Anime North attendees celebrate another fantastic year

May 29, 2018 | Arts, Life

A group of cosplayers dressed as characters from the Fire Emblem video game series pose during a group photoshoot at Anime North on Sunday. (Bobby Mihalik)

Bobby Mihalik

After another successful year, the Anime North convention in Toronto ended on Sunday, providing attendees with another unique and memorable experience.

The convention, which has run yearly since 1997, was held at the Toronto Congress Centre and the Delta Hotel Airport from May 25 to 27. The Anime North website states the convention is “Canada’s premier fan run anime convention” and that it “celebrates anime, manga, music, games and all other forms of Japanese culture.”

Every year, Anime North plays host to tens of thousands of fans, artists, vendors, and more. The convention provides a place for fans to embrace and celebrate their hobbies in an environment filled with people who share similar interests.

A wide arrange of festivities, from panels featuring celebrity guests to group photoshoot sessions, to dances and galas, provide attendees with a wealth of opportunities to enjoy themselves over the weekend.

For many guests, much of the fun comes from the act of cosplaying, dressing up as their favourite characters from anime, manga, video games, and more. Thousands of Anime North attendees choose to wear cosplay throughout the weekend, with many photoshoots organized for groups of fans cosplaying characters from the same series or game.

Anime North attendee Bridgette is one of these many cosplayers, who dressed up in cosplay all three days of the convention.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I really love being creative, and showing off my nerdiness.”

“That’s why I love going to these conventions. Just seeing everyone in their different costumes, and recognizing characters from shows and games that I love, its just a lot of fun,” she said.

Cosplaying for her second year, Bridgette appreciates Anime North and conventions like it provide her with a place to embrace her interests.

“I love the level of acceptance, and how you can just completely be yourself,” she said.

Anime North plays host to more than just its attendees, however. Each year, vendors and artists of all kinds set up inside the convention to sell their wares.

Sarah Kalaitzidis, working at the Emerald Comics table in the Dealers Room, says she has been attending Anime North as a vendor since 2004.

“The crowds keep getting bigger and bigger every year,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”

Kalaitzidis responded emphatically when she was asked if she enjoys the atmosphere of Anime North.

“Oh yes, yes I do,” she said. “I may not go around much, but its really nice.”

Joshua Tomkins, also with the Emerald Comics booth, is in his second year vending at the convention.

“This year its been a lot of fun,” he said of his Anime North experience. “I’m getting to see all the cosplays, seeing the people here, seeing what’s going on. It’s been a lot of fun for me.”

“I love the atmosphere, the environment, the people, everything about it,” he said.

Below are pictures of cosplayers and attendees at this year’s Anime North.

Two cosplayers dressed as characters from the TV series Totally Spies! at Anime North on Sunday. (Bobby Mihalik)

Two cosplayers posing for pictures at Anime North on Sunday. (Bobby Mihalik)

Anime North attendees Rose Taylor (left) and Tasha Taylor (right) cosplaying as characters from the anime Darling in the FranXX on Sunday (Instagram @xxthatcanadiangirlxx). (Bobby Mihalik)