The main thing we wanted to do Sunday was attend the Toru Furuya panel. We didn't go to church because we're bad, bad people. That, and it took us several months before we got used to our ward here, so we're not too thrilled about going to strange wards. Maybe that fits in the bad, bad people category, depending on what you categorize as "bad."
Anyway, since Furuya-san is in Gundam, we put on our Lacus and Meer costumes and headed out. His panel didn't start until two-thirty, so we went to the Production I.G. panel at noon first. Production I.G. is a Japanese animation studio, which we only found out recently while translating CLAMP no Kiseki, because they're doing xxxHOLiC. Their most famous works are Ghost in the Shell related, and they also did FLCL, and are doing IGPX.
It was a really fun panel. The woman in charge, Maki (she wants everyone to remember who she is), started out by saying she had a big announcement so she wanted to make sure everyone stayed until the end, and told everyone if they had an appointment that would cause them to leave early to call that person and tell them they couldn't make it, and if they had any friends that weren't there to call and tell them to come.
Then she started asking about what serieses people like, and especially about IGPX, which is being co-produced in the States, and airing simultaneously in Japan and the US. Not a whole lot of people seemed to like IGPX, which she was sad about because later Lance someone who plays Andre in the series was going to come to the panel. She told us about some of their new stuff, and especially about Tachigui-shi Retsuden, which Cartoon Network told them to call Dine and Dash. Dine and Dash is what Production I.G. calls super-live-mation, where apparently they tape photographs to chopsticks and move them around. It was a very low-budget film, so instead of hiring voice actors, they used the staff.
We got to see the trailer twice, and it was pretty neat, and we got to hear the voice of Kenji Kawai, whose name we recognize as an anime composer, but I can never quite remember which serieses he's worked on. Maki also told us that after it premiered at Production I.G., apparently there was a pregnant woman who saw it and afterward, the baby turned upside-down. And there was another guy who saw the movie and got a really bad headache and ended up having to go to the emergency room. So when she showed us the trailer, she told us all not to get sick. She also said she hasn't seen all of it because it feels like a very long movie. It looks to me like it might be another cult classic.
After we watched the trailer a second time (we had some extra time because Lance was running late), Maki got a call saying Lance was there and would be at the panel soon. She told us that when he came in, we should all shout, "Hi, Andre!" and we didn't have to tell him that we didn't like IGPX. So we all did, and then people got to ask him questions. During the question and answer period, he mentioned that he played Kerchak in Disney's Tarzan, and we looked at each other like, "What?" and then we listened and we're like, "He is! Oh my gosh, it's Kerchak from Tarzan!" But we didn't say anything to him because we didn't know what to say. Oh well.
Maki's big announcement was that she was working on getting Production I.G. to animate a series about a Para-Para-dancing superhero or something, and she was disappointed that not many people seemed to like the idea. Most of the audience seemed to be more into the action-packed, bloody serieses. We thought it was an awesome idea. She gave out her card so people could e-mail her and tell her their opinions. And they gave out free stuff and the panel was over.
The Toru Furuya panel was pretty fun. People kept asking him to do voices, and one girl asked him to do some of Yamcha's lines in English. He had brought his list of character lines from the opening ceremonies, so he asked Translator Guy how to say the Yamcha line he'd brought in English. They spent a bit of time conferring, and eventually, Furuya-san said, "Vegeta! You sweet-talked Bulma while I was gone!" ...and another part of the line that I can't remember. It was very cute.
Mostly people asked him about Amuro Ray from Gundam. Someone asked what he thought about Gundam Seed, and he said he didn't like it as much because the characters weren't as realistic to him. It must be a perspective thing, because I can totally relate to a bunch of characters in Seed. And then I decided his opinion of Seed doesn't matter, because his favorite line from the original Gundam is, "I'm sorry; you're just not suited to fight in a Gundam. Unfortunately, I'm the man." Sexist pig *grin*
After the panel, we changed into our Goku and Hakkai costumes and our anime buddy took a nap while we wandered around for a while. We saw a group of Saiyuki Reload cosplayers dressed as Sanzo Ikkou and it made us a little sad. It's nice to cosplay as a pair, but it can be so much nicer to cosplay as a group. Also, their Hakkai's sash was a more appropriate color for Reload, so there was a temporary, "Man, we suck as Saiyuki Reload cosplayers," but their Goku's pants weren't shredded nearly as awesomely as mine, so I decided we win.
