Convention Diaries

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Welcome to the Otaku Reviewers' Convention Journal. Please feel free to read up on our experiences at various Anime conventions across the East Coast (and soon West Coast) by clicking on the title text.

Conventions list

Anime Expo 2012 by RPGHero

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We have been to the Glorious Land of "Anime Expo" and we will now tell you about the wondrous time that we, the Otaku Reviewers have had! Make sure to click the links as you go through to enhance your experience of this post! ^^

Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in the United States and is located in Los Angeles, California. They are still calculating how many people attended Anime Expo 2012 but in 2011, there were 47,000 attendees. And the Los Angeles Convention Center is equipped to handle all of them. The convention center there is the largest convention center we have ever seen. It is larger than the Baltimore Convention Center where Otakon is. However, is AX a better convention than Otakon? That question cannot be answered. It's like wondering if Goku can beat Superman in a fight, everyone will choose a side but nobody will ever know. But anime fans think they know Goku will win. I guess it's more like saying is one kind of apple better than another kind of apple. Or if dogs are better than cats... Well you get the idea...

Where to begin? 

 There's no better place than the "Lounge 21". Since Anime Expo has been going for 21 years, they opened a lounge within the convention center for people over 21 to listen to music and drink. It was a pretty cool place, though I think most of the people there were way over 21. Also, the drinks were very expensive. They served mixed drinks, all of which used Tentacle Grape (that link is not for kids) as the mixer. And I have to say Tentacle Grape mixes well with alcohol. I got Tentacle Graped ^.0

The biggest events to go to at Anime Expo were the concerts. The performers this year were LiSa and Yuki Kajiura and Fiction Junction. LiSa's anime claims to fame are Angel Beats and Fate Zero. Fiction Junction created a lot of anime music but most notably music for .Hack and Fate Zero. There are no youtube videos though of these openings probably due to tough copyrights.

But I did find Fiction Junction's PV of Silly-go-Round
This one is the anime version!

Needless to say the concerts were awesome. It was like an experience! Was it better than the Chemistry concert at Otakon?? Who knows??? I sure love Chemistry though. 

The dealer's room at Anime Expo was the biggest dealer's room I've ever seen also. Here are some pictures of it:

Now we wait... For Deretsun to make an amazing review post of AX that blows this one out of the water! O.O/

Animazement 2012 by DereTsun

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Ah, where do I begin?

Oh--I know... *ahem* GOMENNASAI!! ;___;... I know I haven't posted in ages and this post is long overdue, but I intend on making it up to you guys with a bunch of awesome posts coming up! Let's start with this one, shall we? ^^

You know you want to click "

*Deep Breath*

Animazement was a lot of fun, even though we were exhausted after our 10 hour drive--namely Chansu who did all the driving--I personally thought it was worth it in order to see KOTOKO Live!!

When we got there, the first person we met had no clue that KOTOKO was performing that night. By that I was surprised and rather annoyed since we journeyed across multiple STATES to see her and the locals don't even do their homework (lol)!

But anyway--I was extremely excited since I'm a big Shakugan no Shana fan and she's done a bunch of openings and endings from that series alone.

So we after we visited the game room, dealer's room, artist's alley, and a few random panels, we lined up for the main event! I was honestly surprised at the size of the Exhibit Hall that she was going to perform in--it was so small and undeserving of a singer so well renowned!

 I was also discouraged because I kind of hoped to be swarmed with KOTOKO fans left and right, but the line was quite modest--it was still difficult to get towards the front but we managed ;).

After weaseling our way pretty much to the front section of the line (I heard the line went out the door but I never got to see this) we patiently waited... and, conveniently the previous event in the Exhibit Hall that Kotoko was going to perform in was a Cosplay Chess panel. And so I took my chance and cocked my camera and picked a good spot to start sniping good cosplays as they came out the door XD. I got extremely lucky at a Ran & Chen cosplay which I think easily wins Best Cosplay Of The Day (see left).

After I took my share of cosplay pictures, we all waited eagerly for them to open the doors to KOTOKO. And after what seemed like quite a while, they finally opened the doors! We pretty much rushed in and pushed our way to the front. Thankfully, they didn't seem to be die-hard fans otherwise I'm certain we would've been pushed back and not be able to advance to the front. But, basically, there were maybe one or two rows of people in between us and the stage. So... it was... fun. Tanoshii desu~ *waves little flag* Ha ha... ha... *Ahem* In other words... IT WAS FREAKIN' AMAZING!!! =P At first we were concerned that being at the front was bad news for us--that we might get jammed into the rail separating us from KOTOKO if the people behind us got crazy and pushed to the front. But thankfully, as I mentioned before, they weren't die-hard fans with murderous intent at anyone who gets in their way so we didn't get pushed at all. It was a great relief.

(This is the second cosplay outfit I was talking about.)
When Kotoko's band members stepped on stage it all seemed surreal. I was shocked that I was so close to one of my favorite singer's band. And then when Kotoko herself finally hopped on stage and started singing I think my heart literally stopped. I was in such shock that I didn't know what to do--ask Chansu. There I was, literally 20 feet away from Kotoko in a lolita cosplay with a (fake) sword on her belt (an outfit that she most likely put together herself, with the sword prop alluding to Shana), with little to no comprehension as to what to do with myself. After all, this was the first time I was at a Live of one of my favorite Japanese bands!

As I tried to loosen up from my paralysis, sing along to the songs, and wave my cheap glowstick in the air--I found that all I could muster was bringing the glowstick up to shoulder-height while smiling so widely and blushing at the same time that I was only able to whisper the lyrics of the songs she was singing. I had been completely caught off guard by HOW CUTE Kotoko was!!! (;___;, mo!)

(This a third outfit she wore for the encore.)
And then after singing Suppuration Core, Shooting Star, Unfinished, and a few other favorites she did the unthinkable: she hopped off stage and back on--very quickly--and reappeared in a NEW and CUTER outfit. I'm not too knowledgeable in the fashion area, but I'd say that this time it was also a lolita cosplay but closer to a Kimono or Yukata that resembled Shana even more because it was red! It was clear that she wanted to resemble Shana during her concert by both her outfit and choice of songs. She had a "finale" with Light My Fire and then an awesome--and by "awesome" I mean AWESOME--encore of Being.

It was such an awesome experience and the highlight of the convention not only because she was so cute and I was 20 feet away from her, but also because ALL of her songs were anime related and ALL awesome (unlike some other bands who fill the beginning of their concerts with boring, unpopular songs and save maybe one or two bests for last). She was also very nice, down to earth, and seemed to have an otaku spirit and enjoy anime just as much as any other otaku/convention-goer (as was evident by her cosplays and little speeches).

Moving on, the rest of the convention was also a lot of fun. It definitely doesn't top Otakon, but it was the 2nd best convention I've been to (easily topping NYCC/NYAF and ConnectiCon). The dealer's room was adequate but very expensive. I felt like I was lifted to another plane of existence when I saw an extremely high quality figurine vendor with a very large Touhou section.

And then my heart was captured with two figurines of Patchy (one large one and one chibi one) as you can see in the pictures to the left and right. However, the large one was $150 and the chibi one was like $60... way over my budget for a figurine.

 So after much debate and arguing with myself and trying to get Chansu to stop me, I walked away without buying anything. I was glad to do so because the chibi Patchy's hat was pretty annoying (it wasn't on securely and it was like ceramic so there was only one way to balance it which defeated the purpose of making it detachable) and I learned that the larger one can be found online for about $80.

