Anime Detour 2011

Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Between photoshoots, panels and work shifts, everybody was up by 9:00 Saturday. I wasn't sure if that included me: the original schedule we sent them had me taking the first badge shift on Saturday. My hours sheet, that I had been relying on all weekend, did not. As it neared reporting time, we figured it best if I double-checked to make sure. Naturally, they were expecting me to work. I told them to give me fifteen minutes so I could get into Estonia and shotgun a soda. It was going to be one of those days.

Bending And Breaking

So after they originally didn't indicate that I was supposed to work, and my morning prep meant I was fifteen minutes late, it only makes sense that there wasn't anything for me to do when I arrived. The dealers room was only open to sponsors, and they were using a different door to get in. The fun didn't really pick up until the doors opened to everybody at 10:00, and by now most everybody had gotten used to the Box rule.

As soon as the shift was over, I popped into a panel dedicated to old PC adventure games- the LucasArts and Sierra ones. This kind of throwback panel doesn't usually get a whole lot of love, but like the Digimon panel Friday, the attendance was encouraging. And we got to watch Roger Wilco die so many times in so many ways.

I snuck out early in order to grab some Dairy Queen. Having three fast food joints within walking distance was extremely convenient, especially since they were close enough to be viable but not right next door. Unlike the Subway next to the 2009 hotel, none of the spots were insanely busy whenever I went. And I went often.

Next on the agenda was a real departure- the Iron Pen Drabble contest. Given a surprise prompt, contestants had one hour to write a fanfiction that was exactly 100 words. On the dot. No exceptions. Sarah and Evan were interested in getting in on this, so I jumped in as well. This in spite of the fact that the only fanfiction I've ever written successfully had been sprawling epics that go on forever and take years to complete. And also get listings on TV Tropes.

It was an interesting challenge, and I'm surprised I was able to get through it. Especially since it ended up being what has to be defined as a GetBackers/Chrno Crusade crossover. In the interest of full disclosure, I will point out that I have never watched an episode of GetBackers in my life. See, it didn't take long to realize that the trick to this is that it's not so much a story as it is describing a single concept in detail. So the concept of Ban getting back a certain memorial timepiece for a certain New York convent worked out.

Photoshoot time!

With few of the usual Hetalia peeps present, I mostly slept through the photoshoot. Other than the obligatory Soviets picture (which I unfortunately did not have someone get a shot of), there aren't many requests for Estonia.

At least until the end when they added the surprise twist of going country by country.

Russia thought I was lonely and came to help.

Next item on the list was the AMV Contest, but I was a bit tuckered after all the Russia love and probably would have fallen asleep during the drama category had I went. I ended up going to the Hetalia panel, which was strangely soothing for the disorganized chaos those things always provide.

The room assignment was a little suspect. You can't quite pack in the crowd when it's all round tables.

Back at the room, John and Sarah B. were prepping for the costume contest.

My next badge shift covered the vendor room through closing (and thankfully not after). Met Carrie Savage for the first time as she headed in, making huge Stellvia fan Sarah S. a bit jealous. Incidentally, during every convention where I've been scheduled to badge the vendor room, a VA has entered on my watch.

What was fascinating about this shift was security setting up the line for the costume contest next door, particularly as a second volunteer had to be stationed literally four feet away from me turning people away who weren't either in or running the show.

If you recall, I had commented in '09 how Detour seemed completely ignorant to the concept of organized lines for popular events. They were at least privy to the concept of it now, but their failing this year was that they were late to the party for the costume contest. As they set up the line a mere one hour before the show, they disassembled and dispersed the line that had already been forming. There seemed to be a strange “no loitering” policy in certain spots at the con, and it wasn't exactly welcome.

After another food run and some Geek.Kon business, I wandered around for a bit, running into Chris Ayres and J. Michael Tatum (only the former is pictured above). When I introduced myself, J. Michael attempted to introduce me to Chris. Chris not only explained that he was at Geek.Kon last year, he launched into the Kovalic story. Haven't told that one yet and I forgot to tell it at Con Horror Stories at Kitsune Kon. Next time, perhaps.

I was mostly waiting until the Hetalia Games panel, which promised nation-related games. It was in the same room as the previous Hetalia panel and was a disorganized mess. The organizers clearly weren't prepared for people to show up. Which they did. Because it's Hetalia. I left after about five minutes, went back into the room and changed.

The room party was even busier on day two. The cosplay repair station at our room party was surprisingly popular, even being used to add glowsticks to create Raver Hungary.

Hagrid also stopped by, his book unfortunately snacking on Sarah B's soul collector Fred.

While I attempted to get some video games in, I ended up spending more time in the tabletop room as Mike subjected himself to an Apples to Apples game- a rare sight as he usually tries to get less mainstream games like Ascension going. That ended up being really cool as he got me into a manic building game called Hecha (it's like Catan played as an RTS instead of turn-based) and I countered with the Back to the Future card game. Sarah B. also brought Let's Kill, a game created by perennial Geek.Kon guest Aaron Pavao. It is fun and you should buy it now.

Once again, there wasn't much dancing going on later that night, but there were people in the room. As we did the night before, we put Detour's rave on the closed circuit TV because it was on and why the hell not? I turned off Mike's playlist halfway through as conversation had turned to a Jonathan Coulton song. I switched over to my room party playlist to play it for somebody. Needing to keep some continuity, I kept the dance groove going by playing JoCo rave classic Dance, Soterious Johnson, Dance and noticed something odd...

Greg Ayres was doing his DJ routine, which involves much fist pumping, screaming and wall humping if you haven't seen it. It didn't synchronize half-bad with the song playing. So I got cute and started playing every random dorky song I could find on my list. When Dragostea Din Tei lined up beautifully with the images on screen (someone on the side seemed to be doing the Numa Numa dance), we knew we had a winner. We burned through several songs from Yatta to I'm On A Boat to the Lucky Star opening, and most of them seemed to have spots of total win. Even something subtle like The Internet Is For Porn worked... even though we determined that Greg was portraying Kate. We told Greg about this the next day and he found it absolutely hilarious.

It was a good way to wrap up the night. And we had one day to go!