I have been known to hold a mild grudge against someone for waking me up before nine o'clock. There were other reasons involved, but that was the main one. The point is, we hate waking up early. But we noticed something very important when we got our tickets to the Meet the Guests Reception, and that was that they had changed it to a Meet the Guests Breakfast, and it started at eight in the morning. Factoring in time to get our costumes on and in order, plus taking the shuttle (which didn't run as frequently that early in the morning) and finding the place where the breakfast was to be held, we figured six o'clock was our safest bet for making it on time.
We decided to wear our Lacus and Meer costumes, because Toshihiko Seki had already noticed us in our Goku and Hakkai costumes, and since he specifically asked if we were twins, we thought it would be a good idea to wear the costumes that took the greatest advantage of that fact, while also being cute and girly. We put them on and made it outside the hotel where there was already a shuttle waiting to take people to the convention center. We were very blessed with general good timing in regards to the shuttle for the whole weekend (as well as the bus for Disneyland, but that comes later).
As it turned out, after asking some of the convention center / Nokia theater staff, we ended up being the first people in line! Woohoo! And we got to wait for about forty minutes! Yay...! The only real problem was that my skirt was made of satin and Athena's coat was white, so we had to stand up until they let us in to the reception, because the waiting area was outside. Fortunately, they let us in early (but not too early to see Seki-san and his mini-entourage show up! Eeee!), but communication and organization were a little bit lacking, so they hadn't set up the tables for the guests yet. So we just picked a table and sat down, while the little green room minions went around asking us to leave three empty seats at each table (one each for guest, interpreter, and manager).
We said it was no problem, and if they could maybe direct Seki-san our way...? They said they'd use what little influence they had, and we spent a little while talking about how awesome he is. The green room girls said that he was such a trooper, always willing to keep signing stuff and do things for the fans despite being the guest with the least amount of sleep.
The green room girls did indeed have very little influence, though, and Seki-san was taken to the set of tables that were upstairs. Darn it. But that's okay, because if not for the crazy organization, we may never have even visited Hiromi Kato's table. He did end up being the last guest seated, so our table was guestless the longest, but it was worth the wait, because he had had books of character design sheets and various art from Tenshi ni Narumon! (I'm Gonna Be An Angel!) printed specially to give to everyone who sat at his table. And oh, are they shiny. One of these days, we'll see the rest of that series. Come to think of it, most of the reception is kind of a blur, so let's see what I remember. We talked a lot about Tenshi ni Narumon! at Kato-san's table, and we all talked about how we liked it but couldn't see it, and he said it was one of his favorite things to work on because he had a lot of freedom with it.
Next we went to Shokotan's table, because she was downstairs and we figured that once we were upstairs, we wouldn't be coming back down. (The green room girls told us that the reception was originally going to be a lunch, but they changed it to a breakfast specifically so Seki-san would have time to make his flight, and we were afraid he might leave early. On another side note, we were highly amused to see that some of the food they served were the exact same granola bars we had brought with us for emergency rations (Quaker oat peanut butter and chocolate chip).)
Everyone who sat with us at Shokotan's table understood Japanese pretty well, so there was very little English, which makes it even harder to remember, but there were a few things the interpreter made sure to repeat (the repetition also helped because sometimes we couldn't hear what was said). One of the first things that happened was Shokotan asked us if we were twins (we get that a lot), then she asked if we made our costumes, and when we said that I made them, she said I was a genius♥ I asked her if singing or voice acting was harder, and she said voice acting is, because she's working with all these people she really looks up to and it's pretty nerve-wracking. Man, I'm so jealous. I also wish I'd had the guts to fangirl with her more. Maybe next time. Maybe we should comment on her blog. Hmm...
Then we finally went up to Seki-san's table. There was only one empty seat, so I took it with the idea that Athena could stand behind me, but Seki-san's manager is also apparently very awesome, and he got up and offered his chair to her, so she got to sit right next to him! Eeeeee! (Athena: I could smell his coffee!)
The first question asked was whether or not he enjoyed seeing Wicked, which of course he did (he gave it a standing ovation; very cute!). Then he asked us if green had some sort of bad symbolism here in the West. We all told him that it sometimes represents greed or jealousy (Athena got to show off by coming up with "shitto" before the interpreter), and he told us that in Japan, it's always a very positive color because it represents nature and stuff. Someone asked if he does musicals in Japan, and he told us about the theatre troupe he started with Ryusei Nakao (Freeza in DBZ), and how they do all kinds of things, including musicals. He says he likes doing theatre and voice work, because it wears you out to keep doing one without switching every so often.
