing the stock rather difficult.  The cons I’ve been to are all in the same geographical area, and as such they are all serviced by the same doujin vendor.  I’ve heard them speak of one regular customer they have that drops at least a thousand dollars at their booth at every con they go to.  The guy must be insane and/or not have a working internet connection.

I don’t think I could spend a night in a small hotel room with a group of other weeaboos discussing porn, though.  I already have sleep issues as it is!

With that hat and jacket, you look like a communist.  You just need a few red stars!

I’ve only been to three different conventions (though multiple times each): the local Nekocon, and the local to my friend Katsucon and Otakon.  But since I don’t know anyone the two smaller conventions (Neko and Katsu) both pretty much suck for me and I don’t think I’ll be going to them anymore.  Also, Neko had crappy concerts both times I went.  Otakon is far superior, but then Otakon is huge and thus has a better selection of vendors and can bring in better musicians, like JAM Project and Eminence.  Some people say they like the smaller cons better because they’re more intimate or something, but I like the crowds of Otakon better, makes it easier to not feel bad about not really being all that “involved”.

I sorta feel like I won’t really be a part of a con unless I cosplay, which I’ve never done beyond my SOS Brigade armband. Every con, me and my friend are like “NEXT TIME, WE’LL DO SOMETHING” and we never do.  Probably better that way, I really don’t have many feasible options for cosplay.

I’m a bit jealous of you and your Canadian convention.  A handful of good artists I watch on DA are all Canadians, and they all seem to go to AN.  It’s like it’s the only animu convention Canada has, and all of Canada goes to it!

I think the people at the doujin booth are from the US and travels to cons all over the continent, so it may very well be the same people you have in mind. What the Canada’s scary CP laws, ordering a box full of doujins might land you a permanent sex offender label if the girls look underage COUGHyukiCOUGH, so there’s a good reason why people flock there. As for me, I’m not crazy about fapping while holding a book and trying to flip pages with 1 hand. Maybe I need training!

Pshaw, the reds ain’t got nothin’ on mah style! Chairman Mao WISHES he’s as pimpin’ as me!

I think I’m one of those people who prefers small conventions. The packed room for name that tune was so big that we had trouble hearing the songs and contestants. Still, a bigger con = a bigger audience = a greater chance that someone will actually be interested in a niche topic (like figures). There is a smaller convention this November, though, and I might use that as a warm-up to the real deal.

Man, fuck cosplay. If you’re wearing a good costume, you’ll be stopped incessantly whenever you try to move from point A to point, and I’ve never seen anyone refuse a photo before. The cosplayer himself might not mind, but the people hanging around the cosplayer will have to constantly stop and carry his shit. tl;dr I’m lazy.
AN seems like the only Canadian con worth mentioning, though — at least I haven’t heard of any other Canadian conventions, though I suspect there should be a decent one around British Columbia, given the large Asian community there. 

I think I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same vendor.  I should take a picture of them at Otakon so we can compare!

Your thinking is small-time!  You’re already willing to plaster your website all over your chest.  Think about it, if you put together a decent cosplay, every time some one stops you for a picture, you hand them a business card with your website on it!  Profit!

Haha see you call me brave for taking shots outdoor, but I think you got more balls then me for going to these circuses!

I’m just not one for lines or throngs of people…Maybe someday I’ll go to the one they host in…Orlando I think?

Psshhh, no one is ever going to look at the normal guy in middle of a freakshow, so there’s no courage in that! I think what I’ll do next year is to snap pictures of motorists stopping at the intersection. I bet their faces would be hilarious!

Anyways, you should try experiencing a con, preferably with a friend so you can vent your inevitable frustrations somewhere. If you don’t have a weeaboo friend… COME TO CANADA! ;D

The Rebuild Evangelion special edition images were mentioned on eva geeks forums, however I can only recall them being in the End of Eva DVDs and the initial Rebuild 1.0 DVDs as a limited special edition release. Not sure exactly 100% sure if they appear in the Blu-rays. The panelists said they saw them there though. >__>

—————

Oi! What about my $20 MG gundam steal?!?! You forgot to mention that. 😛

I see you went out for the third day. How was the Fakku panel anyways, did you even go? Did Tim or you get anything after I left?

