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Given Chromus's inevitable jet lag, we slept as much as we could. Unfortunately we were interrupted by my cell phone. It was Scott, he had another unusual cosplay, and he had to stash it somewhere so the authorities wouldn't be able to recognize him. Welcome to Saturday, where the only major event on the list was early in the afternoon and the rest of the day could be spent wandering around, popping in and out of bushes... you know the drill.

It's Super Special Awesome!

The obvious question is how could Scott see? Well, for anybody who's ever wondered why the question blocks in Super Mario World had eyes, now you have an answer. Miyamoto-san thought this through!

This wasn't the only cosplayer in our group. Before heading to the Dealer's Room, Chromus donned outfit number two.

First Eyeshield, then Kaleido Star... always a slave to the mainstream, huh, Chris?

I didn't stay in the Dealer's Room for long, as I wanted to catch a 1:00 panel- Mr. Nabeshin's New Show. I had missed Shinichi Watanabe's Q&A panel while getting the room arrangements squared away Friday, so this was the best chance to at least catch a glimpse of the real life Afro-man and partake of his new series- an anime adaptation of The Wallflower. So as I did all the way back in ACen '02 with Ken Akamatsu, let's see how real-life Nabeshin stacks up against anime Nabeshin:

So here's real-life Nabeshin. And everyone knows the anime he's most famous for appearing in. That's right...


Puh... not even close. I want my money back.

Once again, Saturday afternoon was a blur of randomly meeting up with people I may or may not know, idling in the dealer's room and taking cosplay pictures to fill out the Sunday page. One surprisingly popular panel I went to was the "Azumanga Daioh: Fact or Fiction" panel, which documented the accuracy of the high school life presented in AzuDai. There was a standing-room-only DIY fire hazard crowd for this one. Convention staff was thrown into a hurried panic trying to accommodate it, and ultimately their best solution was shutting the door so the hotel management couldn't see how many people were inside.

This is why we love to hate ACen. If you think their responses to the problems they cause themselves are disastrous, wait until one crops up out of nowhere!

The panel was very informative and thankfully skipped over a few of the obvious conflicts- namely all that stuff about the talking cats and airborne hairstyles. Instead, they focused on making it clear that certain other stuff never happens. Namely the concept of kids skipping grades and girls still wearing bloomers in high school. Some characters are unheard of in the Japanese education system- besides Chiyo, there's also Tomo and Yukari. Some, meanwhile, do frequently pop up in real life- such as Yomi, Sakaki and Kimura. Jury's still out on Osaka.

Yes, you read that right- Kimura.

Scott and Mario happened to be wandering around nearby as we were let out. We met up with the rest of the Whitewater clan and took a moment to decompress in the hotel room rather than bother with the stress of the masquerade. One of the Whitewater newbies pulled out his recent purchases from the Dealer's Room- shudder-inducing hentai doujinshi. As Nick grimaced and flipped through a randy Haruhi Suzumiya comic, I said "I'm picturing what's on those pages... please don't show me if I'm right." Thankfully, he didn't.

Chromus showed up, somewhat surprised that there were now five people in a room that was all his a week earlier. We weren't sleeping or anything- just badmouthing the con, making a last-ditch effort to salvage the Code Geass homage, and trying to avert our eyes away from that doujinshi.

An overhead look at the hotel lobby Saturday night. The smart place to be is where I am- higher ground.

In all the excitement of circling what events I'd like to attend in the main rooms, I had completely forgotten about Iron Editor. Possibly because it wasn't on the "main" schedule and probably because I had been slowly drifting away from AMVs in recent months. Nick and Chromus fixed that good and before I knew it we were in line to get in. This year featured two video creators I hadn't heard of (although one was that girl from Canada not named Star defending her title). More impressive were the three judges- Dwchang, Suberunker, and uber-staffer Lynn from the Whitewater club.

This year's theme was Childhood, featuring the normal ingredients: Azumanga Daioh (yay!), Jungle Guu (ha!), Kamichu (ooh!), Bottle Fairy (aww!) and Totoro (whee!). Plus the secret ingredient... South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (WOOT!). This was gonna be fun.

But as always, they had to kill time, and to do that, they played a few rounds of that "name the source" game Zach sucked at last year.

Here, a cute Sailor Moon cosplayer goes up against sentimental favorite Shyguy. The audience was torn over who to cheer for.

They added a couple new distractions this year. One was a Skittles-eating contest, challenging four non-diabetic participants to finish off large baggies of Skittles in the span of a new Haruhi AMV of the same name. Nobody succeeded, but it's worth mentioning that the video was unbridled awesome.

The other contest was pure evil. First came the question- "Who here has seen the opening to Lucky Star?"

Nick and Chromus raise their hands.

"Who can do the dance?"

Nick and Chromus lower their hands.

"Okay... any pretty girls in the room?"

Four pretty girls make the mistake of raising their hands and are immediately asked to re-enact the opening to Lucky Star.

In order to appreciate what these poor girls got thrown into, please take a moment and watch the opening to Lucky Star.

Try getting *that* out of your head now.

It was quite a disaster, but hilarious nonetheless. Even Lynn got up to show the girls how it's done.

Incidentally, with an opening like that, you're probably wondering if the show's any good. Having seen a couple eps, I'll say that it combines the quirky high school antics of Azumanga Daioh, the comic "fan pandering in the name of art!" brashness of Haruhi... and the half-assed "if it's cute, they'll watch it" mediocrity of Doki Doki School Hours. Not on my recommendations list. I'm sticking with Pani Poni Dash.

Still, anyone planning on playing Name That Anime Opening in the future would do well to keep that song in their heads as it's the first new opener incorporated into next year's playlist.

Once again, the girl from Canada put forth a solid Iron Editor video while the other guy lagged behind. The Iron Editor retains her championship!

On the way out, we took a moment to enjoy the harmonious sounds of the Spoony Bards, entertaining the crowd with their ballads, occasional anime music, and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." There's nothing wrong with loving that song, right? Right??

They slowed it down enough to sooth the crowd over. Too long for us; we left. Call me when you're rocking the fiddle again.

Chris and I joined Star and Art (who could not get into either the improv event or the dance) for karaoke again, but the crowd was much bigger and the line was too long, so we gave up and ducked out. We ended up killing time watching some Comedy AMVs, which slowly drifted into random flash movies off Newgrounds. I like the Geeks in Love video as much as anybody, but it's not really comedy... and I swear they put on Arfenhouse to scare people away. Eventually, they started reaching ten years into the past for some truly ancient videos and it was time to go. Gotta love the late-night AMV block...

Thankfully, the four of us gathered together at Star and Artful's room for a private room party featuring a unique alcoholic concoction called the Bottle Cap, named after the Wonka candy it tastes like. I don't normally drink... but damn I love dem Bottle Caps so I played alky for a night and partook in the potent potables.

There was a little extra, and they had a whole cooler full of chilled food and beverage, so we did the only thing we could think of... find another room party that would accept a charitable contribution! We roamed the hotel grounds top to bottom (using the stairs, since the elevators were quite over-booked at this hour), giving the cooler-bearing Artful quite a workout in the process, until we scored in one of the suites on the ninth floor. It was a classic liquor-lubricated room party spread out over two floors, a dining room table, and however many bathrooms they had in there. While Star found friends quickly and Art was kinda obligated to tag along, the sleep deprivation caught up with Chris and fifteen hours of convention had left me rather non-chatty. So we excused ourselves, found Nick (cooped up in the basement, playing Starcraft online), and ended day two.

Take Three... Action!