Chaos' AN2002 Con Diary
Narrator: >) “So, you wish to know what happened at the Anime North 2002 convention, do you, my pretties? Well I’ll get you your fanboys Con report, my pretties! And your little Aibo too!! MWAH HA HAH HA HA HA HA HAH!!!”
[We interrupt this insane cackling to drench the narrator with a bucket of Jusenkyo Spring water!]
Narrator: “Kyaaaaaaa! I’m melting, I’m melting!!! What a fansubbed world, what a fansubbed world…..”
Pesti: “Good shot, Mayhem.”
Dark Mayhem: ^^v [with bucket!] “Natch.”
Pesti: “So just what spring of drowned whatever did you get this time?
Narrator: ^-^ “Puchuu?”
Dark Mayhem & Pesti: o.O;
Well, all in all it was a fun con filled with many friends, fansubs and crossplaying a plenty! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
My glorious arrival into the front lobby of the Regal Constellation Hotel was heralded by loud trumpeting Keroppe-like frogs, and throngs of cheering Puchuu bears. As I sauntered in through the front revolving glass doors—which strangely I got lost in and wound up back outside momentarily, but that was only a minor setback—I was greeted by the multitudes of gracious otaku who instantly recognized the epic sexiness that was me, and bowed down in abject hero worship.
At least that’s what was going to happen had I not missed the exit for the turn-off to the hotel along the 401 highway. My girlfriend Mel-chan had volunteered to drive out there, so long as I navigated the treacherous journey there for her. Already many of you can see the first mistake she made there. I believe the conversation went something along these lines:
Mel-chan: “We’re nearer to the airport, so the turn-off has to be here somewhere.”
Me: [sexy commando navigator that I am, with the map!] “Let’s see…we need to find the turn-off to Dixon Road.”
Mel-chan: “Do you see it?”
Me: ^-^ “Yep! We’re passing right by it as I speak!”
A half hour of creative touring of the city later (which also included missing yet another turn-off and winding up right in Terminal 3 of the city’s nearby airport), we arrived at the Con. And happily we were very early, it being just after lunch, so it was surprisingly easy to nab our room without having to wait a long time.
There were the obvious questions of, “So you’re sure that the Anime convention is being held here?”, which was followed the response of, “Unless that 7-foot tall Sailor Saturn’s just a figment of my imagination.”
This was in turn followed by my comment of, “Well, she may be tall, but she’s kinda sexy from the back.” This was followed by Mel-chan gently saying to me, “Um, that’s a guy.” And all this was followed by the sounds of me trying to reassert my manliness by stating that I had sexier legs than that Hotaru crossplayer anyday!!
Anyhoo, Mel-chan and I claimed our room, which was located waaaaaaay in the back of the hotel. Now to get the proper picture, the Regal Constellation is almost square-like in its design, with a courtyard in the center. We were on the second floor in the back wing, which was also the older and more dimply-lit wing, so there were times I was afraid I’d get mugged by a couple of B-ko cosplayers if I wasn’t on my guard.
Then we ran over to get registered for the Con, wearing our badges with pride…until we discovered that our badges were covered in Digirats. Seeing as how I didn’t want anyone to see a grown otaku cry, I buried my head in an open 12-pack of donuts. Happily they were all chocolate-glazed, so I didn’t cry that much.
It didn’t take too long before the denizens of Anime fandom started to manifest, and the hotel lobby was swarming with fukus, giant mallets, hair colours that nature never intended, kawaii furry animals (who probably hadn’t had their veterinary check-up’s yet), spontaneous Jpop line-dancing, and shouts of, “Hey, who let that Dejiko into the swimming pool?!”
Ah, it was good to see the hotel alive with the sounds of Jpop. And with a considerably larger crowd than last year, it was definitely a good thing that a larger hotel had been nabbed. I got glomped by Ysabet (Hysteria), attacked by plushie octopi by Greenbeans (while Sean Gaffney just laughed and offered only caustic remarks for my plight), received my pink kappa plushie from Vampy, and delighted in seeing the rest of the fanboys assembling for what would no doubt be a fun session of pillaging, partying and plundering.
