For fans, by fans: Toronto anime event 2017 among continent’s largest

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Anime North is “by the fans, for the fans”, event chair Irwin Tan told Wikinews in an interview at the event, Saturday. Started by a group of university anime clubs in 1997, it has grown to become one of the largest conventions of its kind in North America, spanning three days, five venues, and tens of thousands of fans.

Along with the dealer’s hall, industry tables, and artist booths typical of conventions, Anime North’s convention floor included a formal gallery space, a charity auction in support of Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital, an aerial performer, gaming tables, archery tag, dance events, and outdoor concerts. At one of the hotels surrounding the main venue, an entire 5000 volume manga library was available, for attendees looking to take a quiet pause. Full programming tracks about ball-jointed dolls — Doll North — and homoerotic-themed anime and manga — Yaoi/Yuri North — were also given entire hotels to themselves, allowing them to offer extensive programming.

As with many fan conventions, many fans attended in cosplay of their favourite characters. Some outfits included massive props, like wings, weapons, or even an additional character riding on their back. A variety of anime and manga worlds were represented, as well as video games like Undertale, Western comic books, Disney characters, even “Smug Wendy”, and the Ferocious Beast from Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. The event offered panels to help costume creators and wearers develop in their hobby, such as “Thermoplastics for Cosplay”, looking at the pliable polymers used to create things like character armour, and “Social Media for Cosplayers”.

The cosplay subculture of animegao kigurumi, for which masks of mainly human characters are worn, was well-represented. Ride the Pig Studios, a Nevada-based studio, was set up in the industry section with a photo booth for attendees to get a photo with practitioners of the craft, and two sessions, including one hosted by Kazunori Uhyo Sugiura, a university professor attending from Japan.

Anime North was deemed the fourth largest convention in North American with a primary theme of anime, in 2016, by AnimeCons.com.

Cosplay coverage continues after the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Interview with Irwin Tan
  • 2 Cosplay highlights
  • 3 Conservative convention next door
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources

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