Part the Third: Constructicons, Form Devastator!

Part the Third

7/04/1998 The Mysterious Experience
(As told by Oni-chan and Catsy)

You can go to hell!  You go to hell and you die!
As the saying goes, "It's the waiting that's the hardest part". This proved most true to the drained warriors who had fortified themselves in hastily made trenches to prepare for the next offensive. They apparently had to wait for more reinforcements to arrive before their move.... And then they waited for more... and then more.

-"Saturday the fourth proved to be the day of the biggest battle (we knew it would be so we got up at 8A.M. to prepare). We finished off the last of the pizza as we got cleaned (To all otaku: Notice how often we actually rid ourselves of odors at conventions... Please follow suit!) and then we hurried down to the second floor to catch some Fairy Princess Ren (one of my faves^_^), but..."

-"Neow. But all of the morning schedules were twisted and flipped around like a big old greasy flapjack at Waffle House. Everything was screwed up-tcha. It was at that time that we heard somebody say something at the newly rebuilt info counter about the CosPlay only allowing people in who had tickets to it. I grabbed the first guy behind the table by his collar and pulled him towards me while only asking him one simple question to which he refused to answer!"

-"Dude! It's because you bared your teeth and only kept snarling, 'Where?!?! Where?!?!!? WHERE?!?!' Humans are wimpy, no wonder he fainted. All you had to do was what I did. Simply ask them politely."

-"So I can say, 'Listen, ****er. You better tell me where the **** I can get these tickets to the ****ing CosPlay or I'll rip your **** off, set it on fire, and shove it up your *** **** *** so hard you'll be ****ing out of your mouth till the day you die' as long as it's in a cheerful tone?"

Good Morning Unagi-chan!
While we were at the Info Table we also collected the entire free series available there about that psychotic little girl who loves Public Broadcasting. Unagi-chan! O-haiyoh, Unagi-chan!

-"It seemed to have worked, didn't it? Anyhow, we were told that tickets would be given out at the entrance to the main Convention Center room (where opening ceremonies were held) so we hustled our fannies there muy rapido. When we got there there were already around 150-200 people in front of us (we figured that we'd easily each get a ticket) and we sat down in our place..... Then we found out it was just a line for the Yu Watase panel at 10. Urgh!"

-"Yay! I didn't want to miss that so I blackmailed Oni-chan into staying with me."

(*Note to Readers!* Yes, Oni-chan does not like Fushigi Yuugi, but she really likes Yu Watase a lot. Okay? ^_~ [In other words: If you are translating this for Yu Watase right now, skip the following long rant by Oni-chan about FY fans. Arrigatou^^])

-"Yeah, well I think you still owe me big time. Anyway, at least I got a chance to make fun of all the Fushigi Losers in line all around us (For God's sake, people! The TV show sucked and I bet none of them ever even saw a panel of the manga!!!). I can even guarantee you that 97% of the people around us hadn't even seen past episode 4 of the series, and that only another 2% had seen up to episode 12 (when it got to be really bad!). And that last percent that actually saw the rest of the juvenial and inane plot through to the end was only there to get back at Watase-san for wasting 26 some odd hours of their lives that they would never get back!!!! That is the only rationalization I could come up with!
  I miss the Expo of days gone by when they got tons of
big name Guests of Honor to come. AX97 was incredible. And AX96 had Oshii Mamoru, Anno Hideaki, Ishiguro Noboru and Sonoda Kenichi (plus a few more!). And lest we forget AX95. Wasn't that the one where both the Queen of Seiyuu and the Queen of Manga came: Megumi Hayashibara and Takahashi-sensei respectively and also Haruhiko Mikimoto (the main mecha man himself). Hmmmm, or did Takahashi-sensei just go to the Comi-Con that year?- Oh who cares! The point is that I would have killed a small nation to have met the creator of Urusei Yatsura, the Mermaid Saga, Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2 in person... Just to be in the same room as her and hear her talk would have been an incredible experience! I look back on the earlier anime cons in America (the early AnimeEasts, AnimeCons [=Anime Americas, and Expos]) with great regret that I missed them and all their great GOHs. Even today, most of those guys and gals would be incredible to have as guests! Although a sweetie pie herself, Watase wasn't really all that HUGE and yet she was the biggest name at the con!!! AAAAARRRRRRrrrrggggghh!.... Oh yeah, TOMAHOME ISN'T EVEN CUTE!!!!"

