When we last left our heroines, they were on their way to the Funimation booth to line up for an autograph from their very favoritest voice actor, Yuki Kaji-kyun. (I learned about that particular "honorific" from Farewell, My Dear Cramer, and I've been resisting the temptation to use it, but then Mamoru Miyano used it on Yuki Kaji on his blog just yesterday, so I gave in.) When we arrived, he was already there signing autographs! Oh no, I hope we aren't too late!
After asking around a bit, we found the guy in charge of letting people in line, and we got him to scan our ticket! I asked if we could both wait in line, we promise we're just getting the one autograph, but he was adamant--one ticket, one person in line. I should point out here (I don't remember if I have before) that the ticket was procured by Cecille, who had a miraculous inspiration to check all the autograph policies right in the nick of time and managed to get the very last one for this session. She very graciously gave it to us, because her love of Yuki Kaji is only an extension of ours, and she knows full well that if there was only one ticket for a Hikaru Midorikawa autograph, we would all agree that it was hers.
Anyway, I was the one holding the ticket when he scanned it (it was a digital one on my iPad), so when he said just one person, I shoved my iPad at Athena and said, "You go." The guy didn't seem too happy about that, but I got out of line and Athena moved past him, so there wasn't really anything he could do. I didn't go too far, of course--I just followed Athena from the outside of the line-marking rope.
There wasn't really a "line," per se, though--maybe just one or two people ahead of Athena. The first person Athena encountered was the Funimation staffer, who asked who the autograph should be made out to. Athena asked if she could get two names, and this staffer was much nicer and said sure no problem, as long as it's just on one poster. Athena gave her our names, and she said, "You're translators, aren't you?" !!!! We're famous! Will this help get Kaji-sempai to notice us? (He's only a metaphorical sempai, for illustrative purposes.) The staffer said, "I follow you on Twitter!" Athena, flustered at the prospect of...well, everything, really, because this is one of those things that gets you really excited and really nervous and really anxious about it going well and then there's the dealing with the staffers and sometimes they're nice and sometimes they're very stern and it's all very flurrying. (I'm pretty sure that's not a correct usage of that word, or it won't be until we evolve it.)
Anyway, Athena said we're not on Twitter, by which she meant, "Yes, technically we're on Twitter, but we almost never go there." Neither of us really had the presence of mind to know for sure, but we're afraid we may have confused her, and Athena doesn't remember if she was able to clarify before suddenly she was talking to Eren Jaeger's English dub voice, Bryce Papenbrook. (Yup, he's Eren and Meliodas, just like Kaji-kyun. And of course the autographs were more Attack on Titan oriented, because that's the much bigger property.) He had the memo from the staffer, and we don't know if it was a reference to getting an autograph to share, or if he heard our extremely brief exchange about translating, but he said, "Teamwork, I like it!" Then he asked how to pronounce my name, because he was the one who wrote "To Athena & Alethea," which...I mean, we're happy that the autograph is personalized, but we just love Yuki Kaji so much that we wanted to make sure he saw our names. As it is, we're pretty sure he didn't even look at them, but we're willing to bet that he was pretty nervous, being a main attraction of a giant convention.
He wasn't so nervous as to be completely oblivious, though. He at least made sure to look at the people he was signing autographs for. He looked at Athena, and we don't know if it was her Dale hat (we were dressed as Kingdom Hearts Chip and Dale, remember), or the fact that he saw a girl with the same face standing immediately behind her that had him exclaim, "Wow!" We seem to remember a gesture he made like putting on a hat, so we think it was the hats. Come to think of it, he does a lot of traveling, so maybe he's used to pantomiming words he can't immediately come up with in the right language. Anyway, then he asked, "Futago?" and then he corrected himself, "Twins?" Athena replied, "Sou desu," but she's not sure if he heard her or not, because there was a lot of ambient noise, and she was very nervous, and she's already pretty quiet as it is. And then he handed her the poster and said, "Enjoy!" And she probably said, "Arigatou gozaimasu," and then it was all over.
Soooo it wasn't super magical or anything, but he was still very nice. And Athena was like two feet (or fewer!) away from him! And we have a poster that he touched! ...Being a fangirl does make you sound like you might be a few cards shy of a deck (this metaphor brought to you by the fact that Yuki Kaji plays Ace in Final Fantasy: Type-0, a character whose weapon is a deck of cards). Like all those girls in Disney's Hercules. But it's the best we can do sometimes. I admit, I feel a little bit like Ariel, but we don't have time to worry about it too much. And if your very favorite voice actor only has time to say three words to you, those aren't bad ones to go with. I mean, we get asked if we're twins all the time, but that usually helps people to remember us better.
