Anime North 2016 Pre-con Survey

Hey my freaky darlings! With Anime North 2016 only 6 days away (I am counting Friday as a day) it is time to create the annual Anime North Pre-Con Survey!

I ended up combining a few questions due to their similar topics.

What’s your name?

Katrina, this is also the name I place on my badge along with my last name. We pre-registered like usual and also decided to pay the wee fee to get them mailed out and after a mistake on Anime North’s part, ended up with our two badges but a few days a part. Long story short it will be nice to be able to write my badge in something other than the Anime North markers of messy doom.

What do you like to be called?

I usually go by Katrina but I will respond to Kat, Kitty, Technikitty, ‘hey you’ or I will respond to the names of whoever I am cosplaying.

 Where are you staying?

This will be my sixth year staying at the International by Hilton Hotel. Extra note, I absolutely LOVE the new owners of the hotel they are a thousand times more organized than those who ran the Doubletree and haven’t lost our reservation once!

 What day are you getting there?

It is my family tradition to leave home around 12:30 on Friday hit up a Timmies to get travel nom (sadly my potential noms for this year have been greatly diminished due me developing a Milk sensitivity), this year I am thinking a Strawberry Shortcake donut and a drink of sorts (I might pre-purchase a soy drink to bring with me).

Then we go barrelling down the 401 blaring the Pokemon Theme (Original and Johto) as well as ‘Everything is Awesome’, various Disney songs, and the ending song from ‘Wreck-it-Ralph’.

Usually we get caught in traffic but we are cheery folk who tend to take life from a half-full standpoint and enjoy the time we get to spend with each other chatting pre-con.

How long are you staying?

We tend to stay from around 1:30 on Friday to about 2 PM on Sunday. Usually by Sunday we are tired and ready for a non-hotel shower and a rest. Plus by Sunday we have done all of our shopping

Fun fact a lot of people say that the best deals are on Sunday but I tend to get deals all weekend by being sweet and having a large chest (I once got a Living Dead Doll originally set at $50 for $30 just because the vendor liked my smile).

Will you be cosplaying? What days? As whom?

To be honest I very rarely stick with a set plan for what day I wear my cosplays. For me my plans are usually based on the temperature of the day as well as when certain photoshoots are being held. This year I am not doing Cosplay Chess due to Anime North not organizing it in a timely enough manner so my only main event will be the Pokemon Photoshoot on both Friday and Saturday. I may see if my sister wants to go to the Smash Brothers shoot but we’ll see.Ribbet collage

This year I will likely be wearing my 50’s Jigglypuff Gijinka on Friday because I need to keep it ironed and putting the dress in my suitcase would kill it!

Saturday Morning I am leaning towards wearing my Star Wars Zabrak OC and then I will change just after lunch back to Jigglypuff for the Pokemon Photoshoot I am hosting.

Both nights I will likely change into Super Sonico as it is really more of a cooler temperature cosplay.

Sunday I have really not decided on yet so I will just go with whatever I feel like. Maybe I will wear a variant Sonico as I am bringing another dress I could wear for her.

Who will you hang out with at the con?

I always go to conventions with my sister though we may end up running into one (or two) of my sister’s friends or even my girl Hatter.

Fun fact, I refer to all of my friends as Batman villains to my sister to help her keep track of who I am talking about. Hatter is my fellow nerd friend who loves hats and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and I know she is going to AN this year so I may run into her at some point.

Extra fun fact my code name is Scarecrow.

Are you attending any panels?

Anime North has some pretty interesting Panels organized for this year. You have everything from the classic ‘let’s talk about our favorite series’ to neat new ideas such as ‘Anime vs. Science’. Last year a lot of people were very annoyed due to a large number of non-anime panels but this year their whining was ignored and we got panels for series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’. They also created a lot of lifestyle based panels such as ‘Otaku Health Goals’ and ‘Japan on a Budget’, so there really should be something for everyone this year.

So far we are leaning towards checking out ‘Unpopular Opinions’ at 11PM in the Plaza Ballroom because frankly I LOVE drama and ‘Most Embarrassing Behaviour: Lolita Pose Off’ at 9PM on Saturday.

