Print Edition: September 3, 2014
Anime Revolution — the ultimate geek fest held in Vancouver — is a place where fans of any animation unite and bond over their obsessions, sell related merchandise, and take part in cosplay.
The convention is more than cosplaying and vendors; it hosts a whole slough of events in addition to Q&A sessions and meet-and-greets with animation and cosplay celebrities. This year the special guests included cosplay model Jessica Nigri, model and costume designer Yaya Han, and voice actor Vic Mignogna, all of whom came out to Vancouver to talk with their fans during panels and autograph sessions.
I fangirl over Mignogna the most as he stars in some of my favourite animes including Fullmetal Alchemist and Ouran High School Host Club. He was available for autographs, a photo session, and a Q&A — a dream for any fan. His humility, humour, and graciousness to his fans make him an absolute pleasure to listen to; plus, he gives excellent hugs — that’s right, I got to hug him.
As a first-time attendee of this famous anime fair, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, other than knowing that I would be spending a lot of money on various activities and merchandise. Surprisingly, most of the merchandise was priced fairly — like the Fullmetal Alchemist replica pocket watches for $25, complete with feels-charged engraving on the inside, true to the anime — but the price for celebrity photos was a bit alarming. They charged $30 to take one picture with any celebrity. I’m pretty sure I choked on some air when I first heard the number. Some other fans dejectedly walked away, but we suffered through and paid up to meet our heroes.
One thing I learned from this experience: hardcore fans will go to any measure to get close to the objects of their affection. Some people waited hours in line just to get into a panel, which varied from celebrities answering fan questions to anime-themed game show entertainment. For nearly every panel that was put on (and there were at least 20), there was a line-up.
Not only do fans go to great lengths to see their idols, but the cosplays some people come up with are astounding. For the less geek-enlightened, a cosplay — short for “costume playing” — is a mix between an elaborate costume and role playing. I saw an extremely accurate cosplay of Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon as well as several cosplays decorated with elaborate armour, such as warrior Zelda.
I would advise future Anime Revolution attendees to be prepared for alarmed tourists that will bombard you with several hilarious questions about Canadian culture. There was a group from the United States that asked us if Canadians dress in full cosplay every day. Considering that they were talking to Velma and Shaggy from Scooby Doo and Tinkerbell, I was very tempted to answer in the affirmative.
Whether you enjoy cosplay, celebrities, anime, cartoons, or fun and unique shopping, Anime Revolution is your one-stop extravaganza!