Anime Evolution 2003 Report



Here is my Anime Evolution experience. I knew it was a first time sort of mini-convention of this style so I kept my distance to see how things would run, yet at the same time help out a little bit here and there.

One of the big things I did was to help promote it by doing an interview with CBC Radio, the BC Almanac. It starts off with an interview with cosplayer, Danaka Conners; and then switches over to me and my store,

Click here to hear my interview in mp3 format.

Danaka Conners

Below are some of the pictures and commentary for Anime Evolution 2003. I hope there is a 2004, where I will be sure to step up my participation.

Friday night, July 26, 2003.

Ok, I arrive at the con, after closing my store at 7pm. Fortunately for me, the big mess was over. I got into the convention ready for a quiet night playing games in front of our video room. Unfortunately, this was not to be.

The convention was chronically short of staff to undertake the enormous number of events it took on to do. I ended up taking care of con-ops all night and for part of the morning. It is here were I got a good insight of how bad things got.

Now, to an average convention go-er, they are sheltered and blinded from a lot of background work and chaos needed to make things flow. As long as things are happening, the guests are obivious to their choatic surroundings. Well, for the most part, I think the staff did a good job fooling the masses. However, internally, handling the record 1200+ number of people that showed up was a logistical nightmare. The after math in con-ops only began to tell the tale.

To help Ben Koshy and Jen Wong (con chairs), I stayed in con-ops and lent a hand where a hand was needed. As I was tidying up the room from the random chaos some startling discoveries were made. We had only a box and a half convention booklets left, that is 200 plus maybe 60 books left for Saturday and Sunday, so some of the guests aren't going to get an official booklet, schedule and etc... Ok, continuing along, I finished sorting out the piles of flyers and handouts and convention bags which were graciously supplied by Bandai. However, I counted the boxes and there was maybe 100 or so con bags left... Oh boy.... So some of the late commers will get nothing at all, I continue cleaning and I got to the small things like badges and holders. I quickly counted and realized that there was only some 200 badge holders, ok no big deal we can always get more, but there was only about 50 adult con badges left. OH BOY!! I told the con chairs this problem and they worked on it for a good part of the night to much no avail. The problem had to be solved in the morning.

A good part of the night was quiet because many of the rooms had to be shut down due to the lack of volunteers and staff to run the rooms. I came here to help keep the VJAS room open and running videos but I ended up sucked up by convention services to fill the void in staff positions. I will have to remember this for planning next year, to staff my event rooms myself.

Morning couldn't come soon enough, as I needed to head back to my store to bank up some hours of sleep before tommorrow evening's shift.





BEFORE: Ahh, this is nice and quiet. The empty hallways before the chaos ensues.

AFTER: AHHHH!! Stress! Con go-ers were hit with a nasty 3,4, even 5 hour line up through registration. Ouch....

A combination of a late start, delay in supplies and a huge undestimation of first day turn out resulted in a logistical nightmare on day 1.

Signs, signs everywhere there are signs. This guy had the right idea. Unfortunately, as convoluted the SFU campus was, there wasn't good signage as to where important con functions were, namely Registration. This was partially corrected by day 2 but many people spent 15, 30, even 60 minutes wandering through the concourse looking for rooms.

The small and ever crowded dealers room. Although, out of the way and out of sight and almost out of mind, it was a reward to those adventuring con-goers to come here and score a good deal on some anime merchandise.

Although, if you lived in Vancouver, you could have visited their stores and bought it without all the lineups and hassle, but it was good for those who didn't know.

This is a little different, an outdoor main stage. A good idea since most of the theatres and such don't have adequate seating for lots of people. Definitely a refreshing change. Thou, the only major complaint was from the cosplayers who said the outdoor venue lent itself to outdoor distractions and lack of stage microphones for their skits.

The Cosplay

Now, normally I would put up lots of pictures of weirdos wearing their wares. However, since many of these people at this convention actually live in Vancouver and many of them are my customers, I can't speak ill of them. However, I can post up a few notable pictures with some comments to give you a feel of the festive nature of the con.




Akuma shows up. I have his picture from other Sakura Cons, but it was nice to see him make it up here.

John sent me this pic of him and the 2 sailor warriors. I am sure he used the great opening line with cosplayers "Hey, could I get my picture with the 2 of you?"

You know John, you got it all wrong, see next picture ---->

Now, this guy has the right idea, cosplay as the green raping tentacle of lust, I am sure he got a lot of free gropes and hugs all con long.

And get this, he would allowed to because he would be playing his character in the anime...

This isn't the first time I have seen her in this costume, she wore this for J-fest 2001, but I like maid stuff.

Here is Thomas in his Ruffi outfit that he wore at Sakura Con 2001.

And the counterpart, Nathiel also in a One Piece costume.

The Gang

Most of the staff for the con was made up of members from the local clubs of Vancouver, the 2 universities and even reps from Sakura Con did their best to put together a seamless convention, And for the most part they did. Here are some of the pictures of us around the convention. Now, these bums I deal with on a regular basis so I can rant more freely abou them.

Here we have our VP, coined as "Chad of Arabia", is all geared up for a game of "99 cans of pop the wall".

Colin here helped with volunteer staff. He was a great help during the night shift up at con-ops.

Here is our trusty security man Sly hard at work.


Here is volunteer and slave, Harvey with his wonder hamster.

Here is volunteer pusher Rob, volunteering to push the paper.

Freon has the right idea, stay cool with the DEW!

The guys running the UBC anime room.

"I don't know anything, ask her..."

Ryan of VSWAT, busy trying to do a last minute program change.

"Hmm.. what do you think about moving the Overfiend Movie after the Sailor Moon here?...."

Ah, it is great to have good security staff.


Saturday night July 27, 2003

Ok, this night shift at Con Ops was not as weird as the night before. This time there was extra staff and volunteers running around as oppose to Friday night. The video rooms ran much more smoother than last night and there were far less incidents that needed to be dealt with.

However, there was a chronic shortage of food, coffee and drinks, unlike the night before. Also, there was the problem of most of the staff sleeping in for the morning. I was suppose to do 9pm to 8am, but I ended up not leaving until close to 10:00am. Note, that most of the staff didn't arrive until 9:30am which was wonderful when registration and dealers rooms open at 10:00am, 10:30am... Ahhh yes, something called fashionably late? NOT!!!

But fortunately for me, I was outta there and I had to sneak back to my store to grab a few winks and to run the store through the day.

I am happy that the convention did well and made record attendance, I am happy that the dealers did well and made money, so I hope they all return next year. But most of all, I hope all the convention guest had a good time, so they will return for Anime Evolution 2004. If they get it off the ground, I will see you there!!