Staying in the International is pretty great for attending panels as you can just grab the elevator downstairs, catch your panel, and schlub back to your room. The only ones the International does not host are the gaming ones and the Yaoi ones (but we all know how much I LOVE the Yaoi fandom).

Are you attending/participating in any public performances? (i.e Masquerade)?

As I stated, my sister and I have participated in Cosplay Chess on and off since 2009 but this year we will not be participating as. For those of you who have no idea

Will you be attending any raves / Will you be partying at the con / Do you drink at cons?

I chose to put these three questions together as I feel that they are all very similar in topic: Con partying!

Anime North raves are pretty infamous for being quite tame in comparison to a lot of other conventions and many even say that that was the reason Atomic Lollipop, aka the party con, was created. However, for me Raves are still a place of drunken annoyingness and a draw for the younger more immature crowd of AN. So that is a big N-O good buddy.

Life is just a big party for someone who lives life with a positive attitude but I will not be participating in any ‘classic’ style partying – though one year I did get invited to a party by a hyper Jiraiya who barged into my unlocked hotel room my very first year at AN and was scared off my con mates Mom who was quick to point out that we were underage before he was dragged off by his girlfriend who was cosplaying Tsunade. True story.

As for drinking … I don’t drink so that is a big no. I can’t even be a milkaholic this year due to my new milk sensitivity.

Can I talk to you/ Are you nice?

No you may not talk to me you dirty peasants! Can’t you see I am a big mean tsundere! In all seriousness of course you can, my sister and I are both very social people who love chatting with other nerdlings about various topics. Plus in all seriousness I am more of the dojikko or deredere type … the guys in my Anime Club referred to me as their ‘moe girl’.

As for ‘am I nice’ I have been told that I am quite a lovely person

How can I find you?

You won’t. I will find YOU! In all seriousness though there really is no way to actually find me at a con. I don’t constantly tweet or facebook my position since I do have a few stalkers I would prefer to avoid.

Can I buy you drinks/ Can I give you stuff/ Can I snuggle with you?

To be brutally honest I would prefer if you kept your money for yourself! But if you have cosplayer or blog cards you would like to give me I would be happy to take one!

As for hugs as long as you ask I am all for a hug for the most part but if you have bodypaint on I will likely refuse to protect my cosplays. No offense meant of course. The same goes for photos, as long as you ask I will be happy to pose either with or for you.

What/where will you be eating /Can I come with you for food/fun/etc?

Hmm well breakfast we always bring with us, though sometimes we do grab something from Starbucks. My sister and I always save a good chunk of money for AN so that we can not only buy stuff but food as well so we do tend to eat out most of the weekend.

As for ‘can you join us’ as long as my sister is okay with it that should be just fine. As little girls we were both excluded a lot from things or ended up as ‘third wheels’ to groups so we do tend to be very careful to ensure that when we add a third person that neither of us get left out of the conversation.

What are you looking to buy?Ribbet collage3

To be honest I really don’t have much of a set wish list for this year. Usually I do but this year I only have two things that I absolutely want to get and both are ironically of the same character! I want to pick up the new Joker Nendoroid and an Arkham-verse Joker funko. Other than that I know I want to visit my favorite store ‘The Littlest Gift Boutique’ and see what I can see there (the cat loafs are pretty damn cute).

What’s your goal(s) for the con this year?

Have fun of course! Maybe meet some new people but otherwise I just want to have a good time with my sister.

Are you ready for Anime North?

I would say that I am 70% ready for Anime North. I still need to finish my Jigglypuff ears, brush my Sonico wig out and get my dress shortened. But as I am a jobless loser at this point I have time to do these things so I am not stressed.

I am however stressed about my Jigglypuff wig as it ISN’T IN YET! I had purchased one wig online but when it arrived it was too short for me (aka my hair shows) so I had to order a new one and it was set to arrive the 24th at the latest. Yay for cutting it close.

Con Review: Kitchener Comic Con

Back in February, February 18th to be more precise, I attended the first ever Kitchener Comic Con. The event was a one shot, a one day only free event being held at Kitchener City Hall. The event was billed as:

Kitchener Comic Con is the newest pop culture event for the Region of Waterloo within the city of Kitchener. KCC celebrates the wonderfulness that is comic book pop culture and all of It’s multi-generational fun, we invite all ages and genres to celebrate their passions and embrace the fandom culture within the region with the events that we host.

