What a year … glad to see it go

What a year 2020 has been and 2021 is shaping up to be even worse. I attended two cons for the entire year that was before the FIRST lock down. Now that we’re in our second lock down, I can see no return of our club in future of 2021. The club and as much the website ground to a halt in March 2020. I shifted to mostly running the Facebook page. Like many of cosplayers soon ran out of content and ideas to post to their social media.

The one saving grace to 2020 was Animal Crossing New Horizons. Not that it matter to me, I was without it and a Nintendo Switch until August when I picked up a Nintendo Switch Lite and ACNH. I ended up with a Nintendo Switch and month later but it wasn’t until start of December I could move the AnimeLDN island from the Switch Lite to the Switch.  I am also slow to get into designer clothing on ACNH.  The island has sporadic anime references hidden around the island. The dram address, DA-6676-4270-8169, means you can visit it anytime, from anywhere.

With all that has happen in 2020, we all HOPE that 2021 is the year things turn around. Stay healthy, stay alert, and stay watching anime and reading manga.

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Long time no blog

I must admit I haven’t been blogging for a long time. The past four months have been historic as the entire world came to a grinding halt with COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention conventions and also our club meetings also suddenly stopped. While things are looking better in Canada better, things south of the border has been a dumpster fire with race riots and total chaotic restart far too soon. Reason seems to have lost on most people. I don’t see return to normal any time soon.

I can only hope for return to cons in 2021 as many hope. Hopefully we can all meet again.

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Back to the blog

Trying to get back to blogging starting with updating.

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Love Live photo shoot at AnimeNorth 2018

Really Sunday morning wasn’t all bad. In spite of how much negativity Love Live fans get in the media, AN Love Live photo shoot was sunny. Maybe too much sun as some cosplayers took a fashionable way to keep out of the sun. Surprisingly even the cosplayers weren’t above pranking each other. Sit back and enjoy these photos.

Catch these and more on Cosplay Amino and Instagram

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PLUS ULTRA! Last minute My Hero Academia photo shoot is pure gold.

Even with Anime North 2018 drawing to a close, cosplayers got in one last crack of posing together. My Hero Academia cosplayers were drawn far and wide to All Night’s booming voice. Not only did this All Might have the voice but the build as well.  Those are real muscles he earned in training. No word if he used One Punch Man’s regime of training.

Still over all these photos are PLUS ULTRA!

Follow this one Amino or Instagram!

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Pretty Heroes 2018 – the con that could rebrands itself to be more inclusive

Back for another year of Sailor Moon Celebration… except this year TSMC rebranded as Pretty Heroes to include ALL magical girl shows; especially the new season of Card Captor Sakura, Clear Card Arc. Unfortunate that booking forced Pretty Heroes to be at the same time as Yeti Con.

The real problem is Pretty Heroes was at its limit with Ontario Science Centre with space. Dealer room spanned three locations, Main room, bridge way, and Indie dealer room on two levels made it awkward.  I didn’t even noticed that the bridge way out of bound last year was being used for more artists and cosplay guests until late in the day.  Things got moved around but I got my media pass finally and was able to room freely.

With smaller cons, I could relax and take in panels as oppose to larger cons like Anime North and Fan Expo so I took in the Card Captor panel.

Everyone favorite turtle and a real iron man, Matt Hill was there talking about how he came up with Kero’s voice. He talked about his epic walk around the continent for science.




Carly McKillop was the original voice of Sakura. Being only 10 years old at the time, she recorded her lines alone in the sound booth. She also did work along with her sister on Sabrina the Teenage Witch animated series.  Since then she has made a name of herself on the other side of the glass as a producer of music.  This was her first appearance at a con for her role as Card Captor Sakura but after seeing her sister at cons for her work on My Little Ponies; she decided to give Pretty Heroes a try. Hope to see her more at cons in the future.

This was also the time to try NEW things at Pretty Heroes.  I’ve been wishing for a long time to show photos and videos in 360. Meaning the photo or video looks like you’re right there.  I did eye a Samsung Gear 360 but the software and apps didn’t work with my existing hardware. It would have cost me nearly a grand to operate one.

Instead I managed to get my hands days on a Monster Vision VR camera for $99 which worked with my current iPhone and tablet. Some quirks like the micro SD card wouldn’t insert properly unless it was forced with edge of micro SD adapter. The remote pictured above didn’t even have screws holding the back together. I had to go to Electrical & Electronics Supply on 501C Nightingale Ave to get screws small enough to fix it. In the end, I didn’t use it but used my iPhone instead.

I brought a regular tripod but my selfie stick attached to mini tripod worked better though not too stable. I was able to capture some rooms and record the masquerade is 360 video. How I’m going to get these images to website and social media is going to be another story of trial and error.

It was also the time to try out my hand at rebranding a game just for Pretty Heroes. Coming across a Flappy Bird clone on github, I remade the bird into a flying teddie bear. It was an interesting experiment but it’s hard to gauge on whither fans will embrace an indie tribute game.  Kero Flap is up for a limited time so be sure to check it out.