Of notable anticipation amongst many of the gathering otaku was in waiting for the Dealer’s Room to open. Naturally, Servo, our resident Anime-online pimp, being on security detail has free access to the Dealer’s Room while it’s being set up. As Mel-chan and I are walking along, what should he proudly show me but a Kuroneko-sama (that black cat from Trigun) he’d just bought.
Now I might be paraphrasing, but I believe my eloquent response went along the lines of: “You bastard!”
Then about 10 minutes later, Mel-chan and I stumbled across Carnage. It seems he too has purchased a Kuroneko-sama ahead of the actual opening, and very proudly showed it off to me.
Now I might be paraphrasing, but I believe my rather sophisticated response went along the lines of: “Chaos smash!!!”
Yet indeed, if lines are any indication of the more popular attractions at AN02, then the Dealer’s Room was one of the biggest draws. Rare was it when the line-up was so enormous, it had its own wing. There were times I felt as if I’d regressed and gone to Disneyland—you had to wait in long line-ups, always walked away with many purchases, and were constantly surrounded by people in strange get-ups.
Though oddly enough, while the Dealer’s Room was really impressive this year, I didn’t buy all that much outside of a Sailor Mercury keychain for Mel-chan, and a Ninja Security con badge from the Studio Ironcat booth. (All hail Steve Bennet!!)
I started to worry. Was I getting too soft? Was I getting too jaded? Had I in fact been an otaku for so long that I had all the Anime paraphernalia that I wanted and was *gasp!* content?!
To fix that, a few days after the Con, I went out to Kikiwai and bought a DigiCharat artbook (that came complete with a scarf…though why I’ll do with a scarf in the summer I have yet to discern. ^^;;;).
Well, the opening ceremonies were soon underway, and the dozens of panels and Anime viewing rooms were open for attacking. Now having seen most of the titles that were being shown (being an 8-year otaku has its benefits!), that left me free to check out the panels with my Mel-chan in tow…unless she slipped away and cleverly replaced herself with a Gengar plushie so I wouldn’t notice her gone while we were holding hands.
Onwards then, to the SM fanfiction panel! And to say the panel was loaded was an understatement. Among those crowded at the table and fighting each other for the single box of Pocky left for them to eat during the session were: Greenbeans, Pandora MacMillan, Sailor Mac, Ken Wolfe, Andrea Doolan and Mr. Fedora himself, Sean Gaffney.
Many colourful questions and remarks abounded from the audience, ranging from author avatars, lemon pairings, why Mamoru seems to have a wardrobe consisting of only three shirts and one pair of pants, character development, and whatever might happen if Shannon Doherty were replaced with Mistress 9 for the magical girl/teen drama “Pharaoh 90210”.
Later on in the evening came the Anime Music Videos contest. I was looking forward to seeing some great hits after having witnessed last year’s pretty damned good offerings, which gave us Spike vs. Vicious to Linkin Park’s “In The End”, much silliness with an Anime montage to Smashmouth’s “Allstar”, the uber-genki dance hit “Mamboleo” and the much ass-kicking Anime parody of the Van Halen “Right Now” music video.
Sadly though, I found that the AMVs of this year…lacked.
Call me crazy, call me cynical or critical or some other word that starts with C, but I didn’t really find any standout AMV amongst the whole pack. They seemed either too long or too laidback, and lacked the moxie last year’s offerings had. After about 2 hours, I decided to skip out and hit Havoc’s room for a tail-end of the Sake party he was throwing.
However, what fun and excitement the AMVs this year lacked, the Con made up for with the surprise guest: Gimpy the Wonder Elevator!! Yes indeed, quietly there on the right side of the North Tower elevator bank was Gimpy! Watch as the amazing Gimpy doesn’t obey the commands you give him when you press the call buttons. Marvel at how you get in, press the button for the second floor, and Gimpy just sits there doing nothing until you press the button again! And then prepare to be dazzled as Gimpy goes up and skips your floor entirely, heading first to the 7th floor before stopping back on the 2nd on the way down!
