Another con in the bag. Overall? Great stuff, one of the better cons I’ve been to. Detailed report follows. I’m pretty tired (the keyboard noise is ringing in my ears) despite getting plenty of sleep each night, so I can safely say the con was exhausting.
Checked into the hotel. I figured I’d just ante up the extra money it takes to get a good hotel on the skyway (Sheraton) for three nights, instead of a package deal hotel a block away for two and have to deal with 3pm checkin time and secondary parking and all that crap. Meant for a boring thursday night, since Sheraton doesn’t get UPN (No Rey Mysterio Jr. debut, dammit! AAGH) but we watched Ice Age, relaxed, then went to bed. Nice ‘n easy.
Got to the con at 10am. Lines sucked, but I got to skip ahead, since membership has its privlidges. And a good thing too, because it took me a full hour of zipping around the building to map what elevator goes to where — the con map was a disorganized, messy isometric perspective nightmare. Guys, I e-mailed you about illustrating what elevators go to what seperate halls months ago, and you SAID you’d do something. You did not. Jerks. But, the hour was well spent and I got some good shortcuts and paths noted on paper, so whatever.
11am I sneak into the dealer’s room an hour before it opens. Opening dealer’s room at noon == GOOD IDEA, since it means less standing around in lines when you could be having fun. One high speed shopping jaunt later and I have 90% of what I want, and I’m out the door at 11:59am right when people are coming in. Very important since I can’t navigate through thick crowds and I certainly can’t see over anyone’s heads in the Land of Giants.
I won a DVD for free from the TokyoPop booth; they were still setting up and apparently so excited to be there (and apologetic that they didn’t have GTO #1 in stock on DVD) that they let me have six tries at a ‘toss a playing card inna bucket’ game. I got GTO #2, and told ’em I’d pay them back by tracking down and buying GTO #1.
The end total of loot is as follows.
- Petit Charat Doll. She’s cute, inscrutable, and says the nastiest things in the quietest little voice. Awwwr.
- Love Hina: Motoko Figure.
- Love Hina: Mitsune Figure.
- GTO vol 1 and 2, see previous. Got this recommended by a friend of mine, and I love animes with five episodes per disc.
- Excel Saga vol 1. All hail Pedro the Eternally Tormented.
- Amelia Doll. A rare find; any time I spotted this one online it was real expensive and/or out of stock. She has brown hair for some reason, but otherwise it’s spot on.
- Princess Nine vol 2-5. The Suncoast booth was having a sale, and I got basically half off each disc, so why not continue my collection?
- Power Stone vol 1. Ten bucks. I love the game, so I figured it’d be fun, even if it sucks.
- ECW Anarchy Rulz, some PSX Pinball Game, and Omnikron. “Buy 3 crappy old games for 10 bucks” sort of deal from Red Octane.
- Comic Party Figure. I can’t remember her name offhand, but she was the redhead with the glasses and the kansai dialect. Cute! Nerdy! Genki!”
- 2 DigiCharat Trading Figures. And unfortunately, exactly the two I DIDN’T want. A 14 dollar idiot tax writeup. :(
- Crazy Taxi 3, which technically was mailordered to me, but hey, it DID arrive this weekend…
I was gonna get the double set of Koalla Su and Sara, but both had visible panty flashes even when looking straight at them. Creepy.
She’s wearing mostly lingerie, but she has BEER! YAY BEER!
After that consumer orgy, I rolled on to the Food Court of Doom for some chicken strips. (I spent the con mostly by myself; it was a pretty peaceful and enjoyable time.) Rolled back to catch some anime music videos in the fan track (good idea, that room was) and then caught the end of the AnimEigo panel. Usual corporatespeak and “We can’t comment on that” but they showed an episode from the YUA TV Box Set which sold me on getting the series… and put me in a nice, light, shoujoey mood for the rest of the con. I can be pretty sentimental sometimes, believe me.
Fanfic Panel was next. Pretty good panel this year, and I got to see Biles and Gaffney and the usual suspects again. John’s in town for the summer, I hope he drops by sometime. Caught some more music videos, then hooked up with Jen and Andrew to sneak into MAT3K.
MAT3k was a bit of a disappointment this year. It was funny and all, but they chose some weird live action sentai / anime hybrid from the 70’s which nobody had ever heard of. That’s fine for weekly episodes of MST3K, but one of the best things abotu MAT3K is when they spoof something people actually know about. Hopefully they’ll do that next year.
Likewise, the music videos were a bit disappointing. There were some real gems in there (FLCL to The Perfect Drug was excellent) but a lot of ‘eh, okay’ efforts. The ‘Comedic’ section of the program was REALLY short, since it was mostly a series of movie trailer pastiches or commercials. Those are fun, but I’d rather have a full scale comedy music video in a music video show, you know?
Back to the hotel room, crash, sleep. One of the longest and most fufilling Fridays I’ve ever had at a con; I think opening the con early and the dealer’s room early really helped, since it added 3-4 hours back to the time you would have spent sitting around or waiting for things to get moving.
Not as eventful of a day, weirdly. I did hit the game room and manage to play two rounds of Para Para Paradise… um, yow, damn, good stuff. It’s like DDR that I can actually PLAY! I was doing fairly good, too! I entered the tournament, and got an S ranking on “Yesterday” but my opponent scored 10k more than I did, so I was out. But it was a hell of a lot of fun.
I met up with Improfolk; I couldn’t stay long since I had to hit the bathroom and deal with moving some merch around before the workshop, but I had plenty of fun chatting with them and we got the group photo taken. W00t.
Then it was time for the Writing Workshop. This is a nice idea — have people bring in their fanfics for ‘big name’ authors to critique. Unfortunately since it was only announced in the con errata sheet and nobody knew it was happening, few folks brought in writing. But next year, I can see this being big. It’s a great idea and with some ahead-of-time promotion it’ll be sweet.
Fan parodies were the Sat evening’s entertainment. Three of them: Eva ReDeath, This Is Otakudom, and The 60 Billion Doubledollar Funky Chicken. The first was your basic “It’s the anime, but with funny music and sex jokes,” although a pretty well done basic at that. The second was just AWESOME — select footage from Fushigi Yuugi and other animes to make it look like a documentary about a bunch of otaku going to Otakon. They were going to have copies available in Artist’s Alley the next day, but I couldn’t find them. *sniff*. The last one was a Bebop vs. Trigun fandub; pretty cool. Only damper on the evening was the INTENSELY HOT CROWDED ROOM which was making me physically ill to stay in, but I stayed regardless. Zip home, sleep, done.
Sunday! It’s.. well… sunday. Sundays are boring and uninteresting since everything’s closing down and nothing special is going on. I went to the game room, but half the machines had been shut down and packed away, and an hour after showing they closed the rest down. Stayed with Jen and Andrew as they dealt with the ridiculous art bidding line for the remainder. (This just doesn’t make sense. A SLOW line that wraps around the room twice just to check if an art piece you bid on is in the auction or ready to be bought… WHILE the auction is going on a hundred feet away. You could lose your bid on a work because you didn’t get to the table before it was auctioned away. Supwitdat?)
…so, in summary, the con started out with a BANG! and tapered off after that. But I had a LOT of fun, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Woo! ….now I MUST SHOWER. I feel ill. Excuse. @_@