I’ll be straight up – after going to conventions for a while now, and every year, sometimes my mind will roll back and think of what went right this year, and not necessarily “what went wrong”, but rather “what I imagine should happen”. The last two iterations of Anime North are a great example of this; although I enjoyed attending them, and some of my finest highlights from the last two years have been from that event, there’s no harm in imagining events that I would have liked to see to spice up my convention experience a little bit more.
This year, I got to experience my first time(s) at several cosplay-themed events, where individuals in cosplay would go up and re-enact scenes or engage in “battle” with other cosplayers. For me, these included Cosplay Battle Chess and the Cosplay Skit Contest, which I had a lot of fun doing, provided I wasn’t huddled in the corner asking Pope St. Pius X to calm my nerves 😀 And I plan to partake in these events again, hopefully (especially Cosplay Battle Chess – D’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers is just waiting to show up there)!
But of course, one cosplay-related event that I would have loved to see come up includes something like what Anime Boston did back in 2018, when they did what they called the “Cosplay Death Battle”, in which two teams of cosplayers go onstage, and duke it out for the fans’ hearts. Whoever the fans wanted to win the most (as exemplified by the loudness of the cheers) will determine the outcome of the battle. I’d love to see that kind of thing happen at Anime North, or for that matter, any other convention. It would be a different thing to see as opposed to the traditional Cosplay Masquerade event of the sort (which is kind of getting too boring after a while), and might be able to fill the void left by the fact that the much-loved annual wrestling event is gone.
ANIME WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE
This year at Anime North, there were a few trivia-related game shows, such as the Kingdom Hearts Trivia or Anime Jeopardy. But one thing that would be cool to see (and in fact, I hope to be able to do this!) is an anime-themed version of my favorite game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, where contestants would go up to the stage, and answer 15 questions related to the world of anime, manga, gaming, popular culture, and everything else random! I personally think that Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is a several underrated show that deserves more attention, and an anime convention seems like a GREAT IDEA for this game show to be held in, with cash prizes and little gifts to be thrown around for successful contestants. Not to mention, it’s great for a hype crowd experience as shown in the video below:
MORE KARAOKE EVENTS
Some conventions, like Fan Expo or Toronto Comic Con, are void of karaoke-related events, which sucks because I’m a person that likes to sing karaoke. Of course, there’s Anime North for that BUT in recent years, the only two karaoke-related events, Anime Karaoke and Disney Karaoke, are held in the evening – a time when it is near untenable for me to attend, especially for this year (had to get home early on Friday, and the Toronto Raptors were playing on Saturday). And from what I’ve heard, there’s not much that can be done to reschedule these events according to moderators. As such, it would be great if there could be an all-day session perhaps for conventioneers to belt their hearts out to songs that they like – something like what KimiKon did back in 2018, with their “Karaoke for a Cause” event (sing a song, donate $1 to charity).
SPACIOUS CONVENTION HALLS WITH A BIT OF NATURE
I’ve been to two convention halls so far: the Toronto Congress Centre and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and so far among these two, they’ve got a little bit of nature (even if artificially modified) surrounding the buildings. It’s always nice when you can have a convention held not in a packed downtown area sometimes. It’s like being able to immerse yourself in a magical world beyond the city, and beyond the “normal” scope of the world. In my opinion, a convention hall that can be held in these kind of environments are the type of conventions that I’d like to see being held more often.
RELIGIOUS PROTESTORS, GET OUT
I’m a Roman Catholic, and as someone who believes that Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (no salvation outside true, Apostolic Christianity), it irks me when Protestant street preachers try to disturb a convention that has NOTHING TO DO with their religion, with their heretical rhetoric. They should just go and preach their heresy in their own houses, or even better, in Hell, but not under the sun where Christ the King watches their every move. Now, Roman Catholic preachers, on the other hand…
As someone who tends to lean on the side of cosplaying non-mainstream characters, as a last point, it would be nice if I could see cosplayers going as a character from an anime that’s not too mainstream. I mean, I see a lot of people cosplaying from Pokemon, Naruto, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Love Live, Inuyasha, or even as characters like the Super Mario Brothers, Spiderman, Deadpool, or Disney characters. It’s great and all, and I’m a fan of some of the things listed here, but for once I would love to see someone going as, say, characters from non-mainstream or even outdated shows like Lucky Star, Nichijou, or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, of which I have rarely seen in all the conventions I’ve visited.
And, that’s about it for the things that I’d like to see happen in the next few conventions or so. Most of these, like the karaoke and cosplay battle events, are just merely suggestions – but there’s no harm in dreaming, no? If conventions like Anime Boston or Anime Expo could do it, I don’t see a reason for why Canadian conventions can’t adopt them as well. In fact, right now I’m working on enhancing a web application I already have for hopefully hosting Who Wants To Be A Millionaire at Anime North next year. But only until convention time comes around, everything’s all up to God’s Infinite Will…