We went into the dealers' room for a while and quested for the one item we would allow ourselves to purchase at this convention (since we really don't have any money). We didn't buy it then, for two reasons. One, it was Sunday (so maybe we shouldn't have been in the dealers' room at all), and two, we were hoping the price would go down a little on the last day. I thought I'd be all sneaky and keep it a secret as to what we bought until I got to the part where we bought it, and keep up a little suspense (assuming it really matters to anyone), but we suspect people may have already figured it out.
Also while we were in the dealers' room, a woman asked for our picture and told us we looked great together, which really made up for the depression of seeing the other Sanzo Ikkou.
Then we went back to our room to wake up our anime buddy for the Meet the Guests Reception, the highlight of our convention. And it was totally awesome this year.
When it started, the first guest whose table we went to was Atsuko Nakajima. Part of why we were wearing our Saiyuki costumes is that we were hoping she might recognize them, since that's what we were wearing the last time Nakajima-san came to the Meet the Guests Reception, and we were not disappointed. As soon as we sat down, she said to her interpreter that she saw us last time she was here. She told us she remembered us, and we said we were honored.
Inevitably, Princess Princess came up, so of course we had to ask. She was adamant that Ban and Ginji are not gay, but what about Toru and Yuujirou? She said that they're just friends, and then, since her interpreter left out the part we said about Ban and Ginji, she said, "You asked that about Ban and Ginji last time." It's nice to be remembered.
Next, we went to Laura Bailey's table. Don't get me wrong, we still feel the same way about dub voice actors and their guest status at AX, but we had to tell her a story which I will now tell you.
A few years ago, since we translate the Fruits Basket manga, we loaned our copy of the English version of volume 1 to a non-otaku friend of ours at college so she could read our work. In the back of volume one, for those of you who don't know, there is an interview with Laura Bailey, the English dub voice of Tohru. When our friend brought the book back, she turned to the interview in the back, pointed to the picture of Ms. Bailey, and said, "I went to high school with her."
Ms. Bailey was like, "Oh my gosh, who?" So we told her, and she's like, "Her brother was in my class!" She told us to tell them hi from her if we're still in touch with them.
After the second session, instead of sending the attendees rotating again, they told us they wanted a photo-op with all the GoHs while they cut the AX 15-year Anniversary cake. All the guests gathered around the cake while most of the attendees gathered in front to take pictures, our anime buddy included.
We took that opportunity to claim seats at Seiji Mizushima's table. They took a long time taking pictures, and while that was going on, Translator Guy (though to be more accurate, we should call him Interpreter Guy) came up and said hi to us. This made us happy, because last year we would say hi to him and the conversations were very awkward and involved suggesting we leave the Meet the Guests Reception early, so we thought maybe he thought we were creepy stalkers because we kept following Tomokazu Seki the year before. But since he came to us to say hi, whether he was wondering if we could get him in good with chibidrunksanzo and, through her, Moosebutter, or not, we're pretty sure he doesn't think we're creepy stalkers. In fact, the conversations were probably awkward because the three of us all seem to be rather bad conversationalists.
All the guests returned to their table, and we had an enjoyable time listening to people talk with Mizushima-san. Someone asked what exactly he did on Evangelion, and as it turns out, he directed the episode where Shinji and Asuka have to be in synch. When we said that was the best episode, he told us that the storyboard artist for that episode went on to be a famous movie director. He also quelled some rumors about Evangelion having been slated for fifty-two episodes and being cancelled because they had planned so many disturbing things, like an episode involving cannibalism. It was pretty funny, because all of us attendees heard the guy talking about the rumors and we're like, "Oooh, that's scary..." and Mizushima-san heard them and started laughing.
Next we sat at Toru Furuya's table. The woman who sat next to him during that session was dressed as Tamaki from Host Club, and her nine-year-old daughter sat in her lap, dressed as Honey. It was adorable, which is probably why he asked them what series they were cosplaying. When we finally figured out to say "Hosuto-bu" instead of "Hosuto Kurabu," he goes, "Ahh, ah, ah. I know." This is probably because he has a fourteen-year-old daughter who's an anime fan.
