As I mentioned last time, we had plans to meet up with Juubei and Akabane at nine-thirty-ish, so on Tuesday morning we put our GetBackers costumes back on and headed for the convention center at about nine. We knew we were early, so we decided to wander around until we spotted them.
It was during this time, I think, that, upon spotting one of the many sets of wannabe Hikaru and Kaoru cosplayers (of the two sets we saw closely enough, neither of them looked like they were real twins), we decided that it would be totally in character if next year, when we finally get our own Hikaru and Kaoru costumes, we threw water balloons at the other Hikaru and Kaoru cosplayers. Then we decided it wouldn't be nice to ruin other people's costumes, so we thought of filling up water balloons with air (and something to weigh them down so we can actually throw them) and writing "water balloon" on them. Then we couldn't decide if it would be more in character for them to throw balloons at the wannabe thems or if they'd be flattered and only throw water balloons at the cosplayers of other members of the club. And Nekozawa-sempai, of course.
Nine-thirty came and went, and we were a little worried about finding Juubei and Akabane, but we kept wandering. At one point pixiepilot and rurounigochan found us and we talked a while. They invited us to go to IHOP and Superman with them later, but we said we probably couldn't go because we had no money. We also warned them about the dangers of trying to make it from the east side of Disneyland to Downtown Disney while the fireworks were going on, but we don't know how that turned out. They told us to stop by their table at artists' alley later, and we said we might, but if not they could find us at the closing ceremonies in case they wanted to make any other arrangements about Disneyland or anything.
We parted ways and the two of us kept wandering in search of Juubei and Akabane. We checked the Hilton briefly, in case people were confused about location, but still no luck. Eventually, we decided to just stay on the first floor of the convention center, since that was where they tended to be, and we finally spotted Juubei coming down the escalator. While we waited for Akabane to come down behind him, a Pore (Paul?) materialized with a Makubex. So finally, we were able to get a picture of a GetBackers group! And we were all very happy.
We went back to the hotel right away to change into our Eisen and Yasuaki costumes, since we hadn't worn them yet, and to get our anime buddy. Then we went back into the dealers' room. This was the day we had to try to do some networking, since it was the last day of the convention, and we hadn't yet. We forgot to bring our resumes, but we did remember our cards, which I think was good, but almost everyone we talked to asked us to email them. Ah well.
But before we did any networking, we had a Mission to get the One Item we had allowed ourselves to buy. We went straight for the booth that was selling it. We were sure they'd still have one left, since they had plenty on Sunday, but the label indicating where it was had disappeared. Fortunately, thanks to awesome finding skillz, we found what appeared to be their last copy. A brief run over to the Kinokuniya booth across the way to see if they still had it (they were selling it two dollars cheaper, and the last day thing didn't phase prices) told us they didn't, so we bought it there. And finally, we had our own copy of the Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack.
Our justification for spending $41 on it ($44 with tax), and our reasoning for allowing ourselves to buy that and nothing else, is that about the only time we listen to music is when we're working, and it has already been mentioned on this LiveJournal that Kingdom Hearts music raises our productivity.
And then it was time to do some networking. I was still a little worried about potentially betraying TokyoPop, especially after hearing the story about new new boss, but we decided that CMX, being a branch of DC Comics, isn't too much of a rival for TokyoPop, exactly, so we went and talked to them. We asked the guy there if they were looking for translators, and he said they always were, and if they could, they'd like translators who can do their own English adaptation. This is like a dream come true for us, because it means we won't have anything happen like with DN Angel where rewriters come in thinking they know everything and mess up all the characters. It's also really scary, because, since they rewrite most of what we do at TokyoPop, we don't have the confidence that we can do it to CMX's satisfaction. Of course we gave him our card and promised to e-mail him.
Then we checked DarkHorse and found out they do a lot of translating in-house, and the guy they told us to really ask about it wouldn't stop talking to this other guy, so we decided it was a bust and left. We were too freaked out at that point to try talking to any other companies, so we decided it was time to leave the dealers' room. On the way out, we passed by the FUNimation booth, and since Diamond seemed to notice us and we had been at the panel, I figured we may as well sign up for FUNiGIRLS. I finished signing up first, and while I waited for Athena and our anime buddy to finish, one of the volunteers working at the FUNimation booth apparently noticed my badge and asked if Athena and I happened to be the translators for the Saiyuki manga. Of course I said yes, because we love to show off, and she told us it was the only manga she reads in English!
We talked for a little bit, and Diamond heard us and said she should interview us for the FUNiGIRLS website. They have a section where they interview women in the anime industry, because they want to show girls that it's possible to get into it without having to voice act. So she gave us her card and asked us to e-mail her. We finally e-mailed her today, because on Friday we started to and realized we had no idea what to say. So we're still waiting for a response.
After that, we headed over to artists' alley to say hi to everyone. chibidrunksanzo showed us the pattern for an Ouran badge bead thingie that she sells at conventions, saying she blamed us for it. I never know how to respond to being blamed for stuff, so I just gave a blank look, but thinking about it later, the obvious response was to ask if we got a percentage of the profits. So do we?
Everyone seemed pretty well absorbed in other things, so, since we had seen the senior editor of the Saiyuki Reload manga sitting at a table near the entrance of artists' alley (TokyoPop was doing portfolio reviews), we decided we'd go tell her what the FUNimation volunteer had told us. She was excited to hear it (actually her response was similar to ours: "Of course, because we rock!"), and we sat and talked for a while. She's a fangirl herself, and she recognized our costumes, soon after which point she gave us some news that could be potentially very bad or potentially very good for fans of the series. When we expressed our disappointment at not being able to translate it, the guy with her, also a translator for TokyoPop (possibly an editor, too?), said we should just go to the other people.
