July 18th, 2022
I'm back from Anime North and it was bit of a surreal con. I had hoped to get my badge on Thursday night, but plans for that fell through. Pan and I were going to go on Friday in the evening, assuming the line to pick up badges would have cleared up by dinnertime, and we turned out to be totally wrong on that. Just before we were going to leave, I stumbled across videos of the line, which literally spanned the entire parking lot beside the Congress Centre. I still ended up going with Pan and Stillvisions, but we basically just walked around outside and said hi to friends. Since it was so late, I didn't bother Cosplaying, although Pan was dressed as Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service. Just a few minutes before the dealer's room closed, the lined cleared enough that I was able to get my badge, but I didn't get to actually see the con at all on Friday despite having a weekend badge and getting there before 8PM.
I came back on Sunday with Stillvisions. Given that the con was being crucified for long waits outside, virus cases are on the rise and the temperature for Sunday was really high, I decided not to Cosplay. Felt kind of weird because I've always Cosplayed at least one day of all the AN's that I've gone too and I've been attending the con since 2002. Being casual made it faster to get around (and gave my feet a break with non-costuming footwear). I did a whirlwind tour of the Congress Centre over the course of an hour just before noon. I was able to get some cute Lolita macaron necklaces from BB & B as well as a fall cat themed lanyard, which will be nice for work and a couple of interesting blind box figures from Mr Surprise Toys. I also grabbed an Anime North souvenir mug, although the AN merch table had been totally plundered and I got the second last one. I didn't get to see the Comic Market really, because it was too crowded. I did go to one panel. My friends Stillvisions was running the Caramelldansen panel so I went to support him. I never partook in that dance craze that swept Anime cons over a decade ago, but the panel gave a nice snapshot of con life back then and the craze itself. When the attendees got to dance to the song at the end of the panel, they really got into it and the room was quite packed. I was able to get some food from the Japanese food vendor at the Delta hotel (which is pretty much a con tradition) and delicious lemonade from the lemonade stand. I definitely missed the con vibe and seeing friends so it was nice to be back and to be able to run into a few friendly faces around the con.
I did skip going on Saturday due to the crowding. Apparently the con had the highest reg it's ever had, which is amazing given the con was sidelined for two years. I also skipped the Nominoichi so hopefully next year when the con returns to being in May, I can Cosplay at the convention again and go back to selling at the garage sale event. I definitely am feeling a bit freer with skipping Cosplaying. I may start to slowly back away from Cosplaying over the next few years. I'm not super young anymore and it takes a lot of effort to get into costumes with how demanding Cosplay is regarding perfection. I kind of like being chill and I can see why a lot of my friends have moved away from the hobby in the last few years. I definitely don't see myself quitting completely anytime soon, though!
Next up is maybe Pretty Heroes? Seems like a chill con to go to for a day. I have a ton of magical girl or kick-ass female costumes I can wear. I am also hoping to book a couple of non-con shoots with friends before October. I'll post here if I can make arrangements. I should be able to get some YetiCon photos from Stillvisions soon so I can share a couple of pics of my Sakura costume as well as some new pics of my Inkling Kid costume. I'll update here when I get my hands on them.
July 13th, 2022
I've been totally blindsided by Anime North this year. I know the con moved to July, but in my brain, I always thought it was the end of the month and I had tons of time to relax before it would come around and yet here we are and it's only a couple of days away. I'm feeling kind of meh about it. I'm not staying at a con hotel. I passed on doing the Nomi this year and I haven't made any new costume plans. I kind of wanted to play it by ear, but that was sort of when I thought Covid might be receding a bit and maybe the event would be somewhat safe. I mean, AN is taking tons of precautions, which is nice, but it has a huge number of attendees and we're now supposedly in another wave. Not to mention, it's going to be a pretty hot weekend, so it's not fun Cosplay conditions if you plan to be outside. AN is mostly wide open parking lots, so it's a recipe for boiling.
I have been contemplating my own plans for the con and I think I might go for a few hours on Friday. My badge rolled over from previous years so it’s a bit of a non-choice. I had thought about attending the con for multiple days and settling on various costume plans. Right now, I'm feeling pretty uncertain about Cosplaying at all. I floated the idea of my new Sakura Battle costume that I still haven't posted photos of or re-wearing my Alice costume. I spent a few days over the last week fixing up my Madoka school uniform. I mentioned on Instagram the costume had developed some stains during storage and my attempts to spot clean it didn't clear the staining. I also got some red dye from the bias tape hem on some of the white lace from the hem. I spent a few days taking the red bias tape off the bottom of the blouse. I washed the blouse and also repaired the zipper seams that had come loose and re-sewed the black bias tape at the collar of the beige blouse, which had also come loose. I then sewed back on the red bias tape and cut out a new piece of lace to replace the part of the lace that was damaged by dye. I also opened up the sleeve seams because the sleeves were feeling pretty tight on my arms. My thought was to wear my school uniform again to AN and Cosplay as Homura, but then I realized with it being around the mid to high 20s all weekend, that's a little overkill. It was nice to be able to revitalize the costume. I was pretty sad to see the big age staining on it.
In the end, IDK. Pan suggested we just go to the con for a few hours on Friday. That way we can be outside for most of it and maybe run into Artists/Crafters for a few minutes to actually see part of the con. I'm not super stoked to be inside with thousands of people so trying to make a trip to AN just a short while on Friday doesn't feel too outlandish. She suggested we maybe bring our Wacky Wavy Arm Flailing Tube Man costumes, which could be fun. They require no makeup work and pack easily so I'm warming up to the idea. It feels sort of surreal to be getting ready for con, but not really having much to prepare. Normally I'm scrambling to pack for the hotel and sort out boxes and item lists for the Nomi. I kind of miss the excitement of it, but next AN is only 10 months away and it'll be here before we know it (hopefully under better circumstances). I still hope that whatever my AN plans turn into, it's a fun event and I see a few friends and some nice costumes. I really can't ask for more from an event this year and I look forward to the return to a more normal reality in 2023.
