The annual Anime North convention kicked off on the 26th of May this year. In the recent decade the Anime subculture has gained so much traction and popularity that more and more North Americans are jumping on board with it. What was once unknown and very niche is now accepted and enjoyed by many. People are discovering the great quality and work that Japanese animated TV series as well as movies have to offer.
Anime North, similar to Comicon and FanExpo celebrates this subculture where fans dress up like their favorite animated TV or movie characters. They also get the opportunity to view and buy unique merchandise you normally can’t find anywhere else.
This convention in particular started 20 years ago in 1997. A fan-run non-profit convention that is currently the fourth largest in North America. Last year when taking my flight back from New York to Toronto I struck up a conversation with the passenger next to me; and was told she’s making it all the way from Florida to Toronto for this convention… so yeah…
This gave me the idea to cover Anime North… and maybe by the time you’re finished with this article you’ll consider attending next year too…
Personal experience… I enjoyed it. This subculture generally receives the bad stigma of being childish by the mainstream because you have teens, young adults and adults taking part in various aspects of the event but when you really take the time to check it out you find out how cool it is.
TV series can be targeted to the young audience with shows like Digimon, Naruto and Pokemon and can go all the way to adult themes like the recent Hollywood movie Ghost In A Shell staring Scarlett Johansson.
This year YouTube star “Little Kuriboh” agreed to speak at this event, the first YouTube star to make an official appearance at Anime North. It’s also the first time I have been exposed to his videos. He makes well known parodies on YouTube for shows like YuGiOh; here’s one of the videos:
Let’s take a look at some of the amazing cosplayers this year:
Now, cosplayers aren’t the only attraction at this convention. You’ll see fun stuff like dance performance, Japanese taiko drumming and even amateur/entertainment wrestling with anime characters:
And here’s some amateur entertainment wrestling:
You’ve seen the cosplayers, you’ve seen some of the videos; now let’s look at the merchandise you can get from dealers:
That’s it for this year. I really enjoyed going to this convention and hopefully I get some time to attend it next year as well. To be honest there’s so much happening that you really don’t have the time to see and experience all of it in one weekend. For example, they have raves at night. There’s a circus performance and also costume competitions. The event is held at the Toronto Congress Center, Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport Hotel, Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and I believe at the Radisson as well. It’s good to get your guide in advance and plan ahead where you want to go. Until next time!