Also, we watched Netflix's Castlevania series and thought it was pretty awful. We stopped after two episodes, because most of the dialogue in the second episode seemed to consist of "how can I get the f- or s-word in this sentence?" with bonus points if they could get both, and the rest of it was info-dumping. I know they've done studies to show that people who know swear words have higher vocabularies, but they have yet to prove that they have better dialogue-writing skills. (We've had some frustration with subtitles lately, too, that were written by people who seemed all too eager to throw vulgar words into the script (and of course that wasn't the only problem with them).) That and the fact that the story and characters were cliched at best...
They did succeed in one thing, though: getting us to give money to the Castlevania franchise. We downloaded the first three games to our DS this morning. Ah, memories.
Anyway. I still need to finish our Anime Expo report!
When we met up with Cecille on Monday, we told her of our autograph woes, and she volunteered to try to get an autograph ticket for us. I will admit that that was part of our underhanded scheme in even bringing it up, but we were still touched by her willingness to wake up ridiculously early for us, because come on, if we wanted the tickets that badly, couldn't we have sacrificed our own sleep? We would have had to sacrifice more of it, though, because we had a two-hour commute, and she was staying at a nearby hotel with shuttles, so we gladly accepted her offer, but insisted that she only do it if it wasn't too much of an inconvenience. Like if she stayed up partying or something and couldn't get out of bed, don't even worry about it.
Well, on Tuesday morning, I looked at my phone and we already had a text from her saying she was in line (I think it came at about 5:45). So now we were eager to get to the convention to keep her company, or something. I don't know; I just know it made me eager to get over there and back her up. Nevertheless, the bus runs on its own schedule, and it was a holiday, so all we could do was hurry up and wait. While we were on the bus, the ticket line opened up, and Cecille made it to the front of the line only to discover that, once again, the Miyu Irino tickets had sold out. Apparently some fans had slept in the line that night. I can't really say it's unfair, but more and more I am hating this camp-out culture. Still, we didn't have our hearts set on an autograph, so we weren't too broken up about it (and we kind of expected it).
But Cecille felt really bad about it, saying she should have woken up earlier, and we were like, "No, you sacrificed enough sleep for us." She did have a chance to make it up to us, or so she thought, when she got an alert from Anime Expo to the Premier Fans (she always gets a Premier Fan badge; we never do, because we're industry) telling them to hurry over to the Premier Lounge, because none other than Miyu Irino was going over there for a Q&A at nine. This reaffirmed our theory that Irino-kun was dying to get closer to the American fans and find out more about them. (Okay, maybe not dying to, but interested in.) We were still on the bus. All we could do was wait for it to get to our stop.
When it did, we rushed over to the Premier Lounge and discovered, much to our lack of surprise, that they would not let us in. If we stood at the door and strained our ears, we could hear what was going on inside, but not well enough to make anything out. So we sent Cecille back into the lounge because then we could wait outside "for her" in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him as he left. But they snuck him out the back, so we were thwarted in that design. Oh well.
We spent the rest of the morning hanging out with Cecille, mostly in the dealers' hall. We took her around with us to say hi to our publishing people, and tempted her with manga. I don't know why exactly, but we kept looping around and ending up back at that booth. One time, Cecille ended up staring at the gigantic Sailor Moon poster they had on display (it was more than one story high, I'm pretty sure), so our boss pulled out Land of the Lustrous and said that's what he recommended for Sailor Moon fans. She was about to buy it when we said, "Can't we just comp that?" So she got it for free! Tadah! (We also scored her a copy of Noragami 2.) This was when we brought up the thing about how everyone seems to be so excited about how the gems have no gender, but it's not even really mentioned, and the boss was like, "That's what makes it so great! We need subtle representation like that." We came to the conclusion that it was basically an example of how people are who they are and nobody cares if it's a boy thing or a girl thing, and that's definitely a concept we can get behind.
At the nearby Pony Canyon booth, they were selling some super awesome t-shirts that had Levi from Attack on Titan and Tatara from Welcome to the Ballroom each striking a ballroom dance pose. I love the concept, because I like crossovers in general, and I especially like them when they're official (which this was), and best of all, it was a popular character from a super violent anime doing ballroom dance. And since we didn't get to buy and ocarina grab bag, we figured we might as well each get one. It wasn't until after we bought it that I discovered the back of the shirt has the text "Dance is a battle." Awesome.
