Even amid the atrocities and utter horrors of the war some acts of villany went beyond contemptuous words.
-"Neow. On the Fifth we woke up at around 8:30, got cleaned and ran down to Carl's for some Sunrise Combos. Oni-chan was willing to take her chances again and I was hungry after not eating for like a day."
-"Well, we ate our glorious feast of grease in a colorful assortment of browns, yellows, reds and oranges and then we had to say goodbye. We knew that we wouldn't have the time to stop in again for lunch (what with the auctions and closing ceremonies) or dinner (what with our plane taking off and all), so we captured the moment for all eternity.
We said, "Sayonara" to all the good people behind the counter... but like they could speak English yet alone Japanese.
We then ran back to the hotel and burned off the heartburn (whatta great sensation!) as we made our way back to the dealers' room for one last spending craze."
-"We finally got the 'Mylene Jenius Sings Lynn Minmay' CD (it rocks!) and the Giant Robo 7 soundtrack for a pretty good deal (I couldn't wait to hear that ending music again!). After that we wandered over to the Viz booth (well, what was there of it as the people who were supposed to deliver it took the left at Montevideo and never made it). the guys behind the counter were cool, though! We bought a couple of Takahashi graphic novels from them and they gave us some neat pins of Shampoo and Nabiki! That was very nice (and I love how they're actually translating their manga perfectly now [i.e. 'Kanrinrin-san', 'Oni' and 'Ran-chan'^_^]. It's totally weird how ADVision is missing the bus in that department now) and we thanked them as we hurried back to our rooms to check out-tcha."
There's the MegaPoster in all its glory!!!... and a buncha other crap.
"Do you have that cd with that song from that show with that idol singer? You know."
We ran into Kenji one last time in the Dealers' Room. It looked like he got over Sailor Moon pretty quickly too! I wonder what the guy's secret is. I'm sure the wanks at UGAnime would love to know ^_-
-"We got done packing at around
10:10, and checked out at the front counter. We then stashed
our stuff with some bell-boy (who marked up Catsy with his pen
as he bent down to pick up our bags [no tip for el dorko]) and
rushed to the Bandai Panel already in progress.
"What do you mean, 'What are those Bandai people thinking?'. We're going to bring you good copies of Gundam and Escafrowne! Don't comprain!"
-"Yeah-tcha! I guess they feel they can make enough off of these series just selling them to hard-core anime fans, 'cause that's the only peole they'll get. Those who know about their page. It's not like somebody'll just go into a store and walk down an aisle and say, 'Hey-tcha, this Gun-Damn looks nifty. I think I'll buy it!' The only people they can sell to will have to know where to look, and people are still a little afraid of buying stuff on the web (well, except Oni-chan and me^^ But it's not our credit card we use anyway).... Anyway, they went on to tell us about a new Gundam08th video release, something about a new Gundam W and how future projects could be in both the old and some alternate timelines. They either didn't know for sure or they were just playing hardball."
-"They then told us how they wanted to use their new Anime Village website to somehow put together a 'Megah-Supah Costume Contest' strickly on-line that could span the globe.... Bwa ha ha ha ha! Oh man! I know some kid who can Photoshop in very realistic costumes on actual photos and people can't tell the difference! If their costume thing is ever realized it'll just turn into an Adobe Photoshop contest! Ha ha ha! Man that was funny!"
-"Neow. Not half as funny as what they showed us next. What the hell was that anyway?"
I have no idea, Cat. None. It looked like the people who brought
us the Power Rangers were putting together a live action
English Gundam. The idea of a live action Gundam
has merit, just not in this freaky style. The SFX were pretty
snazzy, but the acting was PATHETIC! The whole room starting
laughing at the horrible lines and the unenthusiastic manner
in which they were spoken in. They weren't even trying.
-"It was funny^_^,
but I think we should give Bandai credit where credit is due.
There are bringing over some of the most sought after anime in
pure subtitle form for us-tcha (Man oh man! This entire weekend
just farged up the inventories of every single fansubber in the
Ustados Unidos in one quick blow! Nadesico, Fushigi Yuugi,
Gundam, Escaflowne, etc. etc....). So I say everybody go
over to Anime Village when you're
done with this page and check it out!..... Wait, you know what
this means? We now have to release those POWs from Animazement.
I hope somebody in Carolina got the news.
-"We got to the main theater room where it was to be held, but the 'Manga Writing' Panel was running long. So we just sat down and listened. They answered questions about how they got so good at drawing (practice a whooooole lot, borrow [don't steal^_-] and get inspired by people who are better than you).
