7/6/1997 The End
(as told by the UGAnime mascot, Oni-chan)
The final day of the con was upon me. I found myself waking up early Sunday morning just so that I could experience and cram in all that I could before the usual post-con depression set in.
After a rushed breakfast, I checked
out the dealers' room one last time. There was still
so much that I had to buy, but not enough time or money to do
so. Oh well. There were always other cons with
other dealers' rooms. Maybe someday, I thought to
myself, someday I would be able to have it all. Nah! I
went for broke and blew almost all of my load on a bunch of manga
and a few more CDs. Life's short, so spend your cash
as fast as you can.
When I was walking back up to the main floor to check out the A.D. Vision panel, I saw the Hawaiian girl checking out this huuuuuuuge poster for sale next to the con T-shirts. It was glorious! It was a 32" X 48" hand drawn picture of every anime character (and mecha) ever made (in SD form), sitting on bleachers smiling and waving at the camera! I began to drool. I had to have it! It was only $15! I could name about 90% of the characters on it! It had to be mine!!!! But then the Hawaiian girl brought to my attention her problem.
"I would love to buy this," she said, "But I have no way to transport it home without creasing it."
The reality set in. There
did not seem to be any way to get this behemoth work of art home
without damaging it in the least. It was then when
I made my madcap scavenger hunt to find some sort of cardboard
poster carrier. No such luck. I had to
either give in and accept the fact that I would never own the
Mega Poster, or I could defy all logic, buy it, and do the impossible
by bringing it home in one piece without a crease or a fold. I
did the impossible.
I quickly dropped it off in my room and hurried to catch the end of the A.D. Vision panel. I'm glad that I did. The panel people were really cool and seemed to be answering the same questions over and over again for late comers (like me^_^). They said that "Yes", they would release all of the Evangelion TV episodes, and "Yes", they did have the rights to release the movies too. They just didn't know when they would release the movies. They went on to answer questions about the current status of other anime shows, such as The Vision of Escaflowne for the US market. They said that nobody had gotten that one yet, but he was sure that A.D. Vision would not even try for it. It was too expensive, and A.D. Vision couldn't do another long TV series. They were looking for more short term things like OAVs and Movies. It's probably for the best, though, as these guys have a habit of "dumbing down" the translations. Seriously! Check out a fansub of Eva and then watch an episode of the "officially released" Eva. The A.D. Vision one talks down to its audience (which is stupid, leave the "dumbed down" translation for the Dub, but keep the Sub up to expectations, guys).
I then caught the last half of Crusher Joe the Movie. A little dated, but still pretty cool. Me liked it^_^
After that, I thought that I would try something new and caught Catnapped (I don't remember what the real Japanese title was) from Pioneer. What a trip!! It was a really funny movie dressed up like a kiddie flick. Totally unexpected. Everyone in the theater was loving it. I just had to find a stuffed Papadoll! I really hope that Pioneer gets off their butts and releases this one soon, it ROCKED!
I soon left when it became apparent
that nobody was going to mock them in any way.....boooooooooring! So
then I got on the already long line for the Anime Expo Auction.
Who'd have thought that this would have been a big draw? At
four o'clock they let us in and we quickly took our seats. Many
things went up and everything sold (Amazing! Next year
I'll get a three year old to draw me a really crappy Usagi or
Hello Kitty. Trust me, they'll atleast go for $40. Easily). I
was in awe at how gullible the crowd was. The Rossman's
and Megu-chan's stuff would have easily broke $100 each. Unbelievable.
Immediately following was the S.P.J.A. Charity Auction, so everybody stayed for that. Later we heard that a whole lot of pissed off con-goers were forced to wait outside and just listen, because they refused to televise it in another room. Poor babies.
This was the cool auction. Some of the cool stuff that went up on the block were some autographed City Hunter cells and an autographed script donated by Akira Kamiya. These went pretty high. Some other stuff that got bought quickly were a brand new (never opened) Macross Valkyrie toy, some Shimogasa sketches, and some drawings by Yamashita. All of them were very expensive.