The Gaming Room was a lot of fun though.  Chansu and I dominated at Super Smash Brothers Melee (the people playing Brawl were doing teams for the majority of the time + the lines were longer so we didn't bother).  There was also a lot of decent retro gaming such as Bomberman (with like 10 players) for a system I can't even remember the name of lol.

The only bad things about our experience was that the Video Game Room closes at 1 am (that's too early! =P), the dealer's room/artist's alley closes at 6pm, and we were waiting for over an hour for our order at a sushi restaurant nearby called Kashin.

Anyway, I think that about sums up my take on Animazement 2012!!

And now, the Cosplay Photo Gallery:

That's all for today!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed! ^^,

Animazement 2012 by RPGHero

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This summer, we, the Otaku Reviewers have went to Animazement 2012. Animazement is a convention held every year in Raleigh, North Carolina at the end of May. This is their 15th year running. They're a small convention but they have what it takes to be pretty cool! This was also the first convention that the Otaku Reviewers weighed in on!
(RPGHero's Review of Animazement 2010)
(Chansu's Review of Day 1)
(Chansu's Review of Day 2)
(Chansu's Review of Day 3)

Last time we went as far as to tell you guys that we spent 9 hours on a sweaty bus ride through the night, didn't we? Well this time Chansu himself drove 9 hours straight through the night to get there. Chansu is a man that loves his anime!

By the time we got to Animazement, there was a long line for those who haven't preregistered, which included us.
As you can see there are already lots of anime cosplayers on that really long line!

This year we got to see Kotoko in concert! Kotoko made and sung songs for anime like Accel World and Shakugan no Shana. Deretsun will tell you more about our concert experience so stay tuned!

 Stay tuned to our OtakuView tumblr page for pictures of great cosplay from Animazement 2012!

Here's a cosplay favorite from Animazement 2012!
 Nel and her friends from Hueco Mundo -Bleach

I almost forgot! We got to be in the same room as the seiyuu who plays Rukia in Bleach! It was very humbling and exciting just be be looking at her in person. Unfortunately we weren't able to get an autograph (T.T)
  Fumiko Orikasa smiling benevolently at a big fan! (who we took a picture of lol)
Fumiko Orikasa plays Shirley Fenette and Ayame Futabe in Code Geass, Kyuubei Yagyuu in Gintama, Azusa Fuyutsuki in Great Teacher Onizuka, and Chise from Saishuu Heiki Kanojo.

Otakon 2011 by DereTsun

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Hey everyone!  It's my turn for my take on Otakon!

Well, where do I start?  Oh--how about the favorite anime of a very famous talented duo known as CHEMISTRY?  That's right!--You heard me!

At the end of their concert Kaname Kawabata (one of the two people who make up CHEMISTRY) shouted out "MY FAVORITE ANIME IS..."

"...ONE PIECE!!!" and the crowd roared and shouted and jumped to their feet and thunderous applause ensued.  I mean--how else are you supposed to respond to that? =P.

Now let's go back in time a bit, shall we?

I apologize for our lack of pictures such as the Dealer's Room and the Convention layout--but you have to understand!--the excitement was encapsulating and we felt that every moment we stopped to take a picture was a moment wasted instead of a moment gained!  There was just too much to capture on camera so we moved pictures down our priority ladder.  Alright--anyway, ????????? / Shall we begin?
Getting 0 (zero / ??) sleep the night before, heading out to Baltimore, Maryland at 5 am, practically running for the BoltBus which was about 5 minutes away from leaving, taking a 4 hour ride from NYC, and arriving at our hotel which didn't feel like giving us the room we reserved was all fine and dandy but the real fun started when we first stepped into the Baltimore Convention Center.

We had arrived at the Convention at around noon on Friday and so we expected standing in a huge line while melting in the searing heat (it was 94-98 degrees the whole weekend!) to get in but we were all pleasantly surprised when there was absolutely no line to get in and we just had to walk in side and stand in a very short (i.e. 10-15 people) line to get our Badges!

We did have somewhat of a plan for what we were going to do over the weekend but after watching #2 on This 3-Part Top Ten Tips Video we decided to surrender a majority of our time & schedule to pure spontaneity.  And we were right!  We did not expect to spend more time in the dealer's room than anywhere else but that's what ended up happening =P.

But we did see and do a lot such as:
  • Cosplaying twice, 
  • Handing out post-cards to advertise this blog for our FREE GIVEAWAY CONTEST
  • Spending up a majority of our free time in the dealer's & gaming room. 
  • Going to a CHEMISTRY Concert and getting awesome seats (it's unfortunate that we weren't allowed to take pictures to show you!),
  • Going to the Rave (dance) with the AWESOME DJ SAOLILITH (more on her later), and
  • Seeing an AMAZING panel called Iron Editor (pun on "Iron Chef" if you didn't know =P)!
And that was just at the convention!

Outside the convention we ate THE BEST SUSHI I'VE EVER EATEN at a place called "Geisha Sushi" which deserves a LOT more popularity!

And at the hotel we:
  • Sang karaoke (and probably disturbing our neighbors a bit =P) at the top of our lungs, 
  • Ate a wide variety of random Japanese snacks from Pocky to Calbee-wanna-be Shrimp Chips, 
  • Played Super Smash Brothers Brawl to our hearts content (after trying to find the jacks in the back of the tv that were obviously positioned in a way so that we couldn't plug things in to it... but after using our ipod as a mirror and a key-chain flashlight and experiencing some arm cramps we finally got it to work =P), 
  • Chilled out at the swimming pool after losing too much body fluids from walking to and from the Convention Center (even though it was 2 blocks away... they were VERY LONG blocks... or at least seemed to be...), and--of course--
  • Watched lots of anime (such as One Piece, Sugar Sugar Rune, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Ouran Host Club, etc.) via laptop to TV connections.
And now I'll talk a little bit about these...

I think RPGHero pretty much summed up the CHEMISTRY concert in His Take of Otakon but what he didn't tell you was the annoying lead-up to their actual performance!  While we were waiting for CHEMISTRY to start their concert (for about 40 minutes after they were scheduled to sing) the huge monitors next to them were showing all their music videos!  And it was on a deadly loop so we were all getting really tired of hearing the same songs over and over again!

But when CHEMISTRY finally came up to sing everyone was instantly energetic and the songs that had the PVs being played before they performed turned into AMVs of the animes!  I was disappointed because I thought they were going to show the PVs again while they sang but instead they had the full versions of the opening sequences that they did for Gundam Unicorn, Seed, etc. which fully redeemed the endless montage of pre-recorded CHEMISTRY videos in the beginning.

Unfortunately though there was some technical difficulties for like half their songs and there was no video other than static that looked like it was trying to play something--but nonetheless CHEMISTRY still rocked the crowd and gave it their all!

We took a sneak shot of what the concert looked like (left) even though pictures weren't allowed... I mean we had to show you what it looked like, right? =P

And then towards the end to get the crowd pumped up even more that's when Kaname shouted out that his favorite anime was One Piece!

The second musical guest that was incredible was DJ Saolilith who I guessed would be awesome in my Otakon Expectations post!  And I was right on the mark!  DJ Saolilith, coming straight from Japan, was one of the major highlights for the whole weekend!  She's an extremely kawaii and as RPGHero said--"moe--DJ and it was one of the best performances I've been to!  You would normally think "How can a DJ put on a show?" but once you've seen DJ Saolilith you'll take that back.  In her awesome Miku cosplay and with Vocaloid and Anime songs at her disposal she's unstoppable!  The crowd never once died--she kept everyone on their toes as they jumped, screamed, and fist-pumped into the air to the very very familiar anime and vocaloid music.  Although we seemed to practically lose two of our senses (voice and hearing) as well as our muscle composure it was a blast and we walked out--or rather, limped out--with a wide grin.  It was a perfect way to end Friday night and we'll probably remember that moment for quite a while :).

