View Full Version : Edmonton's Annual Anime Festival

21-03-2006, 05:17 PM
Every summer there is a Japanese Animation festival in the city. It is the Animethon and this year will be it's 13th incarnation.

I went to the first one years ago and it has really grown. Back then it was just a couple of video projectors in a couple of class rooms at the macewan downtown campus and now it is a full-fledged Japanese pop-cultural celebration.

check out the website [http://www.animethon.org], they don't have the programming schedule up yet but the site has everything you need to know.

21-03-2006, 05:23 PM
i have also been to this and found it quite well attended and received. Good on Edmonton.

21-03-2006, 06:17 PM
Yeah, it has really expanded, even to the point of drawing in fans from other cities (they have packages and special rates set up with sponsor hotels).

AFAIK, A couple of years ago the festival had grown to such a size that the admin team was fearful that they may not be able to put on a great quality festival that fans had been used to in the previous years.

They put the ultimatum out to the festival-goers and said "if you want this, you have to come out and help". They did and it has continued.

I haven't been in the past couple of years but i think i will really make the effort to get out there this year. As part of admission you are required to bring a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank - always a good thing.

In the early days it was a great place to see anime that you never would have been able to get a hold of, but now, even with easy accessability through the internet, they still manage to dig up some interesting things that may not be released in North America yet.

21-03-2006, 07:16 PM
Yeah I went one year when it was at MacEwan and enjoyed it. I bought a sweet Ghost in the Shell poster. Though, in one of the screening rooms the rank odour of geek body odour was enough to force me and my friends to make an early exit before the film was done.

21-03-2006, 08:06 PM
Lesser known "sub-culture" conferences like this are great. They add so much spice and variety to the urban fabric of a city!

30-03-2006, 12:03 PM
I thought i might list a few of my (must-sees) for anyone who is interested in classic anime with an engaging story. These are older but i think they have stood the test of time. ^_^
[plot summaries taken from www.animenewsnetwork.com]
Akira - 1988
In the year 2019, thirty-one years have passed since the outbreak of World War III. In Neo-Tokyo, all authority is waging a never-ending struggle against the underground that virtually rules the shattered city. A top-secret child with amazing powers of the minds breaks free from custody and accidentally gets a motorcycle gang involved in the project. The incident triggers psychic powers within one of the members, Tetsuo, and he is taken by the army and experimented on. His mind has been warped and is now on the path of war, exacting revenge on the society that once called him weak.
-- i had never seen anything like it before. it didn't have subtitles so my friend translated for me, a very surreal experience.

Ghost in the Shell - 1995 [original movie]
In the year 2029, the barriers of our world have been broken down by the net and by cybernetics, but this brings new vulnerability to humans in the form of brain-hacking. When a highly-wanted hacker known as 'The Puppetmaster' begins involving them in politics, Section 9, a group of cybernetically enhanced cops, are called in to investigate and stop the Puppetmaster. The pursuit will call into question what makes a human and what is the Puppetmaster in a world where the distinction between human and machine is increasingly blurry.

Grave of the Fireflies - 1988
On the final days of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko are orphaned after their mother is killed during an air-raid by American forces in Kobe, Japan. After having a falling-out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency funds and rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko must struggle to survive their hardships as well as those of their country, which is on the losing end of the war.

Wings of Honneamise - 1987
Surrounded by a cynical public and corrupt, manipulative State leaders, the Royal Space Force (RSF) is largely viewed as a joke as well as a waste of precious money and resources. After a chance meeting with a young, empathetic woman reencourages cadet Shiro Lhadatt to become the first man in space, the RSF cadets and a team of aging scientists rush to complete their epic launch before the military uses their space program as bait to start an all-out war.

Hiyao Miyazaki- absolutely anything!!

I know this list is very “anime 101” and that anyone even “slightly” interested in anime would have already seen these. I could end up listing other great stuff like Battle Angel Alita, Cowboy Bebop, Macross, Hachimitsu to Clover & BECK - Mongolian Chop Squad but i would be here forever.(but I guess I already did - ^_^)

I would really like to know anyone else's "must see" list. There is so much out there now that sometimes it is hard to determine the wheat from the chaff. ^_^

30-03-2006, 01:43 PM
I am a huge Ghost in the Shell fan and I would recommend adding:

Ghost in the Shell: Innocence (sequal to the orginal movie)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (1st and 2nd Gig)

To your list if you can manage to see them there.

I haven't been keeping up to date with anime so my list might be a bit on the old side, but my favorites in the past have been:

Monster (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=3750) - serious anime

Full Metal Alchemist - popular for good reason.. great ideas for a show. Story lines are sometimes a bit typical, but cool execution.

Scrapped Princess (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=2083) - popcorn anime... fun to watch at times, serious at others. Decent story line that isn't too confusing.

Gunslinger Girl (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=2947) - more serious anime than most - examines the lives of <12 year old girls who have been trained/modified to be government assasins.

Midori no Hibi (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=2083) - Hilarious, fan service, and sex humour. Girl likes boy, boy doesn't notice girl, girl ends up replacing boy's right hand (yea you heard me)... hilarity ensues.

10-04-2006, 10:02 AM
Thanks! That Monster sounds really neat - i am definately going to check that one out. I watch a little of the Full Metal Alchemist on YTV on Friday nights, i know it is dubbed, (subtitles are always better ^_^) but so far so good.

There is one called Gankutsuou (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=4194), it is based on The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. It uses this really stunning background animation style, really rich and lavish.

There has been a lot of growth in interest over the years, it used to be very “underground”, but now there seem to be quite a few anime clubs and festivals in the city.

