Saturday, May 31, 2008
In fact, this breaks my streak of consecutive times that I have showed up to Sac-Anime and Sac-Con. I have been showing up to each and everyone one since the spring of 2005, and I've been a regular here. I consider this my hometown con.
Then again, I'm still recovering costs from Fanime. I should be ready to go by Sac-Anime in August. By then, I have something planned...
- and #30, Marvel Vs. Capcom -
...but there are a few others that I haven't mentioned yet.
#3 - OH!smeCK, the brainchild behind last year's sensation "Ouran Gay Bar," breaks out the Wonderland episode for some dancing, and a double "awwwwwwww" moment when Haruhi and her mom reunite (SPOILERS: It's all a dream...). Of course, they had to break out the "Gay Bar" sound clip, just letting the audience know who they are.
I really don't know how this happened, but #15, the Slayers skit, actually won Best In Show. I was hoping that either #13 or #30 would win it, but hey with costumes like that and a varation of a favorite song, you might as well.
#19 - I have to throw in some props to the lady who did this stand-up routine, throwing in some political commentary. Very nice.
And finally, we have #46, Candy Mountain Cosplay, the folks behind "Riku's Journey to Candy Mountain," to round out the Masquerade. And what couldn't be better than some stripping? Could we ask for a better ending than this?
I'll also run down the awards that were given:
Best of Show: #15, Slayers Mayhem
Junior/Youth Achievement: Walk-on #5: Twilight Maiden
Best of Division: Advanced Craftsmanship, Group: #25 Goddess Academy Cosplay
Best of Division: Advanced Craftsmanship, Individual: Walk-on #4 Trow
Best of Division: Craftsmanship, Group: #24 Twilight Party Cosplay
Best of Division: Craftsmanship, Individual: #16 Three Dollar Laugh Cosplay
Design Award: #31 Rikku Winter from Ninja Shank
Judges’ Award: #11 Paper Hearts
Judges’ Award: #14 hanabee
Honorable Mention Group: #17 Pokemons of Chaos
Honorable Mention individual: #22 Zuko from Gomu Gomu Cosplay and Sakura Mochi
Best of Division: Performance, Group: #13 Minna no Nur-Puppy
Best of Division: Peformance, Individual: #5 Angelic Threads Cosplay
Best Dramatic Skit: #10 TakeriyaSamurai
Best Comedic Skit: #30 Maximum Pwnage
Best Chreography: #38 Ex Dee Lollerplay!!!
Judges’ Award: #42 DN Cosplay Task Force
Judges’ Award: #7 OMG5 Productions
Honorable Mention, Group: #3 OH!smeCK
Honorable Mention, Individual: #34 Devil May Cosplay
Everyone who I thought should of won an award did, as well as some major suprises. Overall, the Masquerade was alright. Could of been better, but at least everyone who did good won something.
And just for the heck of it...
They also got me very interested in that musical, especially after introducing me to "shopping Jersey style." I did catch up with them later at the Marriott catching a later dinner, which was very good - $2.50 for a bowl of pasta. I sit with them for a bit before taking off.
I wouldn't see them until the end of the con, when this was taken:
That was right before I left.
It was nice seeing them again, and I hope to see them if they come to Sac-Anime, if not the next Fanime.
And yes, I will go see Jersey Boys. And give me a call if you want to go shopping, Jeresy style.
Friday, May 30, 2008
This'll probably come tomorrow...
And that was one of my problems - there was so much to do, but so little time to do it. And that's probably a given within a convention; there is so much you can do. But, I didn't mind that - I had so much fun, met new faces and saw old faces, hung around with people that I knew and didn't knew. I had a blast last year, I had a blast this year, and I hope to have a blast next year & in the coming years.
I think of this as a tradition now to come down to Fanime. I hope next year the people that I know will be here, and that Fanime will continue to grow and grow as a convention while still keeping that personal touch.
That's it for my Final Con Report for FanimeCon 2008. Until next year, keep reading my blog! And be sure to visit my Sac-Anime/Sac-Con blog to check out coverage of Sac-Con in June (if I go) and Sac-Anime in August!