Lights, Camera, Random Videos!--it's time to talk about Iron Editor 2011 at Otakon!

This was an extraordinary treat for many reasons.  Because, you see, we had gotten to the AMV Contest too late and we were unable to get in (because we were preoccupied in the dealer's room and... just like from being in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from DBZ... time seemed to fly by).  But when we got to our backup plan:  Iron Editor--we were very thrilled and surprised at what happened...

First, some background:  Iron Editor is a competition that's not solely Otakon-related but it has been going on for many years and in many conventions such as SakuraCon, WaiCon, etc.  It consists of two contestants--the champion and the challenger.  What they have to do is create an AMV in 2 hours with the provided anime clips and a necessary "secret source" that their AMV must contain while adhering to a set theme.  For those who don't know--creating an AMV is quite a feat and it usually takes days if not weeks to plan, execute, and complete the process.  But these people only have 2 hours.

Here's the Iron Editor Intro they played:

I was disappointed yet pleased at the same time that they didn't just sit there as we watched the competitors creating the AMV using The Adobe Master Collection Suite.  I was disappointed because I wanted to learn how to use Adobe Premiere (since I only use Sony Vegas) yet I was pleased because I realized it would probably be boring to sit there for 2 hours and just watch them cut & compile random anime clips together.  Instead, what they did, was play a few trivia games involving the audience as well as showing us a montage of random AMVs from the internet.

After the 2 hours finished we saw both the competitor's submissions and the Champion won even though both of their submissions weren't too great--but I'm not a big fan of vampire animes to begin with so it might be good to people who have seen the featured series and/or like vampire animes =P.

I was also pleased to see one of my Random Videos (the "Do You Know Your Anime" AMV) used as one of the audience games--the "Do you know your anime trivia" quiz.  Basically they had to watch this anime once and then take turns naming as much anime as they could remember.  They also played the game again later on in the panel but with silhouettes of anime characters (I can't find the video which leads me to believe that it was an original video).  I thought that was really hard but the 3 volunteers picked up a lot more than I thought was possible.

So in the end we all really enjoyed ourselves in this panel that no one seemed to know about (because there wasn't a line to get in unlike every other popular panel that you had to get to 1 hour before it started otherwise you wouldn't be able to get in).

And now I'll talk about the amazing Geisha Sushi Bar for a bit.

This Sushi place was located around our hotel (Sheraton: Inner City/City Center (Baltimore, MD)) but it seemed to be in like a quiet/deserted area for some reason. When we walked in the atmosphere/ambiance was very unrivaled in terms of sushi bars.

As we walked downstairs into the cool underground lair we were greeted with an actual Japanese greeting: "???????! / Welcome (to our store)!"  They actually had Japanese people in a Japanese restaurant!  And that seems to be quite rare for some reason.  And if you're saying "what are you talking about I see Japanese people all the time in Japanese restaurants"--make sure you can tell the difference between Chinese & Japanese and then come back and say that to me... unless you live in Japan =P.

(Off topic:  I once went to a Japanese Restaurant in a Mall's Food Court and asked the "chef" if he was Japanese (because not everyone is easy to tell apart).  He said "Oh, yes, absolutely!" and so I started talking to him in Japanese and he gave me a "What?" before mumbling in Chinese!  What a disappointment!  It seems all the Japanese chefs are in Japan!)

But anyway the food was amazing!... everything--from the baby octopus to the Dragon Roll (see below).  The only disappointment was that the music they were playing was Indian music as opposed to Japanese--but it still strangely seemed to fit the traditional atmosphere.

So if you end up going to Otakon in the future, make sure to look out for Geisha Sushi!  I highly recommend it!  (I have never once felt so compelled to willingly advertise for a restaurant online so believe me when I say that their food is VERY GOOD!

Just take a look at their Dragon Roll that Chansu ordered!)

And finally, it's time to talk about the Gaming Room and Dealer's Room!

First up is the Gaming Room!

Although we said we would participate in the SSBB tournament it just didn't happen--we wanted to do other things and the tournament would've eaten up too much of our time... + we were out of practice so we didn't feel very confident in winning =P.

And I'm glad we didn't participate either!  Although it would've been fun to watch the finalists battle it out--we were clearly outmatched.  I know this because there was friendly Brawl matches throughout the whole weekend and on Friday and Saturday we met Atomsk who's like top 50 in the world for SSBB... >.<... to make a long story short he & his friend utterly destroyed me in battle after I was destroying everyone else and it was quite humiliating until I found out that he was top 50 in the world lol.

But we had some pleasant surprises in the Gaming Room such as a Taiko no Tatsujin system and a section where they played Panel de Pon (although it was the gamecube version and not the superior SNES version =P).

Now for the Dealer's Room!

...There was a huge line to get in.  Enough said... 

(??????!/ Nanchatte! / Just kidding!)  Like never before, this Dealer's Room was by far the largest I have ever experienced.  It completely destroys Connecticon's & NYAF's Dealer's Room and makes the little store I visited at California's Little Tokyo seem inexistent.  It was practically the whole underground floor of the Convention Center and seemed to stretch on to horizons (ok... I may be exaggerating just a little bit =P).

They had everything!  From Free Posters @ the Bandai Booth to Amazing Wall Scrolls to amazing (and expensive) Japanese imports (figurines, plush dolls, cosplay outfits, etc. etc.)!

There was so much to see that we had to visit the Dealer's Room every single day to make sure we bought everything in sight that we deemed was worth it.  Hence we spent a LOT of money on spoils.

Here were my total spoils:

Spoils from the Dealer's Room:

One Piece banzai! XD
Mika from Manabi Straight
Hanyuu from Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai
Kuroko from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun!
Sakura from Tsuabasa Chronicles!
Madoka Magica
My Cirno CD:  "Touhou Hyousetsu Kashuu"
My new favorite (tsundere) shirt!

And so that's about all I have to say for Otakon 2011!  I think I've pretty much summed it up.  And I'm sure Chansu will cover what I missed in his take of Otakon!

So as they say at the end of every Nichijou episode...

K:  ??????!
R:  Otanoshimini!
E:  Don't Miss it! / Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading ^^,

Otakon 2011 by RPGHero

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What do I think about the biggest anime convention on the East Coast?

Where do I start? This super convention had over 31,000 people in attendance, more cosplayers than any other convention, and more events.
The highlights of Otakon 2011 for me were:

Seeing Chemistry in concert! 
Chemistry is one of my favorite jpop artists. They are a duo composed of Yoshikuni Dochin and Kaname Kawabata. I can tell you that they gave everything their all. Their stage presence is unmatched. They don't rely on any background track (or very little background) and they put their all into every note. It sounds like you are listening to their CD when they sing, which is pretty amazing! Here's a video of an interview taken at Otakon with Chemistry!

Going to the Otakon Dance also known as the Otakon RAVE!
The Otakon Rave is one of the most attended events at Otakon, probably second or even first to the Chemistry concert. Previously the only Rave I can compare it to is the rave at Animazement 2010. I can say that this is the biggest rave I have been to and the most wild also. They had over six DJs compared to only two or three at Animazement. On Friday there were two types of music I was able to catch. DJ Saolilith was playing anime music and vocaloid music. See DJ Saolilith below!
 She's a great DJ, I'd say that she's a Moe DJ because I really thought she was cute and loveable! I was jumping high so that she'd notice me ^^ Many at Otakon did not like her because she didn't play anything other than vocaloid and anime music but why would you go to an anime convention to not hear anime music?
On Saturday they played modern club music that was techno remixed so there was a lot of American hiphop and pop which annoyed me because that's where I think the Animazement Rave did better. Animazement's Rave kept both days playing Jpop, Jrap, anime music, and vocaloid. They even remixed them so you could dance to them!

