Friday, 2 June 2017

Recap: Anime North 2017

I hate to say it, Cupcakes, but it had been years since I had last had the opportunity to attend Anime North. I had last attended during my last year of high school (just a few years ago) and had sorely missed going. Unfortunately, life happens and I always found myself otherwise occupied during the infamous weekend, however this year I was finally able to set a day aside to attend, and nostalgia was in the air!

This year I chose to attend on the first day of the con, Friday May 26th, and arrived at the Toronto Congress Centre in my current Lolita best (which, at the moment, isn't very much considering I'm a newbie). The Fiance was extremely eager as we arrived, this year being his first ever visit to Anime North, and as we made our way into the general line-up for the marketplace, I gave him a few tips and tricks on handling the con and how to make our way from one location to the other. As we stood in line just before open, we took the opportunity to check out some incredible cosplays. I also found myself admiring plenty of Lolita coords, finding myself envious but wholesomely inspired, possibly for FanExpo this upcoming summer. In addition, we took the time to make some quick friends in line, just before the rain hit, and found ourselves talking about many of our favorite anime releases of the year. The overall feel, even just at the beginning, of Anime North was quite different from that of FanExpo or Comic Con.

Not long after, the doors were open and guests, in a very organized fashion, made their way into the marketplace. It was completely unlike the chaos I had one year endured in the past. It was very calm despite people being quite eager to get in, and with the unwelcome rain, I was sure people would rush the doors and/or shove and bud in line. I was happy to see it was very well done!

Almost immediately upon my entering the marketplace, I had beelined it straight towards one particular booth that was selling the cutest furry animal bags, sailor moon purses/wallets, and other assortment of keychains and gadgets. It was a half second later in which I purchased a Sailor Moon by Samantha Vega purse in the Sailor Mercury pattern. It was a purse I had eye-balled for a long time, but had found for ridiculous sale prices both online and at FanExpo in the past. The deal at this booth was far too good to pass up, and was quickly noted when I saw the same purse later at other booths at a far higher price point. Not long after that purchase, a cupcake holding Pusheen was also added to the list of purchases, in addition to a L with Cake Hot Topic exclusive Funko POP.

Not long after the binge-buy, I was stopped for some photos, and in addition took the opportunity to snap some photos of cosplayers, as well. After the quick break, we continued to make our way through the marketplace and enjoyed the excellent variety of what vendors had to offer. I perused Lolita fashion, kimonos, doujinshi, funkos, and jewellry, and not long after that I managed to run into a few friends and a colleague from work. Little after, the Fiance and I chose to walk around over and line up for the Nominoichi (the flea market). The Nominoichi is an event that takes place on the first day of the con and is completely fan run. Guests of Anime North are invited to purchase a table at the flea market and are encouraged to sell anime-related goodies from home in an almost garage-sale fashion. In the past, the Nominoichi has been known to be very hot, crowded, and hectic, as it is usually held in a fairly small area of the Congress centre. This year, however, it was fairly cool, calm, and I found it very easy to maneuver from one table to the other. In fact, I purchased an adorable Snow White patterned dress from one of the tables.

Further into the night, after making a quick stop to eat, check out some more cosplayers, and even make a brief stop into a Lolita themed panel, the Fiance and I chose to head into the marketplace one last time for some last minute browsing/shopping. At the very end I convinced myself to purchase my first-ever doujinshi (fan created comics/art books). Doujinshi are extremely popular in Japan, and I've always wished to purchase some from artists I either greatly admired or featured characters I enjoy. I managed to choose two that I was certain I'd enjoy. The first being a Yuri on Ice doujin featuring Yuri and Victor, presented by Posy&aBloom. The second was an Uta no Prince-Sama doujin featuring Tokiya and Haruka, my OTP, and it was presented by Peppermint Holic. Both were extremely sweet and adorable. The Yuri on Ice doujin featured a cute story about Yuri taking care of Victor when he's sick, and later on vice-versa. Super sweet! The Uta no Prince-Sama one was just as sweet, featuring a story of a daydreaming Haruka thinking about prince-like Tokiya. In the future, I definitely plan on purchasing more, maybe some Ren x Haruka next time?

Overall, my long-awaited visit to Anime North after several years was a complete success. I definitely plan on attending for more than one day next year, if my schedule permits, and will certainly bring home more goodies.

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