Anime Central 2011

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Photoshoots

ACen waits for no man. No matter how tired I was (and it wasn't too bad thanks to all the bacon), I still had to get up and make sure the table was ready to go. We had all sorts of promoting to do... and hopefully badges to get.

...and sheets to set out in the video game room.

Wrenched Ankle

Here's the revised table:

Again, the banner wasn't as ideal but it got the point across. My hat served as a centerpiece.

STILL no badges! This left Scott unable to do much at the convention except for watch the table.

At least we had a suitable stand-in while Sarah and I raided the VG room.

Ah... looking much more complete now, especially with the Geek.Kon sheets in front of each TV. AJ admires his handiwork.

Back at the table, Dr. Tran has met a friend. Oh and hey! Scott's badge materialized! Finally!

With little that I really wanted to see, I was at the table for the early part of the afternoon. I got off briefly to pick up the certificates from John, two games- Munchkin Booty (which Sarah and Evan had implored me to get) and Magical Athlete (a silly little thing I fell in love with at OddCon), and a major resource for my top secret Convergence plans.

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, my wallet was drained. I tend to have a set dollar amount to bring to every convention, but ACen has been eating through that quickly these days. Since I knew eating would be important but not knowing how much that would cost over the next few days, I sucked it up and, in a convention first, used the ATM. The surcharge was as ridiculous as expected, but I couldn't take chances since I knew that sucker would be out of commission within hours.

At least we have cosplay pictures!

In the spirit of Scott's paper cosplay, it's Brak!

Haven't taken many Yoko pictures since she became a pretty prevalent cosplay, but this one met all my requirements for being an effective Yoko. And when I say "my requirements," I mean underboob. It's prerequisite to me.

Oh sweet heavens yes. Because Dalek is the new black.

One of the breakout cosplay numbers this con, Panty & Stocking...

AND Garterbelt! Kinda wish I had some backlight to accentuate the afro though. It was amazing.

Back at the table, the Geekbot standup that didn't quite turn out dons the Tran mask to symbolize how awful we've been treating it. After the con, Scott ripped its head off. With a broken lawn chair.

Leaving the table to Scott and new recruit Michael S., I returned to the Hilton for two reasons. One was to change into Estonia for a photoshoot later that day. The second was because I just can't say no to panels about sports in anime, and it turned out to be right downstairs from our room. I'm not entirely sure why I went to it; I'm mostly over my Eyeshield phase and nobody ever includes Princess Nine in these things (probably because it only barely counts as a sports anime). I got there in time for a PowerPoint introduction to characters from Captain Tsubasa, then Hajime no Ippo. Exactly what you'd expect from a panel about sports in anime. I was barely interested, and the lack of good contrast in their PowerPoint didn't help. I left about halfway.

As expected, the video game room was hopping. This side was nearly vacant last year.

After a second, shorter stint at the table, I went to the first Hetalia photoshoot, greeted very warmly by a lot of the nations already there, even though I didn't remember most of them. One girl in a (disturbingly hot) female Romano outfit said we had met last year and were Facebook friends until her account exploded. That was about it.

I didn't take a million pictures from this photoshoot, but in an effort to keep each page length generally even, I'm moving all photoshoot pictures to a separate page. Mind you, it's not all Hetalia this time, so check it out.

Anyway, this shoot was a bit smaller than I've come to expect and efficiently run so I have nothing to make fun of. The only event of consequence was that our third roommate, Brian (whom I know I've mentioned before in recaps but can't think of the best way to jog your memory of him), had arrived during the shoot. I ended up dispatching Sarah to get him moved in. After that, it was back to the table to close out the till for the day.

I've seen tentacle monsters at cons before but hells yeah! Even got the details right like Purple having arms but not Green. Fun Fact: on the official Geek.Kon copy of Apples To Apples, our custom "Tentacles" card includes a quote from this game as flavor text.

The exhibit hall closed up at 7:00 and we headed back to the room. Everything seemed to be falling into place: everybody had something they wanted to do, but could be back around 8:00 in time for us to order some food and wait for Evan, who expected to arrive around that time.

My quest involved rumors of a Digimon photoshoot around that time. I've noticed an increase in Digimon cosplayers lately, but I've never seen an organized photoshoot for it. Yet, it was on the schedule that we all... oh yeah... sidebar time.

The badge problem was pretty bad. Not only was panels and exhibitors affected, it took forever for even our VG guys to get any sort of clearance at the convention. For a while, they were only able to get into the video game room by saying "we're with Geek.Kon," something we used as well to sidestep a draconian "no bag" policy ACen implemented in response to us making the room too awesome. But the worst crime was not having copies of schedules available for attendees. The only schedules for photoshoots and autographs were available at their two information booths. There was a panel grid in the program book, but it was easily dismissible as panelists were receiving updates about the ever-changing schedule up until the Tuesday before the con. Take it from a Productions head: that's well after the print deadline for program books. Nick F. blamed it on ACen's high-volume laser printer (lovingly dubbed Big Bertha) dying just before the convention. If so, it would have been more than appropriate for it to be publicly detonated at Closing Ceremonies. Full Disclosure: my dad once came home from work asking me if I had seen Office Space, then showed me pictures of what he did to his old fax machine.

Sidebar over! Anyway, there didn't seem to be anyone at that location from Digimon.

Except Kazu. We had a Kazu. Um... go Kazu?

Nikolai showed up as well also thinking there was a photoshoot. Not as Henry or Joe, but as Zenjirou from Xros Wars, the series that even I haven't watched yet.

It ended up being a good thing that the photoshoot never materialized as Evan arrived far earlier than expected and needed to get into the room while everybody else was still out having fun.

After catching him up on the day's action, Deanna, Brian and Sarah returned and we continued our plan to have dinner delivered. In a happy circumstance that will make marketing majors squeal with joy, we ordered from an Italian place that had been randomly handing out menus on the streets. The prices and the selection was pretty good, so we gave it a try. It took an hour to arrive, but Deanna had Black Butler and a DVD that she could hardwire to our television. Italian beef was yummy and I hope the place randomly hands me a menu next year.

We had little else on the agenda that night, so Sarah and I returned to the Hyatt in search of adventure. Or failing that, hit up Midnight Madness, which I haven't been to in a couple years and have been told there were new parodies screening.

Along the way, my foot started acting up, making it a pain to walk down the block. To summarize: I hike to Mordor and back Thursday night with no repercussions, but a routine stroll of one block after a good meal and several hours of rest feels like there's a nail in my shoe.

Our first destination was the VG room where I snuck into the staff area to take a look at it. Indeed, it was starting to swell up. Interestingly, it wasn't the worst foot fate to befall a Geek.Kon staffer as Red had sprained his ankle earlier in the day. Either way, it was bad enough to pay a visit to EMRT.

It was not bad enough to keep me from chasing down Daft Punk cosplayers for a picture. Probably not doctor's orders.

EMRT is the first aid wing of ACen's security department, with all sorts of remedies that don't involve carting people away in ambulances (first ambulance sighting this year- 4:00 pm Thursday). It was swollen enough that they iced it down and ordered me back to my room for the rest of the night. Which involved walking the block back to the Hilton, but that's what the ice was for.

My wild, rampaging Friday night at ACen 2011.

Thankfully, Nick Izumi happened to be on the same floor and stopped by to chat... and show off the sweet Gundam model he won at a tournament. Saturday, he was part of a group that earned a judge's choice award at the Masquerade. Not bad for his first ACen.

 So, Thursday involved getting shut out repeatedly for badges and dinner, while Friday ended with me laid up on the disabled list. Surely my Saturday had to be better, right?