The improv performance by the 404s group was extended during the delay before the closing ceremonies officially got started. It seems fairly common to me that closing ceremonies at conventions don’t always start on time (for various reasons). However, instead of the audience sitting impatiently waiting for things to get started, at Anime North we had entertainment to pass the time. More conventions should do this too!
The last skit by the 404s had the theme of awkward anime love confessions. This included one of the improv actors pretending to be Tuxedo Mask saying “your friends are hotter,” presumably to Sailor Moon.
At the end of the performance by the 404s, the audience enthusiastically applauded and cheered.
The closing ceremonies officially began with a professional taiko drum performance by Nagata Shachu. For the first song, three of the performers played drums and one performer played the flute. During the second song, all four performers played the taiko drums. Their third and final song was called “Five Senses” and used some different drums as well as one performer playing cymbals. The group said that they loved performing at Anime North and that the audience was one of the most enthusiastic they’ve ever had.
Next up we heard from featured guest Julie Czerneda, who called the attendees of Anime North “extraordinary” for taking what we love and “making more of it.”
And with that, our M.C. Irwin Tan continued the show, introducing various guests of the weekend, starting with the Japanese guests of honour.
Akira Sasanuma, with the aid of a translator, said that he had been worried about going to a convention overseas but everyone at Anime North was really nice and he was able to relax and enjoy it.
Yuu Asakawa also said she was nervous about coming to the convention. Although she had a translator to assist her, she also spoke partly in English (which is always nice for English speaking fans, and I’m sure everyone appreciated it!). She was happy to do her part to help raise money for SickKids Hospital (the beneficiary of the charity auction). She also said that was sad that this year’s Anime North was ending and that she hopes to come back in the future!
Carli Mosier said she had a great experience (note: this was her first time in Canada!). She also enthusiastically encouraged attendees to volunteer and help the convention run smoothly. As a side note, many conventions need lots of volunteers. Don’t be afraid to offer to help! Just check out the information on the convention’s website, or sign up in person at the show.
Chris Ayres was next, saying he loves this con and that conventions are like a brigadoon. He called the attendees of Anime North amazing and said they are the reason this convention is “magical.” Unfortunately, by this time in the weekend Chris had pretty much lost his voice and was speaking rather hoarsely. We hope he recovered quickly!
J. Michael Tatum was next, another actor at his first convention in Canada. He said he arrived on his birthday and had lots of people sing happy birthday to him over the weekend. (which prompted another singing of “Happy Birthday!”) He also said that he had heard great things about Anime North before — and all the stories were true!
Lee Tockar thanked everyone, including the guest liaisons.
Mac Christian Heywood and Ben Isreal were new to the experience of being actor guests, but both appeared to have enjoyed the convention.
Helen McCarthy said that she felt she learned a lot from the people who were at Anime North, and called the audience a mighty army of love! (sounds like a line form Sailor Moon) She ended her remarks with a shout of “Occupy Anime North!” Another side note: panelists this year had a ribbon attached to their badge that said “occupy panel rooms.”
Jim Felker had to unexpectedly go to the hospital on Friday, and some guests had to leave early or were stuck in the Dealers’ Room, but Irwin thanked them all for coming to this year’s Anime North.
Next up was a surprise announcement from YTV’s Martin Hsu, filming the audience’s reaction to the announcement that The Legend of Korra would soon start airing on YTV. The crowd was VERY happy about this news! Fans in Canada can catch the series on YTV on Saturday mornings. It was airing at 11am, but recently moved to 10:30am ET. Check your local listings to confirm times in your area.
And just before the closing video, Irwin thanked everyone who makes the convention possible as well as attendees.
The closing video featured the song “I’m Glad You Came” by the Wanted, and included clips from: Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Fight! Iczer-1, Ponyo, The Secret World of Arietty, Pokemon, Vision of Escaflowne, Trigun, and various other anime series. You could tell how popular a seres was by how many people cheered for specific clips! (this was kind of funny, but one of the fastest ways to tell what’s popular!)
All in all, Anime North was a great convention this year, and I’m glad I was able to attend. However, the demand for Anime North has clearly gone up, so I hope that there will be consideration for a larger venue as soon as possible. Next year will be in the same location, again with an attendance cap. While I appreciate the attendance cap to help alleviate crowding issues, I think the convention has outgrown the area and needs to move to a bigger location so it can keep growing. I remember thinking when I first went to Sakura Con in 2010, that it reminded me very much of Anime North – only bigger. Here’s to seeing Anime Northbecome bigger and better in the years to come!
We hope you all enjoyed Anime North if you were able to attend, and encourage fans to purchase a ticket in advance for next year once they go on sale if interested in attending in 2013. This fan-run event has a wonderful friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and it is great to see an event that is so full of fun, laughter, and fans openly expressing their love of anime. I don’t know about you guys, but I want to see more!
We hope you enjoyed this convention coverage, and I apologize for the delays in posting about this convention. Unfortunately I was unusually busy after Anime North with quite a few things. Sorry that posting the convention coverage was delayed because of that. Hopefully next year won’t be quite so busy for me and I will be able to finish my report faster.
See you next year if you’re going!