Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Anime Revolution 2012

Anime Revolution is a 3-day anime convention taking place in the Vancouver Convention Centre from August 17th to 19th. This is the first year for Anime Revolution. It features guests such as the English voice cast of Sailor Moon and Nakata Jouji.

The registration line on the first day. Almost non-existent on the second day.
Now that the official description is done, I'm going to try to report as honest and unbiased as possible withholding anything from what other people have said. The line in the above picture is about the same on Thursday for the pre-convention pick up. Took me about 1.5 hours to get my pass. The pass itself is quite impressive. It's professional looking and got a lanyard (some convention stopped giving these out).

The first reaction when I hear "Vancouver Convention Centre" is that the new building that was built three years ago, not the newly renovated Vancouver Convention Centre in Canada Place... A completely different building with smaller area. The dealers hall does look nice with the brightly lit area under the white canopy during sunny days, though on some days we can hear the horn from the cruise ships docked nearby...

One of the liveliest booth with videos constantly playing and a woman dressed up as a bunnygirl for all three days!
Quite a variety of dealers in the hall, but a lot are the same. I still see some bootlegs, but I think only one or two vendors. A lot of them are very official. My friends from my BJD group have a booth here as well selling water balloon yo-yos and walking alpacas.

This is from the Bluefin Distribution booth. They sell everything from Bandai, so FiguArts, Gundam model kits and Robot Damashii.

Other booths include paintball, tattoo artist, Nintendo and art schools. Some are local and some are from across Canada. I saw a small booth for New Irben Entertainment that were selling decent products from Winnipeg. They also ship free in Canada. Of course, Vancouver's biggest DVD warehouse with its own Facebook Anime Club page, C&L, is also there as the official Aniplex USA vendor.

UBC Anime Club was also advertising. I think they were so quiet they were building card houses with their promo items ^^; The pink alpaca is from a booth in the Artist Alley.

Another friend from the BJD group also had an art booth, so I took some photos of her dolls as well.

The first panel I attended was the Ghibli panel. I realized it was the same as the one I attended two years ago at Anime Evolution. Except this time there were a lot more people (my friends and I were standing) and the room was air conditioned.

Now, here's the thing about panels at Anime Revolution... There was one room that was split into two panel rooms...by a curtain. By far this was the most intrusive and distracting setup I've ever been in. Another panel room was shared with the video games room. There was also only one viewing room, so not a lot of choices except for what was playing.

Since some panels weren't as exciting, I thought I'd join my friends seeing Terri Hawkes (voice of Serena/Sailor Moon), Ron Rubin (Voice of Artemis) and Sugar Lyn-Beard (voice of Rini). This was one of the examples for the disruptive 2-panels-in-1-room setup... Everyone was cheering when the three came in, while the Funimation panel host, upon hearing this, announced to her audience that she will be outside to answer any questions; 20 minutes before the panel was supposed to end.

There was a 3 hour gap between the panels we wanted to see and there were no place to sit. If we sit in the hallway, the Convention Centre staff would tell us to move along, sitting outside would be too hot if you can't find a shade. There were lots of seats upstairs, but the con staff told the Convention Centre staff to strictly forbid anyone to come to the second floor... What's a weary con-goer to do? Why, sit at the lobby of the nearby hotel, of course. Aside from people asking for my friend's cosplay photo, we were able to sit and relax comfortably before the next panel.

There were some events in its own room thankfully. The swimsuit competition took place in the Main Events room. I will post more photos later in a separate post. Let's just say the event was very sexy, and they know it, and very pun-derful! A very good treat for my senses!

The next day, we had a doll panel. I came in late unfortunately, so weren't able to hear all of the presentations. I was able to talk to a few people while I was there, including someone who saw my MEIKO during Kotatsu. Chun was able to attend this event on Saturday. The lines for the registrations and pre-registrations were mostly gone by that day.

The one on the left is MysticaGrey's Salem and on the left is one of the Con Staff's doll, whose name I didn't catch unfortunately ^^;

Cirno! Another friend's doll ^^
There were a few panels that were limited to a more private room on the second floor on the second day. I think a lot more panels could've used these rooms so that they didn't have to share panel rooms...

