Anyway, back to AX. Oh right, the little things I keep forgetting. Before the Yoko Ishida panel, the moderator came up and said, "Unfortunately, if you tape this panel, you have to put it on YouTube. And if you happen to accidentally take any bad pictures of Ms. Ishida, you have to erase them from your camera." We were amused.
But we were just about to go to the Cosmode panel. For those of you who don't know, Cosmode is the leading cosplay magazine in Japan, and the American version of the publication went on sale for the first time at AX this year. It officially goes on sale at the end of the month. We should have thought to order it when we were doing stuff at Dot Anime. Ah well, we'll get there eventually.
The panel was run by a guy who looked suspiciously like the really sexy Japanese Gojyo cosplayer from AX'02. He said he wanted to cosplay for all of us at the panel (and if we're remembering the right guy, he has some pretty awesome cosplay--and he's a guy!), but he'd been out partying and drinking the night before, so when he got up before the panel he was in no state to be putting on costumes. Sad. But he explained the whole idea behind Cosmode USA, and how he wants to bring the world together through cosplay. He talked about how Japanese cosplayers' costumes tend to be better made, but American cosplayers tend to entertain people more with their cosplay, and he wants both cultures to learn from each other. And we're like, "That's made of awesome." So of course we want to support this magazine. It will be hard, though, because we get jealous of other American cosplayers. But maybe this will help us to overcome that.
Someone asked if they would release a magazine that was all patterns and how-tos, and he said they'd done that in Japan in the past, but to him, part of the fun of cosplay is figuring out how to use patterns and alter them to make the costume exactly right, so he'd rather not focus on only that. He also talked about how interesting it was to see what different kinds of materials they use to make props in other parts of the world, like how Japanese cosplayers tend to use plastic, while South American cosplayers tend to use wood. It was very interesting overall, and I'm excited to see how Cosmode USA does.
After the Cosmode panel, we went to the voice actor panel. On the last day of AX, they take all the GoH's who are left, and have group panels, like a directors panel, and a character designers panel. We knew that our favorite GoH wouldn't be there, but maybe, since Shokotan does some voice acting, she would be there, so we figured we'd check it out. She wasn't there, and the panel ended up being a bonus David Hayter panel, but it was very fun to go to, despite our lack of interest in dubs.
It started with Mr. Hayter arriving late, and saying, "Sorry I'm late, but I had a signing session fourteen miles on the other side of the convention center. When I got there I heard these people had been waiting all night. Some people waited half their natural born lives for my autograph, so..." I forgot the rest of the quote, but the point is, this man knows how to exaggerate. That's very important.
The main thing I remember about the panel is that whenever anybody said, "I'm a big fan of yours!" he would say, "Thanks. I'm a fan of yours, too." One time somebody said they were a fan of his work, and he said, "Thanks, I'm a big fan of your work. ...What do you do?" And once a girl said she really liked his hair, and the following exchange took place, "Thanks, I really like your hair." "You're lying." "No I'm not. What's wrong with your hair? I think it's beautiful!" He was just such a nice guy.
But not overly nice, as indicated when he told a story about when he was working on the live action Guyver film. Apparently there's a scene where Guyver runs off a cliff? And so the director told him to just run past the camera and stop. But the camera was almost at the edge of the cliff. "That was real fear," he said. Anyway, he's talking about how dangerous it is, and someone says, "Did you survive?" "No, I died. You just ruined the end of my story!" It makes us wonder if he saw that episode of Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman, where Sully talks about how he was in a cave in, and every single person he tells this to says, "But you got out, right?" And our whole family is like, "No. I'm actually still there, trapped in the rocks. Of course I made it out!"
After the panel, it was time to go hang out in Live Programming 1 and wait for the charity auction to start. We were sad to see that there wasn't anything from Toshihiko Seki, because we were so ready to bid on something. I guess we could have bid on something anyway, and I thought about it, because they had a short movie about the Children's Hospital of Orange County, where all the proceeds would be going, and it made me want to help the children soooooo much. And I wouldn't have minded getting, for example, the dress Manami from Jyukai donated. As it is, it went to a guy.
The auction was kind of underwhelming this year, and there weren't even any memorable moments like with the signed water bottle of '06. Better luck next year, I guess. Meanwhile, there were like a million years between the auction and the closing ceremonies, so the staffers got creative to help us pass the time. First, they showed us all the AMV winners. We actually thought half of them (out of four) could have been done better. There was a Gurren Lagann one to "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan, and the idea is so perfect, but it would have been sooooo much better with the scene where ------- and the thing with ---------------- and then the whole last chorus should have been ----------------------. Basically what I'm saying is, in order to make it the perfect AMV, you'd have to use massive spoilers. But it would be Awesome. So Awesome.
But the "Harassment of Kyon" was hilarious, in a "That's so wrong" kind of way. It was Itsuki (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) singing "I Don't Like Your Girlfriend" to Kyon, and man oh man. It was beautifully done. It's also what reminded us that we want to see more of that series, so when we got home and found out RightStuf was having a sale on Bandai DVDs, we went ahead and ordered the boxed set. Yay!
Then there were some Robot Chicken clips, which were actually funny when they weren't all about sex and cussing. Too bad that made up about 90% of them. Blah. And then they showed us the dub of Ghost Stories (or Gakkou no Kaidan). It was hard to watch, because it was pretty obvious that the writers had deviated from the original script. And it was funny, but annoying at the same time. That kind of thing is great for something you want to show your friends on YouTube, but not something for an official release. Maybe if they really wanted to do that, they could have two different English tracks, or they could have just, y'know, had an outtakes reel like Media Blasters does. (Incidentally, when we saw the credits, we thought, "Hm, ADV. What do you bet Stephen Foster had anything to do with this?" *credits scroll* "A-yup." Stephen Foster is the guy who wrote our favorite Saiyuki dub (note extreme sarcasm).)
Finally it came time for the closing ceremonies, which again, were a little underwhelming. Toshihiko Seki and David Hayter both had recorded messages because they had to leave before the ceremonies. In Seki-san's message, he said he hopes we all continue to support anime, and the subtitlers took it upon themselves to put the word "support" in bold, because apparently we're not the only ones who want to throw things at the heads of people who download fansubs and then refuse to buy DVDs. (It's seriously making me more and more angry these days. It might be getting a little unhealthy.)
I'm ashamed that I don't remember whom they asked to draw the second eye in the daruma, but they did, and Anime Expo 2008 was officially over. *sniffle* We slowly made our way back to our hotel and watched Toward the Terra, which has a very interesting plot but a very annoying main character. Somehow, Mitsuki Saiga always plays characters that get on my nerves, but we have hope that he'll get better, and there are other main characters, so it's easy not to focus on him.
And then we went to bed, anticipating Disneyland the next day.
Today I'm thankful for people who know how to exaggerate, awesome cosplay people, plans to see The Dark Knight, randomly buying new anime, and getting plenty of work done again today.