But sadly what it ended up being was a cluster of only okay vendors and normies walking around judging the more hardcore nerds. On one hand the lack of really good vendors made sense because it was a FREE event which meant that they did not find

My sister and I arrived at 12 PM (the event started at 11AM) and we had plans of checking out the masquerade, an event we had become attached to at Con-G. Unfortunately though things were very poorly organized and we never ended up getting to the event (or ever finding out where it even was). We were disappointed to discover that all there was to do at the event was look at the booths, as all of the events were impossible to find.

Though my sister and I had planned on staying till 3 PM, we only ended up staying till 2 PM as we quickly lost interest in the event. Due to the size of the event there really was not a lot to do.

Usually at cons we browse through the vendors and check out and chat with fellow cosplayers, but KCC proved to be 251267_wooly16_whitereally low on cosplayers. There were very few cosplayers except for the occasional Halloween costumes teen or closet cosplays so photoshoots were out.

We briefly checked out the gaming section but the Con Funk and attitude of the players, quickly chased us off. The gaming area was small and crowded by overly serious gamer guys who wouldn’t hand the controller to the girl even if she flashed him (they wouldn’t even allow kids anywhere near the systems!)

On a plus side, I did become obsessed with the adorable products of The Littlest Gift Boutique who sell freakishly adorable plushies and figurines and who I will likely be spending a chunk of money with at Anime North. (I have plans of reviewing the store).

Most of my fellow attendees agreed that the event was … a nice distraction. Kind of dull, very poorly organized and t

There is already plans for the event to run again next year with plans of making it an actual paid event, rather than a free one and many people question this decision. Without some serious changes, the con will not be worth any amount of money and likely fail.

 

 

Anime North 2015 Pre-Convention Photo

Well Anime North is officially only like 27 days away and you know what that means – it is time for the Pre-Anime North survey!

The survey is based on a bunch of random com surveys I found throughout Tumblr.

Name: Katrina ‘no I am not sharing my last name here’
Age:
23, College Student
Gender:
Female
Badge Name:
The same as my regular name since Anime North has a ‘real name’ policy

Where are you staying: I think the DoubleTree has changed its name to the International Plaza. It is the second priciest hotel for AN but it is the most convenient so my sister and I always try and get in there.
How are you getting to the convention:
My mother drives my sister and I to AN and pick us up on Sunday. She Ribbet collageloves seeing all of the costumes as we arrive at the hotel.
Which days?
I always arrive on Friday usually just after 2PM and stay till about the same time on Sunday, though this time varies year to year.
Cosplay:
Super Sonico in her blue yukata and my original Twi’lek OC (though this picture is of the character Suu Lawquane whose outfit and design is what I based my outfit on)
Whats it from?
The Twi’lek race is from Star Wars, though her design and character were created by me. Super Sonico is owned by Nitroplus and this particular design is based on a FREEing statue.

Where will you be at the con? All over the place really. Though I spend most of my time either in and around the convention center or at the hotel I am staying at.
What’s your favorite thing to do at the con?
Simply wander around and snag some photos of fellow cosplayers. Sometimes my sister and I simply sit and watch people.
Who will you be with?
My younger sister, Alyshia, though it is likely I will meet up with friends from college.
Are you going to any panels or photo shoots?
I don’t tend to attend the panels as I prefer reading to listening to nerdy topics of discussion. You get juicer facts that way. As for photoshoots I attend and run the Western Photoshoot and I may pop into the Disney shoot as my Twi’lek since Disney owns Star Wars now.
Are you going to any raves/dances/concerts?
I never do. I am really not a convention dance girl. Too many little kids for my taste.

Are you eating at the con or bringing your own food? A combination of the two really. We always pack snacks for in the hotel and carrying around in case my sister or I get hungry or shaky from lack of protein.