So we went back to the Kodansha booth to show them off. The boss was like, "That's so cool, where did you get those?" and our editor (the one we never got to talk to because he was always there, but too busy) said, "Right over there." I think this is when we may or may not have gotten the Kodansha people to give us Sailor Moon contraband. But I know this is when Deb Aoki showed up, and we started having multiple conversations at once. Aoki-san asked what we've been translating these days, and we were like, "What haven't we been translating these days!" and Athena went on to give specific examples, while I remembered my misgivings about the digital titles and expressed my concerns to the boss. I said, "Actually, there's a lot of stuff we're not translating. We didn't get to translate Chihayafuru, we didn't get to translate the new Robico series..." The boss nodded sympathetically and said that the digital titles are all localized in Japan, and basically confirmed that we need to talk to people on that side of the...um...whatever it is thing and let them know we need more work. And then I was like, "Actually, I think we need less work..." And we once again got into our constant dilemma of having too much work to do and yet wanting to do all of it and more. I think this is where the boss said we deserved to take a sabbatical.
The last thing worth mentioning is that the Pony Canyon booth was hosting an autograph signing by the producer of Welcome to the Ballroom. They'd had the director and character designer earlier, but I'm guessing they had already gone back to Japan by then, because they were in the middle of making an anime series. But anyway, the production team all seemed really cool, so we figured we might as well get an autograph. We bought a set of Welcome to the Ballroom clear files which conveniently came with three, so we gave one to Cecille and each took one for ourselves. And since we bought that and the t-shirts, we had three autograph tickets as well. Perfect!
When we got to the front of the line and waited for our turn, one of Producer Kinoshita's entourage was there, and he asked which of Kinoshita-san's series I liked. Fortunately, we had just finished watching Attack on Titan Season 2, because other than Attack on Titan, we hadn't seen any of his work (I think he also did Haikyu!, but the first episode of that failed to grab us a few years ago). So we talked about that for a little bit, and how the opening sequence makes me tear up, and then Cecille asked who played the Beast Titan, because if the rumors were true then she might be interested in watching it. Having seen the series, we did recognize the voice, but because we so rarely watch anime anymore and there are so many new voice actors and we don't have the mental energy to go through our list to see who matches (at least not in the short period of time these characters are talking), we didn't know. We would have known anyway, but we were watching it on our old CRT TV (it's theft-proof!), so the picture quality wasn't good enough for us to read the credits. So I asked the guy we were talking to. He didn't know, and told me to ask the producer.
So while Mr. Kinoshita was signing my clear file (he drew a bowtie!), I asked him who played the Beast Titan. And he paused for a second and said he forgot. It was some famous voice actor, he said. (Meanwhile, if this voice actor knew about this exchange, I can imagine him being like, "...Hey!") He looked around at the rest of his entourage and nobody knew off the top of their head, but the one who seemed most like his assistant pulled out her phone as if maybe to look it up. A little while later, I don't know if he remembered or if his staff somehow got the message to him without my notice, he goes, "Koyasu-san!" And we were all like, "Oohhhh, Takehito Koyasu!" And Athena and I didn't feel so bad for not identifying him right away. But anyway, it turns out the rumors were true and now Cecille may or may not take the effort to watch Attack on Titan Season 2.
Then we took a picture together, and we went on our merry way. We found a place to sit and eat, and we chatted a little while longer. Then Cecille had to go line up for the concert she was going to, and we were back to deciding if we wanted to stick around (there was one of those manga symposiums they did last year with a topic that was sure to make us roll our eyes) or go home and work on UQ Holder!. After checking our email in the industry lounge and seeing if there was anything interesting in the entertainment hall, the idea of finishing work and getting a decent night's sleep won out, and we went back home.
So overall, it was a pretty fun convention, with kind of a bittersweet feel to it...which is not unusual. We always simultaneously get a greater sense of belonging and a greater sense that we are outsiders. Like bats. Or something. But anyway, we have some super awesome t-shirts to wear, next time we do anything where we'll be out and about. Oh! and we told the boss that we would be at San Diego Comic-Con this year, and he told us that Yumi Sukemune will be back to give her presentation again, so we can give the full report after Comic-Con.
...And we just took a major timeout from finishing this post to look at the Comic-Con schedule. Not that I had anything else to say. Today I'm thankful for super cool new t-shirts, getting to play the old Castlevania games, Cecille being so kind as to wake up early to try to get autograph tickets for us, having some Reese's Stuffed with Pieces to look forward to later, and getting to watch Welcome to the Ballroom yesterday.