Before I get back to the AX report, there was something at the Meet the Guests Breakfast that attests even more to Toshihiko Seki's awesomeness that I forgot to mention and really wanted to. It's not uncommon for guests to be asked the same questions over and over for these things, and we've seen interpreters get a little exasperated more than once (understandable, since we sometimes hate repeating ourselves). When we sat down at Seki-san's table for the second time, his interpreter turned to him and said something like, "So hey, people keep asking the same questions over and over," and he replied, "That's okay. It's the first time for all of them." I love this guy♥
So back to the report. We figured there'd probably be more people wanting pictures around on Saturday than on Sunday, so that's the day we decided to wear our Donald and Goofy Kingdom Hearts costumes. We get stopped for pictures more in those costumes than any other costumes we've worn (except maybe for Amiboshi and Suboshi when Fushigi Yuugi was still big), and this year was no exception, especially because we seemed to be the only Donald and Goofy there. We have seen others, so we know they exist, but apparently they weren't at AX this year.
Our first stop was the TokyoPop panel. We actually showed up late, because Friday had been a very long day and we didn't want to force ourselves to get up too early. They were still announcing new titles when we got there, and actually we were kind of disappointed in how they did it. I will admit that there was a bit of the, "Why don't we get to translate that!?" factor, but it just seemed kind of... unprofessional. For example, they'd be explaining a title, and they'd be like, "She gets the ring and then some stuff happens I don't remember, and then..." Or they'd say the Japanese title was originally "Sekai something something I don't know." (I made up these examples, but they were close to this.) There was a feeling of, "I know you might not be the senior editor on this title, but at least pretend you care about it or why should I?" And it's true that things must be crazy with the restructure and all, but you can at least write down titles and summaries. Or heck, you could have asked us to do it, and I'm sure we could have found time. Well, maybe not for summaries, but definitely for titles. Also definitely for summaries if we had translated more of that stuff.
That brings me to Tsubasa: Those with Wings. Does that sound to anyone else like they're trying to fool the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles fans into buying it? Our personal opinion is that hello, it's the creator of Fruits Basket for crying out loud, why do you have to play these little games? But maybe we're jumping to conclusions because we're upset that we're not translating it. But neither of us thinks there's any reason to leave the word tsubasa in there. Especially because things that start with "ts" are hard for Americans to say.
Anyway. We left the panel and headed back to the dealers' room, because today would be the day We Bought Stuff. Er, Saturday would be. So off we went! While we were there, another Sora found us and wanted a picture, and since that Sora had I think a Kairi and a Heartless and a Yuffie with them, everybody else passing by wanted a picture too. We stood there for a while posing, and while we posed, we watched the other passersby and lo and behold, there was our childhood friend whom we hadn't since AX'05.
We talked for a while and caught up with each other (she lived in New York for a while, which was awesome for her because she's a huge theatre person), and then we decided to wander the hall together so we'd stop standing in the way of everyone else. We pretty much wandered the whole hall, including two stops at the Dark Horse booth because we had been asked to talk to one of the guys there who somehow managed to be gone both times we went by, despite there being like an hour or so between. The people running the booth with the Nintendo plushies (we bought a 1-up Mushroom and one of the ones that shrinks Mario that we never learned what they were called) took our picture and gave us a discount, and we bought a couple of books from the Manga University booth.
Then we left the hall for the official Ace Attorney cosplay gathering, where we got pictures of Maggey Byrde, the Blue Badger, and Juan Corrida (the Jammin' Ninja). Corrida even had a red guitar, which I think he could really play. He had actually been Future Phoenix the night before, and he looked really good in both costumes. (Athena: It's so nice to be a fan of something where guys actually cosplay guys. Me: But of course, we like cosplaying guys ourselves.)