Can I talk to you? But of course you can. I am a real chatterbox.
Are you nice?
I try to be. Even when I am feeling off I try to be friendly and cheerful.
Can I ask for a picture?
But of course.
Hug?
If you ask first you certainly may. My twi’lek is going to be skin toned so you don’t have to fear paint smearing.
Fanservice? 
I guess it really depends how much fanservice you are thinking about.I realize that Sonico is a pretty fanservicey character, but everyone has a limit.

Can I hang out with you? Just around the con outside, but of course.
Can I buy you things?
That is very flattering but I will likely decline. Save your money for you!
Can you drink at the con?
I can but I won’t because I don’t drink

Anime North vs. Fan Expo: Why I attend them both

Hello denizens of the interweb! Once again I apologize for my failure too keep up with my blog. I have just gotten a new job and I have been finishing getting ready for my new program aka filling out hundreds of forms and taking a first aid/CPR course.

Back onto the topic of nerdiness though. Awhile back I received a Tumblr message asking why I attend both Anime North AND Fan Expo. Though I did reply privately to the anon I figured that my reasoning is worthy of a longer blog post.

Long story short the reason I attend both is because they are both VERY different conventions.

Now into the long version.

JUST A WARNING THIS IS ALL MY OWN OPINION, PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF THIS!

Anime North was my original cons. I first attended it at the age of 13 back in 2007 when I was still a Grade 10 weeaboo in love with Kingdom Hearts and attempting to sew. Fan Expo, on the other hand, I only began attending last year but even from that one year I can see a huge difference between the two cons.

The first thing I noticed is the difference in how they are run. Anime North is a con by the fans for the fans and that means that everything there is something a FAN would want too see making it more about the fans enjoyment and less about the money. Fan Expo is a convention created by the big corporations making it more about the money and less about the fans. Yes fans will see what they want to see but it will be at a higher cost. Now I am not saying that this is a terrible thing. Out of the two cons, Fan Expo tends to have way better guests and better run panels and that is because they can afford to do so, so even though the ticket prices tend to be higher you do get better run panels and guests (Robert Englund biyatches). Anime North does not have the budget too bring in big names and if you really want to see a certain kind of panel YOU have to sign up and run it yourself.

Secondly, Anime North is a much less mature con. The fans tend to be younger and because of that things tend to get louder and sometimes more annoying. Fan Expo has a much more mature feel despite the huge range in the age of attendees and I think, personally, that is because. The issue in maturity does have negatives and pluses for both sides though. As I said Anime North can sometimes seem more annoying but at the same time it has more of a fun vacation kind of atmosphere. On the other hand, Fan Expo can seem a little stuffy at times with all of the events being catered towards a more serious crowd.

The cosplaying crowd at the cons is also very different. For the most part you tend too see some insanely well made costumes at Fan Expo taht often look like they came straight off of a movie set. They are often not as large as one you can see at Anime North simply because of the venue size. At the same time Fan Expo also has a lot of Halloween costumes and closet cosplays which can be seen as either good or bad. There really is no in between quality at Fan Expo, in my PERSONAL opinion the costumes are either awesome or just plain lazy and bad.

On the other hand, Anime North’s cosplay scene is a perfect mix of the elaborate costumes made by hardcore costumers and the the simpler “I just cosplay for fun” costumes. Due to the con not being held within city limits I think a lot of people just feel more comfortable cosplaying without being judged as hard by the ‘normies’. At the same time though, you DO tend too see a lot more pointlessly slutty costumes and once again I think that goes back to the maturity level of the attendees.

Both cons have amazing dealers room (Fan Expo’s is larger due to the budget they have in getting a larger venue) but the Cosplay contests are very different. There are two cosplay events at Anime North, the masquerade where contestants are judged purely based on their cosplays and the Skit Contest where the judging is based more on the skit itself then the cosplay. Fan Expo has only one cosplay event and that is the masquerade and like the rest of the con this event is serious business. The cospayers who enter the Fan Expo masq are top tier costume makers making the event more like a costume fashion show.

