Anime North 2010 – Convention Overview

Hello readers! We have a lot to share with you about Anime North 2010. This post is going to contain an overview of events, but there were be additional posts about the opening ceremonies, the Funimation industry panel, the Nobuyuki Hiyama press conference, the Yaya Han FAQ session, the Greg Ayres press conference, the Chris Ayres press conference, and the closing ceremonies.

The venues for Anime North this year were primarily the Toronto Congress Centre and the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel across the street. Additional events were held at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel, which was about a ten minute walk away. Shuttle buses were available during peak times, but I never seemed to see them. The weather was beautiful, but unseasonably hot, so the Sheraton generally wasn’t as busy as the other venues. Public transit in the area improved frequency this year, which really helped for any congoers travelling between the convention and the subway system. This helped to give me more time to cover events, since I had less time to spend travelling.

Friday Events
After the Opening Ceremonies, I went to the Webcomics Panel, which ran for one hour. The three panellists primarily discussed popular webcomics that they enjoy reading, but also talked about what they like to see in comics in terms of art and storytelling. There was also some advice given for aspiring webcomic artists, including the recommendation to start with a buffer of pages and some suggestions for marketing a webcomic.

Following the panel, I made my way over to the Congress Centre to check out the Gallery Momiji Art Show. Press was allowed to take pictures, so I have quite a few to share with Moon Chase readers! I also walked around to check out the Comic Market (formerly Artists Alley), Crafters Corner, and the Dealers Room. There was a range of artistic styles in the Comic Market, and a plethora of fan art to attract fans. Crafters Corner was mostly original pieces, including fantasy creatures (mostly dragons) made of clay and various creations made with yarn. In the Dealers Room, there was a variety of vendors selling T-shirts, posters, plushies, buttons, costumes, accessories, and – of course – lots and lots of manga at discounted pricing. There was definitely something for everyone! Near the Comic Market, there was also live wrestling in a ring. Having an announcer use a microphone along with the general buzz from the comic market made it quite loud near the exhibitors close to the wrestling, but those who had display space in that area didn’t seem to mind having the extra entertainment.

Another Friday event, which I’m sure our readers are interested in hearing about was the Sailor Moon Panel in the evening where I was a panellist.

Some of the topics we discussed in the panel were:

  • What causes Crystal Tokyo? Does anyone have any theories about the end of the world? Is the rest of the world still there, or is just Crystal Tokyo left? And where are the Outer Senshi?
  • What happened to trigger the end of the Silver Millennium? It is stated in the manga that the Generals were Endmyion’s guards, what caused them to turn against him and side with Beryl?
  • Is there a character who tends to be more maligned than others, and why is that?
  • What clichés or over-used plot points have you noticed in the series, for better or for worse?
  • Time Paradox: can the future (Crystal Tokyo & the Black Moon’s rebellion) be changed if the Senshi know how it’s all going to turn out? Or will we instead see an alternate timeline of events now that the past has been changed; something similarly found in the most recent Star Trek movie.
  • Sailor Moon has come back to Japan, but it is also now airing in Italy (with cut footage restored) and Albania. Does this mean it will come back to other countries, including Canada? Does the Stars season pose a problem for the series returning to Canada and the US?

The character I mentioned as most maligned, or having a tendency to go to the dark side, was Mamoru. I think ChibiUsa is an obvious answer, but for a long time Mamoru is a jerk to Usagi and keeps breaking up with her without telling her why. Plus there’s the brainwashing…

One of the clichés I’ve always noticed is how the girls generally give Usagi a hard time when she wants them to all take a little time to relax and have fun together. Then, when they do go out to have fun, they end up going to the same place as the enemy! You’d think the other girls would start to wonder if she has a sense for where the enemy might strike next.

As for the time paradox, I think it could lead to an alternate, parallel future. Something like in Star Trek (but I’m mostly thinking something like the end of Star Trek: Voyager, the recent movie was a little different for time paradoxes). I think knowing a possible future changes things.

At the end of the panel, I shared the results of one of our questions from our latest survey. The question was: “In your opinion, do you think that it is too late for a release of Sailor Stars in the English-language market and that your level of interest has gone down since it was pulled away in 2004?” We received an overwhelming “no” as the answer to this question, almost 96% of fans said that it is not too late for Stars to be released here and that their interest in the series has not gone down.

We hope that any of our readers who went to the panel (and I met at least one of you!) enjoyed it. It was a lively discussion and I hope to participate in more Sailor Moon panels in the future!

Saturday Events
The first thing I did when I arrived in the early afternoon on Saturday was take some photos and chat with some cosplayers. following that, I went to check out Anime Jeopardy, which ended up being the only event at the Sheraton that I caught. Just as you’d expect, it was Jeopardy with anime-themed questions. Some of the questions were even related to Sailor Moon, including: “The secondary power of Sailor Mars is ‘celestial fire’ which is known as this in Japan” and two questions about Sailor Scouts most compatible with particular categories (two for water, one for earth). We’re sure our readers all know the answers to these questions!

After Anime Jeopardy and grabbing a milkshake from one of the many ice cream trucks outside the Congress Centre (it was unusually hot for late May in Toronto, so it was a great way for congoers to stay cool), I made my way back to the Doubletree for the Funimation industry panel.

Later, I attended the press conference for Nobuyuki Hiyama. And, in the evening, I went to Totally Lame Anime After Dark. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch a part of this panel, but it was a hilarious look at anime with crazy stories or scenes that could easily be misinterpreted. The panellist seemed to especially enjoy sharing clips that mocked a character that he called the “worst archaeologist ever.” This event ran opposite the masquerade, which was full and had been described as “impossible to get into” by an acquaintance I saw earlier at the convention.

Sunday Events
Although this was a short day, I think this turned out to be my busiest for checking out events! I started the day by attending the Yaya Han FAQ. Next, I briefly checked out a panel discussing real host clubs in Japan, then I caught an episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Fans of Fullmetal Alchemist will likely enjoy this exciting series. I can’t wait to see more myself!

Following the screening, I went to check out the Fashion Show. Many of the models seemed to walk too fast to take good pictures. This was kind of unfortunate, especially since there was a 15 minute delay after the first show. The clothing displayed included some kimonos, J-rock fashions, and Steampunk fashions.

I left part way through the first Steampunk fashion show to attend press conferences for Greg and Chris Ayres. Following those, I went to the closing ceremonies. It was definitely a busy weekend, and there was so much more to see and do than I could possibly run around and cover on my own. We hope that all the fans who attended Anime North this year had a great time!

Stay tuned for more Anime North convention coverage! There’s lots more to come!

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