Even the nice repairmen who spent hours trying to fix him Sunday night couldn’t rob Gimpy of his unique gimpy qualities—Monday morning, Gimpy was still mocking your choice of hotel floor!
But I rant about Gimpy.
By this time, the morning was young…and I had to prep the 14 scripts for the “Choose Your Own Disaster Fic” for their Saturday and Sunday readings. This required about 10 colour-coded tabs be marked and placed in each individual script. Mel-chan went to bed at around 1am.
At 4am, I triumphed over the tabs…and then proceeded to collapse onto the bed and dream of Mazinger Z in a tutu, waltzing with Captain Harlock down the streets of Crystal Tokyo. It must have been the corn nuts I’d eaten earlier. That had to have been it.
Ah, Saturday! Somehow rousing myself and Mel-chan up at around 10:30am, it was time for me to greet the gloriousness that was the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet! I celebrated by having five bowls of cottage cheese, a strip of bacon and a glass of orange juice. $15 well spent, if you ask me. ^^v
Well, after that…it was time to terrorize the masses. Yes, after months of posing, hemming, and getting measured by Sarcasm for the costume, I was ready to put on that black Delmo dress from the series “Agent AIKa” and become the crossdressing gimp-boy that was Michikusa.
Now the curious aspect of this costume was that I was technically not crossplaying. I was in fact cosplaying as a guy who carried around a pink kappa doll and would randomly crossdress in an episode. You’d be surprised at how many strange looks I was given when I tried to explain this aspect of my costume. The gaping peasants were probably just in awe of my well-toned, shaved legs, I’ll bet.
And speaking of shaved legs, all the suffering I had gone through in shaving them for the week prior to the Con paid off. With an excellently-fitting costume courtesy of Sarcasm, some great shoes provided by Andora, and the kappa doll courtesy of Vampy, I was the proud recipient of many strange looks! Wai! Go me!
From the sounds of it, a few otaku were caught grinning as they saw my legs in that low-cut skirt…and then they had a heart attack when they discovered that I was in fact not of the XX-chromosome persuasion. Further proof of the sexiness that is Chaos! Take that, Derwin Mak! This is the sort of thing that validates my “honourable bishie” status.
Or so my delusions of grandeur would like to claim.
The only drawbacks from the Michikusa cosplaying: chaffed feet from running around in those shoes all day long. And when you’ve got shaved legs exposed for the world to see, you suddenly become acutely aware of just how bloody cold the hotel’s AC is!!!
Well, soon enough it was time for the Confic 2 reading. Everyone assembled up in Havoc’s room, crowding on the floor and jostling for good spaces on the furniture. I received a number of cheers and screams of “Augh! My eyes are burning!!” as some glimpsed sight of me in the Delmo dress for the first time.
As far as I can tell, the reading went quite well given how it was only our second Confic reading, and this time it was a very experimental choose-your-own-adventure format that had us flipping across pages a lot. But the audience seemed to have a lot of fun getting to choose what the characters should do next. Not surprisingly, when given the option, Chaos was allowed to pick option “C: Kill Hysteria” when said uber kawaii moffet-chan barged into Chaos’ room.
Also not surprisingly, the first place everyone wanted to go to was Planet Hentai. Everyone wants to go there, to the place where everyone knows your name…and your breast size…and the colour of the panties you had been wearing 3 seconds ago.
The reading took about an hour, and we actually got a decent ending. No one got the Akiocar ending, which in fact was the easiest and most prolific one to select. The sadist in me was disappointed.
Yet there was no time to linger. Soon after the reading, it was lunch for me and then off to enter the truly chaotic fracas that was the Masquerade. And as incredible fortune had it, I was an early entry (#21), so unlike last year I wouldn’t be stuck backstage for hours upon hours. Genki genki monkey monkey lucky lucky!!
