The second annual Fan Expo Vancouver returned to the shores of Burrard Inlet under the iconic sails of Canada Place on the weekend of April 20th – 21st, 2013. Boasting additional floor space for larger crowds this year, plus a beefed-up list of celebrities, it’s not surprising there would be a huge turnout. And a huge turnout it was. There’s no doubt that Fan Expo Vancouver was the place to be (except fo maybe the Vancouver Sun Run). Read the rest of this article…
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.
You know it’s springtime when the cherry blossoms are blooming with costumes posing outside the Washington State Convention Center. Sakura-Con is a celebration of Japanese pop culture with the pale pink petals not only providing part of the convention’s logo, but a picturesque theme of the three-day long party. As the Easter weekend was a little early this year, Sakura-Con ran from Friday, March 29th until 31st, 2013. Read the rest of this article…
Looking for a place to share your cosplay and meet up with thousands of like-minded people into Japanese media? British Columbia has a handful of events, mostly in the Metro Vancouver area, with one on Vancouver Island.
For 2013, here’s a list of the larger conventions in the province:
- Tsukino Con – February 22nd-24th, 2013 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
An independant and fan-managed convention, Tsukino Con aims to foster understanding and celebration of anime, manga and Japanese pop culture for the island community in a family friendly environment.
- J-Fest – March 23rd, 2013 at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC
J-Fest is a one day mini-convention organized by the group behind Anime Evolution to give fans a chance to enjoy anime and manga before the main convention later in the year.
- Fan Expo Vancouver – April 20th-21st, 2013 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
Fan Expo Vancouver isn’t really an anime convention per se, but a larger event that incorporates comics, sci-fi, television, movies and anime under one large roof. Great for all ages.
- Anime Evolution – June 28th-30st, 2013 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC
Vancouver’s first anime convention, Anime Evolution returns to celebrate its 10th year of Japanese pop culture.
- Cos & Effect – August 9th-11th, 2013 at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC
Cos & Effect focuses more on the costumes and outfits, but retains some elements of an actual anime convention, including guests.
- Anime Revolution – August 16th-18th, 2013 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
Vancouver’s newest convention on the anime/manga scene, Anime Revolution was originally conceived to replace Anime Evolution, but has blossomed into a larger exhibition than anyone predicted.
This list doesn’t include any smaller, impromptu gatherings that may be organized by minor cosplay or fan groups.
After a year long hiatus, a revived Anime Evolution has risen from the ashes. Unlike previous events, Anime Evolution: Akimatsuri was only two days long instead of the usual three; only running on November 3rd and 4th, 2012. The last couple of years saw the convention between the Vancouver Convention Centre and the University of British Columbia; this time Anime Evolution was back to its roots at Simon Fraser University atop Burnaby Mountain.
I thought I’d check out Anime Evolution: Akimatsuri on Saturday to see what was going on. Akimatsuri is Japanese for “autumn festival” which is appropriate considering the time of year. Getting up to the campus was quite adventure, considering the poor fall weather and driving around in circles trying to figure out where the parking lot was. However, the price was right (free) for parking once I found it and plenty of space, although it required a quick bolt through the rain to the Academic Quadrangle from my car.
The whole convention occupied three of the four halls that makes up the Academic Quadrangle, along with with the Saywell and Blusson Halls. Tables lined the halls with signs and displays of artwork, prints and outfits. Tables hawking convention gear and boxes of Pocky sat by the stairs leading to the Shrum Science Building, the route I took in. Near the registration and information, a stretch of tables sat reserved for autographs with an ever changing stream of guests and fans. Between the older quadrangle and newer halls was an atrium lined with couches and a small stage. This atrium always had something happening – mock fights, performances or people dancing. Upstairs, the hall narrowed and people crowded while perusing artwork or taking pictures or even playing a quick round of Super Smash Bros. Melee. The vendors room was split among four different rooms, cramped but crammed with costumes, books, DVDs, figures, and other merchandise. Signs outside of the rooms prohibited cameras – so I packed away the camera before entering. I didn’t want to cause a commotion, even with the camera powered off and the lens cap on. I must be getting really good at saving money because I didn’t purchase anything; nothing really compelled me to break out the wallet.
