Anime Central 2006

Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Perhaps it was karma from Saturday night at No Brand, but I ended up on the floor. Of course, so did three others in the room (No Brand Nick got the chair- preferential treatment for booking the room, I guess). I was the first to wake up, if I got any sleep at all. I wanted to wake up at 9:00 so I'd have plenty of time to meet Star and Artful at Whose Line is it Anime. I woke up at 8:40. Since I wasn't falling asleep again, I decided to check the schedule:

9:00 Advanced AMV Panel.

Off we go!

Lens Flare Nipples!
Or: What Not To Do When Making an AMV

For some reason, the Advanced AMV Panel is always early on Saturday morning. Last year, I missed it thanks to our Ace Hardware run. This year, with no cosplay emergencies, I was free to get expert advice on AMV creation.

For a good fifteen minutes, this was it for attendance.

For a good fifteen minutes, the panelists outnumbered the attendants. Again- Saturday morning.
By the way, these are all well-respected AMV creators that probably made some of your favorite videos. For example, the guy on the left created Loli-Pop.

I probably should have taken their names.

I know I should have introduced myself, especially since I was the only one there for a good five minutes.

Anyway, I stayed for an hour, learned remarkably little, and headed off for Whose Line.

Anime-themed improv is not a new idea, but this was the first year it was at Anime Central. That made it cool. Also cool was that I found Star, Artful and Zach.

OHIO!!

Whose Line was very good, playing classics like World's Worst (ninja technique- sissy fight!) and Party Quirks. They also had a couple new ones like a game called Interrogation, which is similar to Press Conference and News Flash, only with a good cop/bad cop feeding the subject the clues. One of the criteria, what the culprit was wearing, was provided by Star- the Yatta Greenleaf. One of the best clues- "Who who who who are you offending? Us us us us!"

Between that, a Yatta AMV at Iron Editor, and yes, even cosplayers, Happatai was quite prominent here.

This can only end in tears

The final game was completely ridiculous and involved 100 mousetraps on the floor and the participants taking their shoes off.

Hooray for gratuitous pain and violence.

Once that wrapped up, we headed to the dealer's room- this time with the sole intention of wasting money.

At that same anonymous vendor from Friday, I saw that John got somebody to replace GundamCowboy.

Ignore the anonymous vendor's sign.

You probably don't remember Sean from the No Brand recap, but your memory will be refreshed come Iron Editor time. Trust me.

Somehow, I hadn't wasted any money yet. I was getting worried, but that problem will have to wait.

Being involved with an internet meet-up of awesome people, we had to commemorate the occasion.

After four trips to ACen, I finally discovered what was so great about Artist's Alley.

In honor of our missing comrades, she put "Wish U Were Here" instead of "You All Suck." We paid her anyway.

From there it was off to the Fanfic panel. I got there at the tail end of it, which was long enough to realize it's the exact same thing every year. I was actually waiting for the following panel: What Not To Do When Making an AMV.

While my online cohorts left, I was met by Janey, Slim and Whitewater Nick. The panel host did not bring any A/V equipment, which is quite strange for an AMV panel. It was awesome anyway. First, because he asked who was an editor, followed by who was a good editor. After everybody put their hands down when he asked who was good, he asked who had won a contest before. As I was the only one who had, he let me mention not only No Brand Con's AMV contest, but also my Kino's Journey video, which had apparently made an impression because I did get a couple appreciative comments from the back.

This guy, who also hosts the immensely popular "Your Favorite Anime Sucks" panel, did a very nice job of bitching about the skewered state of AMVs today, preferring concept-driven videos that have true meaning over effects-driven messes and basic gag videos.

Nick, who had his laptop ready for Fansub panel Part 2, plugged it in and provided a visual aid by showing "Euphoria." This guy promptly raised the true fact- the video may be beautiful, but it has no point.

This guy is added to my awesome list.

Once that was over (and it was all too short), I snuck back to the hotel room for a quick shower and hit the dealer's room on the way back. Remember how I hadn't spent any money yet? If it's Saturday afternoon and you haven't spend money at the dealer's room yet, something strange happens- you lose your mind and will buy anything that looks remotely interesting.

That being said, I bought the first season of Cardcaptor Sakura and the first volumes of Kannazuki no Miko and Koi Kaze.

I adore the former, and I've heard very good things about both of the latter. At the same time, that's more than $100 worth of loli, yuri and incent.

Lord, I apologize.

What's really disturbing is that the main characters of Koi Kaze are named Koshiro and Nanoka. I wasn't trying to ship Izzy/Rika1, but damn those names are awfully close.

Star, Artful, and Zach were again by my side at a Publishing panel, which did little but bring up the subject of my MST project. Since I had the first chapter left in my folder from No Brand, they all got to read it and give some much-needed constructive criticism. Thanks guys.

We left that quickly and went to AMV Iron Editor. Last year's winner wasn't able to make it back to defend his title. You guessed it- Finals. To sub for him, they went big- Suberunker.

