No Brand Con 2008

Friday (1) | Friday (2) | Saturday (1) | Cosplay | The Rest

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The AMV contest was delayed by a half-hour because the VA panel was delayed by a half-hour because the VAs' flight got delayed.

Everybody got that? Good- let's synchronize watches.

Saturday Afternoon

The end of the VA panel. Johnny Yong Bosch and Sonny Strait collect their things while Kyle Hebert makes a silly face for the camera. You can tell which one's been here before.

I did get to talk to Johnny and Sonny briefly, granted that was mostly because Name That Anime Opening was sandwiched between two of their panels. My words to Johnny were "move your autograph line; I'm trying to set up!" and my words to Sonny were "hey, this mic works!" Still... I met a Power Ranger!

And, to awkwardly segue back to the AMV contest, Itsuki from Haruhi. Yes, it was Haruhi Suzumiya for my third AMV, to the Barenaked Ladies song "Take It Back." This is normally the part where I unleash my video upon the internet world, but a lot of technical issues have prevented me from getting a finished product that both looked decent and wasn't 120 MB. No Brand got the 120 MB copy.

This year, the general assumption was that it would be me vs. Malificus. A two-time champion against one of the top editors on

Boy howdy, did he kick my ass. A brilliant video setting Gankutsuo to Team Rocket's image song from the English Pokémon soundtrack. And here I wanted to unleash Eric Stuart upon the AMV world. He even brought his own arm candy to accept the prize!

As for me, I fell victim to one of the more dishonorable fates of AMV-dom... No Brand got Hell'd. To show some precedence, let me quote my Otakon '04 recap, in which I complained about the original AMV Hell winning Best Comedy... and essentially killing off comedy AMVs for a few years:

"It's not a real video, but rather a series of clips of videos that are just totally, totally wrong. Examples- "I Believe I Can Fly" dedicated to Keitaro, Eminem parody "The Real Suga Bay Bee" to Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar, and of course- Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap" for Naruto. Definitely wrong, but a lot of fun and a guaranteed laugh. But there is no way that a series of bad videos should win out over a real video that was humorous because it was funny." - Book of Otakon '04:2

This wasn't a compilation of stupid videos, but rather a collection of various anime to various TV themes. I'm sure you can come up with several ideas on your own, so I won't name them. I could go on my Hell tirade again, but to get to the nutmeat: compilation videos demean and cheapen the art of AMVs as they rely on several quick punchlines rather than one consistent idea carefully drawn over an entire song... which is the whole point of music videos. Fun for the audience? Sure, but definitely not worthy contest fare.

I feel sorry for whoever finished fourth and was denied a prize because of this.

The show ended on a high note, however, with an exhibition of some swell classics and Reanna's new Pokemon tribute video.

Still, the brief moment of joy of seeing Tracey in a tribute AMV didn't last. The dour news continued when it came time for the second annual No Brand Bowl.

Even though most of the Devil Bat activities from last year were a one-time thing, mostly due to Richard staying at a different hotel and me being held captive by the sinister Dr. Jasmine, who has not held a room party since vanquishing room 202. But many of us wanted to have a football game on top of the parking garage anyway. There was just one problem:

It was pouring out.

Five of us showed up anyway (I threw my Devil Bat cap on) and started playing catch. Eventually, we realized that if we were going to play catch in this crap, we may as well play a game.

So we bore down and played two-on-two with Chris Langland on all-time offense. The smaller teams actually worked out better given how small our playing field needed to be to prevent any errant throws over the railing. It took both teams a while to get a feel for the elements and plan accordingly. Once we did, the team of Richard and me used every trick possible (including a couple Shuttle Passes and the Nagas' Dragonfly technique) to beat our opponents 28-7. I caught two TDs.

The victory celebration was cut short when I realized that the hour of combat left me wet, sore and cold. About a minute later I realized that I didn't have a change of pants or shoes. For the moment, I didn't care. Some forum members, and inflata-Vinnk, were throwing a pool party at the top of the hour. That would alleviate my sore and cold... and I was already plenty wet.

The party had begun, with inflata-Vinnk supervising.

You can see he did a great job of keeping things under control.

I mean, you're going to listen when this guy tries to maintain some decorum. That...

...or start throwing him around. Ever played 500 with an inflata-Vinnk?

I stayed in for about an hour, then returned to room 711 to dry off whatever I could on my person and my wardrobe before resuming normal con activities.

Ultimately, that involved putting the soaked socks, shoes and pants on, switching to a new shirt and hoping for the best.

I ended up joining Jasmine and Tyler for the Slants concert.

I didn't stay for long, since concerts aren't really my thing (remember- I passed on the Pillows in '05). But the music was energetic and the crowd was really into it. It's a different direction for No Brand, but as the con gets larger it only makes sense for the music to get louder. I mean, ACen has what? Ten musical acts this year?

Afterwards, I stopped by the video game room to do my own rocking... struggling something fierce with the bass pedal on Rock Band's drum kit. From there it was back up to the room to go to sleep.

Or at least I would have if Tyler hadn't been occupied with an ancient anime about Christopher Columbus as a youth (so he could make fun of him and figure out how he became so evil) and other residents hadn't stayed up all night playing a Naruto video game. Granted, the game did look pretty awesome.

Somewhere around 3:00 am, the media were turned off for the night and we turned in. Not like we had anything to be up for Saturday.

Except Name That Anime Opening at eleven. But nobody would miss that...

Let's do Saturday!