The cosplayers and cosplaying!!
See our cosplay post below! Seeing our favorite characters come to life was amazing. I don't think I saw any bad cosplays at all. There was a lot of cross play, with females cosplaying as male characters and male characters cosplaying as female characters. I didn't see as many villians as I thought. I also saw much less akatsuki than I had braced for, seems like there's an unspoken and unwritten rule not to have hundreds of akatsuki everywhere. Unlike Animazement...
The Dealer's Room!
Well since there were so many people and this was my first super convention, I spent most of my time at the dealer's room. I was looking for RuroKen goods but it seems like stores don't carry them anymore. They did not have many Kintama, I mean Gintama goods either. But they had everything an Otaku could dream of... Stay tuned for Chansu and Deretsun's posts, they'll fill you in on the ins and outs of the dealer's room and their seasoned Otaku experience at Otakon 2011!!! 

New York Anime Festival/ComicCon 2010 by DereTsun

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Hi everyone! As you already know RPGHero and myself (Deretsun) went to the New York Anime Festival in the city. The Comic Con was there as well but didn't interest me as much =P.

So now it's my turn to share my experience of my first big Convention! yay! :)

So went on Saturday--the day the main events were supposed to happen. So I left early from a class and tried my best to get there in time for the 11:45 Hatsune Miku Concert. Keep in mind that this was my first BIG Convention... the ConnectiCon couldn't compare in size... this is the Jacob Javits we're talking about here. And honestly--I do a LOT of planning--but I didn't see this one coming.... The LINE!

Here I was, thinking that since I had ordered it online I would just be able to walk into the Javits and redeem my ticket... but of course not! There was such a huge line that it's hard to describe. Let me show you:

So it started off around here by the sidewalk (left) and then curved around to the stairs (right).

Then drops back along the wall of the side walk and loops around further next to the building.

Haha--we're not done yet! (This is what happens when you combine two conventions!)

It then goes through that underpass and finally goes inside (left)... NOPE! Still not done! It then proceeds to go up the escalator and into this threatening huge zig-zag line inside! (right).

So I had got there at 11:50--thinking I'd be able to still catch the Miku Concert... yah... that didn't happen. The line moved pretty quickly but it was still huge and I got to the door of the Miku Concert at 12:35... It ended at 12:45 so I thought I'd be able to sneak in and take some videos but they wouldn't let me in since it was so crowded... and this was the main event I wanted to see too! That really annoyed me. (???????) There was an encore concert later at 8 pm but I couldn't stay that late.

So remember: if you ever want to catch an early event at a Convention--get there EXTRA early! (1-2 hours atleast)

So this picture to the left was the Comic Con floor--it was much larger than the Anime Festival which was in the basement level and kinda pissed me off lol. Normally, (Or so I've been told) they split up the comic con and anime festival, but this time they were joined and made things even more crowded than it should have been.

Look at how closed in the Anime Festival floor was compared to it:

And although it was a pretty decent size it felt as if everyone was crying for more room.

So what exactly was at this Convention? Wow, there was alot--from cosplays to crossplays (dressing up as a character from the opposite gender) and from miku concerts to voice actor panels! Up at the Comic Con floor they had a bunch of booths with a mix of games from Wii, Square Enix, etc. etc. + two out of the like 20 isles was related to anime stuff from posters to Miku CDs and from cosplay outfits to plush dolls.

More awesome cosplays:

I enjoyed the Voice Actor Panel as well entitled "Voice Actors: East Meets West." There were english voice actors from the east to west cost of America and even further west was the japanese voice actor guest: Minori Chihara! Yay! I'm sure you guys must've heard her voice acting before! It's phenomenal!

My favorite character from her voice acting career history is Chiaki Minami from Minami-Ke! (which was an awesome and refreshing non-plot comedy anime that I recommend for happy comedy lovers =P).


Here you go! ^^

There was a whole load of things to do at the con and I'm glad! At ConnectiCon I came pretty late and there was hardly anything to do once I got there--but this Con had events throughout the whole day--because, well... it was HUGE =P.

I went to a Crunchyroll announcement where they had Q & A about various things. It was pretty monotone and boring but once in a while you'd get a funny question like "When are you going to re-model your site? It's looking a little dated." lol... I did manage to extract unreleased crunchyroll news however such as that they will be hosting Tantei Opera Milky Holmes from Fall Season.

They also had a random stage for people to perform but honestly they were terrible lol. People were trying to sing in japanese but their frantic yelling just hurt my ears so I left.

Later, and I thought nothing else could go wrong besides missing the miku concert--I go to the Puffy AmiYumi (yes, they were there!) autograph area expecting a free autograph. But of course... things wouldn't go that smoothly. First I realize there's a line. Then I realized I had to actually buy some of their merchandise to sign (t-shirts, etc.) which were around $16-20 each. You would THINK it'd be free... to show appreciation for the fans.. but no! It just had to cost money and the stand just had to run out of Teen Titans shirts -.-

And that's not all that went wrong! I also had a bad experience on the Comic Con floor:

So I was interested in a game called Guild Wars 2 that's supposed to be coming out within 2 years. So I went to check it out. Little did I know how unorganized it was. They just tossed booths here and there and no one knew where anything was. On their little "guide" it was supposed to be at room 1A21 but then I found out that everything had a different labelling system such as 1811, 3010--there were no letters at all! So I had no clue at all where I was going and ended up not finding it at all which was pretty depressing--but I got over it! At an Aniplex booth they gave out free K-On! posters and later on I found a good Lucky Star poster that I bought. Here are my spoils:

Those posters were enough to make up for the autograph and miku concert and I went home happy :)

So that was the New York Anime Festival! If you are ever in town for a Convention don't miss it! It's a great chance to be around your "species" if you're >= (greater than or equal to) an Otaku. And if you're able to stay late--you might catch the Maid Cafe that I unfortunately missed :(

So that's all for today!

Hope you enjoyed reading this! ^^


New York Anime Festival/ComicCon 2010 by RPGHero

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Yesterday Deretsun and I, RPGhero, traveled to the West Side of Manhattan to behold a collaboration that Otaku and comic fans only dream about and that is the mixture of an anime Convention with one of the biggest comics conventions in the world. While that is something in itself, it didn't grow on me. It seemed like New York Anime Festival took the backseat to New York Comic Con. There weren't as many cosplayers as I've seen at Animazement last summer in North Carolina.
Why don't we take a look at the cosplayers I cared to photograph, shall we?
I know this one! Two of "Professor Stein" from Soul Eater.
Sesshomaru! Would he look like this if he were real?
Chikusa from Katekyoshi Hitman Reborn
It was cool to see this anime REPresented by a cosplayer!

Star Wars - Clone Wars!
Does anyone know what anime or comic they're from?? They look familiar...
We also got to see Ash Ketchum's soul O.o
Well the voice actor WOMAN that plays Ash Ketchum. I couldn't get a closer picture than that...
She's the one with blonde hair.

