BUT ANYWAYS! Yes, I had a nice time up there. I got to see Jenna and Becky again, I got to meet some new awesome people...and actually make a couple new LiveJournal buddies! Score! Kristen was a friend of Jenna's who was there in a kimono as "a feudal Japan anime extra"...and was actually pretty awesome! It's really too bad she craved for my violent demise for making her drive fast...and mistakenly going through a red light.... ^_^;; Sorry. Also~...I made a friend in the Artist Alley! I actually had met Chibi Toaster Studios at previous cons in the past. This girl gave me a Dan Hibiki magnet last year at Anime Central purely because I dressed as him...so I paid her patronage at Anime Central this year and also Jafax for it...and also because her art's not bad! Go look! Also up there I got to see my pal Kenmei Rokugatsu from Guardian Sun Studios again...and even commissioned her for a piece of art! ...but when I went back later...it turned out she left already...and I didn't even get to grab a print from her! ^_^; I'll e-mail you later, Roku.
Well...it started out simply enough--in Urd's basement till the wee hours of the morning, half-dead and dragging myself onward to finish work on my costume. Finally...completed...or as complete as I would hope for, I curled up in a blanket and fell asleep with a Pokémon Meryl (...or however you spell it) plushie for a pillow. 7:00, time to go. Two hours, one time zone, and many, many dead bugs imbedded in my car...and I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Jenna's place. After a quick application of make-up (Sharpie-made whiskers count as make-up, quiet), we were off...and, I really don't mean to...I'm not used to driving with people in the car and/or following me...but I was my normal in-a-hurry pizza delivery self, and trying...to get there in a rush. ^_^;; I barely made it through a couple stoplights before they went red, but unfortunately for one Kristen, driving the car following me whilst Jenna gave me directions...didn't make it through (legally). Yay for first impressions. ^_^;
Upon arrival at the con, our group stayed for something over a half-hour in the 90+ degrees talking with random groups of people as they pulled in. We saw Doug/"The Real Link" (aye, every thing on there is real...that's a real Master Sword he has sheathed on his back) and a Gene Starwind, plus a couple others. If you want pics of different costumes there, go patronize Kristen's Photobucket. Just tell her I said hi.
I had an all right time while there. This is the second time I've come out of Jafax saying that I enjoyed that convention better than I did Anime Central. I think just being smaller...it's more personal and friendly. While I don't mind big conventions...I'm more of a social person, getting to hang out with friends and enjoy the mild goings-on of the convention, instead of trying to race from event to thing, trying to get everything. ...and also, surprise, the food there was cheap! o_O Little Caesar's was something good for once...!
I got a lot there too...more than I did at Anime Central. I found a lot of great second-hand deals and other places that were selling things for cheap...and at one point, I won a "mystery DVD" for knowing how to spell "Honneamise"! ...I still haven't seen all of "Wings of Honneamise"...I should likely throw that in the VCR some time soon and finish it.... I picked "number one" instead of "number two", and number one turned out to be "Boogiepop and Others, Live-Action". Don't ask me if it's good or not, I haven't seen it yet...but please forgive me if I say that I'm a little wary...being it's live-action...and the anime fans in the crowd, I'm sure, share my hesitation.... ^_^; There was a booth called "Otaku Garage Sale" that was selling some stuff for a great price...though unfortunately more than last year (I picked up a "Mini Goddesses" DVD from there, ub3r condition, for about five bucks last year!!). I stopped by a couple times, perusing their selection...and I remember looking through some "manga-zines" that were in a pile, and looking at "What's Michael?" on the cover...and the guy said he would give it to me for a dollar. So...yeah, sure. ...but what I didn't know was that he meant that manga-zine...and the many ones that were beneath it too! o_O My bag suddenly got heavy....
