Who did you cosplay as?:
My Mayor character from Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Saturday and a generic kittyboy on Sunday
How many days did you attend for?:
All three plus Thursday, stayed til the very end
Most memorable event/moment:
Being a seller at Nomi for the first time, the hilarious evangelical Christian protesters going the extra mile to be crazier and more offensive than ever before, a child eagerly requesting things for me to call for at the Pokemon photoshoot, the bubble party during the final hour, breaking my photo record
Most unexpected event/moment:
A surprise encounter with Sweaty Screamy Line Guy on Sunday
Most awkward event/moment:
Practically being told my poses and expressions as Mr. Mayor are boring (I can't help it, this is a character who needs to be TAUGHT, in his assumed adulthood and by a comedian, how to emote, and most of his possible poses do involve just standing there), facing a bit of a language barrier at Makimono while trying to explain my intended order to a fairly confused (but very patient) waitress/cashier
The incredibly quick wait on Thursday for badge pickup, chatting for a good while with a staff member and an awesome Super Pochaco at the 25+ Meet, watching In This Corner of the World on Friday night, meeting Dan Salvato, my spur-of-the-moment shout of "Nya-body cares!" at the protesters while dressed in my kitty outfit, the Thor cosplayer giving his speech in front of the protesters and the "Jesus loves hentai" counter-protest and cries of "Hate speech!" that finally drove them out (sadly, however, I only heard about these and didn't get to see them personally), meeting my sister's friend who was super excited to meet me and dressed as Leggy Lamb
Least favourite event/moment:
The con shuttles to and from the Fairfield not running all weekend, not selling much at Nomi, karaoke in the next room making it harder to fully enjoy the movie, being too tired to stay awake for most of the Homestuck Drawmeet, not getting to meet Dameon Clarke, missing the Sunday Love Live photoshoot and Ranma 1/2 OVAs, Cromartie Highschool's screening being cut short, being unable to try the custard taiyaki and takoyaki, losing a good shopping bag with a lot of food, a whole roll of paper towels, a tupperware container and all my ice packs in it because my uncle somehow forgot to pack the bag into his vehicle when we left the hotel
How much money did you spend?:
Best cosplay you saw:
There's no way I can decide!
How many pictures did you take?:
Over 750 (exact count after clearing out duds still TBD), plus a couple of short videos
How far did you travel in order to attend the con?:
How sad/happy were you when the con ended?:
Let's face it, who's ever happy to witness the end of each year's Anime North? I wish it could happen 365, 24/7. In fact, I was incredibly sad upon leaving it all behind at the end this year and legit almost cried. More and more, I wish Anime North could permanently take over that area and form it into a small village, where people could choose to live at the hotels for as long as they please and work at the local businesses.
What variety of food did you eat over the weekend?:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, lemonade (regular and cherry), Coke (regular, vanilla, cherry and raspberry), Faygo cola, water, bananas, consomme Calbee chips, Creme Eggs, donut, Harvey's (bacon cheeseburgers, hotdog, fries, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew, root beer, vanilla shakes), hotel breakfast buffet (cheese omelets, turkey and pork sausages, hard-boiled eggs, cheesy scrambled eggs, toast, Froot Loops, bananas, breakfast potatoes, ham, an assortment of condiments, various kinds of juice, milk), beef onigiri, Ramune, Super Lemon, sakura cookies, Five Alive, chicken dango, croquettes, chicken karaage, tonkatsu, sushi (yellowtail and Inari), ginger ale, chocolate soft-serve ice cream with Oreo coating, gummy, also bought deep-fried custard buns, Japanese lemon pop, Pocky and Puccho that I ate after the con
What did you buy?:
Not counting food: Posters (Love Live Sunshine, Black Butler, Durarara, Attack on Titan, Tiger & Bunny, Blue Exorcist, Advent Children, D. Grey-man), prints (Pokemon, What's Goin' On?, Panty & Stocking), figurines (Dr. Strange, Germany, DC Bombshells Wonder Woman, Palmon, Princess Celestia, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, various Pokemon, Jewelry Bonney), card lots (Neopets, Pokemon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome Amiibo, Final Fantasy Dissidia), a set of inflatable sword thingies, plushies (Ein, Pikachu, Christmas moose, Christmas star, Ayu from Kanon, old-fashioned teddy Beanie Baby, AN-exclusive teddy and bunny), Pokemon clear files, fans (Nyanko-sensei, strange fish), kitty paws, Eric Vale's autograph, Eevee post-it note pad, wall scrolls (generic Japanese scroll, Shizuo and Izaya), Neko Atsume stickers, Korean Pokemon-themed facial masks (Pikachu, Squirtle), books (Garfield comics, Land of the Blindfolded volume 1, Hotel Africa volumes 1 and 2, Shojo Beat), Free luggage tag, framed set of Kanto Gym Badges, Pop Team Epic-esque Nendoroid faceplate, Super Gals notebook, DVDs (Tenchi Muyo volume 1, Steamboy), Gudetama tissue packets, keychains (Gol D. Roger and Ace, Snow Halation Nico, Togepi)
Things you won't miss:
The heat and humidity, aching feet, having to walk to the bus stop and take a crowded bus to the con every day, the idiot protesters, the overall awkward feeling that hung over this year's Random Games photoshoot (more to come)
If applicable, what could be done to improve things next year?:
- There should really be more garbage cans--there were tons of recycling bins, but nowhere near as many places for me to just chuck my garbage.