MEIKO was daring enough to pat Taiga's head and call her, "hey shorty!" XD

I was able to got an autograph... Two autographs from Nakata Jouji! Thanks to Chun, I was able to get a copy of my Hellsing DVD and Gankutsou DVD copy signed ^_^ Unfortunately since the Aniplex and Nakata Jouji panel conflicted, I wasn't able to attend his for Saturday. He did have two panels thankfully and I was able to attend one of them.

The Aniplex Guy seemed to be upset with the setup for his panel as well. The sound of the video trailers had to conflict with the video games room and could not get louder than it already is. I'm sure the con staff tried to do their best, but just the whole setup for this con was quite unprofessional and unimpressive.

There was a huge room that was used for people lining up for the next panels. It definitely made less traffic for the hallways, but it wasn't very organized because there were no signs where people were supposed to line up for which panel. This room with people lining up was also used for the maid cafe on Saturday. It would've been a nice experience to actually go to this event, but at $18, a lot of us were quite discouraged especially with not a lot to be offered...

Finally on the last day... Not much to offer, as Sundays at a convention usually go. There was the last Nakata Jouji panel that I was finally able to attend...Which shared its room with a charity auction next to us... I wonder how he felt when he was trying to speak and hear, "$150. Do I hear $160? $160!" Aside from the disruption in the beginning, Nakata was really cool and funny. He even revealed a little tidbit of Hellsing Ultimate OVA. He just finished recording it... So for those who are waiting for the last episode, it should come soon :)

 A mahjong game


Otou-san XD

In conclusion, Anime Revolution could've been better, but they've definitely caught some attention with the guests they've invited. The Sailor Moon cast catered to the dub fans while Nakata Jouji indicated that there are a LOT of people who hunger to see Japanese voice actors here. Years of dub voice actors only appearing at local cons made conventions here rather stale, so hopefully this will set some precedent. I only wished they put more thought into the panel rooms. Nakata is quite popular, so shouldn't he get a better room treatment? There are a lot of room for improvements... Hopefully they'll sort it out by next year when they compete with the returning Anime Evolution.

I was glad to be venturing the convention with friends this time around though. Without them perhaps I would've been bored out of my mind. So thanks to Sayoko, Chun, Galamirix, Candyman, MysticaGrey, EtchiMango, Imran, Akinari, Snakeyhoho, Misty and many others... Also nice to meet new comrades! I finally met Shiroyume in person and also Richard from Vancouver Island who somehow tracked me down at the busy con. It was also a pleasure to meet the wonderfully nice artist, KL, who is also a Mikoto fan! A very funny story about this meeting which I will tell at a later time.

More coverage on Anime Revolution to come! Also check out my flickr for overflow photos that I couldn't fit in this post.


  1. XD Good report LS :3 Thanks for the videos of Nakata Jouji san's performance XD The this is Sparta was awesome and funny at the same time XD and LOL Otou san's character is so different ne! XD

    1. Thanks ^^ I was so glad to capture that moment when he said, "KORE GA SPARTA DA!" I missed the moment that he danced to the Working!! Opening song XD It was very weird to see Otou-san's voice coming out from him, lol!

  2. I noticed they were quite short on panel space :( Probably why we didn't see a good variety of panels at this convention. Most of the panels that seemed fairly organized filled up rather quickly so I ended up spending most of my time in vendor hall spending all my savings XD some loot i made off with http://bit.ly/OwRcf2

    I also really enjoyed Nakata Jouji's panels. I should of got him to record my voicemail >.<

    As for my overall thoughts on the convention I guess its somewhat understandable since its their first convention and it can be hard to gauge how many people were going to show up. I agree they could of spent a lot more time organizing panels. Reading through their forums it seemed like they weren't given much thought.

    1. I think there were TOO many panels. Just not all were interesting to some of us... LoL sadly that's what I was doing too, spending my money there. Very nice loot! I'll post what I got in the next couple of days ^^

      Nakata Jouji really was the highlight of the con for me ^_^

      In the beginning I said that I withheld anything I've heard second-hand because I have heard a lot of things but I wasn't there, so I don't want to claim it to be true. I only wish to state facts. What I've heard is that they saw a wall in the original panel rooms, which sounded better than this setup, but in the end, that's what we got.

      I've somewhat tamed down some of my wording in my post because I am actually quite optimistic that they've learned something from this. I just needed to point the facts and hopefully next year's post can be more positive ;)