Written by Riri (@lillyums)
I had wanted to attend Anime Revolution for 2 years because of all the great things I've heard about it from my friends. Finally, this year, I made it to Vancouver, B.C. to attend my first AniRevo. AniRevo is a 3 day convention with an attendance of an estimated 20,000 attendees; it’s a small convention compared to Sakura Con, even though Sakura Con’s attendance is slightly higher. I was only able to attend Day 2 and Day 3, bringing in my Princess Chibi-Usa cosplay for Saturday and debuting my panda themed Tekken’s Ling Xiaoyu cosplay.
Inside the Vancouver Convention Center, there wasn’t a lot to do in my opinion – the Exhibitor’s Hall itself was quite small (compared to Sakura Con), and I was able to see everything in one walkthrough. However, outside the convention center was where the party was at. Everyone was outside, socializing and meeting for cosplay gatherings. What I thought made this convention also unique were the amount of tourists (or non-attendee locals) that were around taking photos of all of us. They really loved all of our cosplays. It’s a different atmosphere in Seattle, where most of the locals around us seem to find the whole cosplay thing entertaining to watch from their dining table, or they would find it incredibly weird, and rarely would we get photos with locals or tourists. The convention center is also right next to the Vancouver Cruise Port, which definitely gave the tourists from the cruise a sight to see of the anime convention as they exited their ship for the day.
I didn’t go to any panels, but I did go to my first Anime Swimsuit Contest ever! This was the most entertaining event I’ve ever been to at an anime convention. I had heard nothing but great reviews of AniRevo’s Swimsuit Contest show, so I knew I had to check it out. As it turned out, it was amazing and hilarious. I didn’t realize either that the host of the contest, Hentai Cupcake, is a cosplayer we have seen often up at Sakura Con in past years as Hard Gay and Rock Lee (Naruto). The winner of the swimsuit contest beat the winner of the last 2 consecutive years and I thoroughly enjoyed her performances. Judge's Choice was also incredibly hilarious, character and act was right on the spot.
Just like any anime convention, the majority of attendees were in cosplay. Cosplays not only from across all genres of anime, but also from games, TV shows, etc. What I did notice a lot of at this convention were more cosplays from the Sailor Moon series, followed by League of Legends. I imagine it must have been due to International Sailor Moon day falling on that Saturday; so many others including myself came in cosplay from the series to celebrate that day. I even attended the Sailor Moon gathering – which was smaller than I had expected, but the turnout was still really great. Here's a few of my favorite cosplays from Anime Revolution.
One of my highlights of this convention was being able to meet Vivid Vision and Gladzy Kei Art & Cosplay. I am a huge fan of their work; I love that Vicky is great at photography AND cosplay, and Gladzy is great at art AND cosplay. I admire when people are able to make time to do something for themselves and at the same time still have time to do something for others.
While in size this was small, AniRevo’s community is large. It felt much larger than Sakura Con in the sense that it was such a tight knit community. I loved how everyone gathered outside to hang out on such a beautiful weekend. It was the easiest way to locate someone if you couldn’t find them inside. Even though there wasn’t much to do for me inside the convention center, nor do I attend many panels in general, I would love to attend this convention again next year. I had thoroughly enjoyed my first time experience at Anime Revolution 2015!