Normally, Saturday would be the day I’m most excited for at a convention, since most of the good content occurs on Saturday. Sadly, that was the last thing on my mind when I got up at around 6AM in the morning. First things first, I had to head out to SFU Surrey to write my final exam. It started at 8:30AM, and I was done by around 10:45AM. With the exam out of the way, I took the Skytrain all the way down to Waterfront for the biggest day of the convention.
Day 1 or Friday for most conventions is usually the quietest of the three days. Some people still have work and/or school on the Friday and it seems to get busier as the day goes by. To make the most out of the convention, I got up at around 8AM in the morning to get some work done. At about 9AM, I went down to Burrard Station to pick up our final member Puddi, and brought him back to our hotel room. He was a bit tired and really hungry, so the next thing we did was go out and get some breakfast. If there’s one thing you have to do going out to a convention, it’s to make sure you’re well hydrated and well fed. It’s going to be a long week and you want to be able to enjoy it without feeling sick or hungry throughout.
It feels like our last convention wasn’t too long ago, and it really wasn’t. However, we were set on going to Anime Revolution this year due to a variety of factors. The first of which was the vast improvements they have made year after year. For a con that’s only heading into its fourth year, we were looking forward to an even bigger and better convention this year. Unlike previous years, I was set to have a blast and stay in a hotel near the convention center to maximize my time at the convention center and to remove the hassle of going back and forth from my home out to Waterfront.
To start off the New Year, I was expecting to write about the back-to-school rush and all the good stuff that comes along with that. (No seriously, this stuff can be important.) Regardless, I wasn’t expecting to write about a convention so early on in the year. Given that the last convention in Vancouver that I attended occurred back in August of last year. To my surprise, a friend of mine told me this winter, Anime Revolution would also run a smaller convention called AniRevo: Winter. It is a one day convention held at a different location with a smaller venue. It’s hosted at Art Institute Vancouver, one of many Art Institute campuses in North America. The convention ticket sales were slated to start being sold at 9AM in the morning, but as one can see above, people were already lining up half an hour before that.
On the bright side, the line up went fairly smoothly and we were inside within 20 minutes of waiting in line from when the doors opened. There were a bunch of tables set up with people manning tablets for ticket sales. Each person was given a wristband after paying, and were required to show them in almost every area of the convention. I came here with my friend Mike and another friend nicknamed “The LewdMaster” or “Lewdson” for short. The back area pictured here is where the main event hall was located, and already had things set up for people to start lining up. I meant to drop by the first event which was The 404’s Improv group, but due to some time constraints after stepping out to grab some breakfast, the room was already filled.
Also found in the area on the second level is the Maid Cafe. Unfortunately, between going to events and spending time with my friends, I didn’t manage to enter the maid cafe which is a real shame. I had a fun time last time with Puddi back at AniRevo 2014 in August. However, I can only only assume it was just as great if not better. The venue had a small cafe and it was used and decorated to look more like a maid cafe. In addition to the cafe, there was also a fully stocked kitchen since the school also happens to have a culinary program. One can pretty much venture to say that the food served was also on par if not better than Coal Harbor Cafe which was used for the main convention in 2014.
Ah, the swimsuit contest. This event was quickly at max capacity as many people wanted to watch this 18+ event. I tried to get in last year, but coming a bit late to even try to lineup meant you wouldn’t be able to make it inside. The room was bigger this year and it still managed to hit max capacity. When we got in, people were still getting settled and the judges were starting to sit down as well.
Just like I said before, the room was packed fairly quickly and people were denied entry once maximum capacity was reached due to fire and safety regulations. On the bright side, there was a healthy mix of people here and it wasn’t as much of a one-sided afair as I thought it would be. People got seated and were fairly quiet for the most part except when asked to cheer or clap.
Where should I even start? I mean this was probably my most hectic weekend in a long time. I actually just came back from a camping trip the previous week and even that wasn’t as tiring as this weekend convention was. One thing I’ve come to realize after going to many conventions is how important getting sleep early on the Thursday is and how one should have a larger than normal breakfast. Chances are the first night’s sleep is really going to be the only large amount of sleep you’ll get and when you get to the con, you will have to make your lunch/dinner times very flexible.
You would think after coming here last year, I wouldn’t be surprised by this long lineup, but I still am. The line actually goes all the way outside and has two parts to the line just like the previous day. The convention center was packed in the morning as people were trying to grab their passes and file into the main convention area. Personally, I had arrived a little early to make sure we could get good seats into the events we wanted to head to. I was here early in the morning with my friend Mike and puddi and went toward the opening ceremony. Just for clarification, puddi also had a press pass just like me and that would become important later on during the week.
Day 0 of Anime Revolution is a little different from most conventions as there is nothing to do here except pick up your pass here. I waited with my friend a bit to pick up his pass, but I had to go pick up a friend from the bus station so I ended up leaving for about 30 to 40 minutes. My good friend puddi whom I met at Sakura-con came up to join me for AR this year to double up the fun.
Let’s just say when I got back, the line was about the same. My friend had finally entered the main building and waited in line for another 40 or so minutes before getting his pass. I went over to the VIP ticket area to grab my press pass with puddi. Seriously, it may be worth shelling out the extra money to get a VIP pass or just buying your ticket at the door which is faster than pickup. This definitely hasn’t changed one bit from last year, but if you buy passes at an early bird price, it’s not bad to stand in line and meet some new people. Anyway, it’s getting late and I’m getting tired, so I’ll just sign off here looking forward to a fun filled day tomorrow at the official start of Anime Revolution 2014. If you are heading out there, give me a shout-out on Twitter and let’s meet up. You can contact me @shcboomer.