She's pictured with Minori Chihara and some other english voice actors...
(Who looks so much more beautiful close up by the way)
Minori Chihara is most relevant to me at Yuki Nagato, the humanoid alien from the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

What about American Comic Book culture? Well I don't really care much for it but I thought it was interesting that singer/hip-hopper/songwriter Ne-yo was there with Stan Lee (the comic book Father) to talk about his comic collaboration, "Libra Scale". Well the illustration style was very realistic just like an American comic, the themes were very mature, and the dialogue seemed typical at first. However I did like the superhero aspect that was brought into it.
Plus after seeing the music videos inspired by Ne-yo's script, I thought it was pretty cool.

You can see Ne-yo using some of his powers in the beginning of the video. His powers are to move space and matter.

This song is really catchy in itself...

This song is really catchy in itself...
Ne-yo's character, Jerome, is definitely the best dressed superhero I've ever seen. Stan Lee also added, "The only one I've seen that sings and dances".
The only thing is that I can't find the full length movies that are before and after the music videos. You'll have to keep watching MTV and BET to catch the Libra Scale Story, or head to the comic store soon.
I found his autograph session about 45 minutes too late and he was done while I was still on line. I really wanted to talk to him and possibly say "Your character does go on to beat the guy that gave you powers in the end right?". Because that's the way it would have went down in an anime. You wouldn't beat up the woman you unknowingly gave powers or give your life to her to stop her evil side, you'd beat that dude that gave you the powers, own them, and make the rules yourself... But I had a feeling that he'd be like "Yo don't tell me how to write my story". He might have had a much more intense way to finish the story... as the comic they gave us was a small part of it. It's not released yet so only the con-goers got the exclusive first look ^.~
That's how close I got to Ne-yo when he was signing...
In other news...
Don't these things look like they're going to eat you??

They're called Ugly Dolls and they're a popular fad, possibly inspired by Japan's Domo-kun...
There were previews of new games for every system in the Exibitor's Room. Companies like Nintendo, Square Enix, etc had video game stations where people could play the newest games about to be released. There were so many people in the Exibitor's Room though it was impossible to play, let alone walk five feet without stopping for five minutes to wait for the people in front to move.
And finally the stash:
A one piece shirt, Ne-yo's Libra Scale sample, a Zoro poster, and a Tifa Lockhart poster!
One thing that boggles my mind is where Chansu got the money for his stash at AWA. Convention prices are higher than ever and he had a pretty big stash last time... But one good thing to think about is that we supported Japan. By buying character goods we're supporting people who make these anime and manga!


Some close up shots of the posters I bought from Kevin Yan's table at Artist Alley

Many people thought he was the best artist there

These photos don't give him any justice on these posters or his work in general

Go to his websites to see his justified awesome works

Kevin Yan's DeviantArt Page

His Portfolio

Anime Weekend Atlanta 2010 by chansu

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Hello and welcome to chansu’s amazing post of Anime Weekend Atlanta! The wiles, toils, and otherwise spoilers are yet to come! But first, what is AWA you ask?

Other than being the aforementioned acronym [Anime Weekend Atlanta], AWA is a 3 day Convention for anime/manga/otakudom that took place in the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Panels ranged from “Artistic Bento” to “ Traveling to Japan” to “MANime- The Manly Anime Panel” along with a countless amount of others. Since the con went on in a Hotel, it was a 24 hour celebration that never slept!

My favorite panel/showings were Durarara! the anime, and AMV Hell. Durarara is a conglomerate of stories built into one, that all mesh together and serve as a backdrop for the mystery of the Headless Motorcycler that cruises around town as a “transporter,” ultimately doing good and saving people. But there is much more to this story than meets the eye...

AMV Hell was basically a “Robot Chicken” sort of arrangement of AMVs, all about 30 seconds and about complete randomness. Most times they were explicit and weird and creepy, but at the same time others were ingenious and made me laugh out loud. I had no clue what I was walking in to see, then I was walking out with tons of spoilers in my mind, unsettling thoughts, but most importantly laughing so hard it hurt. Don’t hate me, Deretsun, I gotta post this ;D

The major guest of honor was, of course, Vic Mignogna. The line for his autograph was perpetually longer than the line for free food, but at one point I walked past him and said, “Hey Vic!” at which he replied “Hey, stranger!” without a second glance.

Of course AWA had it’s share of cosplayers, but to be honest there was a smaller group of costume clad con-goers at this one. But as they say, quality makes up for quantity. Everyone who was in costume seemed to have worked really hard on their outfits:

Master Roshi!

Ukuu and Aya Shameimaru from Touhou!

Kimblee and Greed from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood!

Luffy vs. Vegeta, who would win?

Hidan and Sasuke from Naruto Shippuden!

It was also really funny what you can see at a Hotel/Con. Good guys, bad guys, and weird guys doing normal person things:

Sasori and Deidara enjoy McDonalds...

But in the end they really gave me the desire and motivation to want to cosplay at the next Convention I go to! Beware, AWA [and Animazement and possibly Otakon] 2011!

Interestingly enough, I spent the majority of my time in the Dealer’s room and Artist’s alley. I have to remark that their places of sale were by far the largest I have ever seen! It was amazing how they filled up such a space with such a density of shops and advertisements! The most interesting was Funimation’s “booth.” Where they had a huge screen playing Anime openings and trailers for things I’d never seen before, selling various [and possibly rare] DVDs, along with…

DVD grab bags.

The grab bag. Sometimes in the shape of a brown lunch bag, sometimes larger like a paper shopping bag. Sometimes it’s a “grab box.” But in the end, the grab bag is nothing but trouble unless luck has been your ally since birth. Grab bags are basically bags of random stuff that in the end have a greater retail price than what you pay for them, but in most cases consists of mostly stuff no one wants to buy. In the end you get a good deal for what you bought, but usually it’s not even close to what you wished for. I learned this the hard way. A $30 Funimation grab bag got my friend THREE full DVD sets for Welcome to the NHK, Tenchi Muyo, and Air. A $30 Funimation grab bag got me THREE full DVD sets for Shin-chan.

Go figure.

But in the end I bought more than I ever bought. I owe many kind souls various amounts of monetary dues, but the heist was fairly successful:

My favorite purchases are the Touhou artbook, and a random Mokona jumping figure:

And as you can some items are “?”ed out. I wonder what’s behind those mysterious question marks? ^^’

Well, that’s all for now folks! I highly recommend AWA for anyone close to Georgia! Show your Otaku pride!


Connecticon 2010 by DereTsun

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Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I was away with my cousins in Connecticut! I just so happened to go during the ConnectiCon weekend which was the first video-game/anime Convention I ever went to! So without further ado, here's the review!

So when we arrived at ConnectiCon we went straight to the video game section before they closed it 40 minutes after we arrived. We had to drop off our bags which was a pain and I don't know why they made us do that pointless exercise since it took us about 40 minutes of standing in line to get our bags back. Anyway my cousin and I were beating everyone in our respective games (I was playing both Chansu and my favorite: Super Smash Brothers Brawl while my cousin was playing Halo 3). We had missed the tournaments that took place the day before but we still had lots of fun.

As we were walking around we saw some incredible cosplays. Here's some of the amazing ones we've seen from Super Smash Brothers Brawl:

. . . . . . . . . . Sheik and Ike . . . . . . . and . . . . . . . . . Link and Zelda . . . . . . . .

More awesome cosplays here: 

. . . . . . . .Inuyasha - Kagome . . . . . . and . . . . . . Assassin's Creed - ? . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Code Geass - C.C. and Lelouch / Zero . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . Naruto - ? vs Sasuke . . . . . and . . . . . Other Naruto Members . . . . . .