That not only told us that it would be okay, but gave us the courage to give out more cards. So we gave our cards to a couple more companies, one of which took our card saying they'd give it to the person in charge of freelancers, and the other of which took our card and gave us the e-mail address of the person in charge of freelancers. So we e-mailed the one, and haven't heard back other than an automated out-of-office response telling us that the recipient of that e-mail would be back in the office on the 10th (that's today!) and would respond after she got back. She's got two weeks worth of e-mail to wade through, though, so we're still waiting.
We also e-mailed CMX, of course, and things are looking promising. The guy said he'd look for some of the work we did for TokyoPop, and asked for one of our scripts so he could see what format we're used to. We sent him a sample from Death Scythe (one we did on our own) to show the format we use when translating for fun, and we reformatted the same sample in the TokyoPop format. Hopefully this will show that we're flexible. And we're still waiting for a response.
Anyway, back to AX. After handing out a few more cards, we didn't know what to do with ourselves. There was a booth in the hall where people were taking pictures of people and putting them on fancy backgrounds. They printed the pictures for free, but if you wanted a copy, you had to buy it. We told them in no uncertain terms that we had no money with which to buy pictures, but they convinced us to get our picture taken anyway, just to see what it looks like, so we figured what the heck.
After they took our picture, we ran into a fellow twintern from TokyoPop (after we interned at TokyoPop, they had two other sets of twin interns; this one is from the second set--we're the Original Twins). She's working at Go! Media as administrative director now, and she gave us her card, and took one of ours. She even offered to help us make a website! But we realized after we got home that her card doesn't have her e-mail address. We'll have to go check out the Go! Media website.
We headed back to artists' alley, and people were still preoccupied. So we decided it was time to head up to the main event hall and wait for the charity auction.
This year's charity auction was really fun, but it only made a third of what they made last year. Dude, if CLAMP had just given one original drawing, I'm sure it would have gone for thousands. As it was, Atsuko Nakajima made almost twice with one sketch what CLAMP did total. But this year, they had water bottles.
I noticed when we were getting registration taken care of on Friday that the staffers were drinking out of special AX-labeled water bottles. And, not surprising at an anime convention, apparently one of the Guests of Honor, or one of the staffers may have suggested it, said, "Hey, we should all sign some water bottles for the charity auction!"
So they did. They had twelve water bottles, signed by almost all the GoHs (minus CLAMP and Mana, of course), that they auctioned off. This made for more hilarity when the auctioneer needed some water, and people suggested he drink from one of the autographed bottles. He had his own water bottle (Crystal Geyser) that he drank from, as he said, "Right, like anyone would buy it after I drank from it." Then, sarcastically, "Anyone wanna bid on this?" At which point of course, people started bidding. It went for $20, and he signed it. As people were bidding, the other staffers pointed out things that would make his water even more special: he was one of only three staffers that have been around all fifteen years, and he's the only one that has been run over by a car in the line of duty (working for AX, of course).
We were amused by all the things Romi Park donated to the auction. She couldn't make it, but she donated a lot. I mean, a lot. It's like she walked into a bookstore and picked up anything FullMetal Alchemist that was flat and she could sign, and donated it to the charity auction. She donated in total approximately two shikishi, two sets of FMA postcards (each card individually signed), one set of postcards that wasn't FMA but was still very pretty (and she wrote on a lot of them "Hagane no Renkinjutsushi Edward Elric yaku"), a fold-out pin-up of Ed, the guide book to the third FMA video game, two packs of trading cards (all individually signed), and a collection of 69 FMA movie trading cards, all individually signed of course. It was awesome. I wonder if the movie cards were all the doubles she had in her own collection.
After the auction, they had the SPJA awards, which went a lot faster this year because they just announced the winners and didn't bother to wait for anyone to accept them, and then it was on to the closing ceremonies, which didn't start for a long time because one of the Guests of Honor was missing. Two of the GoHs talked about how they brought work with them. The first was holed up in his hotel room the whole con, trying to get it done, while the other chose to have fun instead. That reminded Noboru Ishiguro that he had brought work too, which he said he'd do on the plane back.
The MC accidentally skipped over Seiji Mizushima, so he ended up being the last guest to say his goodbyes, but it fit perfectly, because he brought the Oh! Edo Rocket trailer again and wanted to show it to everyone. It won't air until sometime in 2007, though, which makes me sad.
And then AX was over.
We hung around to see if we could spot any GoHs, which we couldn't, but Translator Guy said hi to us again and thanked us for coming to AX. It's always a pleasure, Translator Guy.
We eventually made our way back to our hotel room, and our anime buddy "went to get something from the car," and magically returned with a pizza. It might have been more of a surprise if she hadn't left the car keys on her bed, but it was still very much appreciated. We didn't get to go see Superman, so we stayed in our room and watched the series finale of Pepper Dennis and cried and stuff. And then we went to bed, excited about going to Disneyland the next day.
And that was AX. I'll type up the Disneyland report tomorrow. Right now our monitor is very, very unhappy about the heat. I don't blame it--when we checked the Weather Channel, it said it was 106 degrees outside. So I'd better finish up. Today I'm thankful for water bottle auctions, friendly industry people, happy and unexpected reunions, air circulation, and good times had by all.