Conventions

Fans of Japanese anime, manga and culture gather for a three-day weekend to share their passion with others. There are panels, costumes, interactive demonstrations, videos and much more. A few of the larger ones are reviewed occasionally with photographs and videos. Visit the Conventions page for a list of previous and upcoming events that Nephrus visits.

AnimeFest 2017 cosplay photos

Last week, I attended my first AnimeFest in downtown Dallas, Texas and for four days, I was surrounded by great cosplay. Despite being a day longer than most other conventions, I didn’t take too many pictures due to being confined within the lines for the Yuri!!! on Ice panels for two of those days, but for what I did see, you can see on Gallery.

Cosplay from Anime Revolution 2017

The smoky hot weather and long lines didn’t deter attendees as they converged upon the west building of the Vancouver Convention Centre this weekend for Anime Revolution.

Surprised tourists mingled with the costumed con-goers, snapping pictures of popular characters from Deadpool, My Hero Academia, Naruto, The Legend of Zelda and more!

There’s still one more day, as Anime Revolution wraps up on Sunday, August 6th. Photos from Saturday are on Gallery.

Cosplay props and convention safety

This is not a topic I’d thought I would ever have to think about, much less write about, but the recent incident in Phoenix, Arizona has changed that. On Thursday, May 25thpolice arrested a man who had entered the Phoenix Comicon intending to kill actor Jason David Frank.

Frank was the target of Matthew Sterling who had entered the convention centre with a gun and other weapons. Sterling had also intended to kill any police officers who attempted to stop him. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Frank posted a statement on Facebook thanking his fans for support.

Following this unsettling event, Phoenix Comicon went ahead and banned all props, including those that didn’t look like weapons, from the convention centre. This isn’t the first time props have been banned from a convention; New York Comic Con has an incredibly strict policy on props and fake weapons.

Props, for those who aren’t familiar with term, are replicas of items used by a character in a game, comic, cartoon or television show, as part of a person’s costume. For example, someone dressed up as Link from The Legend of Zelda video game series would carry a copy of the Master Sword and Hylian Shield, both props, as part of their costume. Props can be made of any material — from cardboard, right up to plastic, fibreglass and metal. At certain conventions, attendees can bring in fake guns provided they have no trigger, no internal firing mechanism and marked with an orange tip. Many conventions ban props made of certain materials, including wood and metal, for obvious reasons.

Many conventions have prop checks/peace bonding at the main entrances. This is usually a set of tables where staff and/or law enforcement review any accessories brought into the venue to ensure it is not a safety hazard. Items that pass this inspection are marked with fluorescent ribbon as a visual indicator that the prop is approved for event. If staff find that the prop is being improperly brandished, the attendee in possession of that prop may be asked to take it back to their hotel room or vehicle or it could be confiscated by staff or police.

We live in a reactive society now, where one incident causes an immediate reaction to fix potential holes or to placate the public. Look at air travel — following several plots to destroy to aircraft with explosives hidden in shoes or liquid bombs, we’re subjugated to removing our footwear and pouring out our drinks before going through airport security. And that type of reaction now is spreading out to functions previously untouched by such stringent rules.

There’s two views on this topic: first in terms of safety and security, the banning of props is necessary to make sure staff and local law enforcement identify potential offenders easily and quickly, to minimize a dangerous scenario that could result in someone getting hurt. The second is that blanket banning all props is a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated event and unfair to all other participants because it covers everyone in costume and treats them as a likely threat.

You can argue that you can still cosplay without props. Sure, you can still dress up and look like the character, but it takes away from the experience. Continuing with using Link as the example, without the sword and shield, it’s just not the same. Sure, you can use one of other Link’s accessories, such as an ocarina, but it’s all up to the person based on their style and the look they want to achieve with their costume. But at the same time, there needs to be common sense — is it smart to bring a solid steel sword to a crowded venue? Or can that look be attained with a softer, plastic clone?

So now we’ve reached this point where we have to balance safety and fun. What are we allowed to bring in with our cosplay? Or do we just acquiesce because of the world we live in and accept it as the new norm that one idiot can ruin a space people can showcase their talent and love for a medium.

British Columbia anime conventions for 2017

Even volleyball stars take a break for some photos at AniRevo Summer!

Even volleyball stars take a break for some photos at AniRevo Summer!

It’s a new year and fans of Japanese culture in British Columbia have a choice of conventions to choose for 2017. While there’s plenty of events in and around Metro Vancouver, the rest of the province still has a few places for fans to band together for fun on the island and interior.

For more information, lists of guests and to register, visit the links below to use each event’s web site.

  • AniRevo Winter February 12th – 13th, 2017 at the Art Institute of Vancouver in Vancouver, BC
    A two-day event of anime, manga, cosplay and panels, with plans to expand in the future to a full three-day convention
  • Tsukino-Con February 17th – 19th, 2017 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    Tsukino-Con celebrates everything anime and manga related for fans on Vancouver Island in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Harumatsuri March 18th, 2017 at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Burnaby, BC
    Anime Evolution is holding a one-day event at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in the format of a traditional Japanese festival, the matsuri.
  • Kelowna Fan Xpo March 24th – 25th, 2017 at the Kelowna Community Theatre in Kelowna, BC
    There’s something for everyone at the Kelowna Fan Xpo who are into anime, manga, comics, sci-fi, movies, gaming and horror.
  • AniRevo Summer August 4th – 6th, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo his quickly expanded to become Metro Vancouver’s largest Japanese pop culture festival with guests from North America and Asia, vendors, panels and more.
  • Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo October 12th – 15th, 2017 at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver, BC
    Don your favourite outfit and join the “world’s largest cosplay stage” as you parade through Vancouver’s downtown core! There’s more than just a parade with guests, panels, and musical performances.
  • Fan Expo Vancouver November 10th – 12th, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    Fan Expo Vancouver is a massive gathering that combines everything to do with comics, anime, gaming, movie and pop culture into one action-packed long weekend.

