By James Rovbert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
I had a late start on the second day for Tsukino-Con. I had what is known among us older con-goers as the con hangover. That is when a man like me stays up too late, drinks little water eats even less and wakes up with one huge hangover. It’s not a pretty sight and it made me realize I can’t pull it off like I did way back in 1995, at Anime Expo.
The second day appeared to be the most active of the con fan-wise. Many people were out in droves wearing a wide variety of costumes. They came dressed as Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and also as members of the Attack on Titan recon team (the most popular cosplay at Tsukino-Con this year).
I had a few things left over from day one to wrap up. A visit to the Cosplay Cafe was on my list and I still had yet to make a proper purchase at the dealers’ room. I purchased a stack of eight unopened UK-released Studio Ghibli DVDs from Beth’s Treasures. The proprietor was dressed in a wonderful Porco Rosso costume from Hayao Miyazaki’s film of the same name. She explained to me that the items I was purchasing was from Beth’s own collection. Beth had sadly passed away and the sales of her collection at anime conventions were in the hope that her treasures would find their way into the hands of people who could truly appreciate them. Thank you for the DVDs Beth, I will treasure them just as you did. At another dealer’s table selling items from the most popular currect animes, a Sword Art Online satchel at $40 was doable if only it didn’t sell an hour before I arrived. Instead I bought a very fine Sword Art Online wallet ($15) to replace the old wallet that had finally given up the ghost.
The con felt different to me on Day Two somehow. It felt like a fan love-in. I spent the first two days meeting new people. For that I would like to thank Jeff and Jesse from Abbotsford for a great chat inside the con’s Cosplay Cafe and to University of Victoria (UVic) student Cameron and her sister Rachael for their help with my shopping.
My only concern on day two was attending panels. There were so many to choose from. When you attend Tsukino-Con you have to plan these things carefully. Walking around blind and randomly picking a panel is not the way to go. [I could have told you that, -Ed.] Panels were arranged by different room sizes depending on how popular the subject was: Madoka Magica, Roleplayer Improv, and Dance Dance Revolution were all expected to bring in huge audiences. A number of panels had line ups spanning the interior of the Engineering and Science (ECS) Building. Seeing the crowds outside each panel room I decided to attend a healthy mix of “what’s hot in popular culture” and “what’s low-key but interesting.”
My first panel of the day was taught by a UVic professor and was called “Department of Pacific and Asian Studies: Japanese Pop Culture.” The panel was created as a way of showing how anime could be a passport into learning Japanese culture at a university. It did accomplish what it set out to do at a minimum level. But overall the panel was not what I expected. It was less engaging and informative then I had hoped it would be.
The last panel of my day was quite the opposite. Hosted by Adam Park (Tsukino-Con organizer), “Anime Over 25” was a lively discussion on the condition known as “anime burn out.” Many of the attendees gave helpful suggestions and I came away with a small list of anime titles to investigate. But one very important thing I learned from the panel: no matter how one may roll their eyes in response, fan service does have its place in the anime indusstry.