[As a preface: None of these cosplayers are me, and if one of them is you, and you don't want your picture in this blog leave a comment and I'll get rid of it immediately.]
Start the post off with the good cosplay. That's how it should be.
Anime North '09 was the best Anime Convention I've ever been too. It is also the only one I've ever been to. Of course, I'd heard about it in years before, friends of mine that knew people who went, but, no one I knew personally could go because of school. When you have a choice between studying for exams, and passing, or going or to a convention and having to retake a class, most people would choose to study. This year I learned that while studying is the better choice, the convention is much more fun, and was probably better for my sanity as well.
Anime North is a yearly convention that takes place outside of Toronto, and (as far as I about conventions myself, I decided to go, and damn the consequences. Or course, things are never that easy for someone who has no idea what they're doing.
These guys, they know what they're doing.
I had no clue what I should bring, so I threw a camera, my DS, a phone and my wallet into my pockets and headed out into the wilderness of this strange and magical thing that the internet called "cons". Now, most of the people I knew were the kinds of people who thought all anime was either Dragon Ball Z or hentai, so I really had no experience interacting with people who liked anime outside of the internet. And I was sure that I was never going to see people outside my small circle of friends who really like anime, outside of forums.
This is wrong too, but in a completely different way.
Walking into the convention centre was like stepping into another world for me. My friend and I were in awe or the sheer number of people that were there, all of whom liked anime. It was unbelievable to us. Of course, we immediately had to get down to business. We wandered around the dealers room for a good hour before we went to any panels. At first, I didn't buy anything, I was too amazed, but when my friend left for a Samurai Champloo panel (I hadn't watched the series yet) I bought as many things as I could carry in my bag. Honestly, I don't remember what my haul was specifically, but looking back, it was pretty meager compared to what I could have bought.
This is the only picture I have from inside the dealers room, Most of the cosplayers were outside.
But, I still wasn't totally convinced that I wasn't dreaming all of this up. A place where everyone liked anime, a place where we are united by an insane love for something not many people like, let alone know about. That's when I realized it was lunchtime, and I hadn't eaten all day. Standing in line for a burger in between Nozomu Itoshiki, and Riku mad me realize that, "Wow, other people like anime." I then proceeded to go a little crazy. I attended as many panels as I could, talked to as many people as I could, took as many pictures as I could, and made plans that, for all that is good in this world, I am going to get all of my anime loving friends into this place next year.
(Also, to that guy who beat me senseless in SNK vs Capcom, you are mine next year.)
Roshi wants them here too.
So why was this con so important to me? Why did I take time to write a blog about something that happened almost 6 months ago? No one else seemed to be as moved by it as much as I was, so why was I the only one who was so affected by it? I still think that AN was the first place I felt that I could really revel in my nerdiness, geekeiness, otakuness, whatever you want to call it. I felt like it was a place that, even though no one knew anybody else, we were still able to understand that we were all the same, gigantic nerds who payed money to meet other gigantic nerds, and that right there, is the greatest realization of all. It's a little too sentimental of a final message for a blog about an anime con, so I'll leave you with a Caramel Dance chorus line.
Does this happen at every con? It was amazing, but kind of creepy at the same time.