I’m really surprised they had Dollfie at the Doll panel. Last year it was just a bunch of depressing looking Emo dolls heavily pasted with make-up. How much would you say those panelist spent in total on those dolls? 5k? 10K? o__O  Knowing me, I really wanted to get that Sonico Doll that was being sold at the Dealer’s Room… but definitely not at that price.

I really do hope “those images” don’t find it to my potential future employers… ^__^”

Edit: Your original quote: “Porn is the black soil on which friendships flourish.”

LOL, me go to the Fakku panel? Not bloody likely! Tim got a special edition gundam manga bundled with a small figure at the end of Saturday, so I guess it wasn’t a complete loss for him either.

There were only 3 Dollfie owner there, and two of them are Laura and Sam. They were a little let down by the how little DD stuff there were at the meet, but I think they had a good time talking with the other people there who weren’t too familiar with the Dollfie line. As far as how much they spend…eh, as long as they aren’t stealing from their mothers’ credit cards to pay for their dolls, it’s cool by my book.

Why not? I’m sure your prospective employers would find your taste in foreign art to be a very desirable quality! =P

Oo goodie, you weren’t lying when you said you were going to model the shirt. It looks like it came up pretty nicely! You probably don’t wanna hear this but that photo with Drossel on your hat is a bit adorable but I think the baby Link might have it beat, lol.

But yeah, that’s some crowd there! Looks like there were a good amount of decent cosplayers too. My favourites are always the dudes in the mecha costumes.. you’d have to be some kind of crazy to walk around in that all day!

I’ve never seen any doujinshi for sale at any con I’ve attended here. You’d have to be pretty brave to try get it into this country though, haha.

As for my experiences at cons, I thankfully don’t really have any horror stories! My very first con I attended was actually Anime Expo ’07 back when Luth still lived in the US and wow, that really opened my eyes to how crazy anime fans can be.. I’d never felt so goddamn normal in my entire life. had an absolute blast though, would love to be able to attend AX again.

The cons here are of a smaller scale but still big enough to have a good dealer’s room and decent panels and guests sometimes! I’ve been attending various cons with a vendor this year so I don’t get to see a whole lot of them but I think I have more fun as I get to meet a lot more people and geek out about merchandise and all that good stuff. 😀

Me, adorable? LOL sure, I’ll take what I can get! Everyone knows my commie hat is moe as fuck.

I’m also kind of amazed at some of the stuff they sell at the doujin booth. Canada has been known to crack the child pornography whip on doujins, and I doubt anyone could convince the legal authorities that Yuki is of legal age. What’s even funnier is that there were police officers roaming around the con grounds. Can you imagine if someone tripped and spilled his bag full of doujins all over the ground in front of a policeman? LOL.

I’m a little split between large cons and small cons. I like the games and contests of smaller cons are a lot more intimate and exciting, but at the same time, the variety of panel topics is far inferior. I haven’t thought about attending with a vendor before, though, but it seems like a hectic job (specially if at a big con full of ravenous consumers)! Was that the case for you?

Looks like you had a decent time of it! I’ll have to admit, I’m a con junkie. Anime, gaming, winter sports, bicycling, software development, hopefully someday photography, it’s awesome to be able to surround yourself with people that share your interests and tons of goodies on discount as well. As the years go by though I think I’m slowly getting less and less tolerant of the rampant childishness. Unless there’s amazing panels at the cons, I think I will be scaling my con-going back a bit, at least in the anime front and especially with Zai tied up behind a booth. We’ve been meeting some Aussie friends on MFC though and I’d love to someday meet them at a con.

I did have my share of fun at cons though. I staffed for AX one year and although my other friends ended up being in different sections and I barely saw them during the con, I made some awesome friends in the section where I worked, got priority seating in a Maaya Sakamoto concert, and got to see a lot of behind the scenes stuff. And the one con I did ‘cosplay’ in, I didn’t get to participate in any con activities but still had a fantastic time regardless. Prolly won’t do it again though, too much work.

Wow, brave man wanting to run a panel! I’m shitting my pants just thinking about presenting in front of 50 developers and you could have… maybe over a hundred! I suppose that’s the beauty of a fan-run con though. If you ever do it, you’d better tape it! And maybe drag Ash along too.