The costume contest was okay...and I didn't realize how much I'd have liked to enter until it started and I realized I miss out on my chance. ...dangit. There were some entertaining skits...and a couple eyebrow-raising costumes! There was a full-sized, life-like, chocobo-ish thing called a "bear-something" (don't ask me the name...!) that got onstage. I don't know how they got that costume to work, but somehow, they recreated the giant bird. I hugged it at one point in the con. =)
The day eventually ended, everyone parted ways...and of course we stopped at a fast-food joint on the way back and ate while still in cosplay. It's not every day a Samurai Pizza Cat drops in and orders Burger King! Unusual washroom antics, discussions I'm not used to, and free fries ensued. Then finally...we all parted ways, and a friend of Becky's (...I think her name was Beth...?) provided me a place to stay for the night, Jenna included. They had a small chihuahua there that was literally the smallest full-sized dog I've ever seen. ...its name was "Chibi". Think of the cat you own...or a cat you know. I mean a normal-sized cat, not the blobby, fat and useless ones that do nothing. Okay...this dog was smaller than that. It very well could have been packaged up and sold as an action figure accessory. "Chibi, giant chihuahua! Perfectly suited to fight against your Batman action figure (sold seperately)." ...I'm Batman, you know. That night, a giant Shippo plushie I bought served as my pillow...and a surprisingly comfortable one!
The next day started out normally enough. I was woke up...and I didn't want to be. It was too earlyyyyyy...and the Eastern Time Zone is stupid and an hour ahead of my biological clooooock.... But I couldn't lie around forever--there was an anime con to be had! Hah hah!!
...that is, if I had my key. ^_^;; I was pressed for time on my departure the day before and couldn't readily find my keys. So I grabbed the spare key for the Corolla and brought that along--it was a car key attached to a big red plastic "Toyota" keychain. It wasn't meant to be fashionable. But somehow...between the hours of my arrival at the place and then...it had gone missing from my pocket. While we all took its disappearance lightly at first, eventually it took on a more serious note. Discussions were made of how in the world I'd make it out of there. My car key isn't normal--it has "technology" and a special microchip in it that opens the door and drives the car. You can't simply talk to a keysmith and have an "extra" made. ...dangit, technology, I don't like you sometimes.... >_< We thought to phone the Toyota dealers nearby and have them come out and get an extra key made...however much that would cost. Things were looking grim and nobody was happy about it. I went to the bathroom, and while in there I prayed. I just asked God to help us find that key.... We looked everywhere and went through the couch multiple times trying to find it, the bathroom, under the computer desk, everywhere. I asked Him to help us...and whatever His will was for this situation to just have it work out...somehow. My prayer was interrupted when I thought I heard somebody say, "Found it." I exited the bathroom and Jenna smiled and held up that car key with the red Toyota keychain. I walked forward...and hugged her. "Ohh, Beth found it, though!" So I walked over and hugged the person standing next to her...then it occurred to me, "Wait, you're Becky, not Beth." Then I walked over to Beth...and hugged her. And once again lightheartedness returned to our group.
Becky stayed behind that day, so just Jenna and I drove out. And that day seemed to pass quicker than the previous one! We attended a couple different "game shows" they held, including "Anime Feud" (guess the parody on the name!!) and "Anime Name-That-Tune". With Feud, I tortured one of Urd's daughter's, Fawn, while she was on-stage as a participant. I cheered for her and voted for her to be one of the people to work towards the grand prize. Her group ended up getting a mother lode of Pocky...but because she didn't like me, she didn't share. :( I then informed Jenna, "Uh oh~...someone needs a huuuu~g!" She gladly took my invitation and glomped Fawn. ...but...the thing about Fawn is that she actually is very, very violent. When I stood at their house to work on the costume...because I put my finger near a costume hat...she bit it. Hard. And the whole house and outside heard my yell. So~...after that, I got up and ran for my life. Plastic, cosplay swords will not protect you from...well, anything, really, but that also includes a miffed and psycho anime fangirl going after you, intent on shedding your blood.
