The Shaw Conference Centre was full of Otaku culture this past weekend, and I was given the honour of reviewing the event. The Taste of Animethon held it’s 8th year, and is a small offshoot of the much larger Animethon that Macewan hosts every summer. The con hosts many things from cosplay, to anime viewing rooms, to a nice big hall of figurines, blu-rays and artwork.
Conventions generally are a fun time, a chance to talk with like-minded individuals about rad anime stuff, best girls, and how nonsensical Dragon Ball power levels can be. I spent more time walking around, talking with other guests, and shopping at stalls. Experiencing the true heart of a convention experience. Just another weeb with a pip in his step and the soundtrack to Spice And Wolf playing on his iphone.
What made the convention fun was a seeing costumed people known as cosplayers, meeting people with similar tastes and finding good deals on hard-to-find anime merchandise. Personally I acquired a Figma of Saber from Fate/Stay Night.
Vendors offer a more unique take. While there are a few local retail collector chains like Kingsway’s Comex Hobby at the event, there are also a number of online retailers like Shopville Canada looking to expand their market and advertise themselves to a wide audience. This idea also extends to the area known as artist alley, where local or independent artists set up booths to sell prints of their work or their little knick knacks like buttons or pins. The people running those booths are always pretty cool. Miquel Lardo is a well-known Fate/Grand Order artist we talked for a bit about a mobile game based on the Nasuverse Franchise. Ultimately I ended up buying two prints from him. One each of my personal best girls. Honoka Kousaka from Love Live and Mash Kyrielight from Fate/Grand Order.
Anime conventions, much like all comic conventions are a unique experience. They hold a certain magic for a lot of people. The Taste of Animethon was probably some of the most fun I’ve had, and I’ve been to bigger events such as the Edmonton Expo and Toronto’s Fan Expo. It’s a smaller more intimate experience that I would recommend to everyone.
-Photos by Steven Smith, Co-Entertainment Editor