As the love and appreciation for anime and manga grow, so do the events that help bring them to the people. Ai-kon 2009 filled the Winnipeg Convention Centre with an amazing head count and kept the energy going all weekend long. From mainstream to the not so mainstream, cosplayers showed a huge array of fantastically crafted costumes, eager to strike poses for picture taking. Read on for pics.

From the vendor rooms to the gaming room, it was a great atmosphere. I was pretty surprised at how polite everyone was. Stopping people for pictures, I was sure I was going to get at least one person annoyed enough to rip my face off. That didn’t happen though, in fact I made the mistake of asking a Chi for a picture when we clearly had already taken one from earlier on. When I apologized for wasting her time, she offered me a hug instead. Score.

The Street Fighter 4 tournament was something myself and Oli D. were sure to not miss. We wanted to take part in it ourselves but we found that the input of choice was limited to a shared arcade stick. Shared, as in both players’ sticks and buttons were connected by 1 board. We had tested it earlier in the games room and we rocked the table into next week. Owning and practicing on a PS3 Dualshock 3 controller, we were not used to arcade sticks. Needless to say it would be pretty embarrassing if we took part in this tournament. Pretty entertaining fights by my standards, I just hope no one was offended by my heckling. Ken flowchart much?

Great times. Special thanks to Priscilla C. and Chris W. of the Ai-Kon team. Also a big thanks to all the volunteers who made the event possible. Showroom C’s Ciel and Bunny Girl were very helpful and we’re thankful for the hospitality they showed us. I noticed the Bunny Girl was wearing shorts with her costume, didn’t seem to go with it. Long red hair, white body suit, white bunny ears, leggings and gloves… Oh well, I’m sure she had her reasons.

I wrapped up my Ai-Kon visit with a marathon of classic Voltron and more picture taking. Enough talk, you’re not here for talking. You’re here for the pics! Big ups to Henry Q. and Oli D. for being my picture slaves for the weekend. On that note, if any of these pictures turned out bad, blame them.

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Image aikon-113 Originally uploaded by AccessWinnipeg