Haha, first the YouTube show, now a panel — little Chag is finally finding his testicles! I’ve embarrassed myself in front to strangers on the internet enough times as it is, so what significance does a little con room pose to me? It would be super-awesome if Ashlotte could join me up north, though… Maybe I’ll just keep lying about how many cute  Asian girls we have here in Toronto to lure him in!

But yeah, if I end up doing it, I definitely will record it — I’ll rent a bloody camcorder it I must!

Eh? People keep physical copies of doujinshi? Isn’t that inpractical?

Anyways, I never been to a large event like this, I think I would spend a great deal of time taking pictures of cosplayers. Speaking of which, so much BlazBlue cosplay, makes me happy.

I would love to watch/listen/attend a figure collecting/photography panel. Specially a figure photography panel, I always find it so interesting all the different “techniques” figure photographers use for the set ups and photos themselves. Plus it’s always nice to show people you don’t need some fancy camera or lighting to take nice pictures.

It is VERY impractical, Miette-chan! Have you tried flipping through a magazine with one hand while the other is vigorously occupied? Lemme tell you: it is HARD. But I understand why people buy doujins, though — it’s kind of like buying dvds as opposed to downloading them — there’s a bit a a collector’s mentality going on.

Cons are definitely a photographer’s heaven, and the clouds in the overcast skies last weekend served as a fantastic diffuser. I wish I was less hungry/pissed on Saturday, because there were even more cosplayers on that day.

Lol, the word “technique” makes it sound so sophisticated! I think I’ll just focus on the bare basics like light diffusion, aperture control, simple lighting, dealing with hard sunlight — things to get a complete novice into figure photography. If I end up doing it, I’ll have to bug Ashlotte a lot for outdoor photography tips, though!

I’ve never been to a con myself and I have mixed feeling about ever attending one. The only time I’ve gone out to participate ‘actively’ in the anime community was at the UK premier screening of Evangelion 2.22 in Glasgow. I went alone and had a purpose to be there – to watch the film. I don’t think I’d handle going to a con well without a purpose. The sheer number of people there is terrifying, but I’m sure it’s not so bad once you’re actually there. There are cons in Scotland but they’re so popular I can’t name a single one. There’s also the MCM Expo in London, all those many miles away. Ah maybe one day I’ll grow balls and attend one… maybe.

Something interesting I did take part in and would like to see more of was the crunchyroll streaming of Fanimecon. They had a live stream where we could interact in real time with the con-goers nico-nico-douga style. It was actually quite neat and gave a nice impression of what people to expect. I’m amazed at the confidence some of the people had with what they were wearing and sharing… and doing O.O.

You should do a panel on figure collecting / photography, sounds like a great idea. Gives you a chance to expose yourself and let people know about HobelHovel. Also a good chance to promote Double H. I bet the folks selling figures in the dealers room (that just sounds dodgey considering what they sell) would also appreciate it :P.

I honestly don’t think it takes any courage to attend a con — unless your friends/family are driving you. Now THAT is a terrible experience. I still remember my first con. I can only imagine the horror of my face as my parents caught sight of the crowds of cosplayers. I didn’t expect there to be so many! I remember my mother saying: “Ohhhh, is this a COSTUME PARTY?” All I could do is bury my face in my hands and reply “yeah, kind of…”

The crowd at the convention is staggeringly diverse, though the most visible group is obviously cosplayers, fat people, and people who dance to random music. Still, if you go in there with the goal of meeting people I would encourage anyone and everyone to give the convention experience at least one try. I can’t promise that you’d like it, but there really is nothing like it.

Yeah, my primary goal for the panel is to meet people. It’s not everyday that you come across people who are into the same thing, so sitting in front of the room puts be in a very desirable position. Whoring out the blog a little wouldn’t hurt either — you can bet that the blog is going straight on my name card next year!

haha now I know your voice and your face 😉 I also like your shirt, maybe another step to become an idol for figurine collecters ^^
The doujinshi loot looks nice judging from the covers , cosplay mainly scares me…I won’t say more about that XD
I’ve never been to a convention myself, but it sounds like fun when meeting people with the same wavelength.

