See, while we did e-mail him to finally respond to the e-mail he'd sent us like two weeks ago, we also asked him a favor. Saiyuki: The Musical (as I have arbitrarily translated the title) came out on DVD in January, but we don't have it yet because they only sell it at Animate. He had offered more than once to buy us anything, so when he e-mailed again on his return from the Tokyo Anime Fair, we decided to take him up on his offer. And then we got distracted with costume-making. But since we were doing non-work-related productive things yesterday, we remembered. And, as I already mentioned, we got a response very quickly. It was very short, and said, "I'm working in Akihabara today, so I'll pick it up at lunch time. Is there anything else you want?" Hence the very much excitement.
We were actually kind of shocked for a couple of reasons. For some reason, we tend to be shocked when people are that nice to us. (This is also why I was a little shocked when Kat and Maya told us they were worried when our flight got delayed so long. Clearly, we have much damage. Or we're just so mean ourselves that we don't understand niceness in others.) And second, we had spent so long being unable to obtain the DVD in question that we were kind of starting to believe it didn't really exist or something. We e-mailed him back right away to say that no, the one DVD is enough, but we haven't heard from him since (I say, as if it's been such a long time).
Anyway, time to stop being impatient for the future and to enjoy reminiscing about the past!
On Saturday, we all woke up and put on our Haruka(1) costumes, which was great, because now we were all from the same thing! Whee! Sadly, we were too late to participate in the cosplay scavenger hunt (Kat, in her (relatively) easy-to-put-on Inori costume, went on ahead and told us it was packed; we probably would have had to get up super early to make it in, so none of us was too disappointed, as we all enjoy sleep), so instead we sat in on a basics of cosplay panel. Since it was basics, it was mostly stuff we all knew (although there were a bunch of techniques that I don't actually use, like making mock-ups, eheh), but it was interesting anyway. The panelists freaked me out by saying to make sure to wash the fabric before working with it, not only for preshrinking purposes, but also because sometimes they soak the fabric in formaldehyde to keep the rats out of it during shipping and stuff. I knew about the preshrinking thing but decided I was too lazy to deal with it (a lot of our costumes would be better off as dry-clean only anyway), so suddenly I was terrified, not only for our sakes, but for the sakes of our dear little kitties who love to lie on my fabric at the most inopportune times. But fortunately, Maya works at Jo-Ann's, and informed me that if they did soak the fabric in formaldehyde, there would have to be a warning on it or something, and that most likely the panelist had read something about the crazy chemicals they put on flame-retardant fabric and got the wrong idea. Whew.
After the cosplay panel, Kat and Maya went to obtain sustenance while we went to a panel called "Hobby or Profession?" which was basically about whether or not it would be worth it for you (the con-goer) to pursue a career in anime/manga. Of course, we already knew our own answer, and were mostly just going to see if we could show off, because we're lame like that. It was generally very well done, and it even inspired this week's Manga Life column! Yay! There were some things that I didn't get to in the column, though, like the panelists declaration that, if you go into translating, you WILL have to work on something you don't like. That statement actually isn't necessarily true. But I think I might want to save my comments on that for another column. Or not. Either way, I'll address it some other time.
Then we went back to our room, where we found Kat and Maya again! Yay! It had been discovered that Maya's badge was lost, so she went to Con Ops in an effort to find/replace it, while we went with Kat to wait for them to let us into the anime version of MST3K. While we waited, we noticed not one, but two Princess Tutu cosplayers wandering around, and I said, "There's two Princess Tutus! That's like... a paradox!" completely missing the pun potential. But that's what friends are for, right? And Kat supplied, "Or a pair o' ducks!" Yay♥ And then she had to go get a picture.
MST3K turned out to be filled to overflowing, so, to save the trouble of finding three adjacent seats, we decided to leave Kat and get something to eat, as well as buy snacks in the dealers' room. The booth selling the snacks that we wanted also had some Final Fantasy trading arts figures, so we got two! We're suckers for grab bag type things, after all. We were very happy to discover that one of our figures was a Balthier, and now he and Aerith are hanging out on top of our TV with all the Disney Princess Zizzlingers. We're not sure if that's entirely safe, actually, but we think Balthier is a gentleman and will at least be loyal to Fran (whom we did not get a figure of; maybe next time).
We also bought some Kit Kats! Sadly they only had normal flavors, but we did discover that they have some sort of connection to entrance exams in Japan. When we marveled about it to Kat and Maya, they explained that it's because they're "Kitto Katsu!" and it all made perfect sense! Yay!
By the time we made it back to MST3K, Maya had joined Kat, and the Hachiyo were all together again. Or the half of us that were there were together again anyway. But then it was time for Maya to go change into her Saku (Haruka 3) costume for the Masquerade (or Cosplay Contest, as they call it at Detour), so we and Kat went off to the AMV contest. There were some really good music videos and some kind of eh ones. My favorite was probably the Negima music video set to Candy Man, just because it was so fitting, and the creator seemed to put a lot of thought into it. There was also a Beck music video to some song about the best song in the world, where Ryuk from Death Note played the devil. It was pretty funny too, but obviously didn't require as much thought. (You can see we mostly enjoy comedy AMVs.)
