Friday, June 5, 2009

Anime North 2009: Chapter 5

It’s eigh o’clock in the morning, and I’m stairing at my bottle of pre-mixed brain juice. Mmm Orange flavoured. Every time there is a lull in the excitement, or boredom starts to creep around the corner from its insidious home within the yuri/yoai pavilion I have another sip. It makes me smarter, more energized, ready to take on the day!

By nine forty five my bottle is half empty. Text messages are sent out to that effect, and what they state terrifies all who receive them. It turns out that I had made my way to a part of Anime North known as Doll North, where – for the last hour – I had been sitting listening to a nurse lead a panel on how to discover your dolls true personality.

Ahh yes, I am in the world of BJDs (that’s Ball Joint Dolls for the uninitiated.) These are dolls which require their own special clothing, tailored exactly to fit. These are dolls that require careful purchasing, and selection. Each company makes its own style of faces, but once you’ve chosen that you must get the right colour hair, and then style it ever so perfectly. Things do not stop there either, for there are a variety of eyes (though the old ones must be removed with pins and hair dryers – that much I picked up from my clouded state of “way too early to be up.”) Even still, once all of that has been selected, and your doll has its head firmly on its shoulders, you must create a proper face-up.

Yes, I was learning new words and concepts! New words like face-up. What is a face-up one might ask? Well were one to pose so foolish a question, I would be forced to answer. Face-up is the doll version of Make-up. Once you’ve selected everything else, you need to paint its face to make it beautiful, not until a six year old girl who just received (some might say too early in life – others too late) her very own make-up kit.

I don’t know much about this part of doll ownership, you see I wasn’t there the day before for the hour long face-up panel. No, this panel I was at was mostly, as I stated, about discovering your dolls true personality.

You may, I am told, have wanted a nice kind doll. But its true personality might be jumping out at you, proving itself to be an angry doll, jealous of your others. It may actually be a very timid doll, terrified and afraid.

This nurse led us through a number of psychological profiles, and texts – basically giving us insight into the world of human psychology. Those in attendance then smiled and nodded, looking at their own dolls – brought along for a delightful romp through Anime North – and seemed to understand something. Perhaps I was witnessing a paradigm shift?

Truly, I was witnessing something.

As I looked around, I noticed that I was one of the only two males in the room. The other was an unfortunate sixteen year old sitting right behind me. He too had no doll of his own. Unlike myself, who was somewhat interested in all this, he seemed to be there for one reason, and one reason only – he knew eventually the panel would end. And then his girlfriend would leave said panel. And perhaps, just perhaps, he’d manage to sway her towards the elevators, back to their room, for something more delightful than Psychology 101.

I felt for this kid, I really did. It was as if every fiber in his being said, “if I can just make it through this – and I can just see past this aspect of her, my girlfriend is great!” It was like watching a girl hope that her boyfriend would change from jerk to sweetheart over night – except slightly less depressing, and a lot more humerous.

Every time the girl stood up, she would pass the doll to her boyfriend, and start to walk away to ask questions – but then she would stop, look back, and make sure it was held properly. If not held as gently as a baby, who knows what long lasting psychological effects might occur for the doll?

Heaven forbid this oafish boyfriend of hers upset the doll. Perhaps it’s not the sweetheart she thought it was; accidents might happen. After all…

One never can tell a doll’s true personality.

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