Wednesday, 30 May 2012 18:42

Anime Central 2012

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So, how did you all like that Masquerade?

Too soon? Heh, don't worry. Everyone gets their ass kicked on their 15th birthday. Just ask Fanime.

As you all may have realized, this year was Anime Central's 15th birthday so something had to go spectacularly wrong. Which…it did, but I'll get to that in a bit. Unlike the last few years, I did not go as Press, which afforded me the opportunity to pretty much do whatever, such as attend panels and watch anime. Also this year we managed to get my cousin, whose name is actually Thor, to attend with us. This turned into a full blown running gag due to the fact the Avengers movie was out, and we had about a dozen Thor cosplayers running around. Needless to say he wound up turning to look a lot when people called out, "Thor!" in order to take pictures.

I did not actually attend any opening ceremonies this year, so I haven't really heard much about it. However, if it was anything like previous years' I suspect it was the party it always was. ACEN has always been extremely good about letting people have fun so long as no one gets hurt. I've noted it before, but it really is set up much like a rock concert…or maybe a rave, even though the Soap Bubble rave is supposed to happen later after the Masquerade. A three day long rave…can you dig it (and did I just date myself)?

As is my passion, I tended to take a lot of pictures, all of which you can find here on TFA Cosplay. Among the highlights of the pics are this one in particular of Maki & Asuka from Angelic Pretty whom Thor and I did not know until they handed us their flier for their show. He later lamented on not getting them to sign it…as did I for that matter. On my way to the Type-Moon gathering, I ran smack dab into the middle of the Puella Magi Madoka Magicka gathering and during the Madoka set, a special request was made. The U.S. voice actress of Madoka wanted to know if she could take a picture with the Madoka's. Of course, the answer to that was "Hell Yes!" During this convention, I also introduced my cousin and sister to the new "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" series, and showed them the new fanbase which was massively represented at this convention as can be seen starting here and continuing on to page 26. After some of the other things I showed them, I think they're both going to become part of the herd; heh, heh, heh. Eric Maruscak here spent all of ACEN doing this chalk drawing of Puella Magi based on this piece of official art. Finally, this cosplayer of Shizune Hakamichi from Katawa Shoujo looks so much like the character I thought she had jumped out of the game and right into ACEN. Right down to the too tight shirt which this woman pulled off with pure perfection…and yes, OF COURSE I was looking.

Oh yes, check out the time-lapse of Eric Maruscak's chalk drawing:

As noted before, I had planned on checking out panels, but only wound up checking out the one on being an online reviewer. Considering that's part of what Dragon's Anime is about, I figured I'd give this one a go and see what someone else's take on it was. In this case, it was basically a how to, in terms of video reviewing and the different ways it could be done and approached as well as software to use. While interesting, we don't do video reviews (yet), and I tend to run most of my applications in Linux so the software recommendations were not applicable. My cousin Thor managed to get to a panel called "I Fight Satan Too" which was a Blue Exorcist panel; an anime series he's currently obsessing over. His biggest impression on it was the overall informal nature of the panels at anime conventions and how much that surprised him. He was expecting something on the order of a college presentation, and while there are a few panels like that (mostly industry or of a technical nature), most are pretty much just vaguely moderated chat sessions based on the subject the panel is about.

We had planned on hitting up the Funimation panel, but decided instead to watch "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" in one of the video rooms. As I recall from the original story in the manga, while good, this only encompassed a few chapters. The movie turned this story arc into a nearly three hour long existential crisis for Kyon. That's right, the damn thing is about 164 minutes of Kyon pulling his hair out even more than usual. This movie was strange in that while it was good, you're aware of the passage of time, and you're definitely feeling that you've been watching it awhile. I was actually going to take him to see Panty and Stocking, but we just plain flat out could not get into that viewing. I look forward to the day that my sister and cousin watch it with a "WTF?!" expression on their faces.