With Name-That-Tune...Fawn stayed and was a participant in that one too...and also Jenna got in! It was interesting what different tunes people in the audience knew while others stayed clueless and couldn't believe they forgot the song after it was revealed. After all, the opening to "Dirty Pair Flash" sounds like a lot of different 80's stuff! And why was I the only one who brightened up when they started up the "Azumanga Daioh March" and only the drums were going? The host was right in front of me...and on a couple different occasions, I asked him if the song playing was Samurai Pizza Cats. "No." Others asked too! :D And at one point, two poorly skilled constestants were going against each other...and he played a bonus song. A symphony playing a powerful melody arose up. Then the choir came in. "Es--ca!! Flow--ne!! Es--ca!! Flow--ne!!" Aaaaaaand they didn't know...while the room was cracking up.... The only problem was I didn't understand what they were saying in the song, so while everyone was busting a gut laughing at them, I was one on the outside of the joke. ^_^;; Whoops....
I also (briefly) participated in a game tournament while there too. There was a "Capcom vs. SNK, Chaos" tournament and I entered...and was the ub3r mighty Dan Hibiki. I won my match, of course!! And got applause for it, because...dude, Dan pwns. Don't mess with Dan. Real men love Jesus...and they can also wear pink. PWN!! ...I would have stayed for the rest of the competition and potentially won...possibly...or at least gotten a mighty hefty challenge out of it all...but there was an event to go to instead. Game show!
While there, I did more business with art than I normally do! I commissioned a girl to do a pencil sketch of me in-costume...and it turned out nicely! She even drew a feudal Japanese style pizza parlor behind me in the background! XD I also got a piece from a girl that's apparently famous...her DeviantArt name is "Patches". About everyone knows I'm a Shippo fanboy (hush! chibi characters like him rule!), so I grabbed a print of this. I showed it to a couple people and I heard a comment of, "...oh my gosh, he's hot!" There was also a girl's art style I liked...who nobody seemed to be paying her much attention! Her studio name caught my attention: "Modesty Studios". At anime cons, you don't really see "Modesty" in art...I mean, c'mon, think of the average anime girl. x_x I looked at the brief selection of her art available...and I liked it! It...actually was "modest"! So with her cheap price, of course I commissioned her. :D I should get that camera soon...so maybe then I'll show off the art I received.
Before I knew it, the con was over...being finished up during ceremonies with another quick game show, "Anime Let's Make a Deal". I didn't even try and participate. When asking for an item, you should have seen how fast people's hands flew up.... Craziness...! ^_^; Then finally...Jafax was done and over. I got out with lots of nice merchandise, got to hang around with awesome, awesome people, and enjoyed myself in Michigan once again. Unfortunately, no, I didn't grab a digital camera like I originally had planned when I was going up there...but I did hang out with a couple people who had cameras...and were kind enough to post pictures on the interweb. :) So...I went to a couple different places while up there...including Fazoli's (...so that I could pose with pizza and get a picture opportunity), a supermarket, and Burger King...but what did I look like?
Kind of like....
I LOOK LIKE A DORK AND I KNOW IT!!! XD
...and also trying to fight "Club You to Death Lovely Angel", Dokuro-chan. ...that series is scary...and, like I did with Elfen Lied, I worry about the day it gets released here in America. x_x
...now I have to ask you...what's going on with the guy on the right?! I'm sorry...but I first saw this picture kind of cropped...but when I saw that big guy in it, I just started laughing. XD I mean...c'mon, look at that! That guy could get turned into an internet meme!
So, finally...I returned home back to my beloved Central Time Zone and northwest Indiana...where I decided to stop at Steak & Shake first. >_> ...in costume. Because I could!!!!!! :D!!!
But then I drove back home...but then realized I didn't have my key to open the door on me. Thankfully, Dad was awake, so I knocked on the door and got him to answer. He stopped when he opened the door and looked at me...in costume!!!!!!! "Excuse me, sir, can I help you?" Yes, Dad...I love you too. ;)