No Brand Con 2008

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

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Somehow, I managed to wake up early Saturday morning, which was fine. I got to walk around the con for a bit, get some breakfast and test my laptop to make sure it worked. Good old reliable Blaine had been intermittently sick over the last couple weeks with minor problems like a corrupt Windows boot file and a failure to acknowledge the existence of its sound card. You know- little stuff. As a precaution, I had Val bring her laptop in case we needed a spare. But everything looked set to go, so I scoped out the room to see if there was anything left after the Slants concert.

There was... a big ol' drum kit right on center stage. This was a problem that not even Val's laptop could fix.

Saturday Afternoon
For Your Ears Only

My first move was to pace around the room, analyzing the various tables and stands we had available and how much we'd have to pay if we knocked over the cymbals. Keep in mind that this was right in the middle of Johnny Yong Bosch's Bleach panel. I'm sure he was thrilled. Tyler and I managed to find a couple staffers willing to move the drums against the back wall so we'd at least have a modest arena. Although we did end up using an equipment case as the podium holding the Official Name That Anime Opening Roll of Duct Tape.

With that crisis delegated to the helpful staffers, Tyler and I met Val as we went through the rules, made sure Val was comfortable with our expensive game software (WinAmp) and showed off the prizes- No Brand Bucks redeemable in the Vendors Room. At the top of the hour, we were on! After telling Johnny to take himself and his fangirls to the back of the room. It was our hour!

Initially, I stood below the stage to allow a little more room for the players. On the first song (which, amazingly, was Naruto), one of the players tripped and fell backwards. Nothing close to damage, but I hopped up there to protect the drum kit from any incoming contestants. Thankfully, there were no other incidents. Granted, there were also no other Naruto themes.

The game itself went well. Tyler, Val and I went through the list a few months ago to get some good balance and it paid off. Plus, some of the songs I added later for flavor were appreciated. The girl on the winning SOS Brigade team got the themes to fansub hits Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei and Minami-ke... the latter before the M-I-N-A-M-I-K-E part even! The only late addition which did not get recognized was Macross Frontier... probably because the series came out two weeks ago.

The SOS Brigade (the left team on the above picture) won three of the five played rounds to clinch the win. Team Uta (at right) took the opening round over the Elder Gods, so named because of Scott...

Yep, Scott was back again portraying Li'l Cuthy Himself. Unfortunately, one improvement we made this year relied on fewer songs from my own collection so Scott's advantage disappeared and the Elder Gods were vanquished. After Team Uta fell to the SOS Brigade, Richard jumped as part of the Sea Slugs. Despite Richard dominating last year's test run at Chaoticon, he lost here, as did the Spanish Inquisition, which takes the award for best team name. As SOS had it clinched, we invited Team Uta up for a rematch. They used their second chance to come back from a 4-2 deficit and salvage a win with Wolf's Rain. Chromus, you'll be happy to know that not only did Kaleido Star come up, but two players grabbed the tape simultaneously to answer it. Only one of them got it right, but still...

As said before, Sonny Strait had the hour after ours. Tyler seized the opportunity and got me to take a picture with him. Here it is.

All in all, another rousing success! Let's get some lunch!

Easier said then done, actually. You see, noting nothing on the Saturday afternoon docket I was interested in, I had made plans with some friends to go to A&W for lunch. A big group of eight or so laughing it up over amburgers & woot beer. But by the time we were supposed to, that number had dwindled to three. Plus Tyler and Jasmine were formulating plans to walk to a downtown cafe at the same time. My appetite was leaning towards a nice hot deli sandwich over fast food, but I did make the A&W plans first. Then again... everyone else was dropping out of that... so I told the A&W group to get some more people and I'd consider sticking with them. They managed to add Miles to the team, which made it close... but not enough. Team 711 was off to the Acoustic Cafe!

It was just what I was hoping for- got a good roast beef hoagie and we scared the locals with our cosplay. But seriously...

Lost cosplay... can you blame them for being afraid? Tyler even added the nice touch of slapping Dharma Initiative food labels on everything he ate and drank... with the possible exception of his hoagie.

Turns out Richard and Kristin, two of the planned A&W trippers, ended up here as well.

The official reason, no joke, was that Kristin's hair wouldn't fit in the car.

When we got back, we still had nothing to do for a few hours. There was always the video game room...

Apparently, they were playing Anything-Goes Martial Arts Capture the Flag Halo LARP. Plus the Rock Band was cuh-rowded.

So Jas, Theresa and I went up to play Guitar Hero for the rest of the afternoon, using Jasmine's Hello Kitty guitar. We burned through most of the 80's on career mode.

After that came a shower, a romp through the dealer's room (Fumoffu! Another series I'll never get around to watching!) and a visit to the cool corner with Theresa and Chris. The cool corner was a side entrance that was locked for the con, providing a nice little area for hallway socializing that didn't create a blockade. Its name was a bit misleading; I thought it was more of a cul-de-sac. "It is quite cul-de-sactic," agreed Chris.

About an hour before the cosplay event, we saw a line begin to form. As lines had been creeping in and out of the con all weekend, we figured it was a good idea to partake in this one to ensure good seats for the contest. A few others like Cassie joined us and at the top of the hour, the doors opened and we all filed into the room in an orderly fashion.

Actually, it was a mad dash to claim the best seats, but we are new to this whole line thing here. We're working on it.

Let's do some cosplay!