Posts Tagged ‘cosplay’

Kyuuka Picnic Review

June 30, 2010

 

 

Kyuuka was a picnic held by Tsubasacon. The point was promote as a sort “reunion” for attendees of Tsubasacon.

Location/Weather

The park is a very nice place with several nice places to set up and things to look at, but I felt they got a bad part of it. The location was very out of the way and several of attendees wondered the park for a bit before we discovered it. The logic for choosing this spot was that cosplayers might be embarrased to be out in public in costume, so instead they decided to hide who they are in the back of the park. That’s a negative view of things, but I’m just a negative person.

The event used a gazebo in up on a hill. The first problem with this was the up on a hill part. You had to walk up and down the hill to get around to the parking lot and any flat area for the activities. Add in the heat from the day and it really took it out of you. The gazebo itself wasn’t very good for the event either. It was not big enough to allow to many people in and it had only one small table to put food on.

Food

Everyone had been asked to bring some food to event. In retrospect this was overkill as most of the food wasn’t eaten and was taken home.  There was several nice dishes though.  Several different desserts were provided and drinks were provided.

I brought cocktail sausages cut to look like octopuses, squids, and crabs then cook a little; Naruto rolls, lunch meat, cheese slices, and seaweed wrap in little whirls (it was very gross actually); Usagi Ringo, apples cut to look like rabbits; and some pickled vegetables. I took almost all of it home, except for what I and a friend ate.

Activities

There was a series of games were played to win a pass to the con. The games were, to me, jueivinile games. Stuff like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and ‘Kick the Can.’  I didn’t bother paying any attention any of these, but I’m sure everyone involved had a fun time. 

There was also a cosplay phootshoot for anyone who was in cosplay.  Basically the cosplayers posed and had their picture taken nearby.  There were a few people with their own cameras and one person with the picnic with a camera.  I don’t really understand the point of this scheduled photoshoot.  There wasn’t any special set up for the shoot and I don’t think prints were going to made for any of the cosplayers, so why bother scheduleing the photoshoot.  I beileve they were hoping people would be cosplaying from the same series, but that didn’t happen.  To me it’s just another example of people acting like cospla, and cosplayers, are the most amazing thing in the world.

There was also a raffle to support Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Tri-State Area.  There was several nice items: an autographed Ouran High School Host Club wall scrool, a Haruhi Suziyma statue and pins, Kingdom Hearts bag, a signed FFXIII posters, and a few more items.  There was also a large selection of manga to win.  Three winners were pulled and told they could keep as much manga as they could carry.  I was one of these people.  I was follwed to my car by a group waiting for me to drop something so they could claim it.  I carried 37 volumes to my car without dropping any of them. 

To think I went to this instead of my local gaming store for Free RPG Day.

Anime Punch: Armageddicon Review

April 30, 2010

 

Another weekend, another convention. This time Anime Punch: Armageddicon on April 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been to this con a number of times before, staff all of them, but missed last year’s. Once I again I helped out with staff and ran some panels for them.

I like Anime Punch cause of how they try to be different in both what events they run, how they run them, how they run the con and how they interact with attendees. They have a mission statement and style all. They strive to be anime only, in fact not allowing any non anime cosplay into the cosplay contest. They also are the “college age” con, meaning they like to be academic and to throw parties.

Unfortently between working the con and my legs which hurt like all get out I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted. 

Vendors Room/Artist Alley

I spent most of my time working in the vendor room helping out the vendors. I wandered in on Thursday night during set up to see what was going on and who was going to be there and just ended up staying most of the weekend. The staff they had there to run things had never worked the dealers room, or any part of a con before, so I moved in to show how to do right. Humble aren’t I.

The room was pretty nice. Nice wide alleys that had plenty of room for people to maneuver through. Good selection of different vendors. though three vendors didn’t show up to the con so it had some noticeably empty ares. Kind of nice, but there were some glaring problems with how things were run that I told the con chair after the con that I couldn’t stand it and I was going to help him run a more efficient vendor room next year.

They quite a few artist around the lobby area. Selling various things from fan art, original art, comics, jewelry, hand made plushies, dice bags, key chains, buttons, hats, wood work, and more. Pretty nice lay out too.

I got two skectch cards from two of the artists. A C.C. from Code Geass and Kanami from Full Metal Panic.

Panels

Panels at AP are always full of plenty of educational and intellectual discussions. That’s one of the bases for the con.

I ran two panels for the con: Anime on Television and Recurring Themes and Symbolism in Anime. The Anime on Television panel was very interesting in the fact that I think I was the youngest one in the room. Really hadn’t had to many moments like that at anime cons since they are mostly a younger crowd. It went pretty well, mostly just sharing stories about what we all had seen on television and where you can find it TV now a days.