Poor Sarcasm (in a truly awe-inspiring “oh look, she decided to go and kick everyone’s asses this year” cosplaying as the CCS Clow card, Windy) was somewhere in the 80’s, I think. Well, I waited in the wings for a while, chatting with the other otaku clustered there. It’s one of those surreal moments when you’re sitting in a dress, in between a giant pig (Tonde Buurin—a really fantastic home-made costume done by Andrea Doolan!) and a giant Digirat.
In time I was called to dance in front of all the cheering fans out there…and get chased by Ruckus right off the stage as he tried to cop many a feel off me. Though it is nice to know that when the emergency presents itself, I can take a flying leap off the stage and actually land in pumps! Wai! ^^v
The evening was then capped off with the Jpop dance to end all Jpop dances, with grooving and sexy dancing all across the floor. Beans managed to tear me away from Mel-chan for a while and proceeded to demonstrate just how good she was at slam-dancing. The plastic surgeon does reassure me that he will be able to get my nose back to its original shape before the end of the month too.
Well, suffice to say 2 hours of Chaos dancing makes for one tired li’l fanboy. Mel-chan was kind enough to carry me back to our room, and put me into my flathead panda pyjamas before tucking me into bed.
Sunday was filled with a lot of leisure time. I spent most of it hanging out with my kappa plushie and Mel-chan, who took rather well to wearing my Neko-ears, while I went incognito in my neko-tail. Speaking of, there were a lot of notable incognito nekojin this year at the Con. A few Chobits Persocoms too, but there were a lot of simple tails & ears to be seen.
Methinks I started a trend when I wore the neko-ears and neko-tail from the Merle costume at AN01 last year. Ha! My influence spreads! Soon I’ll have everyone in Delmo dresses!
[We pause for a moment as the author suddenly has an all-too vivid mental picture of a 350 pound, unshaven guy in a skimpy black Delmo dress. Pain ensues.]
Okay, I’ve blocked that image from memory. In the afternoon, the second Confic reading was done, and this time we scored an Akiocar ending! Yes! I also got to demonstrate the wonders of the Asaba Sexy Dance during this particular reading too. It’s all about Chaos, baby!
Admittedly, running on a lack of sleep and overall exhaustion, Sunday was more a blur than anything. Outside of the Confic reading done (we did a lot of the extra scenes after the ending for those who wanted to hang back and hear the different scenarios), I recall a few notable things.
Such as Vampy getting her bosoms “signed” by Con uber-guests Steve Benet, Senno Knife & Doug Smith. I tell you, I could not stop grinning at the sight of all the signed doodles spread across her cleavage! Her boyfriend, Burn, wants a video of the signing (someone managed to catch it on camera, from what I hear!) and poor Doug Smith was blushing red the entire time he did his signing.
(This is further proof that the Studio Ironcat crew are as cool as it gets!)
And Donna, Servo’s girlfriend, becoming known as Cthulhu-no-miko, since she spent the entire Con with a chibi-Cthulhu plushie sitting on her head. Rumour has it she’ll be appearing with the Elder God next year to destroy any and all Cthulhu-no-miko wannabe’s who infringe on their soul-devouring at the next Con.
There was also much relaxing fun in the swimming pool, where Mel-chan graced me with happy bikini-clad fanservice! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and get clobbered by her giant squeaky hammer for having embarrassed her in this report. ;p
After a wonderful dinner, the whole gang of fanboys celebrated in our room with a Sake party. Then at around midnight, Mel-chan and I booted the whole lot of them out, hoarded the Sake to ourselves, danced badly to Jpop tunes in the Delmo dress, and passed out. Well, actually I did most of that. Mel-chan just took the incriminating photos to be used as blackmail for later.
o.O;; Wait…if those photo’s are for blackmail, I shouldn’t have told everyone that! Um…er…you never read that last paragraph, ne? Ne? NE?!?!?