"And so, to answer your question, I would have to say 'no'. I will not draw you, especially not if it's in that pose from Titanic."
is a workaholic while the guys on the panel liked to slack off
a lot. Girl Power! *Ahem* Anywhere, it turns out that some manga
artists draw 20+ pages a week and only get around 6 hours of
personal time a week! That would majorly suck! Aye caramba!
The sucky thing most these guys (and gal) talked about was that
their work is almost totally out of their control. Yu told us
that she originally got a lot of red markings on her drafts in
the beginning, but that she's learning now and understands what
they now want. That sounds a little fascist to me: 'You may draw
your manga for us, but we tell the story and tell you how to
draw each panel-tcha'.
-"Catsy, you just got no talent.
Anyway, the panel then ended (even the guests thought it was
too short!) and the 'Directing Anime' Panel soon began.
"Well, you see, I was under the impression that early 20th century Expressionism carried with it the implications that mankind was beginning to open up artistically and understand his inner soul which would allow peace to over come him so that we here today could enjoy Speed Racer to its fullest and comprehend how he could be such a demon behind the wheel, but a really swell guy once you got to know him."
They then explained to us just how expensive animation is and how they have to review storyboards over and over again so that they never run over and have to cut some finished animation. They said that there's a LOT of drawing going on in pre-production, but that during production itself the mental and physical stress of keeping everything going and (sort of) on time is incredible and that they have to go to the gym everyday to work it off and to gain stamina.... They then all quickly added that they never really did."
when Yoshimatsu said that he was getting a wee bit chubby and
he ordered Tony Little's Abs of Steel workout. He said that Tony
lies in his commercials^^ That's okay though, 'cause he's cuddly!
-"Catsy, do you see this can I'm holding right here?"
-"What does it say on the label?"
make me have to open it, 'kay.
the discussion moved to Computers in animation. The panel was
quick to point out that even though more computers were being
used, it was not necessarily for 3D animation. Most computers
in animation are used to color in the cells and such-tcha.
began telling us how they come up with all of those kewl angles
seen in anime. Yoshi said that since TriGun is a sci-fi
Western he watched a lot of Sergio Leone Pasta Westerns for ideas.
Hayama never really thought about it and Kitakubo said he just
drew influences from everything and that eventually the coolness
that we end up seeing comes out.
-"Eh, at least we took out a few of them before they shoved us out the door. We then went to the theater in the back and started watching Shadow Skill II.... This was some of the bloodiest fighting I've ever seen in my short little life. Damn was it good! We ended up walking back and forth between the line forming for the Auctions and Shadow Skill. Back and forth, back and forth. Eventually they let people into the main theater and we jumped right back in. Now, according to Oni-chan the Auction last year was packed! This year not many people originally showed up. So, knowing that getting a seat wasn't going to be a problem we then ran back and saw the rest of SSII. Now, the fighting was fast and furiously fun, but it actually tried to tell a story (an incredibly lame one, but a story none-the-less). This was bull****! Shadow Skill is not about 'story', and at least the first one had no misgivings about that at all. It just showed us the bodies (beating the royal crap outta each other o_0)"
that ended we got back to the Auction and at 1:30 it began. First
up was the Anime Expo Auction where all the stuff that too many
people bid on in the art room was now going to find an owner
(for a whooooole lot more than if they were just sold outright).
Now some of these pieces were incredible, like those glass ornaments
with anime characters etched into them (for $120 and $200) and
those really neat watercolors of the Rayearth bunch and
the Dirty Pair (for $375 and $250). But some of the crap
up there was really embarrassing and we had nothing to do with
This Skuld painting was one of the cool ones! The sad thing is that it only went for $80. This is especially sad when you know that the Ranma 1/2 pic with all the characters in a 'Showgirls' pose went for $450... I just could not see anybody hanging that thing on their wall.... Well, maybe the Rossman.
stop using that expression. Anyway, the people in charge of the
monitors were getting really good with the cuts and the fade
ins and outs. Impressive.
"Sign here, and here.... and here.... oh, and we need a blood sample and sign here.... and here.... and here.... here's the cup for the 'baby batter' specimen..... sign here.... and here. Great! Here's your picture and they'll collect your soul in the back room. Come again^^"
-"Finally, an hour and four
minutes later the SPJA Charity thingy began. This is what I remembered
as the theater was soon packed with everybody left at the con
(as all the video rooms were closing down at that time).
Yeah, that was sad.
Yuna bringin' home the bacon.