. . . . . . . Dragon Ball Z - Goku . . . . . and . . . . . Naruto - Kakashi Sensei . . . . .

. . Bleach - 9th Division Captain Kaname Tousen . . and . . Bleach - "Nel" . . . . . . .

(After you check out all these cosplays, let's give an award to the best cosplayers! Leave your opinion on who deserves the award in the comments! If you don't know who they are just describe them. Oh and if you know the missing information marked by "?" please leave a comment and let us know! Thanks! ^^)

Then later on we went to the venders which kinda shocked me into another world. They had everything! From discounted to discontinued manga, doujinshi to figurines, weapons to cosplay outfits, vocaloids, souvenirs, and even t-shirts! Unlike my little event at California's Little Tokyo, I wasn't overwhelmed since I was prepared for this. I tried not to spend all my money so I only spent around $30-$50. It was a lot of fun, and my favorite part of the Convention. Here are some pictures of one of the figurine stores:

It was very tempting to buy everything off the shelf since they had a bunch of vocaloid, lucky star, clannad, fullmetal alchemist, one piece, and other figurines I can't remember.

Towards the end we walked around and figured out that there was an upstairs but that we came too late for the closing ceremonies in the auditorium. Next to that however was a board game room.

They played all sorts of games that I've never seen or heard of before.

As we were walking back downstairs getting ready to leave I stopped dead in my tracks because there was a huge mass of people circled up in what I call the "Cosplay Circle."

I took a little video when they started chanting. You can watch it here:

I didn't know what it was at first, but thanks to razicasar on youtube for this updated info:

"They're? shouting Pirates and Ninjas. Whoever supports Pirates shouts that, then Ninjas, back and forth. They did a bunch of them, like Pokemon/Digimon. ^_^"
I had a lot of fun and if you go to an anime Convention like this one, I'm sure you will too! So if you ever get a chance to visit ANY anime Convention, don't miss out!

That's all for now, thanks for reading! ^^


Informative and Entertaining Entry on Cosplaying by RPGHero

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Alright I, RPGHero, am going to bring us back to wholesome and informative programming for those who peruse our blog.

Anybody who likes anime as much as we do have at least thought seriously about cosplaying as their favorite anime character. It's irresistable, the urge to look and feel like your favorite hero or villian. Some of the people reading this may have actually even been lucky to cosplay at a concert or Convention proudly.

There are others of us of a darker skinned variety who yearn to cosplay like our lighter skinned Otaku nakama. But the question is how? Can a dark skinned person pull off their favorite lighter skinned character? Do you think Soulja Boy could cosplay as Goku? The answer is not known.

I have seen dark skinned people try to cosplay as people like Rock Lee, Sasuke Uchiha, Zoro, etc. Have they FAILED or have they brought honor to the character? The answer is in 1) Their physique 2) Their attitude 3) Their judges. If all three work in their favor, maybe, just maybe people can be convinced that a black kid could be Luffy.

For those of us dark skinned Otaku who don't have the guts to dress as any character they want, what is there to choose from?

Off the top of my head I could name some characters.

Aokiji from One Piece

Usopp from One Piece

Uub from DragonballZ

Ryu from Mobile Suit Gundam

Yoroichi from Bleach

and recently Sazh Katsroy from Final Fantasy XIII

There are a few more that I don't have the knowledge to name but they are scarce. The pickings are slim for us dark skinned people. But don't give up hope!

And remember being dark skinned is not a factor.. It's those three qualities I described before...

Animazement 2010 by RPGHero

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Have you ever wondered what RPGHero looks like?

There may be a chance for you to see RPGHero's visage as Usopp from One Piece.

I'll hopefully be cosplaying at Animazement, a Convention in Raleigh, NC.

The only thing is that I need to round up the costume elements to cosplay as Usopp.

If I am successful, I will post my appearance as Usopp for the world to see!

Wish me luck!

Day 1

Alright everyone!

RPGHero and Chansu have made it to Animazement 2010 in Raleigh, NC. We've traveled by bus from New York City's Chinatown just to experience an anime Convention! And for myself this is my first time at one.

I'm not disappointed at all! Even on the pre-Convention day there were people cosplaying. I saw Mayes Hughes, Ash Ketchum, Maka Albarn, Sephiroth, some ninja from the world of naruto, etc etc. It's actually cool to see that other people like anime so much that they would dress up as their favorite characters. I dont care if people aren't as cool looking as their character but the will is strong!

Tomorrow I'm going to dress up as Usopp from One Piece and hopefully during the course of the weekend have Kappei Yamaguchi sign my nose lol.

Today I have learned about Tokusatsu.

Tokusatsu is the term for the shows that Power Rangers have been based off of. It originated in Japan and they've got many different types. I can gaurantee you that all of them are cooler than American Power Rangers!

Day 2

Hi everyone! My partner in crime, Chansu, has been posting ardently and passionately over the past few days. I have been having so much fun at the Convention that I have either been sleeping or doing Convention. Right now I'm going to give my summary and views on the Convention, be on the lookout though for Chansu's next post which is gonna be BIG!

I can honestly say that I learned so much about anime and manga and Japanese culture within the past few days that I probably doubled my knowledge in the culture.

I'll start off by saying that the spirit of Convention goers is white hot and kind at the same time. As a cosplayer of Usopp there were many people who complimented my costume and asked for my picture. I couldn't believe someone would want to take a picture of my rendition of Usopp! This one guy even asked me as Usopp to sign his shirt, I was so honored and taken back that I forgot to write "Captain Usopp!!" instead of 'Usopp'.

Well there were some people who made fun of my costume but they were much less than the positive people. Most of them were either not in cosplay or in a bad cosplay themselves so it wasn't that bad at all.

Rest assured Chansu or I will post the pictures for the world to see!! Please bear with us!

I also learned about new cultural topics like Kabuki theatre. Kabuki theatre is very symbolic and very meaningful to Japanese culture. Only men can act in it and they usually portray geisha or meiko. Check out a video that was shown to us at the con below!

If you want to see the rest just go to related videos and check them out!

That made me think... How are Japanese people mostly so optimistic as a whole if their religion involves alot of things like demons and rooms in the underworld (not to mention buddhist influence and all the positives that go with it)?? And Americans are pessimistic so much at certain times and places if their most popular religion boosts a ticket to heaven just by believing in the messiah? Well I know there's exceptions to what I just said but if you think about the apologetic, curteous manner of the Japanese and the street behavior in NYC thats what I'm going by. Especially when you bump into someone...

I learned about alot of other things there and saw alot of famous people.

As Usopp I had Kappei Yamaguchi sign my nose! It took alot of courage!

The guy that signed my nose!

I got a Naruto poster autographed by Kazuhiko Inoue, or Kakashi!

I asked Richard Ian Cox a question about Inuyasha!

I saw Toshi Nakamura and other famous Directors and artists!

Pictures and videos will be on the way!!!

There was a dance on both Friday and Saturday. I think Friday's dance was more fun because they played J-pop and J-hip hop along with anime themes as dance versions! Saturday's dance was more like a rave party complete with techno and hardcore moshing! Both dances were crazy fun!

Overall I think Animazement is a great Convention and I had alot of great experiences. I recommend signing up for next year's Animazement as the number of goers keep increasing and the greatness of the special guests keeps getting more momentous! They even said you can get the whole weekend next year this time for $35 now as opposed to $50 or $60 dollars later on!

Thank you all for reading!!


Last Day Reflections

As a cosplayer I have realized some important things.

Even after I took the costume off I still felt like my character, Usopp from One Piece.

