Anime North 2013 Post-Convention Report
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Posted 6/2/13
Anime North from May 24-26 in Toronto, ON at http://www.animenorth.com/live/

Welcome to a special convention report, as not only is it the annual Anime North report but also the 10th Anniversary of The 404s Improv Comedy troupe too this year! Every day was action packed with over 20,000 attendees, staff, guests, volunteers, vendors and passer-byes all located in the Toronto Congress Centre area and along various hotels in the Airport district again this year.

There were five 404s shows this year (as well some of the cast did a new event called My Little Jeo-Pony that followed Anime Jeopardy this year, and I was involved with various other events I’ll mention later on). The Opening Ceremonies show kicked off the weekend with all sorts of classic scenes, from Murder Telephone about Goku in Australia being killed with a pickle, to Anime in a Minute showing the “unique” anime tale of Cuticle Detective Inaba. Number of Words got crazy with one actor getting over 20 words per sentence, but the craziest moment was the chaotic Pan Left/Pan Right that showed how to be “good” at directions! A movie Director got to direct another Iron Man movie involving a fight with a mechanical lizard that kept biting Tony Stark while Pepper Potts got to fight it off, to a turn-based RPG being interrupted by 3 Idiots that gave suggestions like the Harlem Shake. Elizabeth from Bioshock and Deadpool from Marvel Comics got to be in a Dating Game. Hey, the show included a PSA for You Down There for how to make armoured cosplay (even if it might lead to fires made by eyeglasses), to ending on a Hoedown.

For the first time, when the first Anime Pro Wrestling show ended on some neat matches like Kuma of Afro Samurai taking on the champ Elmo, and the Power Rangers taking on the Dragonball Team of Goku and Vegeta, the second 404s show was in the wrestling ring. The Faces of the Eastside (I was decked in my Chris Jericho Y2J jersey and underneath my Kurt Angle You Suck-It’s True t-shirt) took on the Heels from the Westside (who did an amazing job all getting make up with the likes of the Road Warriors and Goldust) in the Improv League format where fans voted after each scene for their favourite team. Being a wrestling fan this was the most fun had, from taking bumps into the posts to running the ropes to playing up against the heel tactics like stealing my glasses or my friend’s mace, to trying to trip actors from the ringside. There were still many good scenes done from 4 corners of dragons as a fighter was on an adventure, to the tiny straw hat samurai fighting insects with his tiny rice weapons. Rare 1,000,001 comics were searched to sell the best one to Stan Lee instead of trying to sell them to movie directors to make into movies (like J.J. Abrams) or more likely mess up (M. Night Shyamalan). Captains got faithful assistants who shouted “YES” and swabbed the decks bouncing off the ring ropes. The ending scene that won it for the Faces was as chaotic as a wrestling match once the ref got bumped and all crazy things from Japan were let loose. Being able to do Kenta Kobashi chops to honor his recent retirement to doing Jericho’s Walls of Jericho (though right after being reversed by the gal I had them on-I got way more respect more for wrestlers who take bumps and got to go long in a ring!) was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

Saturday’s shows packed the new Hall location. There was the early Fan Choice Show and the famous Late Night “Last Pants Standing” show that featured the insane Mousetraps game to cap the night. The Fan Choice show was another new format where the fans got to vote before the convention at The 404s website (noted at the end of this report) and the top picks got to be used. Also included was the starting game of 99 Things that got suggestions for puns to the game for things like Pokemon and hammers, the ending game of the classic Scenes from a Hat (the Totoro hat in this case, and for those wondering the Totoro character did appear again, 3 years running since the debut at Anime North!), and a brand new game called Question This, a parody of Jeopardy with fan suggestions for the category answers for 3-4 “characters” to give questions for. Fans got to see their choice games and scenes played out like a Dating Game with llamas and people turning into other 404s actors, which also occurred in a different way for Party Quirks (a common trend this year apparently) that also had its own Bachelor’s Party. Dead Bodies got flung around while Murder Telephone told about Ellen being killed in Candyland by a crowbar. Cyrano talked about bro-mances while Survivor ended with the host telling the story of an ice cream truck being robbed and running over patrons. The show ended with many appearances by Totoro and silly suggestions abound from Scenes from a Hat.

Sunday’s finale was a musical show that featured everyone from Kicking It to some geeky raps to 3 Headed Broadway Musicals. It was one of the few things I missed due to a tight schedule, but in this case it was due to the Charity Auction I was an auctioneer for going long. It was still a great showing as over $10,500 was raised for the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto which tops last year. It was very consistent in how the bids came for so many neat items, from donated ones like a huge DJ Hero set as part of the Mystery Box, to wooden swords and resin daggers. Guests were great too donating everything ranging from signed one of a kind photos or posters to nunchucks to even the shirt off one guest’s back.

Overall the 2 Friday 404s shows had over 170 seated and 70 seated/roving attendees respectively, the 2 Saturday shows nearly filled the 1200 sized Hall both times, and the Sunday finale I was told filled the partitioned Plaza Ballroom of about 500 seats.

Managing my time I was even able to make other events this year. I got to attend a panel for Satoshi Kon who made Perfect Blue which I’ve seen but I got some great recommendations of his other works too. Hearing some of the guest panels too which were very funny and revealing.

The only other thing I was hoping the catch but didn’t was the Anime Pro Wrestling this year, but thanks to those who posted some of the matches!