-"Well since Oni-chan is being such a poopy head I'm gunna be the only one telling you about Yu Watase's panel. Right before they started to finally let us in I counted close to 700 people in line, but they were only letting about ten people in at a time (and they were sitting wherever the hell they wanted anyway). We got in (only about 200 people back) just as Watase-sensei started talking (now that was poor planning).

Cutie pie Yu Watase
-"Watase-san, that neko-chan in the middle wants to know if you can take her home with you, and uh, just how much Meow Mix you have at your place."
-"Dear Kami-sama NO! It's her! It's that sick kitty from yesterday!! Aaaeeeiii! Get me out of here!"

-"She began by telling us how much she enjoyed being here and how totally surprised she was at how popular FY was in the states-tcha. Somebody got up and asked her why when she draws herself she makes herself look like Miaka and if she envisioned herself to be like the main chara in Fushigi Yuugi. Watase-san quickly (hmmmm, maybe a bit too quickly) answered 'Iye!' She went on to say that all of the characters are simply figments of her imagination and that they aren't based on anyone. She emphasized that part.
  She answered another question about what qualities a typical hero would have for her. She said that a real hero would make girls happy and would be able to deliver really campy lines^_^"

-"Wow. Watase-san must be a real hero then."

-"Shut UP!!! Neow. Anyway, she then went on to say that Nakago was her fave seishii in the entire series (kooky, huh?). But she corrected herself and then told us that in part two Taka was her fave. Probably more-so than the blonde bastard (not her actual words).
  Neow. When a (moronic) otaku (who obviously did not understand what Watase-san actually did) complimented her on choosing such great voices for the television show and told her that she did an even better job in pacing the show than in her manga Watase responded (a little embarrassed) that she had nothing to do with the TV series besides giving the green light for background and line art. I then went over and ate the smelly baka's spleen. What an idiot! How dare he embarrass her!
  After my little display of violence everybody soon calmed down when they realized I wouldn't try to hurt anybody else (unless they asked more stupid questions!!!).

The gang's all here!
It's a Fushigi Yuugi Jamboree!!

  She continued. *Deep breath* She said that the TV show was a close translation to the manga but that it had a lot less comedy, that Nakago was the complete opposite of Tomahome (personality and appearance wise [he's evil, his 'tude, his hair and his eyes]), that Nakago wears armor for his heart is closed, and she liked the fact that there were a lot of men in the auditorium who were apparently into shoujo manga-"

-"She then said that she wished there were more wussy boys like that who weren't afraid of their femininity in Japan, then her sales would skyrocket!"

-"She did not say that you lier! Stop making stupid stuff like that up!"

-"*Mina baka.*"

-"Sailor Venus is not an idiot! Stop picking on her now too!!!!!
  Then Watase-san fielded an question that made the whole audience erupt into laughter. It turns out that Tasuki is not gay.... Although she was quick to point out that some Japanese fans do fantasize about that. That's just plain icky! She also said that in some sick doujinshi in the land of the Rising Sun some freak put Tasuki and Noriko together @o@ That's just wrong!!!! She then told us that she would have prefered Tasuki and Tomahome!!!! *@_@* That's just more wrong!!!! Ick, this panel was going in the wrong direction for me-tcha.
  Neow. Then of course came the ridiculous questions that always have a way of surfacing near the end of the fun panels (I'll only share with you the most intelligible one). Some chick asked why Miaka couldn't cook worth spit. Watase-san said it was to make Tomahome suffer! Hmmmm, sounds a little like an Oni-chan remark. She then answered (sort of ^_-) why Chichiri's scar seems to get smaller as the manga series went on. She said that it could be because it was healing, or it could be because she just misremembered what the earlier sketches of it looked like :)

And in the distance I saw a Yu.
"Hey kitty! Could you stand any farther back when you take my picture?!?!"

  Oh, then came the whopper of the really dumb 'didn't think it through before I said it' questions from some trekkie reject in the front row (he was marked for 'dead' the moment he opened his fat mouth!). Neow. He wanted to know if she ever planned on Hotohori marrying Noriko and if so how it would turn out.......... She looked puzzled for a bit but then responded that there was a problem that the person asking the question apparently didn't know about... They were both guys. Everybody started falling off of their chairs and rolling around with laughter^o^ It was pretty funny-tcha."