I let go of all my negative preocupations from the past and felt like a new person. Though Usopp is alittle cowardly he has transcended himself in his fights and beaten some strong people. I felt like I could do anything too! Well maybe not take a 10 ton bat directly to my face lol.

I think that is the most important thing about cosplaying! And I'm sure all of you agree if you've ever cosplayed! Well I guess if you were a bad guy you at least felt like you were strong haha. I'm going to be a bad guy next time around haha.


Animazement 2010 by chansu

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Hey guys, chansu here with my first impressions of North Carolina's "Animazement" Convention! This was only the preregistration day so there wasn't much to do, but right off the bat I'd like to say I was impressed with the turnout!

Day 1 - Pre-con

So, after a sweaty hot tired 9 hours bus trip in the middle of the night and a little sleep, we were ready to venture into the grand world of Animazement! At first I expected us to be the only people there, mostly because only hardcore people make it to the pre-reg, but I was surprised to see a good amount, nearly 100 people, that showed up. The actual registration line was short and there wasn't much to do, but the excitement was the in the air.

It was a blur! I saw Master Chief, tootsie roll ninja, Maes Hughes (with a photo of little Elicia), Urahara Kisuke, and others in the blink of an eye. Everyone was very talkative, fast moving, and generally high spirited. Nothing like pre-con to get your juices flowing for the main event!

(If it was too fast for you, my excuse for no pictures was that everyone was heading left and right, oh wellz!)

So my group and I walked all around the place looking at different exhibits for a quick second, getting a gist of the Convention center. The only panel we sat in for the entire duration was "A Crash Course in Tokusatsu" because I thought it was some kinda food. But silly me, I knew what Tokusatsu was before I even got there! It's, ya know, that thingie with the transforming superheroes....

["Samurai Sentai Shinkenger" Opening Song... yes, it takes a while to get used to this kind of thing...]

Okay to be more specific, Tokusatsu is Kamen Rider and other types of "Japanese Power Ranger" live-action shows that feature flashy transformation (or "HENSHIN!") scenes and baddies that look just like the giant ones in Power rangers. You may be thinking "Hey, I graduated from Power Rangers when I was like, 5, why would I watch any Tokatsu stuff? I love anime, not some live-action rip!" Well, as much as I agree with you dear fellow, Tokusatsu reveals a new dimension of action. I won't go as far as saying that it tops anime and manga, but if you need something new that progresses through a story (albeit cheesy and shallow) fairly quickly, then stuff like Super Sentai is your thing! Trust me!

But don't think you're an Otaku if you don't like this stuff. This is but a small piece of what otakudom has to offer....

Well, chansu signing off! Be sure stick around for Day 2's antics!!


Hello my dearest readers, chansu is back with the most exciting day he’s had yet, so anticipate a post longer than any other that preceeded it! Please, I beg you, fasten your safety belts and set your seat trays in the upright and locked position, because you’re about to be shot through a gauntlet of:

Day 2 - AMVs Vocaloids and Noiz

I honestly don’t know where to start with today, to do it proper justice. As usual, but to a much greater degree, cosplayers flooded the area! I saw every akatsuki member, 5 Bleach captains, the cast of Kingdom Hearts, more gothic lolitas than you can shake a stick at, creepy half-dressed catgirls, Miku Rin and Len, tootsie roll ninja’s dramatic return, and much MUCH more! Because RPGHero cosplayed as Usopp I got a few photos, but there was too much spectacle for me to properly capture with my measly cellular phone camera! Anime conventions are MOST DEFINITELY a place you must visit to understand.

Now, let’s discuss the panels/activities I had the opportunity to sit in on and take note of…

The first activity I visited was the “Video Game Room” which ran pretty much all day. Nonstop graphics and 8bit music relentlessly flooded from the room, not to mention the roar of gamers in heat. I only jest, but those are the only proper words I can think of to describe the game room. Everything from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, to nameless Japanese shmups (like Touhou), to the original Ice Climbers and Mario Bros., to even DDR and Rock Band 2; you name it, it was there. But one game in particular captured my heart quickly: Magical Drop. I had tried Magical Drop for SNES quickly and found it tactless and boring, but boy was I wrong. Magical Drop is a game similar to both Tetris Attack and Bubble Bobble, in which the objective is to make three-in-a-row vertical colored arrangements to destroy colored bubbles. But in order to make combos, your 3+ vertical bubbles must destroy horizontal bubbles… hey, how about you watch this video and hopefully become less confused?

[watching is not as fun as playing, guaranteed. Especially when you’re playing for the sole purpose of pissing off people waiting in back of you]

Besides that, the video game room had very little room for people to like, share. I got to play Magical Drop for about a half hour and never again did that arcade machine open up for me…

Moving on! The next activity was “Anime Report from 2010” led by Koichi Tsunoda sensei, a famous animation director from back in theday. It was something of a pity that not that many people showed up (he expected about 60 people but got more like 20…) but what can you expect when the entire panel is a speech in Japanese occasionally interrupted by the translator to fill us in? Of course I only jest, that is probably what those who fled the panel thought, but I considered him to be very very intelligent and well-spoken. What little Japanese I understood was polite and thoughtful, and when I paid attention he even looked me in the eye! (I felt very proud of myself at that point, I successfully feigned comprehension of the Japanese language!)

Tsunoda-sensei is what we in America call a “trooper.” You know, that guy who always gets the short end of the stick and smiles happily regardless. I say this because his discussion was rife with the issue of illegal file sharing of anime and how it is ruining the future of anime. He himself only gets about 1000 yen in royalties A MONTH for an anime he directed, which is getting over 1000 a month on certain illicit pages.

Now, I could point fingers like he did, but I won’t. Let’s admit it, it’s hard to get our fix of anime in America without the cheesy English voices ruining it. What’s the difference between us watching “Bleach” from Dattebayo and Japanese kids watching Bleach on TV in Japan? It’s a little unreasonable for us to have to pay to see what they watch for free, don’t you think?

Well to wrap up this panel, the basic Report is as follows: anime peaked at 2006 but is in decline, it is ironic that anime revolves around TV views in Japan but online views in America, the anime movie industry (STUDIO GHIBLI) has the upper hand in the anime industry, J-music artists are in heated competition for spots making Opening and ending tracks for anime (which sell more than not-anime tracks in Japan), and that although anime is in decline it’s a stubborn business that will be here for years to come. Viola, you’re now informed!

Next panel! “AMV Contest.” Not much to say about this one, it had a huge turnout as expected and featured amazing AMVs. But two things hurt me: one is that all the AMVs had ENGLISH music tracks and two is that almost all the AMVs spoiled the plot of the series/movie. Why English songs, because they’re easy for us to understand and laugh at (when it’s funny)? Why spoil Code Geass, Ponyo, 5 cm/sec, and (for those who haven’t seen it) Tora Dora just for a 4 minute video? Geez. Besides that, there was some great directing but too much Geass/Evangelion/Cowboy Bebop/Toradora. That was 80% of the AMVs. I wonder who won…?

[“Like a Boss” parody song with Shinji from Evangelion. Warning, a few spoilers and lots of explicit lyrics.]

After the AMV contest I watched a bit of the “Karaoke Contest.” RPGHero was supposed to debut as TM Usopplution but we didn’t sign up in time. The acts were mediocre but entertaining. Last years winner was as flashy as he was before even without knocking down mic stands.

