The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Operation Starlight: The Otafest Pin Trading Party, or, Otafest Aurora Part II

On Christmas Eve, the Otafest staff released the design to their latest pin; the only hint about the pin’s theme prior to that was that it was sentimental, and that it would be an exclusive for the Edmonton anime convention, A Taste of Animethon. The new pin is known as the Starlight pin, and is a physical representation of how the Otafest mascots, Seph and Aurora, came to know each other. It’s a very nostalgic story, set on top of the eastern edge Nose Hill overlooking the city centre. After Seph makes a wish from a meteor, green and blue curtains of light form in the sky, and Aurora appears, fulfilling the former’s wish to have a friend. Presently, the dynamics between Seph and Aurora are very entertaining to observe, and their presence gives Otafest a very welcoming feeling, befitting of a smaller scale convention. A very long time ago, I kept records of astronomical events observed, and in a curious turn of events, I do recall seeing a single meteor during an aurora display somewhere back in March 2008. Of course, since Otafest has been around since 1999, this story compliments Otafest itself very nicely.

  • According to the Otafest website, Aurora is a morning person and doesn’t sleep in, being the anime-incarnate of the Roman Goddess of the Dawn. According to the books I’ve read, aurora are formed when high energy particles with a charge interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. Ionised molecules emit in the visible spectrum when regaining an electron following excitation by the charged particles: oxygen gives off green light, while nitrogen releases either red or blue light.

Previously, at Otafest Aurora, a mishap with the pins precluded any chance of acquiring them. The Otafest organisers later released information concerning a Pin Trading Party, which I was able to attend today. Despite being a non-convention event, the attendance proved to be impressive, and a quarter-hour after the event opened, I got what I came for: the pre-order exclusive Snow-wing pin, alongside the Starlight pin, the Gala Seph and Aurora pins. Through a curious turn of events, through the trade, I also acquired a gold version of the Holiday Seph pin (whereas I was previously going for the Aurora-wing, a staff pin). The gold pins are supposed to be very difficult to find, and therefore, being able to acquire one exceeded any expectations. Of course, I had never expected to be able to get the Starlight pin either, seeing as it was intended to be a special for the Edmonton Convention. With my pin collection now bearing a number of Otafest Aurora pins, I’ve finished everything I set out to do at Otafest Aurora. Timing constraints meant that after I picked up everything, I hustled back to the City Centre for an excellent steak dinner, rather than stick around at the event. Otafest 2014 is next in line, being some 120 days away; I might go about pre-ordering again once I ascertain whether or not any of my friends are interested in attending.

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