-"Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I started to kick the guy in front of me I was laughing so hard! Her sarcastic response just shattered the loser who asked it! Someone from the audience then asked him if that was the subject of one of his doujinshi. Ha ha ha! I just wish that Watase-san tore him apart more with her answer!"

-"Neow. Well, everybody can't be as evil as you, now can they. Then, with only a few minutes of the hour-short panel (they really need to be longer) she told us that her fave manga were Devil Man and Galaxy Express. And she loves Takahashi Rumiko's work-"

-"Who doesn't? And Devil Man rocks!"

-"Um, okay. She was really impressed and surprised that us gaijin actually knew in detail many things about Fushigi Yuugi that most Japanese fans did not. This made her happy and she said that she truly appreciated our support-tcha^_^
  At the end they only drew names for a few autographs and five sketches... What was up with that?!? The sketches are what's expected! I can understand a limit to them (she'd be there all weekend just drawing), but only five?"

-"I'm sure they had their reasons (the con people always do). Anyway, we then went back to the Dealer's Room and started hunting for some Mononoke Hime stuff (especially after the Nausicaä.net panel yesterday!).

-"Hey! How much for that 'Love Slave Totoro?'"
-"With or without the chains and gimp mask?"

  The place was even more packed than the day before! Holy toledo! One thing I noticed (that I thought was pretty funny) was that a lot of people were fanning themselves with these paper fans given out by this, um, anime computer game company.... Let's just say that they make the kind of games that the Rossman probably spends all day playing."

-"Neow. They even had this picture of a slinky anime girl on them. I liked how parents were giving them to little kids to keep them cool (something tells me they went right under the mattress when Jr. got home).

Gotta get that Dragon Ball!
"I can't believe this! Doesn't anybody have any Dragon Ball Z stuff for sale?! It's unbelievable just how hard it is to find anything with Goku's mug on it!"

  Anyway, we went hunting for some cool stuff but then we got seperated! I found myself far on the eastern front where I saw this adorable CatBus from Totoro! I had to make it mine^_^ I then looked around a bit and the CatBus helped me to price some Mononoke Hime CDs and art books at a bunch of tables all selling them-tcha. We finally got an SM Mononoke Hime Soundtrack (if you don't like SM you're free to buy the original for $20 more :p) and a MH artbook for $30 (massively and masterly haggled down by the CatBus [he could be a used car salesman!]). Yatta! I was a happy neko^_^"

-"While Catsy was on her shopping spree I returned to the ADVision counter and bought the last two subbed tapes of Eva. Then I went to look for the cat. I finally found her in front of the Manga Video booth bugging the two people behind the counter to get them to tell her the release date of Giant Robo 7. They kept mum on it until I showed up and persuaded them to share the fun facts with us. So here goes: GR 7 will be released on September 29th, 1998 in both dubbed and subbed versions!!!! Sugoi!! Right? Then we found out that the cool looking Six String Samurai would be released into theaters at about the same time! Bonus!"

-"I love how you didn't even leave any visible scars on them too! That was neat-tcha^_^"

-"It takes talent and practice to achieve that move, young one. You have much to learn."

-"I will study, master.
  Neow. After that we went over to the Animeigo camp and caught their presentation. Some balding guy was the only one at the table at the front but he held his own. When asked what the best seller of all time for them was he surprised everyone by telling us Vampire Princess Miyu. He said that Miyu was never the biggest seller, but it continuously sold well. He then told us that just about every female who gets into anime buys it (That part seemed to be true).
  When asked about KOR and what took them so long to actually decide to release the whole series we were informed that Animeigo never thought that they would get enough support for it, so just to humor the hard KOR fans in otaku-land they said that they would only sell it if enough people preordered it (thinking themselves clever by putting the ball in the fanboys' court-tcha). They were totally surprised at the high interest and support it actually had!"

Just kidding!  Animeigo Rulz!
"The reason we got and will continue to release Urusei Yatsura is not because of fan support, but because Ataru reminds me so much of myself as a lad, as a young adult and as the old fogey that you see before you."