To beat everyone out of gate to check out, we decide to check out early, very early - like 9am early. Everything is packed, stored in the car that's still in Vallet, and the feeling that we didn't have to wait long to check out.
I found out yesterday at the Hilton resturant had a brunch, so we went despite staying at the Marriott. While some people got to eat there for free because they stayed there, we had to pay, but hey I'd rather take half off Vallet and free internet for the whole weekend over one meal.
We split up for the last time before we have to leave. I head over the Ouran Gathering, holding that cake that the Masquerade group didn't use. For a Monday gathering, there were a lot of us. I got some very nice pictures, most of them already uploaded.
I then head over to the second and final panel that I would attend - the Forums Panel. Though that panel, I was able to learn the history of the fourms, various forum meetups, and much, much, much more - too much, in fact.
But somewhere during this panel, I fell asleep. I knew that this was a bad thing, so the quicker I can get home safely, the better. If I would of left after end of the con, which would of been 5pm-6pm, I would of been home around 9pm; and on the energy that was left, that would be a bad thing. So to drive while there is still ample daylight would be the best option even if that meant leaving the con early.
So after going to "Dealer Monday" (meaning last day sales and bargains) and finding nothing, I throw in the towel. I'm done here at Fanime, time to call it a weekend and head back home.
I drop off my friend in San Rafael, and I make it back safely to Sacramento with ample daylight to spare. I make stops in Fairfield for gas, and Vacaville to eat (and to pick up the frame for the program guide since it was close enough).
After four days of Fanime, it was back to the normal life for me.
After changing back into my FMA uniform, I head over to my first panel of the whole convention: the "Your Anime Sucks" panel at 11am. Since I had time to burn, I paid a visit to Dan Southworth, one of the Guests of Honor, who was watching the Indy 500 on the bar TV. I stick with him for a bit before leaving for the panel. Needless to say, for the short time that I was there because my photoshoot was at 11:30, I had a blast!
I head back to the center of the convention center, and I wait...and wait...and wait. I ask everyone, and I pace back and fourth. Eventually, I gave up and went to the Dealers Room.
Later in the day, I went to Jack-in-the-Box, driving of course, with my friend Tom. We get back up to the room, I eat my lunch, and prepare to head down to the "How Become A Become A Host" panel. I would show up late, though, because of the charity auction. I did this last year, and I got a lot of mechandise for cheap.
With me dressed in my Ouran uniform hauling a giant cake, I wait around to see if I would win some An Cafe tickets and/or tickets to their autograph session on Monday and/or tickets to meet GAINAX over at the Fairmont. I won nothing, but once the charity auction started, I won myself some nice Gundam merchandise. However, the Perfect Grade Wing Zero Custom, an item that has eluded me for 8 years, did once again by $50, a $200 bid against my $150.
Through some deals that I made with an attendee, I was able to head over to the Fairmont, looking very nice in a dress shirt and tie (no Ouran jacket for me) to go check out the GAINAX Reception. Mostly everyone who worked on TTGL was at that reception, and none of them spoke English, which was a good thing in my book. My goal was to get as many autographs on the program guide that I had, and for the most part, I did - except for two, who had lines going for sketches that they were doing. That same program guide is now framed and on my wall displayed nicely. Honestly, I would pay $50 just to see GAINAX alone - this was so worth the price of admission.
Sunday night featured a Game Show on Stage Zero, more arcade games, and a night in the Hentai Room next to a couple of Persona 3 cosplayers. The room featured wincest and pervs on a train, which got me to say "I've had it with these mother**bleep**ing pervs on this mother**bleep**ing train!"
Despite Monday being the last day of Fanime, I still had things to do...
Part 4: Monday - up next!
After that, I get ready for the FMA Gathering. I head down shortly before it starts, camera and all. It's a very nice gathering, and there are some nice pictures that were taken. Very very nice.
During this time, I am trying to get ahold of Jessica, the one who is coordinating the Ouran Masquerade skit that I was in. I finally get ahold of her, and I get what I need to get into the Masquerade. They told me to meet them at a certain spot to rehearse the skit, so I went off waiting for that time.
By then, I decide to hit up a big lunch before the long haul through the Masquerade. So I hit up Peggy Sue's for a nice Philly Cheeesesteak and a milkshake. My god, it was good! I also made stop at the Civic Auditorium to see how big the stage and everything else was set. I must say, the room was a lot smaller than I thought.
But somewhere, I had a photoshoot at 1:30pm. Luckly, I caught the notice in my head on time, changed, and performed the shoot. There is something that I did at the end of the shoot, but I will not mention for now.
I wait out my group's arrival by watching some TTGL in one of the video rooms. Once they arrived, we quickly go into the skit, working on motions and timing. It didn't take long, and they needed to go back to change, much like I needed to do.
I go back up to the room, change into my Ouran outfit, and head to the Masquerade. On my way there, I notice a huge crowd gathered at the front of the convention center; apparently, there were two religious protestors that came, and well you know the rest of the story.
5pm - my group hasn't showed up yet, so for now I would vouch for them. The people behind the Masquerade talk to us, give us some pointers, and then we are seated in order of the skits. It didn't take long for them to show up, and we went through the skit a number of times, making sure we had everything down. Meanwhile, the beginning of the Masquerade was awesome! If you were there, you were surely to be impressed! However, once the actual skits started, it sort of went downhill from there, especially when the skits have one too many Hare Hare Yukais, or any sort of dancing whatsoever. The only bright exception to this was #13, who pulled off Triller/Lucky Star OP perfectly!
Soon, it would be time for us to perform. Honestly, I'm nervous as hell. But once we got up there, I acted my butt off, even though my vocal timing was way off. Overall, we didn't do too bad, but it could of been better.
After the end, I take back the cake that we didn't use back up to the room. I decide to round out the night again at the arcade, but to also check out some of the very awesome speedruns that were going on. Come on, beating Super Mario 64 with all 120 stars in an hour and a half? No stars in 6 minutes? I've seen my share of speedruns, but with a crowd cheering at every glitch is something you can't get anywhere else.
I get to bed 3:30am without realizing it's only Sunday...
Part 3: Sunday - up next!
My first stop is San Rafael, to pick up my friend Tom. That has got to be the steepest, narrowest driveway I've ever driven on! By then, it's about 9am-ish. Once I picked him up, it was time to make that journey all the way down the East Bay to San Jose, site of Fanime.
We get there about 10:30am, when the Reg lines where about 20 minutes or so. Here's what I was planning: since Shira couldn't make it, I was hoping to get Tom to use her badge; but the people up in Reg wouldn't, and Tom had to go to the At-Con Reg line, which suprisingly didn't take long for him. For the time being, I hit the arcade to pass the time, despite later that I would complain that WMMT3 was $1.50 each play. I also hit the video room for some AMV Hell 4...oh yeah!
Noon time hits, and I decide to see if the Marriott is checking people in. In fact, they were and I was able to get a room on the 4th floor. I call up Vallet, which I used over the weekend, loaded the carts, and went up to a very nice room. I prepare my Gatorade mix drink, which I will do often that weekend, get cozy for a bit, then go downstairs again.
By then, Dealers Room is about to open up, and I stand in line. Some people thought that we weren't the end of the line mostly because there was a gap to allow a walkway, so when they did most of line where I was kindly - if you wanted to call it that - told the others where the line is. 2pm hits, and Dealers Room is open. I didn't find the figure that I was hoping to look for - Misato from Evangelion - but I did find a very nice Belldandy figure, and for a good price! I make that purchase, and walk back to the room to drop off my merchandise.
Soon, Opening Ceremonies is about to start, featuring Taiko Drummers; I got some video of that (which I hope to upload soon). But to find out that 47 GAINAX employees who worked on TTGL are here, and that they look as excited as we are is a sight to behold. They're holding digital and video cameras taking pictures and video of all of us. And we were doing the same thing!
Man, I'm hungry, especially when all I had this morning was a hot pocket and OJ. I decide to take a walk to a local Quiznos to find some discounted large sandwiches. I find out that they're only doing the $5 Deli Favorite subs, and not the $7 and $9 subs that my workplace does. So I buy a large Roast Beef and a bowl of soup. I take that back to the room, where I eat and prepare for my first photoshoot with Darkain in my FMA uniform.
That photoshoot was scheduled for 8pm, and since I was really his only shoot of the day, we took our time on it. I also took the opportunity to sign up for the Hold'em Tournament on my way back to the hotel room to grab some water. He got some really nice shots, and I'm waiting to see how they come out.
9pm rolls around, and the Texas Hold'em Tournament is about to begin. But, we have a problem - someone stole the host's chipset, meaning we were going to play a 27-man tournament with one chipset. It was a stretch, but we did it. I did make Final Table, surviving two all-ins - catching a Queen on the river to win it, and catching two 5s on the flop when I went all in with a 5-2 offsuit. But with big chipstacks in front of me, my muscle flattened, and I finished in 7th place. Not too bad for that kind of tourament. I also find out that someone else was getting another chipset to make things easier for the Saturday and Sunday tourament - I couldn't make the Saturday tournament due to the Masquerade, so I hoped to make the Sunday tournament. I thanked the coordinator for rolling with us, and to continue talks about helping him out next year.
I change out of my cosplay to go check out what's going on at the dancefloor. I stay for a couple of minutes, enjoy the heart-thumping music, then move on. I round out the night at the arcade again.
By midnight, I was ready to crash early - I knew I had a long day ahead of me on Saturday...
Part 2: Saturday - up next!
There were supposed to be 4 people go with me to Fanime - me, my friend Tom, my friend Shira from Colorado, and Gabi, Tom's friend from Maryland. Unforunately, Shira dropped out due to financial reasons, and Gabi...well, I really don't want to mention that. Luckly, I was able to downgrade the room and in the process saved me a couple of hundred of dollars. This was when Gabi dropped out, and I was still assuming Shira would go. But, in the end, she dropped out in the final weeks leading up to Fanime; so it would be me and Tom (also known as Shiro) who would go to Fanime and use the room.
Part 1: Friday - up next!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
It's ok though. I was able to get my other two photoshoots in with ease, and I can't wait to see how those come out.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
(Now featuring the official video from YouTube)
This is Skit #43 - Ranmasan productions: Battery Operated Twins! - that I was in.
First, a bit of backstory. This, for me, is my first big opportunity to jump from the small Masquerades of Sac-Anime/Sac-Con onto the big stage of FanimeCon, where more than 3000 attendees, hundreds of press ranging from photographers to video that go on the internet, and judges who have done this type of thing longer than you have.
Through the forums, I was able to find a group who were looking to do an Ouran High School Host Club skit, headed by Jessica (ranma12 on the Forums). I was interested, so I joined. I recorded my lines leading up to Fanime, while the chreography would be done on-site at the convention.
The basic premise of the skit is this - why are the twins they way they are?
For my character, I was supposed to be an outsider - more like a random person. I changed that title to "Student Council President of Ouran High School," because of my connections to student government in college. So basically I am someone who really doesn't understand the twins in what they do and why they do it. And honestly, if those twins did exist I would be asking the same question.
We were #43, which meant we were in the last strech of skits. By then, most of the attendees that I talked to said the same exact thing - epic fail. Too much Hare Hare Yukai, Rickrolls, and even Caramelldansen got played out - it felt like skit after skit involved some sort of dancing, dacing that was half-assed and out of sync. Our group believed that at least we had an original skit going, one that doesn't have dancing (I'm not counting the music near the end, since that's part of the skit).
Now, onto the actual video.
First off, you notice there's a big lag between the time when Ric Meyers, the MC for the Masquerade, leaves the stage and when the lights come on. Also, notice how the audio track plays (about 1:00) before the lights come on. By the time the lights do come on, you can already hear the cheers that is supposed to become because this is a Ouran High School Host Club skit. Now, I do wish my voice wasn't as high-pitched as I wanted it to sound - somehow my voice translates differently.
As I walk across the stage, you can notice the sleeping Honey and Mori who is sitting on a chair facing the backstage. The twins are standing to the back-left as I face the audience. At this point, I'm supposed to give a monologue while the twins play around in the background, giving the perception that I'm supposed to be the one out of place. He does address the twins, but also tries to catch them in the act of "incest." The whole "Battery Operated Twins" gets mentioned (1:26) here too as well.
About the 1:40 mark, he actually does catch them in the act, and you can see the exaggerated pointing that I do here, accompanied by the audience cheering because of the twincest. After this, Honey wakes up and asked what is going on. In the series, Honey doesn't like to be awaken from his naps, and has a pretty bad temper when you do wake him up. So, Honey runs up, knocks down the twins, and "knocks me out" (2:05). Again, he sees the twincest and blows it off.
Soon thereafter, Tamaki shows up - but if you look closely, it's Mori with a wig on. Unfortunately, the Tamaki that was supposed to be there didn't show up, so the Mori cosplayer had to double as Tamaki. By then, my character is supposed to set things straight with Tamaki, but gets the same answer...MONEY?
2:50 - Tamaki calls on the twins to bring out someone - bring out the women! Again, the twins fall to the ground, and crowd reacts. And then Tamaki had to ask the ultimate question: "What do you think of their 'brotherly love?'" You can probably guess the crowd's reaction to that one. And now my character just gave up, defeated at the hands of the Host Club and their twincest ways. You see the facepalm that I put on as the twins, up in arms, parade themselves on stage.
All of the sudden, I start to come backstage, to where Haruhi is now standing. I am supposed to court her, which I do. Tamaki, seeing this, goes into his own corner and sulks, just like in the series. Tamaki sees her, she runs, he runs, I run.
The skit ends with the twins humming offstage.
I think we could of done better - the lipsync wasn't as great, and the timing of the whole skit felt a bit off. We also didn't get to used this prop:
We were supposed to bring out this cake for Honey, since Honey likes cake. But we never did, so after the Masquerade I took the cake back with me:
You probably know me for asking "You want cake?" Most of them replied with "The cake is a lie" (a Portal reference).
Overall, we did ok with all the cirumstances that were given. I thought we were one of the more original skits, but not without the polish. I'll definately take this experience as I look foward to the rest of my appearances at future big-time Masquerades.
That concludes Skit Analysis...expect Final Report tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
*sigh* That will always be one of the greatest weekends of the year! Too bad it ended quickly, and now PCD - Post-Con Depression - is setting in.
The good news is that Sac-Con is on the horizon, next week I believe, and everyone who attended the Sac-Anime Gathering @ Fanime on Sunday will be there, I hope. I may go, depends on how my work schedule is.
Also, Sac-Anime Summer 2008 is not too far...in August.
And for the people who actually saw it, I tried to put up Skit #43 of the Masquerade via Photobucket embeded like the YouTube videos I have on here. I was ready to give my analysis, but I found out quickly that my browser froze up every time I tried viewing it. So for now, you can go here and watch it. Once the YouTube version goes up, I will do my anaylsis.
Also, props to Yukie Dong who did Niconico - the whole entire song! Even if it wasn't perfect, you have to give her credit!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Actually, I really could of signed up for one, but like I said I didn't know the magnitude of the coverage that I would give.
Once that was done, it was now to drive back home to Sacramento. I realize that gas is way too much, so I gamble and hope my 1/4 tank holds. I make it to Cordelia, near Fairfield, where gas was way cheaper.
I also make a stop in Vacaville for some food, and to Michaels...you'll find out why in a sec.
And now I'm back home...
I had somewhat of a bad feeling when I fell asleep during the Forum Panel, when my body was sprawled out on the chairs, relaxing as I listened to stories about the Forums and all the gatherings that have occured during the years. I do wish I were at more of these gatherings, but due to the fact I live in Sacramento and holding a job it makes things a bit more tougher.
That, was after the Ouran Gathering which was really sweet. I finally got that cake off my hands...in the trash.
Since I didn't want to catch any incoming Memorial Day traffic and I wanted to ensure that I get home before the sun starts setting, me and my friend left the con after scanning the Dealers Room for Monday deals. I didn't find any.
We had already checked out and everything was stored in the car. All I needed to do was call up the Vallet, and we're going home!
I'm currently uploading photos and videos onto my computer, but will not be up until late Monday/Tuesday.
There was a great reception at the Hentai Room tonight - enough to pull me out of the Yaoi Room and into the WINCEST that we all witnessed. Also, I've had it with these mother**bleep**ing pevs on this mother**bleep**ing train!
Pushed 810HP on WMMT...yay!
Um...there's also the fact that my Sunday photoshoot, Winter Wish Photography, did not show up at all! I was in the Lobby, like it said, and I was looking for the man in the overcoat, just like the picture! I hope they didn't mean the other side of the reg line near the Hilton, because that's a different area than the one they described. I kept calling out their name, asking everyone in the area if they have seen them! Oh well, I got in my other two this weekend which are going to look sweet!
Tomorrow is the last day, but there's still the Ouran Gathering, the Forum Panel, and Closing Ceremonies, not to mention Dealer Monday!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Anyways, I'll be downstairs for some panels and then more gaming to round out the right. I'll see you all downstairs!
I'm going to try to keep this as short as I can.
First off - Masquerade. The majority will tell you that it was epic fail, but I thought it was meh. The problem is that the trend of "dance" skits continued - either both a single (see Hare Hare Yukai or Caramelldansen) or a number of short dances, although the group with the Triller/the one from Lucky Star was really good, especially when they pulled out the Poms in the middle of nowhere. I thought our skit was more original, and most people like what we did. However, there was a cake that was never brought out due to timing issues. I have that in my room, and I hope to bring it to the Host panel. I would like to thank Jessica and her group for allowing me to be part of their group and to allow myself to have the greatest feeling in the world - more than 3,000 people, cameras, and video cameras all on you on the biggest stage in one of the biggests cons of all of North America.
Either than that, nice gatherings (the FMA was win for me), and I finally reached 800 HP in WMMT. Now I can hang with the big boys.
I need to update my budget plan before I head off into dream world, but I'll be up to finish an epic Sunday. I don't have enough energy to sort out all the photos; that will be done later.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Anyways, I do have another photoshoot in about 10 minutes, and then I need to eat, go practice with my group, prepare for the Masquerade, then take the long wait...
I am uploading Day 1 photos and a video of the Taiko Drummers that I will post shortly.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I am currently getting something to eat, then I will get into my cosplay and head down to pick up tickets for the GAINAX Meet at the Faremont.
I need to finish my food first...
Current Song I'm Listening To (as I eat Quiznos): Michael Hunter - Soviet Connection (The Theme from GTA IV)
Anyways, I should be down there in time for the opening of Dealers Room and Opening Ceremonies. I'm not in cosplay now, but I will be later in the evening in time for my first photoshoot.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I am so hyped about this! I also need to go run my final errends in preperation for Fanime. Until then, keep those sowing machines going!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Holy crap, that's a LOT of badges.
I got to give it up to the Reg Staff; they put all their hard time into all those Pre-Reg Badges, and to have most of them ready a week before the con is freakin' amazing. Now, to worry about those 10,000 other "paper badges"...
Hurray Reg Staff!
Friday, May 16, 2008
For me, It's a welcome sighting as most of us wind down spring sesmester of school...however, I have 3 finals (one on Monday, two on Tuesday) in my way. The good thing about that is that it gives me all of Wednesday and Thursday to get everything I need for Fanime.
Now, if you would excuse me, I need to study...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I've already started to buy what I need; I went to Smart & Final and bought a case of water (32 for $5.49!), and tomorrow I will get an oil change for my car that I'll be driving down there. A car wash is in line for next week, probably after my Math final.
Either than that, everything is going to fall on Wednesday, when probably I'll get the majority of everything.
I'll come back to when we're within a week.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
One of the things I'm doing is surviving school! I had two tests and an essay due this week, so all I have to do now is survive my 3 finals (thank god I don't have a final for my English class), and I'm good!
Either than that, I feel that I'm already set for Fanime, give or take buying items like water the week of...