The themes and symbolism one I wasn’t happy with. I wanted to do a whole presentation of them, but I never really got around to doing as much research I wanted. I was able to define themes and symbolism at the start and then was able to go over the few of them that I do know and let the audience bring up different ones they could think of. Personally I felt the panel was under par for me, but when I went to end the panel a few minutes early since people were showing up for the next panel and were being a bit distracting I had few people who were disappointed since they were really liking the discussion. That felt nice.

I got to see the other panels, one on the mangaka Shirow (creator of Ghost in the Shell), Japanese Mythos, and Anime Online. The Shirow panel was small with just the host, myself, and a vendor and his wife there. Still very nice got to learn about the man and his projects. Made me want to go get some of his works, which is really the best result you could get.

The Japanese Mythos panel was kind of train wreck in some ways. I’m not sure what happen but the staff members who ended up running it really didn’t know what they were going to talk about or even that much of the topic. At first they pulled up an audience member who was familiar with the topic and talk for a little bit about it. This was good. Then there ended up being three staffers to help her with the panel. That wasn’t so good. You had different panelist calling on different people for questions. One of them was really bad about rambling on about something not quite on topic and not really having a clear point for his rant. When a few people left the room they actual stopped them to ask why they were leaving. While the unprepared part I could leave with cause they had found a solution to it; it quickly delved into a case of too many cooks ruining the soup.

The Anime Online panel I had thought was one I was suppose to do but wasn’t, long story which isn’t too bad. What did happen is this panel and the Anime Industry panel which was suppose to be going on in the other panel room merged. It became a nice talk about the place of fan subs, history of such things, the effect the internet is having on the anime industry, and how people felt about that. All in all very good.

There were plenty of others I wish I got to go to but wasn’t able to.

Guests

Brad Swaile was the main voice acting guest, since the other one Patrick Seitz got sick right before the con and couldn’t come. Got to see Brad back at Colossalcon so I wasn’t as interested in going to his panels as I had been then. Of course working the con does cut back on your time to do such things too. I went to an interview panel they had with Brad where an internet show host interviewed him. Only got to see part of it since I had to leave part way through for business related to another con I’m part of. But the guy was to me kind of asking the same old kind of questions you hear at guest panels so it kind wasn’t that big of a deal for me anyways.

After the panel I escorted Brad to the con suite they had for autograph signings. Ended up pulling along most of the audience from the panel too. Helped keep the line orderly, took pictures of people with Brad, and generally stayed out of the way of things. Got to hear all the questions people asked him and see the different things they had him in sign. Pretty fun too.  Got to hear the potato chip line from Death Note again.  After everyone else had left I got my autographs then. I also got him to do a sketch card for me of his character Moose from Ranma ½. Moose turns into a duck by the way and that’s what he drew.

As always they brought in a number of college professors who have done research on anime and anime fandom. It’s part of their attempts to make cons more intellectual. I only got to hear one of them, Lawerence Eng, talk about anything. They do the kind of panels that really make you think and you learn something from them, so I’m usually kind of annoyed when I miss them.

Jimmy Raggs and The Projectile Style of Funk Nasty Freshness was a local band that was written a number of sons on anime and anime fandom along with knowing a couple of anime classics. I only really got to hear about two songs from them between things I had to do. I got to hear “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson and “Mushroom Samba” from Cowboy Beebop. I really enjoyed both and wish I had gotten to hear more.

There was also a DJ from Japan, but I’m not a raver and didn’t care other than thinking it was someone neat to have.

Gaming

They had a pretty nice video game. Lot’s of stations. Though they had no Dynasty Warriors Gundam, so I played nothing. It was very standard kind of faire, but done very nicely and lot’s of it though. They do have what they call collective gaming where they take a simple game with few choices and have an audience decide what chooses to make. Didn’t make it to that either.

They had a table top gaming room next to the video game room. It didn’t fair was well. There was a Magic tournament, two LARPS, a Gundam model game, and Maid the RPG. I played nothing and the room looked vacant every time I was there, even when there was several people in the room due to the amount of empty space. It’s a good start for the room, having tried to do something similar at the con two years ago, I want to see this become more though.

Con Suite

One of the coolest things that the con takes pride in is their con suite. Free food is always loved at cons. When the food is good and includes some nice sushi, doubly so. It was run by a local family who took pride in their work. They always made sure there was food and drinks in the room, played music, had a photo shoot set up, and had an art wall where con goers could draw on provided paper and then place on the wall. The room was very big too.