But leave it to Uchuu Sentai NOIZ to well… be “noizy.” Seeping into the Karaoke contest was the “Noiz Concert” that was being performed next door, which piqued my interest so I went to watch for a little. But, sorry for cliché once again but it was just noisy! They have rhythm and talent but they relied on their unbearable loudness to gather people, which pissed me off so much that I couldn’t stay for more than 20 minutes. Besides Vamps live in concert was ten times better.

The final panel I went to, and by far the most eye-opening was…

“VOCALOID: Hatsune Miku & Co. Sing For You!”

Now you may be thinking, “Hey, we already know about VOCALOID and sure enough you do too, chansu! So what was so great about hearing the same old songs again?!” Well, it was much more than just replaying some songs. Although I did get to hear and sing along to Just Be Friends, Double Lariat, and others that I’ve yet to upload, I also learned about the existence and splendor of the new wave of VOCALOIDs:
  • Gumi
  • Kaito
  • Gakupo
  • Meiko (Sakine)
  • SF-A2 Miki
  • Kaai Yuki
  • Hiyama Kiyoteru
Their beautiful music live has inspired me to extend “Vocaloid Track of the Whenever I Feel Like It” to these newcomers so that we can experience a new sensation in music! Also, starting on the 31st, our Vocaloid series will be renamed “Vocaloid Track of the Day!” aptly to describe how many times I will be updating… everyday! I know you guys cannot wait!

And finally, during the late night when some sleep, RPGHero and I ventured into the “Anime Rave”! I have never been a fan of dances or anything involving other people, music, and me moving in an inspired manner, but I had so much fun that I would gladly host my own Anime Rave! Conga lines and throwing hands up is the best, especially to techno mixes of “Ready Steady Go,” “Resonance,” and “Go!!”. Perfect way to end one of the greatest nights in my anime history!!

Now! I will sleep so that I may go all out tomorrow! Saturday is the main event day! Be prepared for more antics and info! This is chansu, signin’ out!


Guess what? This is chansu with another review of Animazement 2010, right as it happens! This time I’m reviewing Saturday’s panels, games, activities, cosplayers, etc. Well, let’s go shall we?

Day 3 - VAs Makeup and Classic Anime Music

Some notable cosplayers of today: Crocodile and Perona from One Piece (posing with RPGHero in the final post), lots of Fire Fist Aces, Heartless from KH, fem Ulquiorra, Avatars, Cheschire Cat, lots of Luffys, the whole cast of Kuroshitsuji, Lucky Star, and Persona 3, among others. Saturday is always the busiest, and by far the most exciting. There was so much to do that I was mind-boggled, and the late night partying the night before didn’t help any. So I took the practical route: I used Saturday to obtain things I can brag about back home.

Upon entering the con, the first place I went was the dealer’s room. Larger than any dealer’s room I’ve been in before, this place sold tons of anime DVDs, manga, figurines, posters, bags, wall scrolls, t-shirts, plushies, doujin, artbooks, kimono, and much much more. Being the poor inexperienced con-goer I am, I had very little money upon reaching this nirvana of anime goods and was only able to afford some mini-posters and a large poster of Naruto Shippuuden’s Kakashi Gaiden.

Of course I bought this poster on purpose because we were going to meet the infamous Kazuhiko Inoue! Besides being the Japanese voice actor for Kakashi, he also worked on Candy Candy, Gravitation, and other video game voices. His personality was refreshing; he had the feel of a pro but was humble and worked for the fans. He even said “I’ll always be by your side” and “I love you” 10 times in all 10 of his voices for the sake of a single fangirl. Inoue-sensei is apparently a “trooper” too.

[Inoue-sensei signing our poster!! I'm sure RPGHero was so excited at that moment!]

Next RPGHero and I got in line for autographs from Inoue-sensei and Kappei Yamaguchi-sensei, the voice of L (Death note) and Usopp (One Piece). So of course RPGHero needed his fix of what’s right: a signature on his Usopp nose. Of course all pictures will be in the final post so hang tight! But what a line that was, who knew voice actors were so famous?

[Richard commentining on RPGHero's question... too bad I didn't get the part where he asks about the Usopp nose!]

During the downtime we visited Paranormal themes in anime, which actually turned out to be cancelled and replaced with the Richard Ian Cox Show which was basically Cox stealing a panel for the hell of it. At first I wasn’t too into his sense of humour (like Vic more and in general I don’t enjoy standup comedy) but he was able to entertain us thoroughly with absolutely random and pointless anecdotes. He told us many important things: about an anime where the protagonist gets drunk off chocolate, "," how to dub your own anime, and many other things. It seems like most voice actors have phenomenal sense of humor and light-heartedness; making them a hit at cons. Is that just the difference between American and Japanese cultures or just voice actors?

Back in the Video Game Room, I discovered a new shmup (shoot-em-up, like Touhou) in an Impress arcade cabinet (I couldn’t read the name, gimme a break!). Like Touhou, the character choice is an all-female cast but with more… appeal per se? I think they’re called “cute em ups” instead of “shoot em ups”. But the motif is more military-like. It’s an arcade game so it took a while to get used to dodging bullets with a joystick, but it was just as much fun. Besides that I can’t say much about the plot, since it was in Japanese. So if you’re ever in a Japanese arcade or Animazement, check Impress out!

[I didn’t want to give the name of the game out, but it’s called “Muchi Muchi Pork”… please don’t judge me, I just like shmups…!]

The next panel we visited was Ana’s Ikimaru kabuki theatre hour with shamisen workshop. It was a nice little panel which featured video on Geisha, Kabuki, and Shamisen performances with a few commentaries by what I assumed was “Ana.” I pretty much blanked out when she started talking, but the Kabuki segment was very interesting. I didn’t know that the females featured in Kabuki were actually men in drag! And their performances are very artfully executed and actually intrigued me. RPGHero's post has a classic example, check it out!

And don’t forget the shamisen! Such an awesome instrument, made into a famous contemporary item by Yoshida Brothers. How about I give you a quick example? This is the video they played in the panel, watch how skilled these guys are! They take a historical Japanese instrument and ROCK!

Afterwards, I thought I’d go to the Anime Rave, but the music wasn’t as interesting as the day before (it was all my favorite songs... with a thick techno beat covering up their greatness, making it a disgusting trance of fail) so I decided to sit in on some late-night anime showings. The anime I saw were Ranma ½ and Nana. Who would’ve thought that the very first anime reviews would be from Animazement? Well, at least forgive me for knowing next to jack about these anime, since they only played 4 episodes at a time.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Ranma, so Nana is basically about two girls named Nana who couldn’t be any different: one is from a normal country town and the other lived on the rough streets of the city. Although they look and act very different, they both share aggravatingly painful pasts when it comes to romance, and they’re both are on their way to Tokyo for love. They both happen to sit next to eachother and hit it off, and they fatefully meet again to become roommates. It may sound like a gushy happy-go-lucky anime, but it’s very dramatic and intense at moments, not to mention it holds very mature values when it comes to love. All in all it’s recommended!

So! That wraps up my review of Saturday’s fun! Check back later for the short review of Sunday, filled with images that will make you wish you were there!

Until later, my Otaku brethren!



Welcome to
The Otaku Reviewers

This blog, "The Otaku Reviewers", was started in February of 2010 on this very same platform, Blogger. At first, it was a venture into the informational and informal world of comics, anime, video games, and Japanese culture. In other words, just a random blog.

Over time, the founder of the blog credited with the pseudonym "RPGhero" was joined by two fellow bloggers and friends with the names "Chansu" and "Deretsun". Together the three bloggers looked up interesting Japanese culture facts, recommended new anime, talked about their own "otaku" interests, and traveled across the United States to various anime conventions.

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