The other main thing I remember from that session was that someone asked him about if he gets to choose what he works on. He said no matter how much he wants to play a part, if he doesn't get called to the audition, he can't, and sometimes the director is like, "I know your voice, and it's wrong. Sorry." But on the other hand, if he gets offered a part he doesn't want to play, he can turn it down. For example, he won't do boys' love, because, "I like the ladies." You wouldn't know he was married based on the way he talked--he kept mentioning seeing hot cosplayers and stuff.
At some point we took a break from visiting guests, because there were no empty seats at any tables. And at another point, our anime buddy sat down at Noboru Ishiguro's table. We had met him before, because one year at the reception (in fact, I think it was the same year Nakajima-san had been there previously), we were getting refreshments at the same time he was there sneaking food in his pocket to take back to the hotel. Translator Guy came up and introduced us to his good friend Mr. Ishiguro, and said, "Why don't I take a picture?" We don't know why that happened, but it was pretty awesome anyway.
So now we got to actually see what he was like. He started the session by asking if we had any questions that he could answer with a story. So I said if he had any good stories, we'd be happy to hear them. He thought for a while, but before he came up with anything someone asked if he had been to Vegas yet. He said no, that would be after the convention. He also said he suspected he wouldn't win as much money because he'd be going with another guest (probably Nagahama-san) whose beginner's luck would get him everything. So the guy suggested he just let Nagahama-san (I'm assuming) do all the gambling and they share the winnings.
Talk about Vegas reminded Ishiguro-san of a story, and he started telling about how the first time he went to Vegas, it reminded him of Megazone...something, a series he worked on about people living in a spaceship, and how it was a lot like Vegas. See, the environment in Vegas is rather hostile, so the hotels have to make it possible to do all your living inside the hotel. You have to have all your food, entertainment, etc. in there with you, because you can't go outside, and the space in which you can live comfortably is very limited. So if you were to build a hotel on the moon, he thinks it would be very similar to Vegas. Then he started talking about how it would be interesting to see the kinds of worlds that would be created in such hotels, but he never got to the point of his story because we ran out of time. He ended by saying there was something very important he wanted to tell us but couldn't, and that he thinks that next year he'll have something very exciting for us.
He kind of reminds me of Grandpa, of whom it has been said that asking a question of him is like trying to get a drink of water from a firehose.
Last, we actually ended up at Vic Mignogna's table. There were two reasons for this. One, since he dubbed Kougaiji we wanted to see how he'd react to our costumes. And two, there were available seats there. He did notice our costumes, and asked for our names, but now I kind of feel bad because he later found out that we don't watch dubs. Rather, he found out that we didn't see the dub of FullMetal Alchemist, and seemed to take that (accurately) as us not watching dubs (later he asked if everyone was going to watch the FMA movie, and said right away that he knew we wouldn't be watching it).
I'm actually kind of glad that we sat at his table, because we learned what, in my opinion, is probably the main reasons dubs are so bad. Everything has to be approved by the director, and everything has to fit the director's vision of what all the characters are supposed to be like and sound like. And we've come to realize more and more that not a whole lot of people interpret the characters the way we do, which means, in our minds, their interpretations, and consequently the dubs, are wrong. Now, I don't know if our interpretations match those of the original creators, but there was a time when we were translating Saiyuki and thought, "That sounds like a Sanzo line... but that's definitely Goku's speech pattern..." and then Gojyo said, "Sanzo's been rubbing off on you!" and we're like, "Yessss!"
We wandered around after that, but I don't remember if we ended up doing something. Probably not, since it was after nine. Maybe we took some cosplay pictures. I don't remember. But all in all, it was a pretty awesome day.
And, since I can only force myself to type for so long, and I know I don't have enough time to finish another day before Danny Phantom starts, I'll end here for now.
Today I'm thankful for cosplayers who know how to pose, being able to meet awesome Guests of Honor, being remembered, peanut-butter Hershey Kisses, and AX cake. Dude, that cake was gooooooood.
And happy birthday to Mom!!