Anyway, it's almost a week after last Monday (that'll happen on Sundays) and I still haven't reported about Monday at AX. I guess that's what happens when I only report one day per day and I started almost a week after we left. But the reports are long, and I don't want to bog the people who want read them down with too much reading. Ah well.
Monday was the Atsuko Nakajima panel, which meant it was the day we would be dressing as Ban and Kadzuki from GetBackers. We woke up earlier than we had originally planned, because after meeting Noboru Ishiguro at the Meet the Guests Reception, all three of us wanted to go to his panel. (It was also the Nagahama panel, so basically it was the Mushishi panel, but people did ask a lot of questions like, "You've been in the industry for several decades--how do you feel about the way anime has changed these days?" (He said he thinks there aren't enough good directors out there, and that video games have caused a lot of anime serieses to be lacking in plot).)
So after I decided that I didn't like how my new Kadzuki shirt turned out (even though the color of it with the jeans we picked out was soooooo perfect), and I changed into my original Kadzuki costume (with new jeans, since the original ones had to retire), and re-did my hair (seriously, I felt like I was having a bad hair day all con), we headed out. We went up to the third floor of the convention center to wait in line outside live programming 1, where the air conditioning was turned up very high.
The panel was pretty awesome. Nagahama-san was late, but he was taking so long they decided to start without him. At the first question, Athena turned to me and said, "Nagahama-san better get here soon, or no one will be able to ask any other questions." But Ishiguro-san kept it reasonably brief. I don't remember all the questions, but I do remember that someone asked about the theme song for Mushishi. He said they'd have to ask Nagahama-san why that song was chosen, and then went on to talk about how sometimes a song is just chosen kind of for the heck of it, with no real reasoning behind it. But then after while, once you get used to it, you start to think that there couldn't possibly be any other song for this show--kind of like marriage.
Nagahama-san showed up, and I don't remember what questions he got, but he brought the first episode of Mushishi with him, and we had the choice of being able to ask more questions or watching the episode. We ended up with the compromise of asking a few more questions, and then watching the episode with a running commentary. It was pretty awesome(tm). He explained neat stuff like how he wanted the opening sequence to look like maybe the opening to a drama series, so people would see it and wonder what kind of show it was for. And he would point out all the little things he did to emphasize certain things in the work, and how there was one bit (where they're talking about all the mushi the kid sees) that was one frame in the manga, but he wanted to illustrate it more.
At the end of the panel, they had a raffle for autographs, which was pretty funny because half the audience had tickets that started with 801, and the other half had tickets that started with 560, and whenever the MC started reading a number, half the audience would groan. It was especially bad when they raffled off the signed copy of the special edition DVD of Mushishi vol.1.
After the panel, we went back out into the freezing hall to wait in line for the Nakajima panel. While we waited, Translator Guy came by and said hi again, which made us feel even less like creepy stalkers.
There was no photography allowed in the Nakajima panel, which was kind of sad, but we dealt with it. Of course, someone asked about whether or not Ban and Ginji are gay. We found out her favorite character is Kadzuki, so I win *grin* Someone asked about the ending sequences she does (many of which contain gay-looking pictures), and she said that she likes to push the boundaries of the characters' relationships when it's not part of the actual story. There was a girl in an amazing Seth (Trinity Blood) costume. I don't remember what she asked, but her costume was amazing.
Someone asked why it is that some of her characters have huge eyes, and some have really narrow eyes, but there aren't really any in-between eyes, and she said she just draws what they tell her to.
After the panel, we went back out into the freezing hall again, and our anime buddy had to go to the bathroom. We were a little annoyed about having to wait in the freezing hall, but we repented of our complaining soon after Nakajima-san came out with her friend and interpreter and pointed out to her friend that Athena was cosplaying Ban, at which point her friend decided she had to take a picture. The interpreter then taunted us because, "We can take pictures of you, but you can't take pictures of us!"
