Anime Iowa 2009

Friday | Fri/Sat | Saturday | Cosplay | Sat./Sun.

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Once we got back, we hit the dealer's room for the first time. Talked to Shannon and Drazz, bought the next volumes of Eyeshield and School Rumble and finally got a hold of Genshiken season two. Back in the room, Natalie was going back to true Finland while Evan was changing completely. The common thread? A 9:00 Hetalia panel.

Friday Night / Saturday Afternoon
Spanish Inquisition

Presenting... Italy!

We won't share the secret of how he got the little gravity-defying curl but it involved glue.

The panel itself, to put it bluntly... was a mess.

A very chaotic scene ensued, as a second Finland, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, England and two Americas fought for the mic, fought with the projector and ran around the room chasing flags. In between, they showed disturbing fan videos, most of which involved yaoi. While Natalie and Sarah stayed behind to organize their masquerade (lucky them), I headed back up to make final preparations for our room party. With everybody back together, we started off the playlist with some Jonathan Coulton and away we went!

The wolf here had a flexible jaw and her full outfit won at the masquerade.

Several of the Daisho clan stopped by to unwind, talk shop and revel in the awesome.

Speaking of Daisho, Mike came by with his guitar to play the song that he couldn't quite remember from Daisho's masquerade.

We also had a stormtrooper.

The original plan was to play some Name That Opening, and I even pimped that during the panel, but few were all that interested in settling down with something organized. Celestial Being stopped by, but they were just as cool hanging with us as well. We eventually played some Apples to Apples, topping out at fifteen people at one point in the night. Once again, Evan played some unspeakably horrible card combinations. It was wonderful.

Things wrapped up at the decent hour of 3:00. We all had to get up early Saturday for the Natsukashii Room, fantasy drafts and another game show.

Yes that's right- another game show.

He's got the set, he's got the jacket, he's got the Trigun pictures on the table for some reason.

Once the game started (and it was about fifteen minutes late), a Jeopardy-style board came on the screen and they used raffle tickets to select teams of four.

Thankfully, I wasn't picked. The questions were hard. As in identifying second-tier J-Pop artists by album and specifics about Final Fantasy III. No, not the SNES relabel of VI. I, II... III. They also committed the unforgiveable sin of not asking the audience for help, leaving us unable to help name the various types of kage. All of them.

They did have a judge dressed as Hello Kitty and a spot where the game stopped and everybody had to dance. I still wasn't impressed.

I handed my raffle ticket to someone from Celestial Being, grabbed a Ramune and headed outside. Cosplay Chess was much better, if only because it had penguin Chiyo-chan.

Another game was about to begin. Once again, some idiot scheduled my fantasy football draft during the con. This year, Drazz was stuck doing it too. Why complain when we can draft together and talk smack about each other's picks? Had I remembered that Zack from Daisho was in the league with us, I would have reminded him. Not that it mattered as most of the league was out of the office that day anyway. With the AI doing most of the picking, things went fast. Would have turned out much better had the wifi not cut out on me halfway. It's not that the system gave me bad picks while I was down... they gave me two Chicago Bears. Boo.

I didn't get much time to lament the sudden conflict of interest, as it was time for the Hetalia photoshoot. This is the part where a group of like-minded cosplayers get together, take pictures and enact popular scenes and yaoi pairings. Normally the best place for this is on the patio by the water. Only one problem-

Seychelles aside, these nations aren't exactly dressed for Iowa humidity.

Unfortunately, back inside it's too crowded. In a fit of desperation, they somehow ended up in the eighth floor stairwell.

Lighting was meh, the view was meh, but it works in sort of an "Axis Powers" secret bunker kind of way.

Here are some of the other highlights, taken after a long run downstairs:

England and America, with their most-used accessories.

Somewhat smaller, but far too cute to ignore: Switzerland's little sis Liechtenstein and the make-believe Sealand.

Then it was outside to take over the patio for some larger scenes.

Such as the tiny, insignificant nations banding together to scare people with fish...

...and the obligatory Germany/Italy yaoi picture, naturally featuring the only two men in the photoshoot.

To Be Continued!