The Riddler vs. Swoosh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC4sWRtZlJM

I also heard they had another GCW Battle Royale with various local independent talents like the debuting Captain Cool Dwayne Kowalski, Anthony Darko, Grimbo, Chief Ade, CL Volino, Bruno Davis, Maurice, Vince Valor, Jeff Lynch, D-Man, Lionel Knight, Nick Watts, Pajaro, The Mighty Atlantis, Mr. Saki, Brandon Hunter, and Steve Brown. But in the end the final surprise entrant was none other than your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man who won it all! Other matches included the big Batman vs. Bane fight, and a main event with the face team of Elmo, L, and Mario taking on the nasty heels of the Evil Green Power Ranger, Wario and Jason Voorhees. The heels were cheating so Goku made the save so Elmo could get the win over Wario for his team.

Another event I was involved in helping, the AN Idol, did very well! They had an incredible pool of tryouts this year, and even had to go to more than their planned finalists since they were that good. The winner from last year and this year also got to perform at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies respectively; you can see an overview of the event at this video:

AN Idol 2013 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo3H3KFv0Rw

When perusing the convention, seeing an acrobat above us and snake displays at ground level, it was an enormous undertaking to witness. I had a bountiful amount of purchases made this year as great deals, but also I also received many gifts from friends that were greatly appreciated. Here’s what was brought back home:

-I couldn’t pass up on a Totoro mini soft baseball bat! OH HO HO!
-A package deal on Capcom vs. SNK figures for Cammy and Mai, 2 of my favourites to use on the video game’s team format.
-A Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Yoko Figure
-For Yu-Gi-Oh! the Collector Card Game I got the Number 17: Leviathan Dragon tin and an Abyss Rising Special Edition pack, while for Pokemon the CCG I got the new Black and White Plasma Freeze Starter with the Holo Rare Glaceon.
-From the FUNimation booth got some display cards for Toriko, A Certain Scientific Railgun and Soul Eater for free.
-The Third Expansion set for Cards Against Humanity
-From the Artist Alley I got a set of Avatar: The Legend of Korra keychains of my 3 favourite characters, Asami, Lin and Bolin. From a friend in the Alley I also got a Maes Hughes Full Metal Alchemist button to go along with other FMA buttons I’ve gotten from her before.
-From the Auction I won the Toriko English Cast Signed poster, a Beguiling Tote Bag (which I split with a friend who got the Gundam Cel inside it), and the Wrestling Pack with Autograph photos from Canadian talent Sinn (who I also got an additional comic graphic book done by him as well called Fred Possession Flower), legends Koko B. Ware and Sgt. Slaughter in a GI Joe photo, TNA talents who have done the AN shows like Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles, as well as April Hunter, Raven and Chris Sabin (who I met I recall long ago in Windsor’s BCW when he was just starting out and I’ve followed on TV since then).
-My one friend from overseas was so kind that he got me a Negima wallscroll and from the Auction a complete Sakura Wars DVD set!
-Another friend got me from the Auction for me the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga volume 5, the Heroic Champion-Excalibur trading card game tin, and the Premium Collection tin.
-Yet another new friend gave from her Nominoichi (Flea Market on Friday) table 4 tiny plushies of a panda, crocodile, hippo and elephant, an Otaku USA magazine and an Apollo mini Figure from Ace Attorney. Go visit her on http://www.anime-source.com and her writings as Himitsu at http://www.anime-source.com/banzai/modules.php?name=Blog&bop=display_entry&id=1062
-Also I did 2 photo shoots with 2 great groups: DROO and Cosplay for a Cure. Go see their Facebook group sites at https://www.facebook.com/DrooPhotography and https://www.facebook.com/CosplayForACure?hc_location=stream respectively to see the photos and support them!

It was a blast celebrating 10 years of The 404s at Anime North!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZFR9C46k4

Off in the Indiana Jones Whip-Mobile, see you at the next convention; thanks for reading the report!

As always, I collect all videos of the Eastside 404s shows that can be found on the following playlists.
The Older First Set of Videos -http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2940D4CF10ED601B
The Current Updated, Ongoing Video Set - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA0B3C6356020E27B
And here are a few different playlists for various convention videos, mixing conventions I’ve been to and others I liked seeing online: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL219D2649FE1180BE AND http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE273FEAC695D7A72&feature=mh_lolz
Finally, check out this regularly updated public photo album of my convention photos on my CR profile at: http://www.crunchyroll.com/showphotoalbum?id=10061028
The latest events and links to the 404s can be found as well at the main website at http://the404s.com/
Enjoy!
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Posted 6/4/13 , edited 6/4/13
Nice! You really should organize those photos into albums with dates and locations. I'm not sure if crunchy lets you though?


May 23-25 for Anime North 2014!


I got a room at the Double Tree this year. You HAVE to call. Anime North reserves all the rooms at the surrounding hotels for con goers only. You must mention that you're going to Anime North or you won't get anything. I put a hold on my room with $0 balance pre paid lol. Not sure if I want to stay Sunday rolling over to Monday, will have to find out if any after parties going to happen.
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Posted 8/4/13

darkhunt333 wrote:

Nice! You really should organize those photos into albums with dates and locations. I'm not sure if crunchy lets you though?


May 23-25 for Anime North 2014!


I got a room at the Double Tree this year. You HAVE to call. Anime North reserves all the rooms at the surrounding hotels for con goers only. You must mention that you're going to Anime North or you won't get anything. I put a hold on my room with $0 balance pre paid lol. Not sure if I want to stay Sunday rolling over to Monday, will have to find out if any after parties going to happen.


Thanks for reading darkhunt333! Unfortunately since I've gotten so many photos in the album now it doesn't allow sorting. So I tend to say go to the end of the album and I try to label where it begins with the first photo. Still thanks for enjoying the report! And good note for next year-those rooms did go fast, like literally within the first month after it was done. Hope you'll have fun in 2014 then!
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Posted 11/25/14
Year-end cleanup. Closing threads with no activity since 2013.
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