Photos from AniRevo 2016

A wave of cosplay washed over Canada Place this weekend, and coupled with a couple of cruise ships, it made for a colourful experience for tourists and locals alike. Plenty of Pokémon, ninjas, volleyball players, swimmers, droids, Sailor Scouts, witches, princesses, soul reapers, demons, and even a personal healthcare companion made appearances on Vancouver’s waterfront at this year’s AniRevo.

Kakashi is all business today. An energetic Nishinoya leaps into action! Simon and Yoko are ready to save the world!
Gotta catch 'em all! A full line up of Fire Emblem characters Don't mess with the expert marksman Daisuke Jigen!

See the rest of the eye-catching costumes on Gallery!

Sakura-Con 2016

Naruto and NHK's Domo-kun!

Naruto and NHK’s Domo-kun!

Spring in Seattle doesn’t start until the colourful costumes that flock towards the Washington State Convention Center for Sakura-Con. Three days over the Easter long weekend gives fans of Japanese culture and entertainment the chance to indulge themselves in anime and manga. All the pictures I took during the event are available on Gallery. Read the rest of this article…

British Columbia anime conventions for 2016

Don't let the titans stop you from cosplaying this year!

Don’t let the titans stop you from cosplaying this year!

It’s 2016 and that means a new year full of events to strut your cosplay, discuss your favourite anime and pick up the latest manga or figures. While there’s plenty of conventions in Metro Vancouver, the rest of the province still has a few places for fans to band together for fun on the island and interior.

For more information, lists of guests and to register, visit the links below to use each event’s web site.

  • Tsukino-Con February 12th – 14th, 2016 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    Tsukino-Con celebrates everything anime and manga related for fans on Vancouver Island in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Harumatsuri March 5th, 2016 at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Burnaby, BC
    Anime Evolution is holding a one-day event at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in the format of a traditional Japanese festival, the matsuri.
  • Kelowna Fan Xpo March 18th – 19th, 2016 at the Kelowna Community Theatre in Kelowna, BC
    There’s something for everyone at the Kelowna Fan Xpo who are into anime, manga, comics, sci-fi, movies, gaming and horror.
  • Northwest Fan Fest July 8th – 10th, 2016 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, BC
    Northwest Fan Fest brings fans of pop culture together for three days of fun with guests, panels, performances and a street festival! It’s also free to attend for all three days!
  • AniRevo August 5th – 7th, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo his quickly expanded to become Metro Vancouver’s largest Japanese pop culture festival with guests from North America and Asia, vendors, panels and more.
  • Anime Evolution August 19th – 21th, 2016 at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, BC
    As Vancouver’s oldest anime convention, Anime Evolution is home to anime screenings, panels, vendors and activities.
  • Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo October 13th – 16th, 2016 at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver, BC
    Don your favourite outfit and join the “world’s largest cosplay stage” as you parade through Vancouver’s downtown core! There’s more than just a parade with guests, panels, and musical performances.
  • Fan Expo Vancouver November 11th – 13th, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    Fan Expo Vancouver is a massive gathering that combines everything to do with comics, anime, gaming, movie and pop culture into one action-packed long weekend.

Sakura-Con 2015

Spring is all about the blossoms, sunny weather and anime! Especially if you’re in Seattle around the Easter Weekend when Sakura-Con brings Japanese and Asian culture together inside the Washington State Convention Center. This year, the convention ran from Friday, April 3rd through Sunday, April 5th with plenty of anime to watch, manga to buy and costumes to admire.

Couldn’t make it? Photos are up on Gallery.
Read the rest of this article…

British Columbia anime conventions for 2015

It’s time to dust your cosplay off, grab your friends and head on out to one of British Columbia’s conventions for 2015. If you love mecha, shoujo, lolita fashion, J-Pop, fan art or figures, you’re sure to find something at one of the events listed below.

  • Tsukino-Con – February 13th – 15th, 2015 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    Tsukino-Con celebrates everything anime and manga related for fans on Vancouver Island in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Fan Expo Vancouver – April 3rd – 5th, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    Fan Expo Vancouver is an expanding event that brings everything to do with comics, anime, gaming, movie and pop culture into one action-packed long weekend.
  • Northwest Fan Fest – May 29th – 31st, 2015 at the Anvil Centre, New Westminster, BC
    A newcomer to the Lower Mainland convention scene, NorthWest Fan Fest aims to bring fans of pop culture together for three days of fun.
  • Anime Evolution – July 17th – 19th, 2015 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
    As Vancouver’s oldest anime convention, Anime Evolution is returning on its own this year.
  • AniRevo – August 14th – 16th, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo his quickly expanded to become Metro Vancouver’s largest Japanese pop culture festival with guests from North America and Asia, vendors, panels and more.

Anime Revolution 2014

Anime Revolution overtakes the main hallway at Canada Place

Anime Revolution overtakes the main hallway at Canada Place

You might have thought it was Halloween this past weekend with throngs of people dressed up in costumes. Since it’s not the end of October, it has to be a convention. Anime Revolution (or AniRevo) turned Canada Place into a three-day event, from Friday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 24th, celebrating all things anime and manga. A collection of photos from Anime Revolution are available on Gallery.
Read the rest of this article…

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