The Banzai Anime Klub of Alberta (http://www.ualberta.ca/~baka/main.html) (BAKA) is the offical University of Alberta Japanese Animation Club.

NAIT Anime Club (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animenait/)

Harry Ainley High School Anime Club (http://www.geocities.com/harry_ainlay_anime/)

JP Wagner High School (http://fuyufest.eviternal.net/index.php) – this is actually a festival there are planning to put on annually

A lot of committed anime fans in the city. ^_^

Sonic Death Monkey
10-04-2006, 10:41 AM
Is there any potential of this blossoming into a full-fledged sci-fi/fantasy/comics/anime festival?

I once found myself checking out the San Diego Comic Con while visiting the area and it was a hoot! While I don't envision something that huge happening in E-town, a smaller-scale version of it could be another notch on the Festival City belt.

10-04-2006, 11:14 AM
that is an interesting idea ^_^

I went to the star wars convention that was held at the shaw, i think it was about 8 yrs ago, can't remember... - Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davis were there but if memory serves me, i was kind of un-impressed by the numbers...i was thinking, "Where is everyone?"

i mean, don't get me wrong, those that showed up were "hardcore" but there wasn't too many of them.

maybe there were a ton of people and time has fiddled with that memory...

i don't know if the animathon would "share the stage" with non-amine/non-japanese stuff.

Edmonton has that annual comic/toy/record fair things but it really just a big marketplace, not really a place for the community to get together and share... but if edmonton would have a all-encompassing "super-geek" covention i would buy a weekend pass.

Sonic Death Monkey
10-04-2006, 11:52 AM
If that Star Wars pow-wow you spoke of was combined with your animathon and that comic/toy fair, it would result in a diverse and eclectic showcase that brings a large cross-section people with common interests together.

This anime show seems to have the numbers. As for comics, I remember wandering into Warp off Whyte Ave recently and it was packed with people. Same with the shop across from the Garneau theatre. And funny enough, nobody appeared to resemble the comics guy on the Simpsons.

The San Diego show had a costume party and contest if I remember correctly. Any excuse for women to dress up in skimpy outfits would be alright by me!

It can also be a showcase for any local talent in the above areas. Todd MacFarlane is from here - he's a member of the Oilers Investors Group, last I checked.

Geeks unite! :D

05-06-2006, 03:30 PM
The animethon is getting closer, i thought that the website (http://animethon.org) might have a programming schedule up by now but perhaps it is a logistical nightmare - too bad - i was looking forward to see what they were planning on showing.

Sonic Death Monkey
08-07-2006, 08:45 PM
The Animethon must be on, there are some strangely-dressed people walking around downtown this weekend! :)

10-07-2006, 12:31 AM
yup. i went with a couple of friends on saturday. My firends were dressed up (Kagara from Inu Yasha and Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi) and i couldn't get past the camaraderie that permeated the place. Strangers would come up and hug my friends calling them by their character's names and asking to take their photos. Everyone seemed to feel so comfortable with one another and there was such a feeling of belonging. It didn't matter how geeky you were because EVERYBODY was a geek. ^_^

...as the Youngbloods' "Let's Get Together" fades out...

the only crappy thing was you had to pay 12 bucks to even get ACCESS to the marketplace - yes, i want to spend 12 bucks just to have the privilage to spend MORE money. ':roll:'

10-07-2006, 03:49 AM
the only crappy thing was you had to pay 12 bucks to even get ACCESS to the marketplace - yes, i want to spend 12 bucks just to have the privilage to spend MORE money. ':roll:'

Eh? Who's smart idea was this? Unless there are some killer deals to be had or else they had stuff you can't get anywhere else, I don't see this happening. I guess a the rant here about how a lot of the big comic book stores rip people off might not be too far off the mark.

Was it popular at all?

10-07-2006, 09:58 AM
that decision, i believe was from the organizing committee, not the vendors. Why would a business want to limit the customers that could come to it's place of business? I don't know the count but there were a lot of people, more than i had seen in the past and the marketplace was really busy.

16-02-2007, 02:43 PM
Hello all,
Dominika, A14 Marketing Director here, I thought I would clarify as to why there was a payment required to access the marketplace.

Basically, Animethon needs to pay for the venue, the whole organization is not-for-profit and volunteer run, but we do not get Grant MacEwan for free. Once budget figures are finalized I will be glad to release the cost of the entire festival. Presently, ticket sales are the only way in which Animethon can make back the cost of operating the festival, while keeping it affordable for those fans that only want to watch anime and cannot afford any merchandise.

As for the merchandise in the dealer's room (this year the "Exhibition Hall") much of the merchandise is not readily available in Edmonton and this year we will be trying to get even more merchandisers from abroad, so the value of the ticket in is well worth it.

Would information on who the vendors are be a good way to let people decide whether they want to enter the marketplace?

If this is an unacceptable explanation, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

or check out the website: www.animethon.org

As for getting the schedule up on the site before the event, it is indeed a logistical nightmare. The schedule usually is sent in for printing into the guidebook a week before the festival!

Thank you!
A14 Marketing Director

Sonic Death Monkey
09-08-2015, 10:06 PM
Heard on the news that Animethon has now outgrown MacEwan and will be moving to the Shaw next year.

10-08-2015, 08:10 AM
Great to hear, good on the organizers.

22-10-2015, 08:30 AM
Actually that was a misunderstanding.

Our smaller winter anime event, A Taste of Animethon, will be moving to the Shaw (Jan 22&23, 2016).

The larger summer event will still be at MacEwan.
Weekend after Heritage Days as usual.

The Shaw just doesn't have enough space in the configuration the event requires (lack of Salons) without scaling down the breadth and scope of the event, or working with multiple venues in addition to the Shaw.