Convention Report :: Anime Evolution 2009
In mid-June, tourists and casual visitors in downtown Vancouver saw a bizarre sight along the harbor side. If they stayed and watch, they might have seen the thirteen Shinigami captains from Bleach face off against various characters from the anime series, Naruto, while a giant Mudkip observed from the sidelines, surrounded by his adoring fans.
Anime Evolution is an annual convention held in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It officially started in 2002 and has since grown large enough to require the services of the newly opened Vancouver Convention Centre, which was constructed for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
The main attraction of the convention is not the events, games, or the vendors selling excellent anime related products. In fact, it is the attendees themselves. Every year, the vast majority of the people going to Anime Evolution participate in costume play, or cosplay.
People dress up as their favourite characters from different anime, manga, or video game and pose for pictures with other fans of the same series. Anime Evolution recognizes their main attraction and hosts several events surrounding cosplay, including fashion shows and themed gatherings for photoshoots.
The other main attraction at the convention this year is the appearances by several special guests that spoke at panels and press conferences and were available for autographs. Included in the mix were such celebrities as Japanese music group MinxZone and Gavin Blair, co-creator of the famous Reboot television series.
There were also many talented voice actors, such as Scott McNeil (One Piece, Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, InuYasha, Storm Hawks), Adrian Petriw (The Next Avengers, Iron Man: Armored Adventures), Brian Dobson (Escaflowne, Gundam Seed Destiny, Gundam00, Death Note), Cathy Weseluck (Storm Hawks, Hamtaro, Dragon Ball Z, Transformers, Mobile Suit Gundam), and Gary Chalk (Reboot, Mega Man, Ranma 1/2, Transformers), among many others.
From the Land of the Red Sun
Anime Evolution 2009 was an exciting and unfettered success, even in the wake of economical crisis. The convention can only continue to grow and next year looks to be an even bigger and better.