That's right- Unwell 1985 Ozaka Football!! Suberunker from California.

The other contestant was some girl from Canada not named Star.

The host was also a very good editor, but I forgot how to spell his nickname. Ashyukun or something. I've heard of him.

With the host, judges, and contestants all prominent members of the AMV community, the show quickly descended into a bunch of AMV.org in-jokes, especially as Suberunker entertained the crowd with occasional Photoshop messages from his computer.

The host was just amazed that in a contest where the creators have just two hours to make an AMV, both started out in Photoshop.

As it progressed and the effects grew heavier and heavier, one of the judges wondered if they were making Euphoria 3.

Suberunker's wasn't far off.

Anyway, the theme was Revolution (with secret ingredient Rose of Versailles), but as always they had to kill time. Meaning name-that-source contests!

Zach got up immediately and lost. Artful won one when his opponent couldn't name a single series (pretty sad when it was a GAINAX tribute with both Eva and FLCL).

Another highlight was getting audience members (and one of the judges) to do an a cappella performance of Football!! and attempt to sync it to the video. Out of pity, Suberunker stopped editing and joined in.

As the editing continued, we slowly began to realize that Suberunker's idea of revolution was not so much overthrowing governments as it was stuff spinning in circles. He also threw in a bunch of lens flares for good measure, including the ubiquitous lens flare nipples on the giant robots.

See, I would never do lens flare nipples on my videos.

Lens flare Power Beam nipples on my recaps are a different matter entirely.

I told you you'd remember Sean.2

Ironically, Suberunker spent so much time singing Football!! and adding lens flare nipples that he actually lost the contest to the girl from Canada.

At this point, it was only 9:30. The night being young, we headed to Otaku no Yen: Live Action, which asked people to fill in a comic with their own lines to be performed live on stage. I had been promoting this to all of my friends, and most of them showed up. However, having never actually been to one of these before, I sure hoped it would be good.

Judging by Drazz's reaction to one of the comics/stories/anecdotes, it was.

Most of the submissions themselves were what you'd expect from a fan-submission caption contest, only with many more Saiyuki references than I'm comfortable with. Equally fun was everything else they did. When it began, they started calling for John, our anonymous vendor friend, who was supposed to be providing some sort of prize (perhaps a certain Japanese confection). When he didn't show, they called for him every fifteen minutes or so until he finally showed up and everybody laughed at him.

Equally entertaining was a Nurse Joy cosplayer who provided the hosts with water... and then started providing *everybody* with water, keeping us all refreshed. It may not sound funny, but it was a very amusing sight considering it was Nurse Joy.

Roku also mentioned No Brand in passing, drawing cheers from the six No Brand heroes in attendance. She later shocked everybody and sang the Otaku no Yen theme song, which was originally written by 1337band. Not only is it the very first 1337band cover, but it is widely believed to the first time a 1337band song has ever been performed more than once.

In the end, by voice vote, they decided who had the best submission:

JOI-SAN!!

Nurse Joy for the win!!

With Star and Artful done for the night (it wasn't even midnight, wimps!), Zach and I trolled for room parties, all the while talking about everything related to our fanfic universe. The reality ports, Level 3, how much AGW is starting to suck, and other important topics. We were stalling until the 2:00 AM screening of AMV Hell 3, which we were both anticipating very much (Zach because he hadn't seen it, me because I've never seen it in a large group).

On the way, we ran into my friends, but they just wanted my room key so they could sleep.

Heather looks about done.

I gave them the card and begged them to keep the door open in case everybody's asleep when I got back.

Zach and I resumed talking, which was actually not smart because we were ten minutes late for AMV Hell 3. We missed the Hellsing/Carmen Sandiego and "Naota Had A Pimple," but I was encouraged by how many people got "Multi-Kill," how many people loved Ein the Insult Comic, and how indifferent they were to Magic Stick.

I hereby maintain my insistence that Negima is the most overrated series since InuYasha.

When it was over, it was 3:00 and we weren't tired. We stopped by the Soap Bubble rave...

...and quickly decided to pass. Instead, we hung out with the Spoony Bards and their all-night set playing just about anything.

They were playing Green Day when we got there. That's more like it.

We stayed for a few songs, including one that nobody (including the band) knew the lyrics for, which was decidedly entertaining. But Zach and I changed our minds and decided that we were, in fact, tired, and headed back to our hotel.

On the way, I checked my watch and realized that it had been 12 hours since my last hotel room run. That was in the middle of the afternoon after having a bunch of fun that morning.

I love anime conventions.

Too bad this one was almost over. To Sunday!

Footnotes

  1. In two of my fanfics, Izzy and Rika (Koushiro and Nonaka if you will) developed and maintained a faux "brother-sister" relationship that some speculate was stronger than that. To counter this, my other two fanfics where they meet show them not getting along at all.

  2. Sean not only read the No Brand recap, but quite taken by the Power Beam... of Love line.