Our friend met up with her peeps and vanished while we were getting a picture of a family consisting of a mother and father dressed as Wario and Princess Peach (not respectively) with their little son dressed as child Link, who noticed us as Donald and Goofy taking their picture and then had to get one of us. So we went back into the dealers room to buy some DVDs from Bandai (Tide Line Blue, Gundam Seed Destiny, Scrapped Princess boxed set (impulse buy), and Toward the Terra (impulse-from-the-previous-day buy)) and The Art of Gyakuten Saiban from Kinokuniya before heading towards the karaoke room to meet up with Yorihisa and friends.
As it turned out, the acoustikaraoke contest would be starting soon, so they weren't taking any sign ups. Well, fine. We planned to try again later, and then came the moment to face our doom. The Kinokuniya booth didn't have the volume of minima! that we needed (or any minima! for that matter), so we had to walk to the main store. We thought we'd take the shuttle to the Kawada Hotel, because we had evidence that it was closer to Kinokuniya than our hotel, and so we did. But when we got on the bus, some Guy in Charge type person came on and started saying something about needing some kind of a special stamp on your badge to use the shuttle? So we thought maybe we weren't allowed to use the shuttle unless it was to our own hotel. But they didn't kick us off, so we took it to the Kawada anyway, and, since we noticed that our hotel wasn't very far from the Kawada, we decided we'd just walk back to there.
We found our way to Kinokuniya, which wasn't very hard because we'd been to that Kinokuniya several times in the past, but it was hot because I was still dressed as Goofy, with my turtleneck sweater and pants made of wool. But it was so nice to be in Kinokuniya again. Unfortunately, we're extremely noncommittal about buying stuff, so even though we were in something close to Manga Meccha, we only got the volume of minima! that we needed and volume one of FullMetal Alchemist. We really should have picked up Hare + Guu to see if it was maybe a reprint of the original manga. Ah well, we have to make an order in about a week anyway.
The walk back to our hotel was exhausting because not only was it in the sun, but it was uphill. And steep. And we never stopped by our hotel after leaving the convention center with all our purchases, so we were carrying a lot of stuff. Not exceedingly bright, we know, but we didn't think it would be that strenuous, and what's done is done. And that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so yay! Stronger!
We finally made it back to our hotel, and took a surprisingly short time to recover, then went back to karaoke, where the contest should have been ending in about half an hour. It ended in about... something longer than half an hour. And then they told us they'd be opening up the next room for open mic karaoke in about fifteen minutes after the judges consulted and awarded the prizes and stuff. It felt like forever and we were very impatient because the Kadokawa panel was about to start and we were hoping they would talk about their publishing stuff, like DN Angel or something. But we were determined to sing karaoke! And Yorihisa had to leave at some point for dinner plans or something. And while we waited, a lady came up to us trying to figure out where she recognized us, and asked us if it was because we worked at Disney. We jumped on the fact that she worked at Disney, and asked her if she knew how we could get in with translating stuff like Kingdom Hearts, and her best bet was that we'd have to know somebody in the company that was higher up than her. Well, at least we have a lead. And then she remembered that she saw our Saiyuki group with the Jeep! Yay Jeep Saiyuki cosplay!
The karaoke room finally opened up, and we were the first ones to sign up! We (us and Yorihisa and her friend whose name we never caught because we keep forgetting to catch names) all took parts and sang Double Dear, and despite my exhaustion and headache-iness, I was determined that standing around during the bridges would be too boring, so I was all over the place with my air guitar. Oh yeah! It rocked. We were awesome. Some guy in the back took several pictures.
Then we dashed off to the Kadokawa Panel, which was actually almost exactly like the Bandai panel, because they're releasing a lot of stuff through Bandai, only they didn't know a lot of answers to the questions because they were all about stuff on Bandai's end. But the two ladies running it were very cute, and they gave prizes for answering trivia questions! (We didn't get any because they only asked about stuff we didn't know about, but it was still pretty awesome.)
And now it's time for Jeopardy! so I'll have to finish up later. Today I'm thankful for awesome karaoke, surviving the trek to Kinokuniya, catching up with old friends, seemingly random helpful encounters, and Mario Bros. plushies.