-"They guy went on to say that they got the deal with Toho went really quickly and well and that they were soon getting everything prepared (he also said that preorders might get some "extra goodies in their LDs" as a thank you for their interest and preorder payments).
  When asked who his favorite anime character from all their releases was he said that he really didn't have a fave, but that Hikaru is definitely his least favorite! He hates her with a passion!!!! I couldn't agree more (whatta skanktiscious faux chick!)."

-"Neow. He then told us that while everybody thought that they were nucking futs for buying and releasing all those samurai films, those flicks actully sold 5Xs more than he even initially thought they would! Samurai kick feudal ass-tcha!
  Then we heard from him some bad info. American companies were just willing to spend more than Animeigo could on new animation and this was why they weren't getting out as much new stuff as we wanted (and why/how ADVision got the new Bubblegum Crisis Mega Tokyo Burning Road 2040 [or whatever the hell it's called] TV show). This was heinous news indeed! Animeigo is the best American releaser out there! Their translations are perfect (well, except for the 'Rupan fiasco') and the idea of liner notes to let people in on inside jokes (instead of just mistranslating [read
ADVision!]) is ingenious-tcha! Not to mention that they brought us Lum-chan^_^"

-"I am not liking ADVision very much right now, especially after the 'Lance of Longeness' problem! If I find out that they screwed up My Dear Marie I'm gunna have to hurt somebody!
  But anyhow, we then got some happy-happy news. Some Southern Californian TV station will broadcast
UY from episode 1 to 36!!!! Lum's Stormtroopers made it happen! They are the mighty and the proud (at least they should be)!!!!! And then the panel ended with the Animeigo guy giving away free cells that are considered toxic waste in Japan (you had to be there). We got cells from Gaiarth.... I think."

-"Neow-Neow. At one o'clock we ran back to the main convention center room for the Junichi Hayama and apparently Hiroyuki Kitakubo focus panel. These guys were quiet, but funny ^_^ They had some good comments and some kooky answers to fanboy questions."

Don't **** with Kita-san!
-"Kitakubo-san, the fat and ugly gaijin in the back wants to know if you're a homeboy gang member and if that's why you always where your hat backwards."
-"Yo, tell the brotha that I'm a Tokyo CryptKiller and his ass is grass after this little session is ovah!"

-"They answered questions about when 'too much CGI in animation was too much'. They said that their were no real rules for it, but that creators should simply use it to give audiences something they've never seen before. Well, I for one have never seen a fat man on a toilet after a Gordita Revolution and it sure as hell is not something I would would want to (my point being his answer needed a little more detail)."

-"Most of the questions for this panel concerned the difficulty in translating someone else's work into animation.... It turned out not to be that hard-tcha. When Kitakubo-san directed Jo-Jo he did take into account the fact that a lot of his would be viewers would not have read the story up to the point in which he started (which was a lot of story, trust me), he just took the basic storyline and incorporated the fun parts to his final product^_^ As to why he started with the generation that he did in the story instead of earlier with all of the historical context he told us he 'was asked to'. Which I'm guessing translates into 'You WILL start here'."

-"Somebody then asked how animators and directors get together for certain problems. Kitakubo and Hayama then reenacted their initial phone call conversation over this project: 'Moshmoshi.' 'Hayama-san?' 'Hai.' 'Do you want to help me with Jo-Jo? It'll be cool!' 'Hmmmm, okay.' 'Arrigatou.'
  These guys were the extreme!"

Too- much- water!  Gunna- burst- a pipe!
Somebody had to go and ask them the meaning of life! They both went into a trance and started mumbling to themselves for the rest of the hour only to come out of them at the same moment and simultaneously shouted out "42!"

-"Neow-tcha. We were then told (no surprise) that nobody in the animation business is easy to work with, but if everybody was, the anime would all be lax and not fun at all to watch. Kinda like Oni-chan's home movies... well, the 'not fun to watch part'. Nobody gets along with anybody in those just like the industry. Hmmmmm. Oni-chan, what does your family do for a living?"

-"They put kittens in burlap sacks and drown them for money! *You no good #%*#~ stinkin' ()&*#%*!"

