Dreaming out loud with exotic fashions, films, performances, creators and so much more!
I was someone else for the weekend at the Anime North Japanese Animation Convention, more commonly referred to as Anime North 2019. I was gleefully busy from the start on Friday, May 24, right through to the end on Sunday, May 26. It was a great opportunity for me to cosplay, and I made a lot of friends as we discussed our favourite anime.
Since there is so much to do at the convention, it helps to have a plan for the weekend before you even arrive. I wanted to shop, watch some shows, play some games, cosplay and dance. Shopping came first so that I could cherry-pick the best stuff from the vendors before the other collectors went through it all. Of course, it’s important to plan your outfits, too—for the first day, I decided on a simple zombie movie medic costume because it was low-maintenance, I already had an Umbrella Corporation set of scrubs, and I could skip dealing with the weapons master (who controls and inspects all weapons brought into Anime North) by just leaving my pouches empty, and not bringing along the holster and water pistol I sometimes use with it. With this strategy getting me quickly through the line, I spent the first couple of hours shopping. After that was a quick look at the gaming area, before more shopping at the Nominoichi (or fan-run marketplace) where it was time to see what the other collectors were selling. This cut into my time at the Masquerade Skit Contest, but I had a great time there, and at the evening’s Moonlight Ball, where there was dancing, workshops and appetizers to enjoy.
Saturday is about the costumes for me. First, I attended the Kimono Fashion Show masterminded by Mamechiyo and Mieko Ueda for the rare opportunity to see authentic modern styling from overseas. Then after indulging in some gaming I watched the masquerade and, as usual, was blown away by the elaborate costumes on display. Eventually, I ducked away from the masquerade for a panel—I just couldn’t resist the Japanese Horror and Ghost Stories panel with Hirokatsu Kihara.
Sunday was a mad attempt to get in everything else I wanted to do before it was all over. There was so much great stuff, but the highlight for me was the Nagata Shachu drumming performance during the closing ceremonies. After all that, the event was over, and it was time to go back to normal—although I confess: scrubs have become a regular part of my wardrobe.
Anime North may be over for now, but it will be back next year! Keep your eye out for details of next year’s event at www.animenorth.com