My Anime North 2010 experience by Cassiopeia Burrell Jun 28, 2010
I was fortunate enough to find a large group of people to accept me into their hotel booking at Anime North this year. This was my first year attending, and I have to say it was a spectacle. Though most of the people I knew who attended were there primarily for the cosplay, I found lots of events – many not specifically anime-related – that piqued my interest.
The Pink Panther and I had a blast!
I attended a few panels and was mainly disappointed. The Webcomics panel consisted of one artist, Abby of The Green Avenger, and two self-proclaimed “experts” on webcomics, who offered little to the discussion other than mentioning how many comics they read. A fourth chair was left unoccupied by an unnamed guest who had obviously mixed up their schedule. This is particularly sad because Lar de Souza, artist of such webcomics as Least I Can Do and Looking For Group, was at Anime North at other panels throughout the weekend. It would have been nice to see some other writers, artists or professionals in the field, especially since Toronto is full of professional and amateur webcomic talent.
The Sheradon Hotel had a large hall full of people playing board games, and I participated in the Munchkin and Settlers of Catan tournaments. I made it to the finals in Settlers and squeaked out a victory while playing on a giant game board that took up an entire room.
I had only cosplayed once before, but I had so much fun that I decided to cosplay two characters over the weekend. On Friday I was Ramona from Toronto’s own Scott Pilgrim, and on Saturday I joined over a hundred costumed fans of Axis Powers Hetalia and became Russia.
You will be assimilated.
My favourite costume was, of course, the Scyther.
It’s a freakin’ Scyther!
The dealers’ room was about the size of a warehouse. All of the major Toronto comic shops were in attendance, mostly selling manga, but the Tarantula was selling other comics as well. I managed to convince a friend to pick up Scott Pilgrim volumes 1 through 5 there, as she had enjoyed my cosplay.
My impression of Anime North was overall a good one. There is no way of describing the feeling of being surrounded by tens of thousands of costumed anime fans. However, if you’re really not into anime, you probably will not have as much fun at this big event as you would at a comic, sci-fi or game convention. Anime North does anime extremely well, which is why the crowds make it the biggest anime con in Canada every year.