Then, it happened. The crowd went silent as the grand-daddies of the art world went up on the auction block. Yuuki-sensie's sketches made their appearance. The bidding began on the Deedlit drawing first. Slowly but surely it rose over $1,000!!! And still people were bidding on it! With only two bidders left, it reached $2,100 and that was too rich for one of them. The winner triumphantly marched to the front to claim her prize.
The entire audience was cheering! We were told that this was the most that anything had ever gone for at the S.P.J.A Auction! After a little bit we quieted down and they brought out the last piece of the evening: Yuuki's other drawing. The Wolf chick from X: the Movie quickly rose in price too, only it didn't slow down at $2,000!! It beat out Deedlit's price stopping at $2,500!!! Everybody, especially Nobuteru Yuuki, was in shock! Then the cheering began again. Unbelievable. A grand total of almost $15,000 had been raised for charity (ja right! I bet they pocketed some).
After the auction had ended, they kicked all of us out to set up for the Closing Ceremonies. I was a little mad at first, but I found that I was able to get in to the room again with no problem.
Of course the Closing was late to get started, but when it did, all of the guests of honor came out and said a few final remarks. They loved being there and wished that they could come back again some day, yadda yadda yadda. Then the AX97 Opening Animation was played again along with the winners from the video awards the night before. It was at that time that they presented the winning video contestants with their prizes. The girl from Canada who won with the Don't Talk Just Kiss song got a director's chair autographed by all of the Guests of Honor. She had no idea how she was going to get it home.
Then the modeling show winners were announced.
One of my faves, which only got a Runner Up Award, was a motion sensitive Ryo-ohki. Whenever anybody would move in front of it it would move its head and tail, and "meow"! It was so kawaii^_^
Finally, the President of S.P.J.A. (the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation) got up to the podium and told us how great this year's con was. He said that even though they only expected a few more attendants than last year (which was only around 2,200), close to 4,000 people came to AX 1997!!! No wonder it was so crowded. He went on to apologize for the lines and everything else while he went on to say that these were "In-between Years", meaning that AX is too big for hotels, but too small for a real convention hall. I'd love to see it in a convention hall! I hope that some day it makes it there.
Then the winners of the SPJA Industry
Awards Ballot were announced. I had forgotten that
I voted for it! Because it would be waaaaaaay too
long to tell you all of the choices, I'll just tell you the winners.
Talk about uneducated votes! I can't believe that Tenchi in Love won so many categories. It was OK, but not great! And it sure as hell wasn't half as good as Death and Rebirth! AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!
After that, the check from last year's Charity Auction was donated by this years' Guests. It was big (close to 10 grand), just not as big as this years'.
Then, like all good things, AX 97 had to come to an end. The whole crew said their "Thank You's" and their "Goodbye's", and the Guests waved to everybody as they left the auditorium. Then it was down to business....The Gripe Session. It seemed as if they didn't want too many people to come, as they never anounced it, and not too many people showed up. But those who did sure had a lot on their so called minds.
I didn't have any complaints (other than the lines, which couldn't be helped). I just hung around for something to do. AXTV was finished with it's programing and everything was over, so I just sat back, stretched my wings, and watched the words fly.
Lots of morons complained about the lines and they were continuously told that this was the biggest hotel in LA, and that nothing could be done for the moment. Then questions like why the ceremonies couldn't be televised on AXTV, or why they basically only showed things that were already released or soon to be released in the US were brought up. The answers were lame (there seemed to be no real reason), and abrupt.
Amazingly enough (it did not seem like it at all), the Gripers kept things going for two whole hours! The con people had to stop it so that the hotel could put the Main Theatre back together. Those con-goers who cared (including this lil'Oni) applauded the people in charge as we wished them well for the next year at Anime Expo 1998.
I then went to sleep.