Last weekend, Anime North celebrated its 20th convention at the Toronto Congress Centre followed by venues located at the International Plaza Hotel, the Sheraton Airport Hotel, and Crown Airport Hotel. This event has grown so much in popularity throughout the years that it has become the second largest anime convention in North America, next to Anime Expo.
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A place where fans around the world who love anime could come together and have something to look forward to, Anime North 2016 featured special guests voice actors, cosplayers, artists, musicians, writers, performers, gaming, fashion & makeup, Doll North, DJs and wrestlers. The convention also had some pretty cool activities that fans can interact with including archery matches, escape rooms, card games, concerts, shows & events, game shows, Yaoi/Yuri North, tabletop gaming, and video gaming.
There were a lot of amazing cosplays at Anime North. Attendees expressed their fandom by dressing up as their favorite characters. Besides anime, video games, comic books, cartoons, and movies are also such a huge part of the cosplay culture. Even though the theme of the event is anime, there were still some cool costumes that had to be mentioned from other genres, whether they be storm troopers from Star Wars to Disney princesses. Some of the guests of honor in the cosplay community who attended were REIKA, Yaya Han, Miss Messy Mia, Detailed-Illusion, and Andy Rae. The convention even had professional photo booths for those who wanted to showcase their costumes.
Presented by Great Canadian Wrestling, one highlight of the weekend was watching the Super Extreme Anime Wrestling. From what we saw, it was a very entertaining match between Pokémon characters vs. Wrestlers. What seemed like an uphill battle to overcome, after being down for a majority of the fight, Pokémon characters, Ash, Misty, and Pikachu dug deep to defeat the bigger and tougher opponent in dramatic fashion with Pikachu using its signature move, thunderbolt, to stun and pin their opponent for the final countdown. It was epic! That was just one of many matches.
Other featured wrestlers included Aiden Rayne, BEARicade, David “Darkstone” Ross, Dr. Stevil, David Wyldstar, Grimbo, Kid Canuck, Mike “Maxy” Maxwell, Mr. Saki, OldSchool Eddington James, PD Flex, Pepper Jack, Prince Akkanatan, Ray Olubowale, Sabrina Kyle, Skullion, and Sonny Kiss.
Anime North would not be complete without seeing the exhibitors. The Dealers and Pro Plaza were where independent artists and guests commission and sell their artworks of various medias ranging from prints to crafts of all sorts. There was this booth that featured superheroes from every country, called Heroes of the World. It was so awesome that my friend and I had to each purchase a print, mine representing the Philippines (which seemed like popular choice) and hers, Taiwan. Also, for those who like decorating their walls were not disappointed when they checked out the Comic Market, where over 200 amateur artists displayed their merchandise and portfolios, and offered their skills for commission requests. Lastly, the Crafters Corner was a place where artists sold their hand made crafts, and where guests could surely find something one of a kind.
Did this pique your interest? If you love Anime, like going to conventions, interacting with artists, and showcasing your fandom, this is the place for you.
(photos by Paul)
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