Chag’s Anime North 2013 Adventure

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After taking a year off, I’m back at Anime North! After Otakon last year, I had my doubts on whether or not I’d attend AN again, but as luck would have it, I got into touch with Jenn and Suich from Poke the Merch and decided to give it a shot — I just can’t say no to meeting strangers from the internet!

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As you might know, figure bloggers have a strong tendency to be smart and attractive (LIKE ME), and Jenn and Suich were no exception. They were rolling out in full force with their friends with their Magi cosplay. I confess I know nothing about the series and had only found out that the characters are actually men much later in the day.

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I was both happy and jealous to see readers of Jenna and Sui Chee greet and approach them throughout the course of the day, as their giveaway contest was a smashing success! The lucky winner of the draw took home with him a Nendoroid STRength, but the real winners are hosts of the contest. Not many figure bloggers have the pleasure of meeting readers in the flesh, and I definitely want to do more of that. Dear Santa: I want a life-sized Mikudayo outfit to wear next year. I can just see it now: FIND THE MIKUDAYO AND WIN FABULOUS PRIZES.

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The highlight of the day’s events was a three-hour program called “Totally Lame Anime After Dark”. Hundreds upon hundreds of people packed into a massive presentation room to watch hilariously awful anime clips along with fun commentary. There were all manners of badness, but one thing that stood out was a series of super-depressing Japanese beer commercials featuring animated penguins. Apparently the ads were successful enough to warrant the making of a Vietnam War film…starring the penguins. I’m not kidding — it’s serious as cancer.

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But that’s enough of me blabbing — I know you’re only here for the cosplay photos. The convention proved to be a great testing ground for the YN-560 III flash I bought recently.

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I have to say that I didn’t have much success with it outside. Using it for fill flash outdoors gave off a rather unnatural look, and using the soft box + optical trigger was way to fiddly between adjusting the power of the flash, having the trigger randomly not work,  using one hand to hold the flash and the other to work the camera. But more importantly, Since the maximum sync speed is 1/250 of a second, I had to really shrink the aperture during the bright outdoor lighting conditions. This means I can’t take advantage of the subject isolation that comes with having a large aperture prime lens.

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However, the flash really shined indoors. Bouncing the flash off the ceilings made for very nice lighting, and since it’s not blindingly bright indoors, I could keep my aperture big and blur out the crowd behind the subject. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! A couple years back I absolutely dreaded taking photos indoors, but with a flash it suddenly became the preferred place to take photos!

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All in all, Anime North was pretty fun. It may not have the superior location and all-star guest list like Otakon, but it’s still a great excuse to meet friends from the internet and blind people with my toys. I’m definitely bringing more water and food next time, though — getting food is a daunting task when you’re fighting in line against the weeaboo hordes. Bringing a couple of pepperoni sticks along with a bottle of Gatorade ranks amongst the best ideas I’ve ever had.

10 replies on “Chag’s Anime North 2013 Adventure”

Do it chag, Mikudayo kigurumi! You have my complete non-monetary support in that endeavour!

I wanna meet internet strangers! My first time with you was a fairly nice experience. I guess I should move my butt and get a job so I can spend money on travelling.

I gotta say, the flash was really a big success indoors. When I attended my local comic I took my 40mm prime. I figured it would make for nice portraits and it should be fast enough for indoors. Alas, a flash would have nice as I cannot stay still for so long and neither could my subjects for nice properly exposed pictures and not to mention the crappy indoor lighting..

Come to think of it, this has been the sixth time I’ve met weeaboo-blogging related people IRL. Clearly I did not heed the warnings my parents gave me about strangers on the internet. Oh well, until I am horribly murdered at an encounter, I guess I’ll just continue to ignore all conventional wisdom!

With the D7000 I *can* manage to get photos with larger apertures and higher ISO indoors, but the results really wouldn’t be anything to write home about. The flash changes all that, and it really is the best 80 bucks I’ve spent in a long time.

But yes, do get a job. Attending foreign conventions is only one of many advantages that comes with being employed.

Well, well, well, don’t we look handsome? All kudos to the photographer, of course. ;D

That flash looks amazing indoors. I still love that Remilia shot you have. Really shows off her hollow eyes. The guy in your first picture is amazing in a whole other way. It’s not everyday you see such blatant world-weariness.

I have to thank you once more for taking such flattering pictures of us, and dealing with our loud shenanigans in general. I’m glad you enjoyed Lame Anime After Dark. We’ve been going for years and it never fails to disappoint. I’ll never be the same again after watching those penguin commercials though. That was some heavy shit.

It was great meeting you in person!

Every cosplayer needs a photographer friend! Seriously, with that much effort put into the costumes, to hot have any photos taken is just wrong — especially when the costumes look so good!

Yep, I’ve happy with what my $80 Chinaflash was able to do. I kinda wish that I took more photos indoors…oh well, there will be other conventions!

The pleasure of meeting was all mine! We should totally hang out in the future should the stars align once more.

I am kind of surprised at all the League of Legends cosplayers.

You should let me come one time. Although if you did happen to cosplay I would force you to play DDR with me while wearing it.

LoL definitely ranks amongst the most popular amongst cosplayers there — which is a good thing, given how diverse the options are. I even saw a couple of Arcade Sonas and that alternate skin Vi. Asian kids love their DOTAclones, and we got them in spades around here.

YES HAMSTERCORPSE, I give you PERMISSION to come to Anime North “one time” (and ONLY one time). Said DDR battle will be recorded and immortalized through the YouTubes.

Looks like a good time! I did ACen last weekend and I think I’m already addicted to anime cons.

Out of all these cosplays the one I like best is the Rick Grimes costume. That’s a goddamn GREAT cosplay right there.

Agreed, it’s pretty amazing. His costume may not exactly be high art, but that expression on his face…he looks like he’s SEEN SOME SHIT.

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