Then it was time to go shopping. Our anime buddy needed some more cash, but the one ATM machine in the convention center was broken and had a sign pointing to where the other ATM machine was, so we went over there only to find that it was temporarily out of service. So we decided to go back to the hotel (the Marriott), get some lunch, and check the ATM machine there. That machine was also temporarily out of service. Our anime buddy had been intrigued by Ramune since Saturday night, when we found a screening room showing the episode of tactics where Haruka gets his figure stuck in a Ramune bottle trying to get the marble out. So, since we were right there by the Pizza Hut selling such things, she bought a bottle of Ramune and a box of caramel Pocky.
As it turns out, the box of Pocky was a box of fortune-telling Pocky, which we have now decided is one of the coolest things ever. On the back of the inside packet (the mylar one) was an Amida-kuji thing (you know like in Fruits Basket, when Tohru has Kisa choose dinner?), and I promise neither of us intentionally chose the same thing, but we all got the best luck and our lucky color was white, which was great, because we were wearing white! Except for our anime buddy, but she still got the best luck. Then, Athena pulled out a stick of Pocky that had a number printed on it, and, after checking the box, she found out it was her love fortune. Not so fortunately, the number was 70, with a frowny-heart next to it. All in all, I think the fortune telling of the Pocky was pretty accurate, because we did have an awesome day, but we did not get any guys.
I'm ashamed to admit that none of us were familiar with how to open a bottle of Ramune. We tried for a while, and I actually figured out the right way to do it, but none of us was strong enough for it to work, so we weren't sure if it was really the right way to do it.
We headed back to the convention center and found a convention center employee to tell us where the nearest (and, as it turns out, only) working ATM machine was. We found it outside the arena, with a long line of people waiting to get cash. So we got in line, where we found out all the ATM machines in the Hilton were also completely out of cash. I guess that's what happens when you have more than forty thousand people at a convention and none of them thought to bring enough cash.
While we were waiting in line, The Hand of Fate got in line behind us.
Really it was a guy wearing a t-shirt that said "The Hand of Fate" on it, so I asked him if he was really The Hand of Fate, and he said yes. Then he started explaining about this character called Dr. Fate, and turned around to show us the picture of the character on the back of his shirt, and we're like, "Hey, we know that guy!" Then we had to admit that all we know about DC Comics comes from the animated series, and he said that's cool, and we found out that we're all big fans of the Flash♥ (though I'm sure he doesn't add the heartmark). And then we talked about why did they have to have Mas and Menos when they could just have the Kid Flash, and how they were trying to be all multi-cultural and stuff.
His friend came up with a box of Pocky of unknown flavor, to which she was addicted, so we took a look at the box and discovered that we still had no idea. It was like "kinako," and apparently was a blend of five different things, and apparently is very healthy.
We asked if anybody knew how to open Ramune, and the Ranma-chan standing in line ahead of us told us how it worked, but she couldn't do it either. So we tried and still couldn't open it. So, since The Hand of Fate was a big black guy, we asked him to try, and he opened the Ramune for us! Yay!!! Then we talked about how crazy it is that some guy in Japan thought, "I bet I could make a mint if I stuck a marble in a soda bottle." And it actually worked!
As we got closer to the front of the line, a guy came up, I think it was one of the ones dressed as Link (actually there were like three Links in the vicinity), and started telling everybody that the lady inside told him that this ATM was out of money. This didn't make any sense to us, because the people at the front of the line were not cursing. So we decided to wait and find out. We thought it would be neat if there was someone standing at the ATM handing out t-shirts that said, "I survived the ATM line! -AX 2006". And then when Link convinced people to get out of line, we thought they should get t-shirts that said, "I did not survive the ATM line -AX 2006".
And so we got to the front of the line, and our anime buddy got some cash, and we went back to shopping. She bought souvenirs for her brothers, and we looked at the figurines that one booth was selling and they had the Zidane figure that we wanted so badly back in December! But we couldn't buy it, because we had a Mission to buy our one item, and we didn't have the money to spare. Either that, or we wouldn't have been able to eat at Disneyland, and that would not have made for a fun day at Disneyland.