Most commomn series cosplay: didn’t really see any one series that really stood out

Comomon cosplay: again just the usual several Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Soul Eater, Final Fantasy

Favorite cosplays: Char’s custom Zaku, Spice and Wolf group, Ester and Able from Trinity Blood, Yoite from Nabari No Ou

All and all a nicely run con. The only reason I might not come back next year is to save money to go to another con the same time. Why does April have such awesome cons all month long?

This is a great con for anyone looking for an anime focused con, a con with lot’s of academia and deep thought, great parties, and a relax atmosphere.

A&G Ohio 2010

March 31, 2010

 

For the thrid year in a row I’ve gone to A&G Ohio.  Spent the weekend with a sore back and leg though which cut down on my fun and willingness to do things though. 

A&G had done some really great things for their attendees this year.  Like arrange for free breakfast for whoever stayed at the hotel and cheap lunch and dinner food at the hotel’s restaurant.  Once again they were also very good about getting their schedule out early. 

Panels and Atrium

The con had a panel room and a raised area in the lobby where they did panels.  Putting panels in the atrium had some merit but mostly didn’t work out for the most part.  On one hand it allowed a lot of people to be there and let people check out what was going on easier than in a regular one.  On the other hand there were a lot of distractions of doing it there in the open with everyone going around and the fountain behind you.  There was another room that was barely used too which they could have done a few more things in it. 

There was also lounge room.  Which was several round tables set out for people to relax in.  They had a couple of games in there to play.  I think Apples to Apples was played almost constantly in the room.  They also had popcorn and cotton for sale in there.  The panel room got moved into here on Saturday night cause the panel room AC was out which worked for a few things.  This was a good idea and I’d like to see it back, but it didn’t get used as well as it could have since they had only decided to do it at the last second. 

Vendors Room/Artist Alley

Vendors room was smaller than last year, but had a nice feel to it without for the most part being to cramp. Though there was only one small path into the back and it was blocked most of the weekend which meant when I saw it I’d turned around and headed back out. I got to do all the looking around I wanted and got the things I wanted, it just could have been done a little better maybe.

They also, and I’m shocked to find myself saying this when compared to most other vendor rooms in most other cons, too many anime and manga dealers. Now I really buy most of my anime and manga at cons and it’s what I’m most interested in getting at cons so I like to see a few, but I also like to see other dealers too. I couldn’t really name you what else I’d like to have seen, except maybe more gaming both video and table top, but I’m sure others could suggest things.

Artist Alley had a several cool artists.  Including someone who worked in metal.  Though there were a few artists who didn’t show it was all very nice.  They had a few of the artists up on the atrium which helped to prevent the walkways from being to crowded.  I do have to say it wasn’t to bad to walk by the artist, not much of a jam. 

Guests

They had a great guests list, but it was not utilized very well.  By this I mean there were guests who didn’t, as far as I know, didn’t do any panels or in fact anything. 

There VA guests were Chris Patton, Troy Baker, and D.C. Douglas.  Patton and Baker had both been in anime series that I’ve really like, but Douglas has really just done video games none of which I’ve played.  They were all really great though. 

I attended both Patton and Baker’s  personal panels.  Patton did one called “Chris Patton Shares too Much” where you could ask him any question and he would answer them.  He really did share too much and I am now scared for life.  Though I was already scared so it’s not a big deal.  Baker’s panel was about video games and though I’m not as big a video game player as most of other people it was really cool to see him and other people talk about stuff they were passionate about.  I’ll always remember that panel as the one where the firm alarm went off and we had to exit the building, where we kept talking till we could go back in and continued the panel. 

They had the head of a small game company at the con, this is the one who I don’t know if he did anything.  They had the creator of rebuilt semi to look like the Decepticon Motormaster there to look at.  It was cool to go look at and take pics of and I got to talk to him a little, though at least one Q&A of how he did it would have been nice.  Also of note was that they washed it Friday before the con which cause it to rain the next two days. 

I think the con needs to work on figuring out things to have guests to do and not just expect them or attendees to come up with ideas. 

Music Acts

The big music act I really loved was the nerdcore show with Dualcore,  Shammers, and Lefthand on Saturday.  I had meet Dualcore before at LANville and really like his stuff.  When I saw him at the con he remember me from before and he was happy to see me.  I think he just liked seeing a familiar face.  I hung out with him on and off during the weekend and help with his table of goods to sell.  This was my first time see Shammers and Lefthand, but I’m a fan now too.  They’re a lot of fun to watch and listen too. 