Then some of the really cool pieces were offered! The first was a giant poster with the main design of the 3D Art contest on it (Nothing spectacular about that by itself, in fact the rendered image of Priss' hard suit was really bad) and the signatures of all the GOHs! It first went up to something like $400 before it stalled, but then the camera man focused in on a little sketch of Miaka that Watase-sensei drew on it and the price rose to $650! Everybody applauded the woman who bought it! But a little while later the main piece was offered: a full color signboard sketch of Tomahome, Miaka and Nakago done by Watase earlier that day. It was very cool!"
I'm getting hot flashes just thinking about how high this one went!
-"The final item definitely
went out with a *BANG!* It started at $700 and quickly went to
$2,000!!! Watase was in the front row and she herself could not
believe it. Her face blushed red^_^ It was cute!
"I changed my mind, I want it back!"
-"The funny thing about this was that it was the same woman who bought both the signed poster for $650 and this! Did her husband work for the Yakuza or something? Yow-za!
"Oh well, operation shmoperation."
Anyway, after a little wait for the people who bid to pay for their merchandice, they got on to the modeling winners and then the karaoke contest winners (which nobody really cared about) with the winning music videos being played in between. Then we were informed that the staff was to award another prize for 'Creative and Techinical Merit' to a video... They chose the Evangelion one^_^."
-"So in the
end, one guy won all four awards for the video contest, and he
wasn't even there to accept his two director's chairs signed
by all the GOHs. I was tempted to run up on stage and take his
place, but I thought that a lil' Oni in a purple Sailor Senshi
outfit would be too obvious. So I didn't.
Well, there were some good choices, but there were still some clunkers this year. Otaku baka."
at 6:12, the Closing Ceremonies began.... Well, they started
to begin them at that time. They actually started at around 6:30-tcha.
know better than that. UY has got the most devoted fan
following of any manga in the US. They wouldn't dare drop it.
"Yay for us! We applaud our excellence!"
Mika began the guest feedback by saying that he originally thought that 3 days would be too long for a con, but now that it's over it seemed way too short. What a sweetie! Hayama wished he could stay longer and Kitakubo announced that his first step in taking over the world was very successful as he now had one loyal subject who would do anything for his master... He then pointed to Yasuhiro who bowed to him^_^ Ha ha ha! That was funny (remember, he was the guy who was going to prevent the take over ^_-)!"
Kitakubo then said that because of him, the cultural differences
between America and Japan wree probably much bigger now. Kamiya-san
said that he was glad to actually have been able to catch the
last day this year and that he wished he could return yet again
next year! Cool!
was pretty harsh on herself. I thought she was adorable! Anywho,
Yoshi then said that he loved America for something that we pretty
much take for granted: the WWF. No, trust me, we don't take it
for granted. We know it's crap and we treat it as such. We were
then told that he loves Steve Austin..... Ooooooookay.
-"After the guests were done, we were told that 'Thanks to all of the Guests of Honor that the charity auction received more than $16,000! The check for next year would be over $18,000! That was incredible!! The theater (about 3/4 full-tcha) clapped like crazy. Then when we all settled down it became official that AX98 was a success, so Yu filled in the second eye on that weird wooden statue.
"Do you want to sign my baby? Arrigatou!"
And then.... and then it was over. AX98 had ended (officially). Oni-chan and I felt our PCD kicking in right as we saw the GOHs book it for the door (I think the Ota-funk finally got to them, though I was surprised none of them just passed out). They were brave souls-tcha."
"Ja na, mina-san! We're outie!! Whoo-hoo! San Dimas High School Football Rulz!"
were, cat. They came, they saw, they conquered. I think they
all had a really good time too^_^ I know I did (despite the waiting
and stuff of course, although we did meet a bunch of fun people
that way). As they Guests stood up one last time *sniff* they
received a huge standing ovation that lasted for well over the
pause between Rei and Asuka in in the elevator. I hope they understood
how much we all enjoyed them.
"Uh, like why is the sky blue? I hate blue. And why is it so dang smoggy? Why don't you do something about that?!?!"
-"Neow. People asked the dumbest questions (big surprise). I can never understand that. I mean, they have the people who run the con right there in front of 'em and they choose to waste everybody's time with dumb questions which if they actually thought for a fraction of a second before they asked it they'd figure it out forthemselves. Anyway, a little over 100 fanboys and girls remained at this point at around 7:10 (ironically it was the closest panel to starting at its published time). The cool thing was that the con-runners were like 4 feet above the people asking the questions."
suggestions on how to get more out of the con (by making it a
week long or possibly twice a year), but the eyes of the con-people
just bugged out at that thought and some began shaking their
heads violently while mumbling, 'No, no, no, no....' That was
-"Then the question of how to fix the 'unfair autograph raffles' came up, but Oni-chan and I had to go to catch Franco for a ride back to LAX where I was sure that the portal back to our world was still open-tcha. We then went back into the hotel for one last time to survey the damage and retrieve our luggage.
