Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Ryan's Kumoricon 2019 Day 2: Pulling The TRIGGER For Zero-Two and Pizza Karaoke

After the madness that was Day 1 and another late night, the others and I would only get maybe 4 to 5 hours of sleep before having to get up to find out again who were interviewing that day. As a conscious agreement among the roomies and not having a known breakfast joint aside from Denny's nearby, we went to search the area for what was popular or a well suggested from locals and ended up at a local cafe/coffee shop known as Citizen Baker. Here the boys and I would order not only some good deserved 'Jo but some of their delicious breakfast affair. I would go on to order one of the more popular dishes of smoked salmon served with a poached egg and chipotle hollandaise.

The front of Citizen Baker
Once at the convention center Dalton and I find out we would have our first interview with the lovely Tia Ballard in 15 minutes and then with Studio TRIGGER at 12 pm. We were going to interview with Teddyloid that morning at 11am but he had to cancel his interview. Dalton and I would go on to prep for Tia and once we were done setting up she would arrive shortly after to the press room to conduct the interview.

Tia was a really great person to be in the room with, full of energy and it was exciting to hear the answers she had to our questions. One thing Tia and I noticed was Kumoricon press staff was putting in time queues in the window to let us know our time and eventually that time was up.

A photo with Guest of Honor Tia Ballard
"Time's up!" -Kumoricon staff
20 minutes had gone by for her interview and now we had an hour before we were due in for Studio TRIGGER. Dalton wanted to buy a lanyard as he was getting tired of pinning his badge to his jacket, so came with me as I took the opportunity to go check on a bid I placed at the silent auction. The 2016 Racing Miku Nendoroid that I had placed a bid on was outbid to $95 and decided that's where I drew the line. Dalton would obtain a Iron Blooded Orphans lanyard and would be on our way to the press room.

The 2016 Racing Miku Nendoroid (Photo Credit: GOOD SMILE COMPANY)
Being as this was Dalton's first time in an interview with any Japanese Guest of Honor, I had to do a quick rundown of formalities with the Japanese such as exchanging business and addressing the guests with last names and "san" instead of a first name basis. This is where I would begin to notice Dalton trembling as he kept attempting to pronounce "Wakabayahshi-san," reassuring that everything was going to go smoothly. We headed straight into the room where the translator, Wakabayashi-san, and Koyama-san were waiting for us.

[Due to contractual obligations we swore in that we could not post audio, photo or video of the duo however you can catch the transcript of the interview here]

As well as the interview was going, Dalton would begin to start freezing up, so on autopilot I stepped in to finish his question and then take the rest of the interview from that moment on. Interested by some of their responses I would press on about titles such as KILL la KILL, Heroman, and the recent film Promare.

Alas, time was up and I would thank Wakabayashi-san and Koyama-san as we exchanged our business cards and would begin to leave. During our exchange Dalton and Wakabayashi-san begin to have a genuine moment together as he would notice how happy Dalton was on his card and explained "he had never seen someone so happy on any business card he'd ever seen" also he would ask who was on Dalton's business card. Politely I would reply in Japanese "sore wa Asakawa Yu desu." Wakabayashi-san in a surprised tone replied "eh??? Asakawa Yu!?!" and then told the translator that he really enjoyed her work. This moment perked Dalton right back up to normal as we would bow, say "arigatou gozaimasu," and leave the room. After that was said and done I rushed quickly down to autographs to get Brittney Karbowski, Teddyloid, and Karen Strassman's autograph as my watch silently notified me during the TRIGGER interview that I had won passes to those sessions. Here I would finally get to meet Teddyloid up close, take a selfie with him, and have him sign my copy of the Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt soundtrack.

A selfie with Teddyloid
My signed copy of the Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt OST
Karbowski would sign my copy of Shuffle! and Angel Beats, then I would meet Strassmen and have a small conversation about Code Geass and how I was looking forward to interviewing her the following day. She would my copy of Persona 3 and the Limited Edtion Set 1 for Code Geass.

The exterior for Apizza Scholls
Dalton and I would regroup to the hotel to gather the rest of the crew to head a well known pizza parlor that I heard about through some local friends and gaming sources called Apizza Scholls. This would also allow Trevor to meet up with his sister who he had not seen since his wedding. This is ironically where local and renowned barcade Quarterworld which I had planned to go to was located.

The exterior of Quarterworld
Due to time constraints we were unable to go to Quaterworld but that wouldn't stop us from enjoying the retro arcade inside Apizza Scholls.

The retro arcade inside Apizza Scholls
Dalton playing the Atari Star Wars arcade game
While waiting and eventually even whilst eating, our table enjoyed the music what was playing in the background. One person after the other the table started singing to the tunes of Journey, The Eurythmics, and Kool and the Gang starting an impromptu karaoke session in the restaurant. Funny thing was I thought for sure we'd get kicked out for disrupting business and annoying other patrons but low and behold the staff and eventually people in the booths in front and behind joined in.

(Note: The photo with Dalton looking at the pizza in an excited manner was completely candid)

Now that food was over we would rush to try and make Teddyloid's set; unfortunately he was the middle set instead of finale so we watched the last five minutes of said set before moving to the game room. Here we would play Cards Against Humanity until again the convention center closed meaning once again little to no sleep.

End of Day 2

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