This was the third time being at a con with the Protomen, but only the first time I’ve bothered to go to one of their shows.  They do a Mega Man rock opera that has many die-hard fans.  I sat in the back and listen for a while before Troy Baker’s panel.  I liked what I heard, but since this was Act II on Saturday I don’t think I completely got it.  I need to hear them all the way through at once to really make up my mind, but they are of interest now. 

Gavin Goszka felt sorry for.  He’s talented and does some great music, but all his performances were in the atrium.  Now he played more slow and calming songs so it was nice background music to have in the lobby, but he didn’t really get to show himself off and have a captive audience.  He had a performance on each day and personally I think they should have at least on one day moved him into the lounge for better atmosphere. 

Video Game Rooms

They had three video game rooms and lot’s of systems. The rooms had the usually fare of fighting, FPS, racing, and music games kind of games you have. They do bring in several old school systems and had a game called Mugen projected onto a wall to play. My one really problem was having Rock Band in the one room I played in. So much noisier than that other two.

I actual played in the video game room. I got to try out Dynasty Warriors Gundam. I’m a big Koei games fan and had been wanting to check out this series.

I though there was suppose to be a Golden Eye for the N64 tournament, but never saw any signs for it. Of course I didn’t ask either so it’s really my fault.

Cosplay

Most Common Series Cosplay: Axis Power Hetalia (I think anyways, I don’t really know a lot about that series)

Common Cosplay (thought there was not very many of anyone series like other cons): Bleach, FMA, Kingdom Hearts, Mega Man, Final Fantasy

Personal Faves: Roya and Elemda from Kiba, Cowboy Beebop group, Quailman from Doug, Piccolo from DBZ, and two Eikos from Final Fantasy IX

With my sore back and seeing the same characters over and over again I found myself not takeing as many pictures as usually.  I just couldn’t bring myself to raise my camera up to get yet another picture of Naruto or Cloud.  Also chasing down the good ones just seemed like to much work, so I missed a few I had wanted pictures of.

Final Thoughts

A&G Ohio has an idea of what it wants to be.  It has a feel to it and a style that they try to capture and for the most part do.  They try to be different and do their own thing which is something I respect and like about them.  It’s just that it’s not the kind of thing I really want out of a con.

They’re very big on parties and party like atmosphere.  They’re very open with what all they’ll cover and like silly events.  Not my kind of thing, but I know a lot of people who like that kind of thing, so if you like cons for the big get together and fun things to do kind of feel this might be the con for you.

Convention Game: Punch the Vash

January 31, 2009

Theres a little game I like to play when I go to conventions. I learned it from my older brother, who was told of it by his friend that invented it. It’s called ‘Punch the Vash.’

 

My brother’s friend was at a con and needed to kill some time, so while waiting in the lobby he decided to punch every Vash the Stampede cosplayer he saw. Not punch them hard enough to hurt them or anything just enough to make them stop and wonder what was going. When they stop he’d just say ‘nice costume.’ Since hearing about it I’ve taken to playing this game as well. Oh and by the way drinking was involved in the invention of the game.  Just thought I’d put that out there. 

 

It’s actually a lot of fun to do; it messes with people easily.  You just walk up to a Vash give him, or her sometimes, a little tap and say either ‘nice costume’ or just walk off without saying anything.  I’m not sure which causes more confusion, just walking off or complimenting their costume.  It’s a strange conversation started and the reactions you get, from total confusion to laughing with you about it are priceless.

 

Playing this game I’ve gotten to see a lot of different Vashs cosplayers out there. I’ve seen female Vash, dark Vash, Vashs’ with Kuroneko-sama, with and without his gun, with two guns, with glasses, solo Vash, Vash with other cosplayers from Trigun, Vash with cosplayers from other series, Vash with and with out blonde hair sticking up.

Now I don’t always get a photo of the Vash, but I do try and get one obligatory Vash pic per con at least. Also do you know what the most common Vash pose is?

 

The best reaction I’ve gotten from one of the Vashs was one who ran out of the hotel lobby when I walked towards him, fist raised slightly. He came back in and he ran back out two more times before he finally made it past me and I didn’t feel like giving chase. He was saying stuff like “the bounty’s not worth it” and “I’m not the real Vash.” I caught up to him later when he was sitting in a circle with some others drawing. Gave him a small tap and walked off.

For all those who feel like playing in this little game I’ve created a form to help keep track of Vashs you’ve punched. I’ve created this to help me remember which ones I’ve done cause there are times I see a Vash and can’t remember if I’ve punched him or not yet. I sometimes hold my fist in mid air while I try and remember if I’ve punched this one yet.   So usually I give them a punch just to be sure I got them.   

 

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