Prior to the masquerade the panel “Successful Women in Fandom” panel ran over time with questions and answers. It was a great panel and they’re just going to have it again next year. I was worried about the time being that my bus back was at a firm 8:30pm.

The masquerade was charming this year with The Last Son cosplay as host this year. He did a great job and hope to see him back again next year. The masquerade was pretty informal with one sudden contestant at the end with her own original cosplay character.

All in all a good time, I can see that Pretty Heroes has outgrow Ontario Science Centre though the OSC staff literally bent over backwards to help make sure the con was a success.  Hopefully Pretty Heroes can get their old weekend back for next year so it doesn’t collide with other cons. I look forward to next year.


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Anime Road Trip – Kino’s Journey VS Girls Last Tour

Kino's Journey, Kino no Tabi, Girls Last Tour, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou

Since now we’re meeting two nights instead of one, we reviewed two similar but different animes, Kino’s Journey (Kino no Tabi) and Girls Last Tour (Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou).

Kino no Tabi has already had success as several movies, OVAs so why has it taken so long to come as an anime series? Kino has dystopian feel with each story being a parable or fable with a lesson. Girls Last Tour has apocalyptic view of a world destroyed by war.  Both series centers on two character dialogue; Kino with her motorcycle and Chito and Yuuri with track motorbike.

“This had a very familiar setup. You have the typical drifter-type character as the protagonist, wandering from place to place. This gives the general feel of a different culture/society each week, with each episode being an independent story.

The main character is not really revealed to us, which will likely happen gradually over the series. All in all, this felt more like a spaghetti western, with the quiet stranger. In that sense, it kind of reminded me of Vampire Hunter D (a personal favourite).”

Kino no Tabi – Braden

“I thought this was interesting.

The plot moves at a very slow pace, focusing mostly on the relationship between the two characters and giving the viewer the chance to see something of the world it is set in.

Since the pacing is so slow, and since not a lot is revealed, this may not be for everyone. The implication is it is post-apocalyptic, with the characters scavenging the ruins, but aside from that, we know very little. It seems to be set up with the intention of revealing more as time goes on.

All in all, I am curious to see where this goes.”

Girls Last Tour – Braden

Mostly both series are social commentaries. Kino’s Journey does vary in topic from episode to episode as Kino travels from country to country (aka city state).  Girls Last Tour wanders aimlessly through same scenario though later episodes are showing signs that there is some other survivors of undefined war.

“Not sure what to call this — it’s too involved to be a vignette, too subtle to be a parable, and has too much of a (pacifist) point to be a character study. It is short, though, and shows a delicate balance between melancholy and comedy relief.”

Girls Last Tour – Doug

“the return of an old friend. the only thing i dislike is that there’s all this traveling, but no destination. u could watch these episodes in any order.”

Kino’s Journey – humanbean

“short, cute, and nothing too serious. Would be interested to see where this series would go with the story.”

Girls Last Tour – Branden

Girl Last Tour looks worth following as well as Kino’s Journey.  I don’t know which would hold my interest more. Girls Last Tour has its own unique art style.  Let us know what you think.

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Manga Reading List – Shoukoku no Altair

Shoukoku no Altair manga

With the new summer season coming , it time to take a look at the new shows. Okay they’re not out yet so lets take a look at the manga that inspired summer season offerings.

Shoukoku no Altair

Mahmut is a young Pasha serving on the council of the Türkiye Stratocracy. The clouds of war are gathering over his country as the threat of the aggressive Empire looms large. With Türkiye’s council split between the warmongers and the pacifists, Mahmut begins his quest to keep the peace at any cost. As he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper in the politics of the ancient world, new enemies and allies surface. Who will prevail? What will Mahmut do if war proves to be inevitable?

Mahmut est un jeune Pacha desservant le conseil de la Stratocratie de Türkiye. Les nuages de guerre se rassemblent sur son pays alors que la menace de l’Empire agressif se développe. Avec le conseil de Türkiye divisé entre les belligérants et les pacifistes, Mahmut commence sa quête pour garder la paix à tout prix. À mesure qu’il se retrouve plus profond et plus profond dans la politique du monde antique, de nouveaux ennemis et alliés font surface. Qui prévaudra? Que fera Mahmut si la guerre s’avère inévitable?

from Manga Updates

Shoukoku no Altair - Pasha Sehir Khalil

First chapter is huge 66 page arc which does well to set the tone of the series. Characters are interestingly introduced with flair that doesn’t drag done the story. There is the classical pasha stereotype that we all associate with Arabian Tales with a twist. The old retiring pasha who is Mahmut’s mentor has a secret regret that ties them together.