-"Eeeeeeeeyyyyeee! I'm never going over to your brother's house again!.... Unless his wife makes those crackers with the tuna and melted cheese I like, then I'll take my chances.
  They then told us that we were the lucky ones as we would be the first to become their followers in their quest for global domination. They said something about brainwashing, or was that drycleaning? I couldn't get it straight... But Oni-chan started acting weird since then."

-"......Must- kill- unbelievers..... Must- kill- unworthy....."

-"So after that panel we went back to the hotel to check out the art room. Neow. They had some really cool stuff on display this year. Lots of the fan pictures were actually very good and quite a few looked professional (I wanted the Ryo-ohki glass ornament but it was already marked for auction. Pisser!). The one disappointment was that the Tenchi house that that one guy made last year wasn't here fully painted like Oni-chan said he promised. Oh yeah, the other disappointment was that almost all the models (except that spiffy Nausicaä bronze one and that Mahou Tsukai Tai one) blew. They all sucked big time-tcha."

No!  We did not sneak our camera into the art room and sneak a picture with no flash when nobody was looking!  It just appears that way.
Some cool stand ups of Ruri Ruri-chan, that Magic Club chick and Van wic Hitomi. Blurriness courtessy of Catsy.

-"I'm surprised, Catsy. I didn't know you actually had decent taste in art.
  Anyway, we then trucked down to catch the last half of the Voice Acting/American Seiyuu panel. This was interesting to say the least (although I feel I must mention that somebody on the panel had a potty mouth! They said lots of naughty words.).
  We got there as they told everyone that being an American voice actor is mostly a labor of love. They don't get big bucks for it and so they have to get work outside of the profession if they actually wanted to have luxuries like food, electricity and hi-fi stereo equipment."

"I think that we all just basically try to screw up the original intent as best we can.  We do good work."
Let's see. (left to r.)We have Shinji-kun, Mamoru Kusanagi, Rei-chan, Tenchi Masaki and somebody else. Hmmmm, ya know, if we blew up this room at this moment all the US anime companies would be forced to only release subs! Damn hindsight!

-"They shared with us their thoughts on the seperate characters that they played too. Tenchi's seiyuu just wished that the poor boy would finally pick one of his chicks and shag her righteous. Neow. Shinji's seiyuu knew that he was a wuss from the beginning and played him wussier than he thought he possibly could. Then Rei said that she had seen enough of the original series before she started to play Rei to know that she was really a human being who just knew that she was expendable and so she gave her some emotion to show how her young mind worked..... My guess is that she never saw jack before she showed up to the recording studio the first day, played Rei with lots of emotion, found out later just how far off she really was on that one but had to keep it up for the rest of the series after that-tcha."

-"Oh, don't forget how she ragged on Sailor Moon after that! That was just mean.
  Then somebody got up on their pulpit and preached to us sub lovers that we didn't know anything if we hated dubs because they actually put a lot of time and energy into them and stuff. So? Catsy puts a lot of time into her needle-point and it sucks rocks. But she knows it and can accept it."


-"Then somebody on the panel said something along the lines of how companies that sub anime for us don't like to translate the script as close as possible because American audiences wouldn't be able to understand them if they did (Apparently this is their excuse for the totally piss-poor job of the last few episodes of Eva and the whole 'Lilim' vs. 'Humanity' deal [Holy CRAP did they **** that up!]). I would like to take this time to point out that this is why Animeigo rocks the casbah! They translate as much as they can word for word (because people who buy subs want to see all the original jokes and comments and cultural references! THAT'S WHY WE GET THE ****ING SUBS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!) and then give us liner notes to help us to truly appreciate the nuances of the original script! I thank the Lord every night before I go to sleep that this panel person never subbed Urusei Yatsura. They probably would have translated Lum's race into 'Space Ogres' or something 'cause Americans don't know what an 'Oni' is. Grrrrrrrrr!"

-"Um, yeah. Kusanagi then got the panel back on track and told us how the voices must evolve with the character as the story goes on.
  After a few more rants (from both the fans and the panel) it was over... I was hoping for a fun and funny talk with the voice actors like in North Carolina where they told lots of stories and jokes. This was kind of like, well, the negative of that-tcha."