To sum it up in a plus and minus chart:

Fan Expo

+ Insanely high quality cosplays for the most part

+ Merchandise that more closely appeals to my interests

+ Everything is very contained

+/- More mature Crowd

– Cha ching

-Downtown Toronto

– More serious vibe

Anime North

+ All of my friends attend this con (Talia, Tanya, Kail, Jessica etc)

+ I feel more comfortable cosplaying here

+ A lot more ‘fun’ events

+ Outdoor events

– Often uninteresting guests

– Lower quality panels

– More immature

Would I say that one con is better than the other? No I would not because they are both so different. If someone was to ask me which one they should go to I would ask them “Are you looking for a party vibe or a more formal one” because that is frankly what it comes down to. If you want to go to a con to hangout and party with friends go to Anime North but it if you would prefer a more calm affair where you are getting great celebrity appearances and panels I would say Fan Expo.

Of course the two cons also have very different target demographics with Fan Expo appealing to western media fans with a bit of anime and Anime North being more Asian media oriented and that also may affect your choice.

Ultimately I love both cons. Anime North is at the end of the school year and it is a great way to unwind and celebrate being a young nerd while Fan Expo is a calmer affair where I pay big money too get more choices in swag and see great people.

Really it all a matter of opinion.

Easy Convention Outfit Ideas

With Fan Expo fast approaching I have geek fashion on my mind!

I never cosplay to Fan Expo, the reason of which I will be explaining in a later post, so instead I like to put together a really geeky outfit and that is the topic of today’s post: How to put together a great geeky outfit for a convention.

You can, of course, wear whatever you want to a convention but in my humble opinion there is a time and a place for every kind of outfit and a convention is not the place to wear something, for say, work or going to a downtown club.

Whether geeks like to admit it or not we are really actually quite snooty about what other people wear to a convention. We see a girl in a really ‘normal’ outfit and we assume that she was dragged there by her girlfriend. A guy in a club-esque wear or not having a hint of geeky swag on him, he is only here to hit on ‘easy geeky girls’.

Is it fair? No. Is it true? Hell yes.

So to make things a little easier I have created a list of different style of outfits you could put together for going to a convention and all of them require item that you likely already own!

Do’s in a con outfit

Show off your fandom: Comic books, video games, TV shows, whatever you love can be easily shown in a geeky outfit for a con. Pair a great geeky shirt with a great skirt and boom geeky outfit! Just completely wear your fandom on your sleeve with an outfit entirely based around whatever you love!

Superman Outfit

Make an outfit based on your favorite character: Disney bounding has become wickedly popular at Disneyland and is even starting to spill over into everyday life and the basic idea of it can be easily applied to a convention outfit. Consider the basics of the character like how DC’s Penguin wears a lot of black and white and Marvel’s Emma Frost wears all white.Untitled #17

Wear an average outfit with epic makeup: This is actually what I plan on doing for Fan Expo. Basically I am wearing a pinup girl style dress and doing either spider or creepy doll themed makeup. This version of an outfit is really awesome if you do not necessarily own any geeky apparel and would rather wear something you already own. Check out Pinterest or Tumblr for great makeup ideas.

Wear an average outfit with geeky accessories: This one is kind of a combination of the first one and the third. Basically you can wear whatever you want but then add some great geeky accessories like a necklace and earrings or great geeky hair accessories like a bow, hair band or hair clip.

Using geeky accessories helps you fit in by showing off your fandom but also gives you the opportunity to start a conversation! You would be amazed by the amount of friendships made from “Hey I love your Batman necklace”.

Con Outfit Warnings

Think about shoes: Conventions involve a LOT of walking and standing so pay attention

Don’t force your outfit on people: This is especially important for the outfits based on characters. This is not a cosplay, it is just an outfit so do not expect people to treat you like a cosplayer while wearing it.

Be careful with showing too much skin: A lot of cons have dress codes and these codes apply to both cosplayers AND normal congoers. You may be asked to change or cover up if a con staff sees something wrong with your outfit. Is it fair. No not really considering what some people get away with in costume. But will it happen? Very likely.

Pay attention to the weather: Conventions are pretty much always warm. There are a lot of people in a small space and that means things get warm! Consider that when putting together an outfit. For winter cons, layering is always a good idea since it may be cold outside but it will be hot inside!

You don’t have to cosplay at a convention to have fun but dressing in at least a geeky manner will help you feel like

Finally Fixed WordPress!

