Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Photoshoots
With Evan there to set up the table, we needed a completely different reason to wake up early Saturday morning.
Guess when the second Hetalia photoshoot was?
Once again, pictures on the photoshoots page. Only interesting this time was jumping into a Su-Fin shot when we realized there was no Sweden. Bailing out my buddy Finland and all.
As soon as the shoot was over, I went back and changed out of Estonia. Just wasn't in the mood to walk around in something that warm, especially when it doesn't get a whole lot of picture requests and it was supposed to rain.
Sarah wrapped up the foot pretty well, so it was holding up nicely. Even swung by the Embassy Suites to get a hot dog from the stand they had out front. Pretty good dog for prices that aren't as gouging as the ones in the exhibit hall.
The main reason I returned to the Hilton was to attend a panel on Anime Blogging, which was awfully convenient as I just started up a blog about an anime. It was a little disorganized and two of the panelists barely spoke, but the one that did gave some pretty good tips on what to do to build a readership. I'll be applying them once System Restore gets a few more episodes in.
Mako has cash! She might be the only one in the building that does.
Next stop was back in the Hyatt to say hello to Chris Cason again. He was outside his panel room entertaining fans, and I ended up attending his full panel because why the hell not? Deanna joined me.
This was interesting as it was his "Turning The Tables" panel where Chris asks questions to the attendees. This was supposed to be the concept of the panel I had attended at Anime Milwaukee until character requests and dumb VA Q&A stuff got in the way. This crowd was far more willing to accommodate the format, and drowned out the couple guys in back who just wanted to hear Mr. Popo. The bonus part was when a response about embarrassing moments was a story based in Wisconsin Dells, which Chris had never heard of prior to a conversation I had with him Thursday at Kitsune Kon. He had seemed fascinated by the place then, and doubly so when she was finished with her story.
While I was tempted to continue roaming, particularly with a second Name That Tune game on the schedule in the Embassy (it wasn't Nikolai's), Michael S. was beginning to get restless at the table so I returned to relieve him. I was here for a couple hours, so let's burn through more cosplay pictures.
Not sure why Oogy and Shredder were walking around together, but villains will be villains, I guess...
The Pokémon gajinka cosplay was insane this year (Evan brought his Houndour because he felt like he had to). Even weird ones like Togepi showed up.
And just for the hell of it, Mythbuster cosplay.
Hey, look who stopped by the table! Ryan and Tony make a return trip to ACen after I first led them to the promised land six long years ago.
Somewhere in all of this, my throat started to get sore all of a sudden. And free drinking water is scarce in the exhibit hall.
At around 5:00, I had served long enough, so Sarah and I headed to the Persona shoot. She was far more recognized as Chihiro here than at her previous tries at Daisho and Iowa. But again... photoshoots page.
During the photoshoot, the supposed end of the world was happening (if going by Eastern time). We all looked up, waiting for Nyx to show up. It was pretty fun. When we "survived" it in Central time, the Funimation booth released balloons in the exhibit hall.
With that done, Sarah was tired and my foot needed ice again, so we returned to the room for a couple hours of rest. There were still a couple more things we wanted to get to that night and we needed energy, especially as I had no way of getting a proper dinner in tonight.
Looks like a line for a Hetalia panel. Now why would we be going out of our way to attend a Hetalia panel? What if I said this would be the most informational, down-to-earth Hetalia panel you've ever seen? Wait, hold that thought.
Oh hey, Serge! Don't get too many Chrono Cross cosplayers these days.
Ah, that's why Jesus didn't show up on time... stupid elevators.
Okay, and we're in! Meet the music director (and Marukaite Chikyuu writer), director and producer of Hetalia!
This is one of those panels that anybody could enjoy, because it illustrated the process of creating an anime from getting permission from the author to booking studios to stringing the last bit of music into it. It's been a while since I had been to a panel for a Japanese guest, and it was pretty sweet, especially when Saki asked us all to sing Marukaite Chikyuu for her.
They even stayed to answer questions and sign autographs... or plushies as the case would be.
We returned to the Hilton not to tune in early, but because of a trove of awesome panels that were available in our own hotel Saturday night, starting with Death Note Mafia... which was full and wasn't letting anybody in. Saturday Night Parody Panel! Full... not letting anybody in. Let's Play Oregon Trail? Not a chance.
We ended up at a Panty & Stocking panel not so much because we're huge fans of Panty & Stocking, but because everything else in the building was at capacity.
Sarah left for a midnight Persona panel, but I stuck around and killed time before finally settling in line for a panel called "90s RPGs -Don't- Start With Final Fantasy." It wasn't listed as a 18+ panel, but was definitely supposed to be.
Pretty great concept here- bring up an RPG and the panel of experts will talk about it, holding absolutely nothing back. If it's bad, you will hear about it. The only words considered profane are "Final Fantasy."
What made this panel absolutely stellar was not the rampant swearing or the refusal to talk about FF... it was that this silly bunch of idiots seem to have played everything! They were able to discuss, at length, every RPG game from the Nintendo to the PS1, and several beyond it. The substance was right there to match the style, and it was pretty incredible.
They also played several songs from obscure-ish video games for prizes. I was getting water for my aching throat and missed out on the selection from EarthBound. Although it seemed like a comparatively easy selection and they just wanted an excuse to play the New Age Retro Hippie song.
Anyway, once they had passed and lapped my knowledge of the genre, I turned in. Now I had a sore foot and a sore throat.