June 30th, 2022
YetiCon is in the rearview now. It took me a while to post here after the con. I jumped back into work the day after getting back and there was so much to catch up on that it was tough to find a minute to gather my thoughts. It was interesting returning to a convention after being out of the scene for over 2 years. Yeti did feel like a good event to make a return with. The con itself was fairly small. I assume it was probably a couple of thousand attendees so definitely not as grand of a con as Anime North or Fan Expo. There was quite a bit to do outdoors and the con centre was rarely super crowded. I didn't actually know beforehand exactly what genre YetiCon was targeting for its convention aim. It was interesting to see a mix of Anime, Cosplay and board game programming. A lot of people call it the summer camp of Anime cons and I could understand that. It definitely had a laidback vibe and lots of fun outdoor offerings to explore.
I did end up wearing the 3 costumes that I brought. I wore Alice on Friday and both Sakura Kinomoto and the Splatoon Inkling Kid costumes on Saturday. I was originally thinking about wearing the Inkling Kid costume on Sunday, but it was super windy all weekend and kind of cool at times so that really messed with my plans. It was a mess wearing Alice as the wind kept whipping around the hoop skirt for my dress and flipping up my apron. It also messed with the rather thin bangs on my wig. The worst part was the dust in and around the village and con centre. The massive parking lot for Blue Mountain was unpaved, so with the super windy weather especially on Friday, it was sending dust all over outdoors. The second I got outside of my hotel on Friday, I got dust in my eyes. It was brutal. It made it hard to stay outside for long.
I did have fun wearing Alice. I didn't pre-plan any photoshoots so I was disappointed that I never got a chance to get really high quality costume photos. My friend Stillvisions brought some video gear and was kind enough to take some video footage of me in Alice and Inkling Kid and also took a few phone camera photos of my costumes so I do have some photo evidence from the weekend. I'm just waiting for him to review the pictures he got on his camera so I can get them and post a few highlight photos here.
I will say the weekend was a nice vacation. I was rooming with Stillvisions and another long-time friend of his (Nicole) and her bf. We shared a large suite and we had plenty of space with our room being just four people, which was nice. We stayed in the Grand Georgian. I wish we had a suite facing the village to be able to experience the hustle and bustle of Cosplayers walking around, but we were facing the parking lot (just one room short of facing the village area). I suppose it wasn't too important with how cool and windy it was all weekend as it wasn't pleasant to sit outside. We stayed for four nights (Thursday until Monday) and it made for an extra relaxing weekend. I got to go swimming in the Grand Georgian pool, which was quite nice. I tried the alpine roller coaster, which was very invigorating and gathered my nerves to try zip lining. I expected it to be scarier, but the worst part was the whiplash when you get to the brake at the end of the line. I didn't end up partaking in the waters of the aquatic centre, although I did explore the space in my Inkling Kid costume and got some photos and video there. The Blue Mountain area was really beautiful. If the weather had been nicer, I might have bought a pass for the gondola and explored the mountain top.
As I stated before, I did debut my new Sakura costume on the Saturday of the con. I used magnets to hold my little hat in place and the wind actually managed to move one of the magnets enough that the hat wouldn't stay on my head. I ripped some of the foam I had under the hat to support the shape as I was fiddling with it. I had to use hot glue from the Cosplay Medic in the con centre to repair my costume. I appreciated the assistance, but with the wind, it was too much of a hassle to wear the costume for long. It was hard enough to keep my skirt down (although I did wear shorts). I ended up only wearing the costume for a couple of hours, but I'm looking forward to wearing it again down the line. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I also enjoyed re-wearing my Splatoon costume. I quickly changed into it when I got frustrated with wearing Sakura since the Splatoon costume is much simpler. Kevin filmed me walking around the village area and by the pool. I was even asked by Ackson if he could shoot a couple of seconds of footage of me to use in his con video
, which was neat.
I ran into a number of friends while in my Inkling Kid costume too including my friend Dan who also took some footage of me and included it in his con video
. That was fun. I'm so glad that this con gave me a chance to reconnect with some friends that I haven't seen in over 2 years. I really did miss seeing people and being able to go somewhere fun and unique as a trip.
Since I was able to squeeze in wearing my Inkling Kid costume on the Saturday, I decided to be casual on Sunday and not Cosplay. I went to the tea party event and helped Stillvisions terrorize the con and village area in an inflatable Hello Kitty costume he brought. I turned into a handler for that and it was interesting helping guide him around and direct him for taking photos with tourists. On Sunday evening I got to try Rusty's for the first time, which was pretty good BBQ restaurant. Most of my meals were stuff we got from the grocery store and prepared in the hotel since we had a kitchen, but I did enjoy the BBQ restaurant as well as some Swiss Chalet that I got on the way into the con on Thursday afternoon. After grabbing a nice breakfast at the Sunset Grill on the Monday morning and stopping for some Starbucks, it was time to return to reality. It was a really fun convention and a neat experience. I'm glad that I was finally able to experience the con and check out Blue Mountain. I can see why everyone speaks so highly about this con.
No con photos to post here yet, but I should have some photos to share of Alice, Inkling Kid and Sakura down the line. I'll update here when I get them! I would definitely consider returning next year if the con makes a comeback!