Getting There | Friday | Saturday/Cosplay | Sunday
No story oriented pictures for Saturday, but to make up for that I intersperse all my cosplay pictures. Not that many, since I don't take very many cosplay pictures. My general rule is that I only take pictures if I know who the character is, and they are somewhat original ideas (I really should dig out last year's Akari-house pic). Or if it's Sumomo.
Despite the fact that fansubbers are ridiculous snorers, I did manage to get a good night's sleep. Dave and I were the first ones to depart at 9:30 AM... plenty of time to hit the AMV creator panel. Let's begin.
While on the way, Dave snapped photos of tons and tons of cosplayers. I think I took maybe one.
Why does he have a hole in his sword? Because he's a ninja!!1
Wait... two... forgot the Sumomo clause.
Good Q&A at the AMV panel, with them deferring all the hardcore tech questions to the creation workshop and only answering artistic questions such as "When will people stop making Eva videos to Linkin Park?" Also showed some of their work, including DokiDoki's newest entry, a dramatic video about the Seiryuu seishi (and there goes Chromus off to AMV.org). All in all- good, but it was time for some industry panels.
After all the annoying "hug me" signs (which you will hear much about on Sunday's page), this was the best sign I saw all day.
Once again, the planners had a lapse of idiocy and scheduled virtually all of the panels back to back to back. Efficient for the planners, but guaranteed to create a choke point in the middle of the skywalk near where the panels were held. I managed to get in for the Geneon and Bandai panels. Geneon was a little strange, since the only licensing announcement they made that actually caught my attention was Ultra Maniac. And that only caught my attention because Ultra Maniac has the worst plot development of any anime I've even seen. Namely- there is no plot development. It starts out good, then does the same thing ad nauseum. The rest of the Geneon panel was spent with Japanese J-Pop group Angela. Although the only person I knew up there was the translator (Lowe, a friend of Nick's), the place was so packed I couldn't get out. I stuck around for the Bandai panel. No new news, but they did repeat some very good old news:
Scrapped Princess has been picked up, thereby making Naruto the only unlicensed series I have ever used in fanfiction.2 The irony tastes as yummy as Soopy-kun's bread.
Since I still believe that ADV is secretly harboring plans to take over the world (if these last four years have taught us nothing else, it's that you never trust anything coming out of Texas), I decided to forgo their panel (which I do not regret, despite their idiot antics that many witnesses told me were hilarious). Why? Because I wanted to catch more of Comic Party, the series I caught last time when Otakon pulled the old bait-and-switch on unsuspecting Kare Kano fans. We got three episodes, and that immediately sent me to the dealers room to scoop up as much of the series as I can.
This guy and I chatted while he was putting on his head and gloves (a slightly laborious process). Turns out this guy's not a big Digimon fan... but he really admires Renamon as a character. Close enough- I've been trying to get a Digimon cosplayer up on one of these and this was the first decent one I've taken in three years.
Anyway- dealer's room! Friday I already picked up volume eight of Battle Royale (and if you've seen the cover you can imagine the stares I got reading it on the way home), the entire Slayers Next series, and the first R.O.D. TV DVD (not noticing the sweeet "book" box set they had). I figured I had about $100 left to spend, including food for the remainder of the con. Then I saw mousepads for sale. I needed a mousepad (Slayers again- apparently punishment for eliminating Lina & Gourry). Then I saw a few keychains. I needed a keychain (Washu's been run over a few times and Kitsune fell apart). I ended up buying an overpriced Yomi, even though I really should have moderated and bought one of the cheaper Comic Party offerings. But did you see how cool Yomi was when she interrogated Taeko?? Incidentally, for those of you who believe in foreshadowing, Yomi's chain snapped off about a week later, meaning I need another keychain. I don't know what it means to MG2... but she's in good company with Washu and Kitsune.3
Back to my hunt for Comic Party. I thought there were only a couple DVDs available, but it turns out a few booths had all 13 episodes in a nice little package. It also turned out that both booths were charging $90 for it. That was a little extreme, considering I had bought Slayers for $80... and that was 26 episodes. A little discouraged, I proceeded to the constant battle of good and evil that was the Suncoast/ADV booth. As said before, I'm not much on ADV... but I like Suncoast. And they were offering triple points for anyone with a Replay Card. I had a Replay card, so one DVD practically guaranteed a $5 coupon in my mailbox in a few weeks. Then I saw it:
Princess Nine: Complete Collection- $50.