I kinda thought about going to Otakon this year, since it’s a pretty big convention and it’s not that far away.   However, I get the feeling I’d miss the point.  I’d go there to shop, but then again, it’s probably easier and cheaper for me to get stuff online.  And I’d go there to find like-minded people, but I can’t even find many of those on Twitter.  And I’d go there to visit panels, but man, I don’t even like reading pretentious anime blogs.

It sounds like you had a great time though!  And what’s more, you came away with a new rival.  When you are striving for greatness, it is all well and good to want to try your best and create something that appeals to people, but I tell you, nothing motivates a man so much as wanting to crush another man into oblivion and piss upon his broken body while making sure he fully understands that you are pissing upon his broken body.  This incitement shall serve you well.

I like that Cryska pillowcase on the bed up there.  Total Eclipse totally needs more merchandising love.

I don’t like reading most anime blogs either, but I think there’s a big difference between reading an essay from an disembodied head on the internet and actually sitting in the same room with a bunch of nerds. With that said, depending on the crowd and the speaker, the experience may vary drastically. You should totally team up with Ashlotte, though! If the people turn out too retarded, then you can always rage together!

Hatred is the most potent fuel for greatness — just look at the Count of Monte Cristo! Or V for Vendetta! Or Adolf Hitler–oh wait…

I wouldn’t call that guy a rival, though, for the same reason why you don’t call the legless hobo on the corner of the block your track rival. I have respect for the work of the dude who wrote and shot that Dead Master review, but I have a feeling their little project won’t last long.

Sadly, the Cryska buried in porn up there is simply a bootleg wallscroll. I think my friend got her for 5 bucks at the flea market. If Otakon has one of those, then it’d definitely be a very good reason to check it out!

Just an observation: I think every Canadian city has yellow traffic light containers except Edmonton, ours are black.
I couldn’t go to Anime North, so I asked my friend to go for me to take pics, but he wouldn’t. At least I can see what it was like through your experience 🙂
I never come across any doujins, but wow, that’s a lot of boobies. I would be uncomfortable talking about it with other guys in a room with only guys though… it just seems awkward. I like your shirt though.

For someone who has been to totally sub-par cons here in the Philippines (the only thing that makes con-going worthwhile for me is cosplaying with friends/meeting new friends) I have always wanted to go to a convention overseas… like Anime Expo, Fanime or maybe AFA. Seriously though, even if the panels you went to are sucky, conventions here don’t even have panels. The things we have in our conventions are sucky booths — since almost ALL of them sell bootleg merchandise. Only a stall or two sell legit stuff and they’re *small* — J-pop/J-rock bands playing songs in the background, cosplay competitions and of course, cosplayers… and the photographers. Can’t forget about them. Cram all these into a two-unit convention room that is probably just the size of your 7-eleven and that’s a convention in the Philippines 😀 our guest of honor only goes up to local cosplayers who have gone global, sadly. I’m not sure if they’re even going to make the effort to invite guests like seiyuu or mangaka… they were able to invite Watase Yuu 10 years ago, I don’t get why couldn’t they try to invite more guests now. *sigh* /rant.

Still, reading the post, I think you had a pretty fun experience! Even though the topic we talked about the other day did damper your experience, I hope it doesn’t get to you that much! The cosplayers, btw, AWESOME! I love how brave the Touhou crossplayers are! Haha. And BABY LINK! I’m going so pedo over him I want to take him home!

As for the Doll meet, I loved the blondie DD with the moogle! So adorable! I’m kind of terrified to hear about that “birthing” ritual though. It makes me visualize an actual birthing process but with the doll popping out or something. IDK! As much as I love looking at DDs, the fact that they possibly cost you a kidney (the popular character ones anyway) and that you still have to take extra care of them, discourages me to get one. The only reason I’d get one is to be a model/mannequin if I ever get off my lazy ass and start learning to sew/design clothes… but that’s still not happening yet. Oh and certain people on the internets with the obnoxious DD zombie hypnotism/otakuness is freaking me out… if you know what I mean.

One last note: Drossel on hat = adorable. XD

Hmmm, how much do conventions cost in the Philippines? The whole weekend at anime north set me back $55 in admission, and this is super-early group discount price. As I mentioned above, I have a soft spot for small cons — hell, the most fun I’ve ever had at a fan gathering was at a 2-room event! They’re just a lot more intimate and it’s a lot easier to meet people, and besides, the crowds aren’t nearly as suffocating.

