Anime Central 2005

Friday | The Rest

Saturday. We woke up on time. We took off... almost on time. But before going to the convention, we still had the nagging issue of Cloud's sword. Apparently, the MacGyver treatment Thursday night didn't hold and we spend Saturday morning cruising Des Plaines for a hardware store. Always fun bugging the workers to find the best way to hold a giant sword together. Also remember that half the group is in full cosplay. And many also wanted to get some pillow cases for autograph purposes (since when the did band change their name to The Pillow Cases?), so that required a K-Mart run. We were a tad late getting there Saturday.

The strange thing is that the group was amazed that the employees and customers of the aforementioned stores didn't have complete WTF? moments. I was just praying that my uncle (who lives in Des Plaines) didn't need some PVC pipe that morning. Sure some people wanted to know why Matt was dressed as a dog demon, but were very tolerant about the answer. They knew what anime was. They knew want went on at conventions.1 Our group made the interesting observation- "They know about anime here! Illinois is cool!"

Rookie mistake #4- Never say Illinois is cool. I may be a Cubs fan, but I'd never stoop that low.

Speaking of stooping low...

The A-M Con Ex Fumoffu!
To score free swag, I'll even suck up to ADV!

I was interested in checking out the advanced AMV creator's panel, where they go into some insider tips on editing in After Effects and stuff, which I'm pretty new at. But because Ace was apparently the place, we didn't get to the Hyatt until 10:45. Too late to see AMV tips, but just in time to catch a screening of Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar. Despite the ridiculous propensities of cute, it's a very good series, that decides early on to be a little more subtle in carrying out the drama, and not go to too many extremes.

Sugar ate most of the early afternoon. By the time that was over, I bumped into Scott again, along with Heather, Katy and a couple others in the Whitewater group whom I don't feel like introducing. While looking for something to do, Scott noticed that they were entering the final hour of AMV Contest screening #2! Great idea for everybody else that wanted to see my video on the big screen; not so much for me since I had already seen these videos before. Not wanting to let down my adoring fans (that's your cue to laugh), I sat with them as I tried to remember when they were gonna get to mine. They were about a half-hour behind, but they got to it. My friends loved it and the video itself got a much better reaction from the crowd. So I was happy about that. I had to skip off to catch the fanfic panel, so I again stayed for "Shake Your Body in Time" and left.

Not much to report from the fanfic panel- typical fanfiction.net bashing and making fun of Mary Sues. I did actually step in and contribute in a discussion on songfics, saying that since I received some acclaim for script-fics, anything's possible- even in an abused format. I did feel a lot better about attending a fanfic panel this year, since back in my first panel in '02 I actually supported ff.net. Glad I got over that and have my stuff on a nice, safe Geocities site.2

As soon as that was over, it was time for the Masquerade! Costumes galore!

Oh right... Masquerade? I don't need no stinking Masquerade! I'm having a time of my life with my A-M Con Ex!

Kiriyama- Be afraid.
The only thing that can top the Battle Royale IRT is Battle Royale Rika. Think the card isn't dangerous? Watch Noir.

And yes, Ran had a red streak in her hair.

SuperGALS!! Happy, Chris?3

No talking!

Rakka took flight before I could catch her, but I did manage to snap Kuu. Because we all love Haibane.

And now for some big-ticket items:

Bonta-kun! With lifelike head-nodding action!

I seriously don't remember taking this picture.
Gundam? How did that get in there?

SMAAAASH!!
EarthBound lives!!

And for those who can't get enough smashing:

Eat Bucket!
Ness's opponent in the next match will be Mr. Game & Watch.

And of course, no ACen cosplay would be complete without:

Eh, Duct Tape Boy could take him.
Battle Royale Bubba!! Trust no substitute.

Anyway, since I had plenty of cosplay to last until September, I went to the AMV Iron Editor showdown. Two hours, four anime (well... three anime plus Gargoyles), one battle to the death. In between, they had awesome contests where they'd show a video with a ton of anime in it and have a showdown where two audience members would fight to name off as many anime as they can. I was dying to get up there for Odorikuruu (and one which was heavy on shoujo/dating sim anime like Da Capo and YamiBou).

Turns out Nick also went to Iron Editor, and afterwards we went to see the premieres of Burst Angel and Gunslinger Girl. Actually, Nick wasn't a fan of Burst Angel and the first five minutes didn't turn me on (although I did begin a quest to download the opening theme). After some more time in the consuite listening to some more bad karaoke, Nick headed back to catch Gunslinger Girl. I went to crash the room parties. I caught one that was showing FMP Fumoffu, which turned out to be the ADV vendors. And they were handing out free stuff! Despite one of the vans ready to head back to our hotel, I stalled them for half an hour just long enough to catch the gratuitous swimsuit episode... er... long enough to draw for a random DVD. By the time all the trading was done, I ended up with Maburaho. Haven't watched it yet; I'll keep you posted.4

Anyway, although four of us headed back to the hotel, none of us were actually tired. So I popped one of my DDR Project disk into a laptop and played that in the background as we played cards until 4:00 (still doesn't beat Zombies until 5:00 at NBC). Just as we were heading to bed, the other six got back. No idea what they were up to, but I'm sure it was fun. With a couple of us wanting to try out for Anime Password, we all set our alarms for 8:30 so we could check out early and have plenty of time to enjoy day three.

Oh, and since this is the cosplay page, here's the Hellsing-themed cosplayers from my group.

My A-M Con Ex still doesn't replace Konaka-sama

My biggest contribution in cosplay was lending Ryan (2nd from left) a white t-shirt. Go me.

Okay, so we set our alarms for 8:30. At 10:30 Scott calls me on my cell phone. That's when I realize two things. 1) It's 10:30. Damn! 2) I have inexplicably lost my voice. I manage to scratch my way through the conversation, wake everybody up, and get scrambling to get checked out in time. Despite the day's late start, I think we all appreciated the sleep more. And we still got back in time for Anime Password, which was very entertaining and dominated by one of the guys on the No Brand Con boards. Represent!

One more line to undergo- the Anime Music Video contest where they give away the awards. Thankfully they did it at the beginning rather than subjecting us to three more hours of angsty Haibane (one of which, not surprisingly, won Best Drama). The big story was the official recognition that 2005 is the year of Azumanga Daioh videos. Three Azumanga videos won awards. That "Shake Your Body in Time" video (which was actually done by a fellow rookie) won Best Comedy; I was just stoked that my little thing aired right next to the champ. Also, Daniel Chang's vid to "Party Hard" won Best Upbeat. The biggie, though, was Best in Show, which went to Suberunker's video giving Yukari-sensei the "1985" treatment. I always appreciated Suberunker's work ever since his GoldenBoy video to "Unwell" (which I think is even better than "Football!!") and with great visual gags like "way before NERVana" and "Mewtwo and Blondie (Ed!)," "Still Preoccupied With 1985" will be a contender at several cons this year.

Here's some parting shots.

After hearing the winners, I got the dreaded call to meet in the Dealer's Room to head home. It wasn't the heading home part; I was ready to go. It was the going into the Dealer's Room bit. But I braved through it and managed to stay away from the "don't want to haul this crap back to the van" sales. I survived with my wallet semi-intact!

Newbies no longer

Footnotes

  1. Give yourself five points if your first thought after this sentence was "They were Trekkies."

  2. I was tempted to update that and say I have a decent host now... but it's too ironic to take down. Everybody laugh at Geocities.

  3. Yep, Chromus is a SuperGALS fan too. It's actually pretty good.

  4. After watching it, it'll definitely be posted... on eBay.