After that, it was time to finally get back to the Yukine cosplayer, who had been trying to meet up with us for an hour or so. I had told her the previous day that if she joined us after the Seven Deadly Sins panel, we'd take her around and introduce her to some of our editor friends. She had told us she hasn't learned Japanese, but she wants to get into the industry. So we were like, "Well, you can't be a translator obviously, but maybe our editor friends can give you some tips on what you should study, etc."
By the time we were all together, our Kodansha editor had disappeared, so we went to the Yen Press booth instead, where we got to hear some pretty interesting insight into the editing aspect of things. I think my favorite part was when he said, "I don't want to scare you off, but you should know we're all overworked." We could relate only too well. The pirates who think the legal distributors aren't passionate enough are just... Yeah. But now I don't remember most of what was said. Then we took the cosplayer to see our Kodansha editor, and since both Kodansha and Yen Press like their editors to know Japanese, we said we'd take her over to Seven Seas, because they don't care. (We'd been getting emails from an editor asking about things that emphasized this opinion of them. This is how we discovered that somehow not only Wikipedia, but the My Monster Secret wiki itself, lists Yuka's name as Yuika, and we're like, "How on earth?" So our editor, not knowing Japanese, had to email and confirm. But man, those wiki-writers! There's furigana in this series, people! It's not even hard!)
The problem was, we didn't know what anybody at Seven Seas looked like, so we didn't know who to introduce ourselves to. Fortunately, that's where our Kodansha editor had temporarily disappeared to, so she said, "I was just talking to so-and-so. Go tell him I sent you!" So we went and talked to him, and somehow got into a discussion that ended up at translation vs. interpretation, and not in the sense of the former deals in text while the latter deals in the spoken word. While this was going on, an industry person we knew from the internet came along and when identities were revealed he was shocked to discover that we really are two people. And we were like, "What did you think?" and he was like, "I don't know, split personalities?" and we were like (we didn't say this one out loud), "Please, it would obviously be more of an imaginary friend scenario." Incidentally, the latter scenario was initially put forth by Athena, who would be the imaginary friend if there was in fact only one of us, because Alethea is the one who does all the real-world (if the internet counts as the real world) interacting. We told this industry person that we were thinking of going to his panel, so now we were more obligated to go.
This is where the Yukine cosplayer decided she was satisfied, and we parted ways. We went back to the Yen Press booth to see if our usual boss was there, and she was! She gave us a rubber band for our signed Attack on Titan poster, and she said she was glad we were showing the cosplayer around, because it's important for people in the industry to help each other out.
We wandered back to the Kodansha booth right when they were wrapping up an autograph session with the producer of Devils' Line, so there were a bunch of Sentai Filmworks people standing around. We hovered a little bit, and one of them noticed us and asked, "Are you interested in Devils' Line?" and we answered, "We translated Devils' Line for you!" and then the guy who runs all their panels was like, "You're the Nibleys!" We're famous! Then they gave us tickets to the autograph signing for the dub cast of the series, which we were interested in going to because part of why we agreed to do that series to begin with is that it was going to be a simuldub, and now that we'd seen several dub clips, we were interested in hearing if the cast had anything to say about how the dialogue was written.
Unfortunately, we couldn't find the location for the signing, so we missed it. Not from lack of trying, though. Instead, we ended up in a panel where they were talking about body positivity and other such cosplay issues. The people on the panel were all super nice, so it was a neat thing to sit in on. I think the main takeaway from it was don't be a hater. Cosplay is about showing love of a character, and anybody can cosplay anybody, regardless of size, shape, color, age, etc., and no, you don't have dibs.
But that reminds us that we did not tell about...so every day of the convention, there was a professional Japanese cosplayer at the Kodansha booth, posing with congoers. One time we walked by the booth when there was nobody in line, so our Kodansha friend (he's not our editor on anything, but he's probably still our boss, but he's also a friend) yells at us, "Nibleys! Come get a picture!" So we posed with Kaname[STAR] in his Saruhiko costume, and we were dressed as Donald and Goofy. It was fun, but weird. But Kaname[STAR] is a very handsome man.
Anyway, I don't really have a good cliffhanger this time, but to be continued.
Today I'm thankful for Cecille getting us the very last Yuki Kaji autograph ticket, having a signed Attack on Titan poster, being noticed by so many people, finishing work today, and getting to hear about the editing side of manga publishing.