Anime Iowa 2009

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

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Originally, the plan was for me to run the audio for Hetalia's skit rehearsal. But seeing as how it would be nice to have a witness taking pictures for the actual performance, claiming a good seat would be advisable. Furthermore, someone also needed to refill our food supply for the night's party. Thus, I needed to be...

The hero!

Saturday Evening
American Hero

Once again, Anime Iowa handled the masquerade ticketing by handing out seat assignments ahead of time. Unfortunately, that meant people lined up for the tickets way ahead of time. I arrived a half-hour early and was stuck deep in line.

We did have some entertaining cosplayers nearby, though.

But only fifteen minutes in, the line started moving!

Whee! We're off and flying. This is the fastest line ever! We're cruising through the halls, around the corner and... right past the ticketing area... and on to the dealer's room entrance. The heck?

Apparently, the line originally went the wrong way and needed to be redirected, which staff handled remarkably smoothly considering nobody knew what the hell was going on.

One of my line buddies remarked that this was the closest they would ever get to seeing N*Sync. Especially as the box came off the middle guy.

I really don't want to know what's in the ball, or why Team Rocket was trying to steal it back there.

We had to wait until fifteen minutes after the scheduled ticketing time, and the line didn't move nearly as fast when it got going for real, but I got through it all right. My ticket number was 347... not great considering I was there a half-hour early. Here's hoping I'd still be in decent picture range.

With my cosplay pass in hand (or attached to my badge, as it were), I headed back to the room. Sarah, Evan and Natalie had not run rehearsal yet, instead taking a break from the madness of the photoshoot. As they rejoined their international friends to resume practice, I was off on a food run.

But first! I had to master the art of getting out of the parking garage (not easy with two parking passes to maneuver). Then! I had to find the Hyvee. It was a magical place with a food court and cookies with watermelon frosting. I bought some of those, some more soda and chips and returned victorious!

When I returned, they were still waiting for their group. With most of us getting hungry and a long time to go, we agreed to order a pizza between the masquerade and the room party.

We just had to get through that masquerade thing. Let's begin, shall we?

Revenge of the pretty balloons. This time they were prettier, portable and moved whenever the line did.

Too bad the line never did. I got there at the appointed time of 6:45. At 7:30, the event was supposed to start. Still nothing. The effectiveness of the pretty balloons to shorten the line-waiting was a tad negated when the thing starts an hour late.

Eventually, the event did start! And my seat was not horrible!

Dr. Steel robots get down and funky.

As does the dancing Gundam. Yes, a dancing Gundam.

The Daisho gang and their The World Ends With You skit strikes a blow against Carameldansen acts everywhere. At least Kara Kuro did, shooting Zack when he considered it.

By limiting skits to one minute and cutting acts off quicker than a Oscar orchestra, the masquerade was quick and snappy. The musical numbers were more creative, the comedy got to the point, and there was a nary an utterance of that accursed Swedish devil all weekend.

No, Sweden, not you. But we are holding you responsible for it.

Sweden is not in this scene, but we do have two Russias, two Finlands, Italy, Germany, America, Prussia, England... and Seychelles trying to break up their fighting. After a passionate plea from her and the demon fish, everyone joins hands and breaks out into a round of It's a Small World.

The audience ate it up.

If I hadn't spent the whole time taking pictures for Sarah and Natalie, I might have watched it. Had I not edited the song beforehand to squeeze all its brain hemorrhaging goodness into a minute (remember, I'm the Hero!), I might have enjoyed the novelty of it. Glad everyone else enjoyed it though.

The grand finale, however, was an exhibition that was permitted to go well-beyond the one minute mark because it was just that awesome. What starts as a silly Axel-pining-for-Roxas skit turns into a musical number. And not just any musical number, but the awesomely catchy final number from the Hairspray musical. Then more and more of Organization XIII trotted out and joined in. It turned into something beyond epic.

Oh, just watch it yourself and be amazed.

To Be Continued!