Friday (One) | Friday (Two) | Saturday (One) | Cosplay | Saturday (Two) | Sunday

Since I got to bed at the early hour of 3:30-ish, and despite sleeping on a bed while one of the girls used it as a sewing table to touch up her cosplay, I was the first one up Saturday morning. With Team Rocket close to my heart and my VCR taping Pokémon, my mind was clear. I took a quick shower and headed off to the video game room, already packed with people who most definitely did not take quick showers.

Saturday- Part One
Tournament Edition

The only reason I bothered to get up at 9:00 was because rolling out of bed just in time for the Heavy DDR tournament at noon didn't sound so healthy, and certainly wasn't going to help me with Objective #6. So I treated myself to the diced pears I packed for food (since I hate spending convention time going out to eat, I always bring food; portable semi-healthy food like granola bars make *excellent* con food).

Anyway, besides a few practice rounds of DDR, I also sparred with one of my other Green Bay cohorts, Richard, on Super Smash Bros. The only reason I mention this is because I needed to cram his Icchan cosplay in somewhere...

Anybody got an octopus? Becky?

This is how you get around being light on pictures in a section. :)

Bonus points this year for having a machine dedicated to the original SNES Super Mario Kart. I played a little Double Dash... but it's just not the same.

I probably made a trip to 202 or the Vendor's Room or something, but I'm trying to stay focused here. I did *a lot* of stuff this year, and snapped more than 100 pictures. Yes, that does include my obligatory parking lot pics,1 but there was a good reason for them this year, as you'll soon see.

In any event, I was there promptly at noon for the DDR tournament, which was blessed with advance sign-up sheets this year so a decent number of people actually signed up.

Unfortunately, 2/3rds of the decent number of people signed up for the Light and Standard tournaments, which meant a long wait for Heavy.

Thankfully for my picture collection, Rich and Matt from Green Bay were both in Light and were paired off against each other in Round 1. Koga wins!

Matt actually did a lot of winning this weekend... he not only went on to win the Light tournament, he also won Otaku No Yen's caption contest game and won many a fangirl with his fluffy cosplay.

It's not as tough when you've got the Byakugan

Ino vs. Neji... fight!

After five episode full of flashbacks, the Naruto-infested Light tournament wrapped up and gave way to the Standard tournament. I didn't watch much of Standard (which is not that exciting- they're good enough to not trip on their faces, but not good enough to impress anybody). Instead, I played a few more circuits of Mario Kart and played some Guitar Hero.

I've only played a little Guitar Hero in my day, but I'm proficient enough to beat total newbies, and when somebody behind us said "can I play winner?", I said yes with the sole intention of being the winner. I was.

So up comes my opponent- independent filmmaker and one of No Brand Con's Guests of Honor: Brazil "Joe" Grisaffi.

I'm not that familiar with his work, and I'm not up on the independent film scene either. If I didn't know about his long-standing support of No Brand Con and his limited work on shows like Cyber Team in Akihabara, I'd wonder why an independent filmmaker was even a guest at an anime convention.

Point is- I was pretending to rock out on guitar with one of the Guests of Honor. And it wasn't Tiffany Grant.

That's why we love No Brand Con.

(Naturally, I owned him like the n00b he is)

At 2:00, there were two events I was thinking of attending. One was ADV co-chair Matt Greenfield's panel, since I was curious what he talks about when not caught up in all that ADV Hoopla crap that they pull at other cons (or at least they did back when they actually were industry leaders). I also wanted to see "Secret of Crystania," a fandub created by the Society of Platteville's Anime/Manga Maniacs (or SPAMM- and they earn bonus points for having the best name I've ever seen for a college anime club).

I'd like to thank the DDR tournament organizers for sparing me the troubles of making that decision.

At about 3:00, the Heavy Tournament began. At about 3:15, the "professional" gamers were done demanding what mixes/songs/mods to use and the tournament could actually begin. Fully prepared to be one-and-done (and frankly wanting to, since I had other places to be), I took the mat first against my opponent.

My opponent picked Tsugaru.

I am awesome at Tsugaru.

More awesome than him, as I took the song. For my song, I went with 321 Stars which, although only an 8-foot, is quite fast and requires a bit of concentration to hit the beats right. I guessed right and eliminated my opponent, earning nods of approval from the field.

Objective 6: Hold my own in the DDR Heavy tournament.

Knowing my opponent would be the winner of the next match, I stuck around and scouted. She full-combo'd Drop Out. You know that flash movie with the funky backgrounds and Dave Thomas dancing his head off? That's Drop Out. She full combo'd that. My scouting report consisted of this- "Pick your best song and try not to embarrass yourself, loser."

Forty minutes later, *she* picked my best song as *her* selection. Not a good sign.

But that's okay since it was 4:00 by then and I needed to be off to the webcomic panel. So I took my beating, grabbed my stuff and walked out with my dignity semi-intact.

As Magical Security Taskforce is quickly heading in the direction of a promising web-novel, I attended the webcomic panel in order to glean any useful information that could be relevant. While webspace is momentarily not a problem, I did got a few useful warnings about archiving and link exchanges.

Whatever, it's time for the AMV contest! Thankfully, a few of the Green Bay guys came down to "volunteer" for my posse.

And since it's a Kino's Journey video, we added one more to the team.

This better be good.

Actually, I later found out that she was in the Green Bay group, and could very well have been one of the people doing last-second touch-ups to their cosplay in the room I was trying to sleep in. No matter, Kino's on the team!

Since Kino typically carries enough artillery to make Rally Vincent jealous, I was very happy that she liked it. She was just happy people might recognize her now.

This year's contest had some good ones, including a stylized tribute to Motoko Aoyama, an effective Full Metal Alchemist video, and one of those "Gaara vs. Rock Lee" videos to one helluva messed-up song. Regardless...

Objective 2: Defend AMV Contest Championship.

While technically superior to Muska, it'll be interesting to see how an exciting Drama does at ACen compared to a slow, concept-driven Comedy.

This was a nice segue into the biggie- the Cosplay Contest. I usually don't attend convention Cosplay Contests, but No Brand is always an exception.

Why? You guessed it!

Return of Earl, the normal con-goer

Actually... no. It's because the intimacy of the convention means that I know half the people participating. But click on Duct Tape Boy anyway to head to the cosplay contest.


  1. Any regulars to my convention reports will notice that I frequently take pictures of the convention center from the parking lot in order to "establish the presence" of going to the convention. Critics are mixed as to whether or not this is credible artistic license or a waste of good film.