written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Back again for another year of Anime Revolution in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. This is LG’s second year covering the convention, AniRevo’s third year, and the first thing I’ve gotta say is “holy sh*t did this con get big!” What a difference a year makes indeed! For those that haven’t gotten a chance to check it out yet, you guys really missed out. Spanning three Anime filled days at the beautiful Vancouver Convention Center, this little con ain’t so little anymore. On the first day the line was out the door all the way down the marina just to get into some of the more high profile panels. This is a far cry from last year where the con, while busy, never really got to the “waiting in long lines” level.
We got in late that day, blame sleeping in and the fact that we didn’t wanna pay for an extra night by driving in Thursday, but both myself and Andre (LG photographer and head of Rockbomber Studio) made it down to the con at around 2PM that Friday. With half the day gone we wanted to get that coverage going.
Most of our time was spent taking hall shots and just hanging out, it felt refreshing that I didn’t schedule out interviews before the con. I remember much of my Sakura Con was spent attending press events while simultaneously trying to make time to hang out with my friends. To me, conventions are my party, I get to see the friends I adore while geeking out over the media I choose to consume. The exhibitor hall was greatly improved from last year, held in the same room but the space was much better utilized. Last year there was this wide open space in the middle that felt out of place, this year was packed and vendors lined the halls from edge to edge.
The maid cafe came back, and much like last year the lines to get in were jam packed with folk looking to get their “omelet-rice-with-their-name-in-ketchup” on. I saw many of the same faces from last year, still didn’t have the time to sit down and try it out, maybe next year.
Most of the vendors I saw in the exhibitor halls were artists, it was more or less like a huge artists alley. Most cons I go to tend to have general vendors outnumber the artists selling prints and fan art, but AniRevo felt more 1:1 (or more) in the general vendor to artist ratio. Not a bad thing, but did give me (as a con goer) a bit of an overload on fan art.
I never really ventured to the other floors of the convention, but as this con grows I hope they will consider using more of the convention center to address the growing number of attendees. Badge pickup/registration was in the same place as last year, right in the foyer of the convention center. While this isn’t a bad place to have it, I can see the area being moved if attendance balloons again come next year. Perhaps moving it to one of the conference rooms with a queue wrapping around another conference room.
The cosplay was on point once again, keep it locked as we count in our favorites from the con. I noticed two very distinct fandoms being represented. No Game No Life was heavily cosplayed from as well as anything League of Legends related. The cosplay contest had some serious talent represented. Make sure to check out our full gallery here.
We attended a few other panels and events, but notably I have two I’ll touch on. Friday night was the swimsuit contest. Expecting something cheesy and slightly raunchy (a similar panel at Sakura Con is pure cheesy material) this was surprisingly entertaining. The ladies looked great, the guys flexed and came to win as much as the ladies did… but Wario stole the show. A Wario cosplayer captured the hearts of everyone in the audience, especially when he started strutting his stuff to “Hey Goldmember” from the Austin Powers: Goldmember soundtrack. Hilarity ensued and though he didn’t win it (why the hell not right?) the Wario chant echoed the halls at least for one night. See out full gallery here...
Saturday saw the 70’s Anime Dating Game panel run by LG’s Savi and featuring Peter Cho as co-host. A little background on it, the game plays out like an old 70’s dating game. One bachelor or bachelorette has to pick from four contestants based solely on their answers to questions. Raunchy and full of NSFW goodness, I was one of the bachelors this year and if it wasn’t for the fact I was playing up to the character of an evil baddie, I’d probably be too embarrassed to say some of the things I ended up saying.
It was a successful third year, I love it when a convention succeeds, especially when it’s a con I started getting involved with from their early days. Make sure to check out AniRevo's main website for details on next year and like them on Facebook, I see big things for this convention and can’t wait til I can go back again! I swear it isn't just because of the Tim Horton’s… okay, maybe Tim Horton’s is a little bit part of the equation, only a little bit.