Anime North 2015 Review and Pod

Anime North Podcast Review

It’s the end of May and you’re in Toronto celebrating the anime and gaming culture that brings smiles to so many. You are at Anime North 2015, one of the largest anime conventions to be held in Toronto, Canada. This year’s convention took place from May 27th through May 29th at the Toronto Congress Centre and International Plaza Hotel. I was able to accompany my friends at the Lockport Expeditionary Force for 24 hours of pure Anime North fun.

Just as every year, A.N. hosted a masquerade that housed a skit competition as well as the masquerade ball itself. Each of these competitions are for amateur cosplayers and involve not only costume design/display, but also singing, dancing, and lip-syncing. The masquerade itself was held in the Toronto Congress Center since the size this year’s event dwarfed the previous years.

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Since my time was limited severely at this year’s A.N., I took as much of the convention in as I could. Of course the first thing I did was admire all the amazing cosplayers populating the International Plaza and Congress Center properties, not to mention the string of hotels farther down the main street. I saw everything from giant dragons and Sgt. Frog, to Steam Punk and Borderlands. It really seemed like everyone upped their cosplay game from the previous years and definitely had fun doing so. Hell we even got dressed up a bit to pull a little heist in our Payday gear. To see a complete gallery of Z-is-Eternal’s photos in the albums here.

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Later as the night fell upon us, myself and AugieDoge decided to adventure out to the Rave. Yes you heard me correctly, Anime North hosts a rave every year. Now this isn’t some small indoor stuck in a tiny room with an Ipod playing rave. This is a full blown outdoor, fenced in area with a complete lighting setup and stage, holding a band/D.J. blaring all different types of anime and techno music to feed you with more adrenaline to keep you going for the night. I always loved going to these raves, not to dance, but to watch hundreds of cosplayers all decked out rocking together and having fun.

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As the night started to become morning we decided to head back to our friend’s hotel (Honeymoon Suite) to open an aged bottle of bourbon and play some Call of Duty while eating some Boston Pizza. Once the pizza was consumed and the bourbon gave us a second wind, AugieDoge, Z-is-Eternal and myself adventured back toward the convention area (about a mile away) on foot. That’s when we spotted another hotel that was part of the convention, but we never really visited in the past. The Sheraton Hotel located just a half mile down the street from the International Plaza hotel has the Manga Library. Walking into the library I had little hope in being impressed, luckily I was very wrong. There were rows of books spanning from one wall of the ballroom to the other. This was a true library of the amazing art form. We were able to speak with one of the volunteers and he explained to us that this entire room was filled with a collection of books from one owner. I couldn’t believe that a single person not only owned this much manga, but also trusted other to handle and flip through it all. This is how you know someone really loves a hobby, when they trust strangers with it, just hoping it brings them some joy.

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Now since I couldn’t be there for the entire convention, I was able to sit down with AugieDoge and record some of his thoughts on a drive out to a meeting. Below you can here that conversation. Also I apologize now for the audio as we were driving. I will now leave you with an amazing cosplay.

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