- We also need far more water stations, I literally only saw one or two all weekend. Water is free, plentiful and very often a necessity, especially in a hot convention environment, there's no reason to be stingy with it.
- There MUST be some way to keep the protesters away next year, right?
- Please, more vendor variety is needed, and the rule against bootlegs needs to be enforced. When a one-night flea market is consistently better for finding a huge variety of stuff, great deals and absolutely no bootlegs than the Dealers Room, there's something very wrong with vendor quality control. Better quality control could also help shrink the area down a bit and not make navigating it such a chore.
- This year's guest roster was decent, but yet again, only a couple of frequently requested ones were brought in, none of the ones who want to be invited were invited, and there were barely any Japanese voice acting guests. The total lack of female Western VAs was weird too, might I add. The guest relations department really should start taking our suggestions and the pleas of those who want to be invited more seriously, and the staff's removal of a guest suggestion and feedback board on the Teahouse forum seems kinda shady to me. Just for reference, btw, Laura Bailey has wanted to be re-invited since she had to cancel in 2006--she's consistently been denied an appearance at this con for 12 YEARS.
- The movies should be shown at more accessible and convenient times. Not everyone wants to be out until almost 2am. Also, the movie room REALLY needs to stop being the one directly next to the karaoke one--it's hard to get immersed in an emotional, dramatic WWII movie when the entire time, the dialogue and mood are competing with people belting out upbeat anime theme songs at the same or greater volume.
- I stayed at the Fairfield, and right there on the booking page set up BY Anime North, we were told there'd be shuttle service to and from the Congress Centre for Fairfield and Hampton guests booking with the AN rate. This never happened, and the hotel staff had no clue it was even supposed to be happening, nor did any of the shuttle drivers. This means someone didn't properly communicate something to them. There needs to be better communication next year to ensure that everyone told they're getting shuttle service, and thus expecting shuttle service, gets it.
- I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no reason the price of admission should still be getting raised, and there needs to be an option to pay with Paypal again. I really don't like the trends this con is starting to show of potentially becoming some corporate crapshow for the high-income, credit card-holding elite.
- I'm honestly kinda getting tired of half the panels being stuff like "Transphobia in anime" (which I have no doubt is constantly filled with the same kind of people you see on Tumblr who think every other character is trans but then insists that the actual trans characters aren't) or stuff about feminism in relation to anime and stuff. And then there are panels that are just so unconnected to the con's subject that people have to seriously stretch to try and connect them, like the panel on the history of Lego, and ones that were rendered just plain useless, like a panel on smarter spending that was saved for the final hour of the con.
- Please, please, PLEASE tell us IN ADVANCE if guests are charging for autographs, and how much they're asking for--NO ONE appreciates finding out when they're moments away from meeting the guest! If Fan Expo can have their guests' prices posted months in advance, so can Anime North!
And finally, what did you do when you got home from the convention?:
Brought all my stuff into my apartment, changed into a different shirt and crashed at my mom's place for an hour or so before heading back across the parking lot to my place, setting up my laptop and falling asleep to the soothing sound of JonTron.
Any additional stuff you wanna say?:
Not the greatest year, but it wasn't a total disaster or anything, and there were plenty of good things about it. Still, I hope next year can be better.