They were charging $90 for a 13 episode series and $50 for a 26 episode series that is well-established as an awesome series with an upper-tier dub that others compare themselves to. Since Chromus was the one who continued to recommend the series to me, I was still a little uncertain (his advice convinced me to spend $40 on the borderline-offensive Ai Yori Aoshi last year). But then I remember that the wonderful Heather Cerka (whom you met in ACen 2003) gave it her sooo good rating. The price, the advice, and the triple point bonus were too good to pass up, so I picked it up.
That's when I noticed that right next to the DVD were Luci Christian and Monica Rial signing autographs. That's right, I was standing next to Yukari and Minamo. With my program safely tucked away in my bag (even though Tiffany Grant seemed to be adhering to my restraining order, I wasn't about to take chances), I leaned over and complimented Luci on her job as Sasshi (and *not* Yotsuba!). We had a brief chat about Abenobashi, about as good as a chat gets considering there were a slew of people in line to get her autograph. Then I went to finalize my P9 purchase. As I left the booth, I realized that I had just ignored Monica in the process, even though she was seated between Luci and I. While watching Princess Nine days later, I realized what had just happened- I dissed Izumi. This begs the question- could Kirika kill someone via tennis ball?
No Otakon2004 picture archive is complete without Jewish Wolfwood! What made this even funnier was that this guy, one of the most popular cosplays at the con, wanted a picture of Mooninite Scott.
Another bait-and-switch was awaiting for me. I wanted to check out Full Metal Alchemist, another extremely hot series in the fansub circuit and heading to Cartoon Network soon. Instead of four episodes subbed, as promised, they showed one episode dubbed (another pre-screening apparently). It was very good, but I think one of the brothers sounded a bit too much like Kazu...
Anyway, another scheduling quirk put the cosplay event next to the main fan parody event, two of the highlights of any con experience. Good thing I'm not a cosplay person! Alongside Scott and Joe Klemm, we were looking for two brand new fanparodies from established groups and the remix of "Evangelion: Redeath," a hilarious parody that originally suffered from many technical faults. Nothing wrong with "Redeath." It's Gendo all over again, with a couple jokes that I either didn't remember the first two times or were new. Still waiting for the "Fanboy Bebop" redux.
The second ones, unfortunately, were still works in progress, and were at times raw and unsynchronized. Don't get me wrong, they were hilarious: the first one was a spoof of the recording industry's efforts to stop file-sharing (using a strange combination of Pretty Sammy, Lain, and Grave of the Fireflies). The second was a sort-of sequel to "This is Otakudom," primarily featuring Ranma and Rurouni Kenshin, but with more of a channel-surfing feel to it. Fun, but I was hoping to see something new in its entirety, particularly since I have to keep tabs on all three to see what's being made available over the net.
A rowdy and hilarious panel about anime stereotypes ended the day. Although I was hoping for it to be something a little more mature, and a place where I can rant endlessly about the evils of Aoi Sakuraba, it was basically a black guy venting about racism in anime and the public's perception of it. The guy knew he sounded like Hooper from Chasing Amy and he was having a great time with it, so it was innocent fun.
That's it for Sunday- next page!
Originally an inside joke among my anime club (because it answers every question ever asked about Naruto). I stole it and made it a joke in AR2. Chromus stole it and made it a joke in MG3. No telling when BrandCorp will steal it and make millions.
Naruto was licensed six months after this was written. Considering that Love Hina was unlicensed when I started writing fanfiction, to see everything swallowed up (including Kodocha, which I started using in 2001) is a little sentimental. Oh, the cat's in the cradle with the silver spoon...
Yep, more fanfic references. Yomi's interrogation of Taeko was a key moment in MG2, while Washu and Kitsune were very successful in my Mole 2.