-"After the lecture ended we stuck around for the ADVision panel. We knew of all of their announcements at A-Kon, but we had a weird feeling that they were holding something back (and considering every other 'surprise' announcement for that weekend had been on the net for at least a month before AX [like the Pioneer + Fushigi Yuugi deal, the Bandai releasing Escaflowne and all the Gundams in the States deal, etc.] we knew everything that eveyone else was going to 'spring' on us). And it turns out that we were right! Surprisingly the biggest news of the entire con (in our multi-colored eyes) came from ADVision!"

"..............."  It was like a bunch of Gendos.
The big guys at ADVision. Aweful quiet, aren't they?

-"Neow. Yup, in addition to reconfirming Airbats 2, Legend of Crystania movies and OAVs, Sakura Taison, Yuna 2, Slayers OAVs and movies, Dirty Pair, Dirty Pair Flash, Ruin Explorers 2, Bakuretsu Hunters, Those Who Hunt Elves, Bubblegum Crisis TV, Martian Successor Nadesico (gotta love Gekiganger!... I hope they got the rights to that too!!) and the entire City Hunter series (big breath as the entire room was on their feet applauding), they revealed that there would finally be a subtitled verion of Fushigi no Umi no Nadia released officially in the States (along with the movie, but who really gave a rat's ass? The Nadia movie was horrible.)!!!! Yatta!!!! Yatta!!!!! It was about time! No more crappy, fake and outragious French accents! Yes! I just hope that the panel person with the major problems from the seiyuu session doesn't help sub it and think that we wouldn't understand it because it supposedly happened over 100 years ago and make it a 'modern take on Nadia' or change things like 'Don't forget to try in mind' to something else!... That would be bad-tcha."

-"Somebody then asked why their subs cost so much more than their (crappy) dubs to which they answered that their (crappy) dubs sell a lot more copies (THAT'S BECAUSE YOU MORONS CHARGE $10 MORE FOR THE MUCH BETTER QUALITY AND ACTED SUBS! MAKE THEM THE SAME PRICE AND THEN SEE WHICH SELLS MORE [MEGA BAKA!]).
  Other than just state the facts (like they have been in the biz for 6 years and that they 'were still in negotiations for the Eva movies) they really didn't say much after that. They weren't the liveliest bunch of grown otaku I've seen, that's for sure. They did say that even though LDs are falling in popularity fast here, they were thinking that DVDs might be the next big thing with their titles."

-"A few more cool tidbits popped out too don't forget. They said that Those Who Hunt Elves would start to be released early next year and that both City Hunter and Nadia would have more than two episodes on each tape (Nadia at least in the beginning). I liked news like this-tcha! No word yet on the new Nuku Nuku TV and OAV series yet, and probably not for a while they said. Bummer."

-"Yeah, she's like the coolest 'cat-girl' I know."

-"Huh? Anyway, at around 3:30 we cut out early just to see if the line for the CosPlay had begun to form yet or if they had started to had out tickets for it yet... It had."

Find out what horrors awaited our young heroines as they faced the 'Line to End All Lines'!

 the next night

Go Forward to Part 4 of the Mysterious Expo!

Holy friggin' cow was that line huge!

 Part 1: 7/02/1998 The Mysterious Beginning
 Part 2: 7/03/1998 The Mysterious New Century Expo
 Part 3: 7/04/1998 The Mysterious Experience
Part 4: 7/04/1998
Part II
The Mysterious CosPlay
Part 5: 7/05/1998 The Mysterious End

 The dawn of the night

 the next night

 Go back into the past Mysterious Day.

 Go forward into the next Mysterious Day.

 The dawn of the night

 Go back to the beginning of the Mysterious Expo.

-"Or you could check out the first recorded exploits of a lil' demoness at a con at the Excellent Adventure @ AX97 site. You will not remember when you had this much fun without giving any fan-boys major flushies!"

-"Or you could read all about when the both of us trashed out North Carolina in the name of Animazement98 during our Wild Ride To, At and From it."

This site (images, design and text) is a trademarked and copyrighted Rossman Production. Do not copy any of it or I will come over there and rip off your sack and feed it to your dog.

LINKS to the Universe!

If you feel the overwhelming need to get in touch with me (or even Oni-chan), just give the message to Ayeka and Ryoko, and as soon as/if we get it you can be sure that one of us will laugh at you E-Mail Me Here!

"Catsy" the generic catgirl is a copyright © of (1998)