Btw, you DO realized now that you’ve mentioned cosplaying, you’re going to have to cough up the photos, right? =P

LOL, that’s what I thought when I first heard the phrase “birthing ceremony”!! I sure hope no dolls were inserted into any bodily orifices during the process! =S I think with a hobby with such heavy monetary and emotional investment, it’s easier to lose oneself in the hobby. Collectors in general are already strange folk to begin with, and when you throw kidney-priced dolls into the equation, the likelihood of “special” cases is greater. Of course, this does not imply that most DD collectors are crazy, but it does explain the zombies and you and I have heard about so much.

Okay, I am totally not used to being called cute/adorable. If Drossel is all it takes, maybe I should glue her bum onto the visor of my hat! 

Well, if we’re talking about pricing… Philippine cons are cheap compared to overseas cons. The average admission here is around 100-200 PHP which roughly converts to 5USD give or take. Con venues here… they’re too small to fit the number of people that go in and out of the convention. Especially since cosplaying is now mainstream here and it is now misunderstood as a ticket to stardom… and those are already major PH cons not the small, non-pimped out ones…sadly, those are lamer here 🙁 Oh, and the con venues are usually inside malls, so that doesn’t help much with the space issues as well. There was one time it was so cramped, you go in and you will slowly be pushed out of the venue because the people behind you are moving, so you have to move too. It was so bad, cosplayers had to litter the hallways since some of them can’t go in that warzone or else it’ll wreck their costumes. Thankfully, there are some cons that have decided to use actual convention halls so it isn’t that bad. But most still prefer the ones inside the mall (yes, we have limited con venues) because it is more accessible to most people.

LOL. My cosplay photos? You can easily ask Lord Google for that. I haven’t really kept my cosplay stuff private. XD Pretty sure you can get a hit or two. 😛 It’ll be more challenging. Not exactly brilliant to be publishing it everywhere… and they’re pretty old. 😛

Yes, pretty true. We collectors are strange folk indeed. The other day, one of the guys who went here to fix my window shades thought I was still a high school student. I’m not sure whether to be flattered that I looked young, or to be offended to be thought of as a kid just by looking at my room. But yeah, I do realize the investment in dolls. I have a few Azones that I got by accident though, and I keep looking at clothes for them. LOL ~_~; some collectors are nice people, but some keep badgering you to join in, and it’s kind of annoying.

LOL. I remember a line in Ouran about that… “All you need is a cute item to make a scary looking guy, approachable!” Maybe just bring Drossel along and not glue her to your hat. LOL.

I was looking forward to meeting you in person at the con, but guess that didn’t happen.  lol  Stupid work.  =(  And I can’t believe it took me almost a month to read this too!  I haven’t been to AN in years and wanted to go take a look.  Well, guess there’s always next year (that’s what I say every year though).

Those dolls freak me out, I can’t stand DD collections.  lol  Reminds me of Chucky or Puppet Master.. ick!

Nice HH t-shirt, very professional.  =P  If you’re gonna do some sort of panel / booth next year, I’ll definitely drop by.

Hey, it’s no big deal! Making money is the bee’s knees — it certainly makes a lot more sense than paying money to get into con for the privilege of spending more money!

I’m actually not sure if I’d be in the country next year. There’s a lot of plans being shuffled around, but if I am in the city when AN is on, I’ll be sure to apply and let you know! =)

Hello, as one of the panellists of Black Kids like Anime too, I am glad you liked the panel. We worked really really hard on the panel this year. Thanks for dropping by.  (I m the one who talked about kimono stuff.)

Hey, thanks for dropping by. I think it’s pretty safe to say on behalf of everyone crammed into that little room that we’ve enjoyed the panel immensely. Is the panel running next year as well? If so, I look forward to it! =)

Yes, we will do the panel next year. This year was our third year and we put a lot of planning into it We ran out of time so a couple of issues we will cover next year. 5 of us actually worked on the panel but our 5th guy could not make it.

I will tell our moderator about this, as it was her brain child. 😀 I am glad we could improve your Saturday.

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