On our way out of the contest, we ran into Maya, who was on her way to craftsmanship judging in her gorgeous gorgeous costume. We followed along for moral support and, since they didn't kick us out, to see what the judging process looked like. We sat and talked and had a good time until it was Maya's turn to be judged, at which point we followed her to the judges' table. They asked her all kinds of questions, like how she put the designs on everything and stuff, and they seemed very impressed with all her hard work, so we were pretty excited.
Then... then... there was... stuff... or something... and at some point we found ourselves in line (or trying to be in line) to watch the Masquerade (which I'm sticking with because I like it better than "Cosplay Contest"). Maya tells us that the backstage portion of the contest is incredibly well organized, but apparently in order to get to that point, they somehow managed to suck every fiber of organization out of the audience control portion of the contest. We did eventually get seated, though, and that's where Kat discovered that she may never want to watch another masquerade with us again. We weren't so bad with the walk-ons, I think, but every time there was a skit...
Let me explain. We never watch Masquerades. It started when we went to San Diego Comic Con in 1998, and we did watch their Masquerade, and it had a few problems. First and foremost, it was loooooong. Second, whenever there was an eh costume, we were like, "Ha ha! We are the cosplay masters! You LOSE, sucker!" and whenever there was a really good costume, we were like, "Oooohhhhhh noooooooooo! We are nothing before them! We will never even reach the feet of their cosplay greatness! We are dust! We're lower than dust!" So there was kind of a roller coaster of superiority/inferiority complex, and we tend to think it's good to avoid that kind of thing. Fortunately, over the years, we have grown and matured, and we've gotten to a point where we can genuinely appreciate the skill of good cosplayers, and be more understanding of beginners. So we didn't think that would be a problem so much, and we really wanted to support Maya, so off to the Masquerade we went! Yay!
And that's where we discovered the problem. We actually should have seen it coming, because it's just how we are. I like to think of it as being caused by our constant striving for perfection. But anyway, any time there was a skit, we would start whispering to each other about what they needed to do to make it better. For example, there was one skit where Faye Valentine was all depressed for some reason, so Yoko from Gurren Lagann is trying to help her out by suggesting she rock out to her theme song--that's what always cheers Yoko up. And Adine from Gurren Lagann was there too for some reason. When Faye pointed out that she didn't have a theme song, Yoko suggested all kinds of songs for her to adopt, and they would dance to very brief clips of each of them. It was cute, and funny, and the music clips weren't too long... but it would have been perfect if instead of Adine they had Revy from Black Lagoon. Because then they'd all be scantily-clad kick-butt anime heroines. Of course, if the third person in their group wanted to be Adine (a minor antagonist, as she said in their skit), then that's a good enough reason not to do it the other way. You write the skit for the characters you have, and all that.
But the problem was the Organization XIII group. Their skit was good enough to win them Best Performance, and they definitely deserved it, but oh the room for improvement. They had thirteen people all working together and dancing in a unified fashion, and that is very impressive. But... well, if they had everyone in Organization XIII, and they danced to the entire song, they should have had time to showcase each of the members, at least in pairs. But Larxene and Xaldin and Xigbar and Zexion and... maybe a few others... all stayed in the background. We later found out that, while they didn't bring them on stage, they did make each member's weapon, so why oh why oh why did they not have Demyx bring his guitar out? Srsly. Although Athena says she'd give that one to them if they thought it would be a little tacky, since no one else had their weapon on stage.
Then there was Xemnas. He comes out on stage in his fancy black and white coat thingie, looking all serious, with his hood over his head, and glaring disapprovingly as everyone was partying... then he jumps to the center of the stage, dramatically pulls his hood down, and starts dancing. This complaint was probably more of a time issue, but how much more awesome would it have been this way: He comes out wearing his all-black coat, does the same stuff as before, only when he jumps to the center of the stage, the all-black coat is torn off to reveal the black and white coat, not in shiny vinyl, but in sparkly sequins! Bam! And then, instead of dancing a duet with Saix, he dances solo, with Roxas and Axel as his backup dancers! Or Saix and Xigbar, if you want them to join him in the apparent disapproval thing.
When we told our idea about the sequined coat to Kat and Maya, they're like, "Well if you want to applique all those sequins..." (Maya actually used the name of the fabric that would be required, because she knows all that stuff). I totally would, actually, if I had the choreography and everything else. Or at least I'd find something very sparkly to use instead. But the key word is "sparkly." Not shiny.
Regardless, it was pretty impressive overall, leaving aside our opinions about Roxas and Axel as a couple. Roxas likes Namine. The end.
Anyway, much more importantly, Maya won a judge's choice award! Congratulations!!! (We all knew she wasn't going to win Best in Show, because there were Trinity Blood cosplayers, and they always steal all the good prizes.)
Then it was time for more karaoke! Yay! It was pretty much the same as before but with fewer technical difficulties. I think someone described it as being 100% less fail (and I think that someone was Miracle Sound Guy, but I don't remember for sure). And when Kat went up to sing her song, she announced that it would be this team's last Anime Detour, and everyone was sad. There were hugs at the end, and then we went off to bed while Kat and Maya went off to party into the wee hours of the morning.
And that all turned out to be plenty long enough, so Sunday shall wait for a later post. Also I need to remember to talk about us being on YouTube. Today I'm thankful for Con Suite, our friend in Japan being awesome, a pair o' ducks, friends to supply the puns, and getting to translate manga today.