There were two friends sitting next to me, one of whom urged her friend to asked the question she had, explaining to Seki-san (in English) that her friend is very shy. He picked up on the word shy and replied (also in English), "I'm shy, too." Everyone was impressed with that, so we asked how much English he understood and he said actually very little. I don't remember the question, but I remember him saying later that he wasn't kidding when he said he was shy, and that one of the reasons he wanted to go into theatre was that, while he hated public speaking, he figured that if he had a script that was prepared, even someone like him could get up in front of people. (And we were like, "Wow, he's just like us♥♥♥")
Incidentally, there was no mention of the roomie comics booklet, sadly. But from what we hear, he may not have had time to look at it, and also, he may not have known for sure that it was us that gave it to him, and I know that if it was us, we might have been like, "I thiiiiink that's them, but I don't know, and I have other things to talk about, so..." Also, I hear that to Asian people, all westerners look alike, which is why Mel Gibson is never mobbed when he goes to like, China.
Next we went to Akemi Takada's table, where she showed us all the jewelry she designed and made based on the anime characters she had done designs for in the past. They were very shiny. People asked her about designing characters and stuff, and of course she prefers doing original characters over ones based on manga. She also liked doing... was it Creamy Mami? Because she was an idol and she managed to convince the director that she needed to change clothes a lot, and she likes drawing girls' clothes. I think she also said it was really hard. She talked about doing CGI and stuff. It was pretty neat.
And then they told us it would be the last rotation, so we went back to Seki-san's table. Again, it's a little fuzzy, but I remember him talking about how when he was in his twenties, he'd always be really nervous going to events because he never knew what he would say or anything, but now that's he's older, he doesn't care, and that's how he's able to come to things like AX and talk like we were doing. (He didn't have any trouble telling us that he's 46. He even said it in English for everybody.)
What's really funny is when somebody asks a weird question and everybody laughs, while the poor guest just looks on in wonder until the interpreter tells them what the question was, at which point they burst out laughing. That's what happened when somebody asked if he ever randomly uses his characters' voices when talking to people in real life. He doesn't, but one time they made him do this event where he was supposed to talk to people as his character, and it ended up being really crazy, because people would be like, "Hey, Duo!" and he wouldn't respond at all because he didn't realize they were talking to him.
Someone asked how he felt about AX, and he said that of course he'd been to events in Japan, but they weren't nearly as big. He was told that AX gets 40,000 people, and suddenly he feels like it's Disneyland. After the interpreter said that part in English, he added, also in English, "I am Mickey Mouse!" So of course, Disneyland lovers that we are, we had to ask him if he likes Disneyland, and he said he's been to Tokyo Disneyland with his family lots of times. He also likes Disneysea♥
Finally, someone asked who was scarier--Japanese fans or American. Seki-san is very diplomatic and didn't actually say, but he said American fans were more direct, which actually made him more comfortable. He also said he was surprised at the American fans' cosplay (he had to turn to his interpreter to make sure he got the right word; it's like he's in the anime otaku world but not of the anime otaku world), and how much more impressed he was with it, and then he indicated us in our Lacus and Meer costumes, and we squeed inwardly. (Athena just now asked me if I heard him say "Beautiful," which I didn't but now I am all the more squeeful♥)
The rotation ended, but we had just enough time to ask Seki-san for a handshake each before they shooed us out of the room.
We all went outside and some people made their way to the convention center while others of us hung around talking to fellow attendees, perhaps (like us) hoping to catch another glimpse of the guests as they left. We talked to our new Yorihisa friend and finalized plans to meet up in HaruToki cosplay later, and we talked to our new Japanese friend who had noticed us cosplaying every year. And then we decided not to be too stalkery and left before the guests came out (assuming they hadn't already left through the back way).
There was a time when I would make it through one day for each section of con report. I guess when one of our favoritest voice actors is involved, we try to remember more. So perhaps the rest of the reports will be less detailed, since Seki-san left after the breakfast (as far as we know). So the rest of day two will be reported on later.
Today I'm thankful for peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars (the food of champions and AX GoH's), Toshihiko Seki being at the Meet the Guests Reception, oh my goodness Shokotan called me a genius, oh my goodness Seki-san called our costumes beautiful, and oh my goodness we got to shake his hand♥!♥!♥!