Hello my geeky darlings!

I am so sorry that I have been gone so long but WordPress has been being a total butt and absolutely refused to let me post anything I wrote.

It finally appears as though I finally fixed it however, though to be honest I really have no idea HOW I did so.

Ah well, never look a gift horse in the mouth my ducks!

Anyway, coming up in my blogverse is the continuation of the Anime challenge, why I do not cosplay to Fan Expo, Fan Expo vs. Anime North, and what to wear to a con when you don’t cosplay!

VoWeOMR

Anime North 2014

10358738_627666140654027_9118590229713997548_nSo two weeks ago I was at my 8th Anime North, the 4th largest anime convention in North America, as a cosplayer but mainly as an uncostumed patron due to the heat of the weekend. This year had proven shockingly stressful to prepare for due to low self-image impacting cosplay, an unexpected new roommate (who proved to be a real doll and has been invited for next year), and a lost hotel room (which was solved due to the awesomeness of my fellow congoers). I could write a truly massive post and talk about every little thing but I’d rather just hit the highlights and show some great photos!

Friday

My truly fabulous mother drove us to the con just after 12:30 but before we left I had to deal with an almost panic attack induced by the fact that my Mao cosplay was actually poorly fit and needs a few adjustments before it can be fully debuted at a con. Ultimately the costume was left behind, making way for my Scholar cosplay to be my lead cosplay.

Upon arriving at the con we chose to sign into the hotel, the International Plaza, first so then my Mom could head back home and not hit as much traffic. It took us an hour and a half to get all signed in but I think that was heavily impacted by the fact that the front desk did not open till 3!

After signing in, and me changing into a casual Batgirl inspired outfit we headed to get our badges. I was expecting it to take ages to get them but instead it only took around 10 minutes, maybe less.

At 6 I officially began the Western Comics and Movie Photoshoot, which was pretty popular, though not nearly as popular as many of the anime shoots (no shocker there). It ran incredibly smoothly except for a few overly excited preteens in closet cosplays breaking into the photos and screaming constantly, but that comes with the territory.
After the shoot we finally headed to the photoshoot where I came away with a Horror grab bag (my regretted purchase) and a new Arda Wig that I brought purely for its beauty ♥‿♥

10376340_627685730652068_7803486456754538414_n

My favorite cosplay all weekend! Gangrel from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Sadly I have no idea who he is …

Saturday

Saturday was cosplay chess day! Which is insanely fun if you have never done it before. Both my sister and I signed up for the 10 a.m. Magic vs. Science game with my sister as Chiaki Nanami on the Science side and me on the magic side as a scholar, both as pawns. It was a LOT of fun but it felt like it took forever and ultimately my side, magic, all chose to sit down and relax till we were moved due to how long the chess players took. Much to everyones shock, it ended up as a tie.

After the game, my sister and I popped into the dealers room where I came away with an adorable Harley Quinn tank dress which I changed into upon returning to the hotel. It was incredibly hot Saturday with no breeze, so I really only ended up wearing my Scholar dress for cosplay chess and the new Harley dress most of the weekend. I was shocked though, I still ended up getting photos taken! I am guessing because of my big boobs …

The rest of the day was easy-osey, my sister went to the Dangan Ronpa shoot while our roommate and I sat in the shade, we headed back to the dealers room and I purchased the first omnibus edition of Empowered, a rather naughty western comic by Adam Warren. I took a break in the hotel and then we had dinner at the hotels Japanese restaurant.

Sunday

This is always a short day since we do have to get home and back to the real world, my Mom came to pick up our luggage at 11 AM and then my sister and I did one final sweep of the dealers room where I got the second Empowered omnibus.

After that we hung around till my Mom came back to get us. Then cue, post con sadness and planning for next year … I also ended up getting our hotel room as soon as I got home due to our hotel already opening up booking!

All in all it was another great year, though I did not get to cosplay as much as I would have liked due to the heat. It was totally my fault though, I need to learn to always consider the temperature of the month when choosing my cosplays.

Next up in the con world, Fan Expo 2014 where I will be cosplaying Hipster Harley Quinn.