Weather: 17′ C, Partially Cloudy, Windy (only bad when you’re stuck in line for three hours. Ironically the sun only came out when the dealer-room opened)
This year I have returned to Anime North for the 4th time, and man- have a lot of things changed in the one year I skipped it, and for the better!!! This year I cosplayed as Iki Hiyori from Noragami. Admittedly it was a bit disappointing to see that almost nobody recognized her character except for the three Yatos and the one Yukine I had encountered and taken pictures of, ahahaha but whatever, I know I am not the only one who have had that problem! I felt really cute and comfortable in it, and I love Hiyori’s character so it was so much fun for me to pose even a little bit when I and the chance to. The best part about it was I have Hiyori’s coat (something which I can wear anywhere and nobody would realize it’s part of a cosplay, it’s that cute!), so I was actually able to wear the entire set I had got because it was so cold out while standing in the line for the dealer’s room for three hours. When it then got too hot, I’d take off the scarf and coat and stuff them into my bag.
The first thing that struck me was how Doubletree Hotel was no more. Now, it is the International Plaza Hotel and the inside of the building is pretty much the same of how we all remember it (maybe with the exception of the hotel rooms, but I’ve never been in Doubletree’s so I wouldn’t know) but the exterior of the building is entirely different. The next surprise was to see how quickly (maybe because it was I only arrived at 2pm) how fast the Pre-Registeration line was, despite the fact the weekend/friday/sunday passes are sold out. Once I was inside I was shocked to see that Anime North has gotten bigger, for the better. Their dealer room is now twice, maybe four time the size it used to be to the extent I have a really hard time navigating the place and then the minute I thought I had successfully surveyed the entire dealer room and buy my mangas thinking I got the best price (not really though given to how I don’t feel like I saved any money which I will address in a moment) only to find ANOTHER manga dealer doing the buy five get 10% off or buy 10 get 15% off.
DSC_0089The artist alley had also grown twice the size. It is no longer that cozy little artist village that we all loved, but is now a market place for fabulous art. Mind you I am not complaining, it is fantastic to have even more artists (or so it appears) than before. But it is certainly not as vast as Anime Boston’s… or actually, maybe it was, it was just so packed!!! SO MUCH ART! SO MUCH CRAFTS! SO MUCH SELECTION!
But my favourite new addition to the convention is hands down the Crunchyroll live feed. I have been told it debuted in Anime North last year, and up till now I have always been on the viewer end of the lifestream and today I  found myself standing in front of it- and my god- that made my day. It was so much fun to interact with the commenters, or maybe we were just fortunate that we had a great audience. It is a great way to kill time when you are waiting for a panel, or a photoshoot or just taking a break and/or trying to avoid the Dealer Room so that you wouldn’t spend anymore money. Crunchyroll’s booth also were giving away free bracelets (yeahhhh, I got one) and were giving out free t-shirts for those who have or decided to get a Premium account (nice promotion ;D).DSC_0095
I had a rough start for the day, the first getting stuck in traffic for an hour (I know I shouldn’t be complaining, it could have very well been worse- THIS IS TORONTO AFTER-ALL, WITH CONSTRUCTION GOING ON EVERYWHERE), the second was when my stupid wig that I spent an whole hour trying to get on falling off my head in the Pre-Reg. line because my hairnet had slipped, so I had to get my pass and then go to the hotel and fix the god damn wig- luckily I managed. WHEW. As pretty as my wig may be, it is SUCH A PAIN to put on. Once I solved that I went around to do my photography of the cosplayers and the bits of changes to the convention. I must say, the outside of the convention in the parking lot would make someone think that there is a festival or something going on because there are so many trucks with food and ice-cream and you actually had a selection (not that they were cheap- I didn’t go to any because BUDGET, I had a 6$ 12” subway for lunch LOL). And once it gets dark, it makes it even more festive because that’s when you see the costumes that have lights and glow in the dark come out and they are AWESOME. I didn’t get any pictures of those though because I was so tired and just wanted to go home, my feet and back still hurt like a bitch from standing all day (I didn’t sit down at all for 8 hours (except for ten minutes at subway because I was able to snag a seat) because I  didn’t want to get my cosplay dirty).
DSC_0094While the Dealer-room has gotten bigger, I can’t exactly say it’s for the better. While yes, there are more selection- that doesn’t mean it’s cheap or within one’s budget. Everytime I see someone walking around five three scale figures or a nendoroid I internally cringe and want to rip my hair out because all I can think of when I see their prices, “WHAT A RIPOFF!”. As some already know, I import my figures from Japan, and on some rare occasions, I buy them from Navito World (Goodsmile’s and MAX Factory’s official Canadian distributor) if I had missed my chance to buy them in my usual shops. The Nendoroids, good gracious, I SAW ONE TAGGED 69.99$. ARE YOU SHITTING ME? The most I’d pay for a Nendoroid importing from Japan is probably 35- 45$ (depends on whether it’s exclusive editions) with the shipping usually only 5$. The prices are nuts. The only time I can go, “Okay, I guess it’s okay” is when maybe they aren’t being printed/sold anymore, and admittedly- there were a few I saw that had been a long while since they’ve last been printed.
And don’t get me started on the Animes. JFC, I… I can’t. They are so pricey, that I want to cry. 69.99$ because I can’t afford that. At times like this I always have to remind myself that folks in Japan pay twice or four times the price of this for even less episodes- but still, it makes me cringe, especially when I had been able to find some nice deals from Sentai-Filmswork’s official distributing booth at Anime Boston (who was CHEAPER than the other retail dealers). For now I will cross my fingers that a deal will happen on Sunday, since that’s when they usually do pop up.
Today I bought ten mangas and got the 11th one free (usually I wait till Sunday, but the ones I wanted were going out fast (e.g.: Fairy Tail and Pandora Hearts). I paid 110$ there (but I paid debit so I had to pay 5$ tax by default- had I paid with cash I wouldn’t had been charged, but I didn’t have that much on me). In the end, I did end up saving 10$ by buying my mangas there instead from the usual store I would buy them from. So I am glad that paid off. The only shame is that they didn’t have any light novels on them on stock, so I couldn’t get Spice & Wolf Vol 10 & 11 along with Book Girl’s final volume. They did however- ironically have the The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya light novel which I pointed out to them when I flipped through it. I am iffy about picking up the series because of how LONG it is, but I read the first few pages and I liked it a lot, so I will probably ending up buying it at the end of the convention. I think they only have the first volume but it will do. I particularly like that it’s twice as thick as the Spice & Wolf and Book Girl.

FUN FACT: Yenpress has raised their manga prices from 11.99$ USD/ 12.99$ CAD to 13.00$ USD/14$ CAD (at least for Pandora Hearts).

In the end, I really didn’t do that much today. There weren’t any panels that appealed to me so I was really left with limited to do other than hunting down photoshoots (WHICH BY THE WAY: ARE SCHEDULE AND ARE EASY TO FIND, BLESS THE PHOTOSHOOT SCHEDULE, GOD I MISSED IT AFTER GOING ANIME BOSTON LAST YEAR) and wandering around the artist alley, the dealer’s room and hanging around CR’s livestream. Tomorrow, I am not sure whether I will cosplay or not- it depends on the weather and my schedule.
Oh and before I forget, I really loved the fact they added the schedule to the Guidebook app, which I prefer way more than the god damn booklet because it can schedule everything and add alerts and reminders to events you want to attend.
Below you can find and enjoy the pictures I have taken! If you plan to repost anywhere,  Please credit by linking back to the entry/this blog. NO HOTLINKING!


Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing