Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PMX 2010 - Tsunami Scoreboard Part Three

Tsunami Scoreboard Part Three - Main Attractions

Masquerade was the bigger event I chose to cover for PMX this year due to the fact that none of the bands particularly interested me. I opted to cover the dances instead, and to be perfectly honest, those were also pretty lame. The DJs from Tune In Tokyo had great tracks lined up, but I can definitely say I have heard better set lists—even from Tune In Tokyo themselves. I was pretty disappointed in the DJs who did show up from other groups as well, since I guess maybe I’ve been spoiled by one too many good convention raves (and those are few and far between, mind you) so when I actually bothered to show up for the dance this time, I think shocking the regulars who I know personally was the only thing that really stuck with me that was positive for the dances.

I also learned the hard way NOT to go to the con dance in platform boots with fur lining. Not only did I have a few close-calls with stepping on people’s toes (despite getting a lot of strange compliments about my style, which somehow resembles a cross between Riverstomp, Salsa and Shuffle) but I also dehydrated faster than you can say Aquaman. I also discovered a new addition to the lovely list of “1,001 Ways to Catch the Con Plague”—when cups are scarce at the dance, people drink straight from the water pitchers.

As for Masquerade, I spent my free time watching rehearsal on Saturday since I entered a skit in “Exhibition” which is basically a skit for the sake of doing a skit and you don’t really get anything—just bragging rights and some really nice photos of your cosplay. That’s what I liked best, aside from having the chance to watch the other participants practice. The staff who worked with Masquerade and tech for LP 1 were very helpful and cooperative and best of all—super organized!

I happened to run into the Masquerade department head before I went home myself and made sure to tell him what a great job they did. They worked really hard to put on a great show with all of us, and they were very accommodating to all of the participants when the hotel staff was not. The two stage ninjas I worked with were cheerful and supportive when I was nervous about my skit, and the MC was absolutely hilarious—he IS Johnny Yong Bosch. The halftime show was super cute with the Idolm@ster dance group and I gave away my purple glowstick to a friend I made backstage who entered a lovely cosplay from Romeo x Juliet—the Red Whirlwind.

The only sound system issues that were had are the kind you get no matter what you do for a show because the laws of physics do actually exist outside of anime. Getting too close to the speakers on stage while holding a cordless microphone means really loud feedback no matter where you’re presenting. There was a minor problem with the stage during rehearsal but it was quickly dealt with in a timely and well-organized fashion. Kudos to the skit who mentioned it after nearly break the stage in half with dance moves that were so awesome that they shook the very earth!

You can watch that very same skit at American Cosplay Paradise!

The dealer hall was satisfactory, but that’s really only word I have for it. Very plain. The same stuff you see at every convention forever. Although, one of the stores I see at almost every convention in California was present as usual and kept to its steady momentum of updating their stock to fit the trends in anime merchandise sales—an overabundance of Pokemon does not exist for Toy Manadala! With the upcoming new video game releases from the Nintendo franchise, that was a pretty good call. I was unable to get myself that cute Zorua plushie I wanted, but since I live near their Van Nuys location, I think I can live an extra couple weeks while I wait for my next paycheck.

Also, as expected of PMX’s dealer’s room, I saw a lot of fashion booths set up this year. I was a bit bummed to see that Jun Planning was not there this year. I had hoped to see some Pullip/Dal/Byul/Taeyang stuff one last time, but alas! Luck was not on my side. I think I might have seen Hangry and Angry when I squinted really hard, but a lot of the time all the fashion booth looks exactly the same the others do to me.

Something recent I have seen as well are small wig shops, and I happened to run across two of them at this con. One was run by some sort of slightly larger company and had a small table piled high with fliers and two pretty sales girls wearing their product and brand Lolita fashion. Their set-up was nice and they were in a larger booth close to the front of the hall. However, the wig they were selling is what I'd describe as an overpriced product meant more for maid cafe girls and Lolita stylists. Cosplay, not so much. Rather, the teeny tiny booth that was squeezed into a tiny space at the back of the hall and shared with Cosplay in America (a big ol’ book of wonderful cosplay photography that I really think you should check out, by the way) had much better quality and more easily affordable prices.

While the fancier booth in the front was charging $60 or more for what felt like thin, heat-resistant plastic when I touched the fibers, the smaller booth's sales girl let me hold the wig in my hands and suggested a few ways to pull back the curly locks in the back of a chestnut brown wig she had on hand for a more natural looking ponytail like the character I was planning. The example wig at the front of the small booth felt like real hair, too. I was really glad to chat with the girl at the booth for five minutes on Sunday afternoon before closing. She knew what she was doing and was very helpful when I asked a seemingly endless amount of questions about wig care and styling and showed her a reference picture on a friend’s smart phone. She gave me a business card and wrote down the style, length and color for the wig I looked at as listed in her own shop notes so that I could purchase it when I could.

By the way, I had gone to both booths to ask the exact same question:

“How to I add a short ponytail to the back of my wig?”

The guy at the company booth wound up attempting to sell the wrong style and color to me, and ran around in circular reasoning for what seemed like maybe twenty minutes before I took a business card and walked away. I think I liked the service at Epic Cosplay’s booth. The best part about them is that they’re local to California, which means shipping is cheaper and easier for me, yay~!

Swell Points Earned: 7.0

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