Shoukoku no Altair - Golden Eagle MahmutHowever conspirator’s cunning is no match for Mahmut’s own deviousness as he quickly out tricks the tricksters and assassins with the flair of Sakamoto minus the glasses and school uniform.   The deed is exposed  and villains exposed and dealt with … right?  The end of the first chapter instead ends in a stalemate. This is only the opening salvo of a long line of attempts on Mahmut’s beloved country.

Shoukoku no Altair - Dancer Shara and MulmutThe second chapter opens up with love interest and a female protagonist, Shara.  She tries to make her moves on lead Mahmut.  I’ve already got this girl on my desirable “Waifu” list. Cute, mischievous, a little bold. She fits into the plot along with Mahmut’s childhood friend who ends up being accused of treason and declaring independence from Altair.  As troops amass to end the rebellion, Muhmut is determined to get there first to discover the truth behind this conspiracy before it ends in bloodshed.

However, our newly introduced strong willed heroine mysteriously joins Mahmut of her own accord.  She has her own reasons to save a friend in Hisar as well.

Shoukoku no Altair - Strong willed female protagonist Shara

Okay I’m hooked on this series. The political intrigue, hot dancing girl, young smart protagonist, the evil plotting foreign minister all wrapped in Arabian setting. I’m set to see how the anime adaptation plays out this coming July.

Shoukoku no Altair  – Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical

Published by Kodansha Comics Online. Seriously you’ll be wishing for the hard copy of this one.

No infringement is intended and this article is purely for informational purposes. The images of the series are for indicative purposes only.  Aucune infraction vise et cet article est purement à titre informatif. Les images de la série sont à titre indicatif seulement.


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The Chill of the North – A look at This Year’s Anime North

Union Person Weston station

Union Pearson Express station in Weston

Even last month, about 3000 unsold weekend passes for Anime North.  The chill of PC Leadership Convention right next door to Anime North is definitely being felt. Whither it’s competition for hotel, restaurant space; Anime North pushed the local businesses resources to the breaking point anyway.  With national media, candidates, supporters, protesters, what-ever, this year’s Anime North will no doubt put local area past the breaking point.

The bright side is with the national media there, it’s a chance for the awesome cosplayers that hasn’t gotten any press to shine on the national and maybe international stage.

Add to the mix, shutdown to the main subway line to Anime North, it doesn’t get any better… if not worse.  Or does it?  One thing a local of Weston pointed out to me is the Union Pearson Express line has a stop in Weston and right on the road that supplies the TTC bus directly Anime North. For about $5.65, you can by pass the subway and most of the traffic to AN in less than 20 minutes.

True this all makes this year’s Anime North a ‘challenge’ but after last year’s 30 degree weather and lugging 25 pounds of gear; I’ve have been fast tracking upgrading my gear to lighter and better. I purchased a PC tablet to replaced the full size laptop from last year.

Video wise, I’ve trying out using two Sony Action Cams doesn’t really work as well as proper camcorder. They have a VERY short focal length and I would have to practically place on stage to be any use for Masquerade.  I’ve been trying to find a replacement for my old DV camcorder with no luck.  Not only do I have to change format but also add several batteries for recording up to 3 hours.

I’ve upgraded my iPhone to 32 gig model.  I don’t want to be caught having to erase something in the middle of anything happening.  The hard part comes down the final days before Anime North packing my gear and clothes to bare minimal needed. In theory, I could be posting photos couple of times a day.  In practice, it could prove challenging at best.  I’ve been slowly building towards this year’s Anime North with each event I covered along the way.  It was 5 years since I had been to Anime North. It’s going to take more than just a year to catch up technically to cover AN as I should.  I even been trying to find a ‘travel vest’ which can hold all this new lighter gear without a backpack. I don’t want to use vests used by airgun because of the look.  I’m still a long way yet.

At least last year’s purchase of t-Shirts with Anime London logo was a smart move.  As I wear them now at every con.  I might also might have to pack a lunch and some drinks as everything within miles of Metro Congress Center will be packed with people.

See you in a few weeks… and good luck.

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On the road again … Toronto ComiCon


Last minute work schedule uncertainty and unable to find accomendations at the last minute, meant another one day excursion again to Toronto ComiCon.  Might you going all out 24 hours is exillerating but after over 2 decades of covering cons, I just can’t go on vapours like I use to.  3:45am departure means little sleep before hand. Packing light enough is always a challenge.  As more practice for Anime North I’m trying to carry about the same amount of gear or better in less space and weight. I’m down to three cameras,  one still and two Sony Action Cams a single tripod, selfie stick (aka mono pod) and Gorilla Grip camera mount. The laptop is replaced by a PC tablet. 25 pounds of gear reduce to about a third  of carried during last year’s Anime North.  I’m still not where I want to be with a SD camcorder to replace the now bulky out of date DV camcorder I have now.   Plus I’m still on the look out for gadget vest to hold it all so I can forgo the backpack.

So I’m in for another 9 hours of go Go GO!!! at Toronto ComiCon. Stay tune on all (social media) channels for coverage. Who knows, even I might find something more that I just have to have for upcoming cons.



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