The main battlefield was decimated. The charred remains of the registration desk were a brutal reminder that only the strong will survive these vicious confrotations and walk away with their pride.
The Dealers' Room had been plundered and the victors made off with all that they could carry in their chubby fanboy hands. The end result was dismal sight indeed.
The dumb-ass bellboy who marked me before delivered our bags to us and we killed him. Then we waited for Franco to show up so that we could actually get to the airport more than a minute before the plane took off (like that insanity that Oni-chan pulled last Expo). It finally pulled up and the driver packed our tired butts inside like a can of oishii sardines."
-"Oh-My- Gawd! The ride back
to the airport was the most painful hour of my life! We had to
share 'Franco' with a threesome of fanboys who, first of all,
hadn't bathed in at least two weeks, and second of all would
NOT SHUT THE F*** UP!!!! The worst part was their supposed 'leader'
(I use that term veeeeeery loosely) didn't know what the hell
he was talking about!
-"Neow. It was sad. This J-boy misarticulated every single Japanese name or phrase or word he tried to speak! I didn't let Oni-chan kill him because I thought that the guy next to us in the van wanted to. He was at AX too and he kept whispering the correct titles and words that this moron mega-ton fanboy was trying to say to us. Then J-boy mentioned that he had been to the last four Daicon Conventions in Tokyo while he lived there the past four years to which the nice man next to us took it upon himself (thank God!) to inform the rest of us that the Daicons were not very regular and were usually spaced over a year apart and that they hadn't been in Tokyo for a while if ever-tcha. I began laughing really loud at that point, but it was okay because everybody (but baka-boy) joined in too^_^"
-"Ugh! If only
he had shut up then! Instead his friend took the point and changed
the topic of conversation to computers.... Guess who happened
to be an expert in 'Lye-neeks' and 'Uh-nicks'.... You guessed
it. Man, if only the MegaPlayboy was there, it would have been
fun to watch him flip his gourd.
-"This is when our PCD jumped into overdrive. We got to our flight gate and began to wait. Neow. Hmmmm, maybe we got there too early. Anyway, it had been over twelve hours since we last ate and I was getting hungry. It was then that I found something stuck in my (ample^_-) cleavage. It was a bit of hash brown from breakfast! I scarfed it down and the next thing I knew we were back in Georgia!"
-"Yup, Catsy fell right back into her 'magical' little world again. I didn't see her find the spud or I would have stopped her. Oh well. She began trippin' as I dragged her on to the plane the whole time she kept screaming 'Nakago, I love you!' at impromptu moments. I strapped her big butt to her seat and grabbed a pillow. I needed sleep bad... So of course I wouldn't get any."
-"The story of her life-tcha ^_^"
Catsy! Anyway, this annoying little bastard kid was literally
running up and down the aisles screaming his lungs off while
his crack-whore mom did nothing but softly whisper, 'Honey, could
you be a little quieter? Good boy,' even though he would usually
just get louder. With my eyes getting yanked open every time
I try to close them, my ears constantly popping and a dazed and
confused Catsy mumuring something about a giant peacock next
to me I didn't even know why Jr. was screaming in the first place.
It was a miserable enough flight already, but something made
it 10Xs worse... the movie was Lost in Space! AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaarrrrghh!!!!
-"Well I couldn't help it! That weird Chinese guy said I had to go back to my world and the fluxing of time and space distortion in the psycho-kinetic field that I traveled through made me a bit woozy. And damn was that sick little bastard child loud! I tried to trip him or punch him or kick him but he was fast too!"
finally landed at 6:00A.M. EST, which was really only 3:00A.M.
PST, but we were kind of in between both zones because of our
screwed up sleeping schedules this past weekend, so I don't really
know what time my body thought it was.... It was just tired!
-"Neow. We got our stuff and went to the curb to find a nice and clean taxi (this took us a while). Then Oni-chan pulled the driver through his almost closed window and tossed him into the street. It was a relaxing drive back to Athens what with both of us falling asleep and all, and I was dropped off at my place at around eight. Oni-chan then ditched the car and set it on fire before she went back to her cell-tcha."
found me passed out right outside the dank and smelly basement
door leading back to my cage, because I woke up the next day
and found myself locked back up with a new military-like ultra
lock on my cell door. But I was elated to find that he didn't
search me 'cause I still had my CDs and manga on me^_^
The War was over... For now.