Anime North 2013: 10-Year Anniversary!

This year marks the 10th year that I've been to Anime North. AN also happens to be the first anime con I've ever attended, way back in 2004. Can't believe its been so long already!

I never knew what a vast and different place the world would be in 10 years when I first came to Anime North, not sure that's entirely relevant but AN itself has changed quite a bit in the last few years. 2004 marked the first year that AN was held at the TCC, after outgrowing its previous locale. 

What first brought me to AN was the result of watching a YTV special episode where Sugar (Sugar!) went to AN 2003 and filmed a whole episode at that AN showing off the cool things that were at the con, voice actors, cosplay (Pan-Chan interview!), etc... It aired sometime around New Year's Eve of 2003 and managed to convince me to attend the next AN. With the primitive computers that we had back then I found out vital information and made it happen.

So regarding this year's Anime North - since that's what you my faithful followers are reading this for - went by pretty well, it was different from previous years that's for sure. The biggest change was doing photoshoots with various talented cosplayers. I'll admit I screwed up and had myself pretty booked up due to circumstances... That's not gonna happen again. Luckily I had a few people cancel their shoots so it worked out and gave me the breathing room I needed in order to function properly. Again, thanks to everyone who booked with me : ) I'm working on the photos with diligence as you read this!

I arrived Friday evening around 5 at the con (took me nearly two hours from Kitchener, ridiculous), and saw Tamar ad Megan walking down the street before I even entered the parking lot, Tamar stuck her tongue out at me as I waved/drove by to which I later discovered she thought I was some random person haha.

I had two shoots on Friday, which was the least-busy day of the three. Several shoots on Saturday, then the Masquerade (and Green room waiting time) and finally dinner to finish Saturday off. Sunday was busier with shoots then I had anticipated but worked through it like a Boss. The pics are good be awesome, just wait for it!

The dealer's room is a place I only had the opportunity to go in once, the artist alley I dropped by a few times as it was closer. I didn't make any purchases as I had my hands full with my camera equipment, including a nice new toy I picked up right before the con... You know what it is.

Let's talk about the Masquerade, an event which cosplayers get to step-up on Stage and showcase their costumes or do a little skit with a group. There were a great number of entries this year, I noticed a lack of dance skits, a phenomenon which I am happy to accept. I think they probably moved to the skit competition.

It seems like every year I attend the masquerade, something technical with the AV crew seems off. Previous years it was the audio, the slow cuts between camera angles, camera operators being slow to respond what's happening on stage, white balance issues, etc... We're getting close to great coverage of the masq, very close, all of the previous issues seemed to have been resolve but a new one has popped up; from what I could tell, it seems like someone had turned the shutter speed on on the cameras, they all had that stuttery look to them. I'm not sure if this was intentional due to low light (lighting was decent). Pretty sure at least two cameras had this issue. The other small fit I had was with the lights, while they were on a rig lighting the stage, they weren't spread out totally evenly. You could tell when someone would move from left to right they would get darker and brighter, challenging for any camera to keep up with that (why were the cameras set to auto-exposure?!), not a huge issue but something that should be looked at. Sorry for the rant-like talk, but I had to get it off my shoulders, its feedback for the AV crew to which they can use to improve upon for next year!

And other then the late start, the masq was run very well, great job!

As per usual, I met up with my various con-friends and buddies throughout the weekend. Love the social aspect of Anime North and any other con, which has dramatically increased since the 2004+ era. So thanks for reading the lengthy blog post and make sure you check out the Con Photos as well as the Masquerade Photos (multiple pages), shot of every entry included! Overall another great, yet busy, year!

Mike