I didn’t check out any of the panels, but I spent my time wandering the halls and taking pictures of cosplay. Plenty of cool costumes paraded through the halls of the university – Hetalia, Homestuck, Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Sword Art Online, and Wayne’s World. Just amazing. Psy’s hit, Gangnam Style, echoed through the halls and elevators at almost every turn it seemed. Unfortunately, due to the various levels of lighting in the building (it was a million times brighter in the Saywell and Blusson Halls than in the Academic Quadrangle), a number of pictures turned out underexposed or were distorted by flashes from other cameras. Even with my f/1.8 prime lens, the lighting was still terrible. I really have to focus on adjusting the metering with my camera.
Anime Evolution: Akimatsuri got off to a good start. I wish I stayed longer to actually check out a panel or two or more to take more pictures. The convention had two new features that I thought were a good idea considering the location: a change room for making it easy to transition from regular clothes and into costume (or vice versa) and a bag check to drop off extra goodies or costumes instead of lugging them around. Admission was really affordable: $20.00 CAD for one day, or $35.00 CAD for the weekend. The 8½ x 11″ paper signs made a comeback through – a number of which ended up on the floor due to people brushing past them or improper fixation. Larger wayfinding signs would be a benefit (totally didn’t realize about the Saywell and Blusson Halls having additional spaces until an hour in at the con). Other than that, let’s see how 2013 treats this convention!
If you missed the convention, be sure to browse through the photos on Gallery!
After a year-and-something long hiatus, Anime Evolution has been revived albeit in a more subdued fashion. For two days this November, Anime Evolution: Akimatsuri returns to its traditional venue at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain campus.
A number of guests have already been announced, including Lauren Landa (BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Puella Magi Madoka Magica), Brendan Hunter (Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Mega Man Powered Up), Garry Chalk (ReBoot, Street Fighter: The Animated Series, Stargate SG1, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog), Cathy Weseluck (InuYasha, Dragon Ball Z, Hamtaro, Mobile Suit Gundam), Lee Tockar (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Pucca, Ayakashi) and Synaptic Chaos Theatre.
Of course, there will be a dealer’s room and artist alley, panels and AMV contest. The web site is lacking information over scheduling and other events considering how long the organisation has been offline during their restructuring phase.
Anime Evolution: Akimatsuri takes place on Saturday, November 3rd, and Sunday, November 4th, 2012. Pre-registration is available online at $25 CAD for both days, or $20 CAD for a single day or $35 CAD for both days at the door.
Since Anime Evolution ceased operations after 2010, Anime Revolution (note the extra “r” in evolution) was created to fill the void in Vancouver’s Japanese comic and cartoon scene. The event was held August 17th through 19th, 2012 under the white sails at Canada Place on Vancouver’s waterfront. Read the rest of this article…
Texas is all about big things. And there’s nothing like a burgeoning convention to live up to its home state’s image. San Japan: Mach 5 moved into its largest location this year: the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in downtown San Antonio during the weekend (Friday included) of August 10th – 12th, 2012. In 5 short years, the convention has exceeded expectations and established itself as the place to cosplay and catch up on all things Japanese and will continue to do so well into the future. Because of the speed in which San Japan has grown, the theme for 2012 was a tribute to Speed Racer’s car, the Mach 5. Read the rest of this article…
Vancouver has a new convention in town – Anime Revolution! For three days, all things anime, manga and Japanese culture converged under the iconic sails of Canada Place in downtown Vancouver. Due to my tight schedule in returning from my trip to Texas, I was only able to snap some pictures from Saturday afternoon. Check out the rest of the cool costumes on Gallery!
With another San Japan come and gone, it’s time to reflect on all the costumes that filled the halls of San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. San Japan always brings out the best of cosplay from Texas and beyond.
Catch the rest of the cosplay action on Gallery.
Fan Expo Vancouver has been touting itself as the first “comicon” for the West Coast city. Organized by the same group behind Fan Expo Canada, its much larger sibling in Toronto, Ontario, the convention was able to secure a strong line up of well known actors, guests, artists and vendors. While there was plenty of hype leading up to the event, Fan Expo Vancouver fell flat in terms of venue selection. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Vancouver Convention Centre, but cramming a couple thousand people into one and a half halls in the bowels of the building isn’t exactly the best way to go about a fun weekend. Read the rest of this article…