In the dealers' room, we walked by the FUNimation booth, and they had a sign advertising the FUNiGIRLS panel, saying there would be refreshments. So we're like, "What kind of refreshments?" and she's like, "Cookies and brownies," and Athena's like, "They're not 'enhanced,' are they?" We watch to much TV ("Please tell me you made these brownies in a pot"). And she's like, "No. Catered, but not enhanced." So we're like, "Sweet, I guess we'll be there!"
So we finished our shopping, then we decided it was time to get some dippin' dots (the ice cream of the future!). The dippin' dots were really good, but then we were all sweetened out by the time we went to the FUNiGIRLS panel. Basically, FUNiGIRLS is like... a club? I guess... You know what, just go here and check it out. We think the website is a lot less slumber-party-like than the panel was, but we didn't spend much time at the site. Athena: That's what it is--it's like a big slumber party.
And they have Bishonen Twister. What we want to do is get the template and make our own Bishonen Twister, because there's no way we'd get Dark Mousy or any of Sanzo Ikkou officially, because they're not FUNimation properties.
The cookies were really good, but the brownies had nuts in them. And we could hardly eat the cookies, because we hadn't recovered from the dippin' dots. We did manage to win a Kodomo no Omocha DVD in the strangest trivia game I've ever played. Diamond, the woman in charge, would hold the prize, and one of the other panel people would ask a question, and whoever could run from the audience to wherever in the room Diamond ended up and answer the question correctly won the prize. It was kind of bizarre, and I was very out of breath because I'm completely out of shape, but we got a DVD, so it's all good.
After that we went to Anime Trivia, and that was pretty awesome, because for part of it, they would play a song, and you have to say which anime the song was from. And one of the songs they played was Breakthrough! Yay! We didn't win any prizes, but it's still fun to test our knowledge.
Then we went back to our hotel room. Our anime buddy was done for the day, but it was still kind of early, so we changed out of our GetBackers costumes and into Amiboshi and Suboshi (because we had only worn them for registration day, and I felt they deserved more of an opportunity to be seen), and wandered aroudn some more. First we went to the screening rooms, because we wanted to know where screening room 5 was, and if they would be showing The Law of Ueki dubbed or subtitled the next day.
As it turned out, it would be dubbed, so we knew we didn't need to show up the next day, and they had finished showing everything an hour early, so they didn't have anything playing. Then a guy came in with Shadow Skill, so we watched an episode of that, and were tormented by the voices, but stupid boys skipped the credits. It's only especially annoying because if it hadn't been an ADV series (where they show their dub cast in the credits first), we probably would have gotten to see the cast. Ugh.
Now that I'm thinking about it, hopefully I'll remember to look it up when I'm done typing this.
Then we wandered around some more, and went to the press area between the main events hall and LP2, where they were taking pictures of all the Masquerade contestants after their skits. I'm really curious now about the Final Fantasy VI skit. Setzer with Mickey ears was awesome.
We decided we were done there, since the Masquerade was about over anyway, so we went back downstairs. As we were riding the escalator down, we spotted Juubei and Akabane!!! And we were all very sad that we hadn't run into each other earlier, when we were still in GetBackers costumes. But, since we were all GetBackers fans, Akabane gave each of us a plastic scalpel. We headed outside where we saw a woman dressed as Speedy from Teen Titans, and since we had Robin, we figured we might as well get Speedy, and she was posing really awesomely with her bow and arrows. Then we noticed that on her quiver, she had a Barbie dressed as Bumble Bee. That was too cute, so we got a picture of that, too.
We wandered to the main outdoor cosplay area and ran into Juubei and Akabane again, so we made definite plans to meet in the convention center the next morning at around nine-thirty. Then we headed back to the hotel, and called it a night.
And our monitor is definitely not happy with being on for so long in this heat, so I think I'll finish this up, look up the cast of Shadow Skill, and then find something non-monitor-requiring to do. Tonight I'm thankful for fortune-telling Pocky, The helpful Hand of Fate, Ramune, surviving the ATM line -AX 2006, and having little things to help me remember all the details like raffle ticket numbers.