On the subject of anime, I wound up purchasing a great deal of it this convention. I completed my Haruhi collection with the Haruhi-chan DVD's and "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" blu-ray. I also picked up the second Puella Magi Madoka Magicka special edition blu-ray and I was going to get the Fate/Zero special edition first blu-ray, but considering the price tag, I think I'll wait for a possible dub of it. Hopefully they get the original Fate - Stay/Night dub VA's as they did an excellent job for the series.

Wound up attending four main events…kinda. The first was the Angelic Pretty Fashion Show. At first they were all set to allow for video and photography, but then they found that there were outfits they planned to show us that had never been seen before, and they wanted to control distribution of the media that they would be shown on for awhile. This is understandable and all complied with this request, though I hope some sort of video makes it out to the wild. It was a wonderful little show as they had obviously coached their models on their boardwalk strut this year far more than in previous years. Of particular note there were a couple of models that were having a LOT of fun, and their infectious attitude carried over into the audience, which is something I think all models should cultivate to one extent or another...and not just because I wanted to take them home with me either. I do think my cousin nearly died of diabetic shock not expecting what he just saw, but hopefully this increased his tolerance for it next time. This year they had the Midnight Madness in another room; one woefully ill suited for the crowds that were lined up to watch Anime Hell. We managed to get in about half way into it, and watch the rest as well as one of the fan parodies (a giant robot show I've never seen before) that they show after Anime Hell. It was okay, but honestly, putting Anime Hell into a far smaller room when your convention is growing is asking for trouble. The second was the Masquerade, and here is where the proverbial shit hit the metaphysical fan. My sister, my cousin, and myself lined up a few minutes before they were supposed to start letting people in with the understanding that they would, in fact, just be letting people in. This did not occur for nearly two hours later. In the mean time, Thor and I had my sister sandwiched between us since it was damn fucking cold out there and her immune system has all the resiliency of the French when under attack. So, finally, we started filing in, and JUST as we were about to enter the main events hall, we were filed right out. Someone had hit the fire alarm apparently, which forced everyone back out of the hotels and various panel and presentation rooms. Needless to say, they were forced to cancel the Masquerade. I know some very VERY angry cosplayers who would like to find this little prankster and feed him his own severed guts. It was bad enough it was two hours late, but in many cases, these guys spend all year preparing for the Masquerade, and to have someone do that? There was much raging to say the least. My primary concern was getting my cousin and sister into the main convention center and warmed up, which we did with all due haste. Still, it managed to make the Soap Bubble, which was scheduled after the Masquerade was over, to be started on time. Highlights of that? Well, let's see.... Spent most of it moshing or human centipeding all over the place and the rest of the time I spent observing this Sweet Lolita doing the same thing in her cute little dress. In her case, I found myself fascinated she'd dance like that in her dress surrounded by gyrating people doing the same. I kinda wanted a Discovery Channel film crew to come in and help me observe this and record it for atypical behavior in a Lolita. Also, my cousin Thor managed to give himself heat stroke. Nothing that required an ambulance fortunately, but he was back in the room lookin' pretty woozy for awhile.

Despite all the screw ups and bad happenings, it was fun, but like all fun things, it had to end. And so, on the final day I bid farewell to my sister and cousin, and later that day to Moonie and Pearl; then departed to the airport. Sure, my flight was two hours late, but I got to eat at the airport and got home at least. What more can be said about the fun time I had? What more needs be said? So I'll just note what I've noted before, that if you're looking for a good time, and ACEN is going on, check it out, you will have that good time you were looking for.

In parting, Nabeshin, I saw you on day 0 when you walked out front and had a smoke. Dude, you looked like someone who'd gone a few rounds with The Hulk. It's okay to crash for a few hours at these, believe me. I tried to convince my own roommates to get up at something resembling a reasonable hour after partying into the early morning hours, and they paid for it (as did I, but not for lack of trying to stay crashed). Trust me dude, you'll thank yourself later; just saying.

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 19:14

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