Jan. 11th, 2014 04:23 pm
elwen: (muuchan)
What, they moved Yaoicon back up to the San Francisco Bay Area?!


Only took them, what, two years to learn their lesson. I approve.

Too bad the chance of them having guests that would get me to go is like zero. Shouoto Aya is the only BL mangaka I can even think of right now - and I like her for a non-BL series. Maybe if they had someone connected with No. 6. Or a seiyuu.
elwen: (V)
It's that time again... Fanime pre-reg prices go up after January 31. I'm working downtown this year, plus I am still planning/hoping to enter the karaoke contest, so no reason for me not to lock things in now.

So far, no cosplay inspiration has struck hard enough, so I may just be an ordinary con-goer this time.


Nov. 3rd, 2011 08:41 pm
elwen: (Default)
Oh shit. Someone came out with an awesome Sima Shi.

Good thing I'd already gotten over my idea of cosplaying him.

Maybe I'll be inspired to do someone in one of the shows I'm watching right now. If not, preparing for the karaoke contest will probably keep my hands full anyway.
elwen: (Default)
I had a dream a few nights ago that some friends and I were sitting in a room with a projector screen, watching a live feed of skits from AX. I guess that's a sign that I should get to posting about those thoughts for next year's Fanime that I mentioned last time.

In short, I have BIG PLANS.

First of all, I decided that I want to enter the karaoke contest. In 2009, I watched part of the prelims, and did open mic, and so I want to take it a step further. Not that I think I'd win or anything, but from what I remember, I think I have at least some chance of making it to the finals. And while open mic was fun, it didn't feel quite meaningful enough.

As things get closer, you'll probably get more posts about different songs and with sound clips and desperate pleas for feedback. As a small preview:

I'm pretty sure right now that my prelim song will be "Forever..." by Savage Genius, the OP for Erementar Gerad. It's got a strong beat but not too much melodic "help" from the accompaniment, except for the little Engrish parts. My only challenge right now is that I want to do both verses, and I'll have to figure out a way to cut things down to meet the length limit -- it's almost 20 seconds too long, which is a lot.

I'm less sure what I'd sing for the finals, if I made it that far. Top candidates right now are "My Soul, Your Beats!" by Lia, the OP for Angel Beats, and "Will" by lisa, the OP for Melody of Oblivion. I like "My Soul, Your Beats!" because it has impact and, aside from the intro, basically no long instrumental parts. But I don't have the timing quite down, and it's very hard to keep synced during the long chorus at the end. I'm a bit more solid on "Will", and I like it's varied structure, but I don't know what I'd do during that long violin solo. I also know my voice has a tendency to wobble on sustained notes when I'm in public -- though I haven't tested it all that much since I did "Kaze no Uta" (Nuriko's first image song from Fushigi Yuugi) in high school.

There are lots of other songs I know quite well, of course, but they all have certain disadvantages. I like "Hitomi no Naka no Meikyuu" (Kayou Aiko; Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito) and "Hitomi no Kakera" (FictionJunction YUUKA; Madlax) but I'm pretty sure my voice is really breathy when I sing those. There's also a considerable number of songs that I am currently not considering because they have no lead-in, including "Musouka" (Suara; Utawarerumono), "energy" (Inoue Marina; Ginban Kaleidoscope), and "Cocktail" (Hysteric Blue; Spiral). I watched a girl try a song like that in 2009; she had to ask the tech guy to tell her when he started the song, and it still didn't work. If one of those songs really seizes my fancy, though, I'll experiment with adding a tone at the beginning of the track to cue me in. Last, there are a couple of songs I like and know well but which I just think are too "easy". Top among those is "Kouya Ruten" by FictionJunction YUUKA, OP to an anime with a really long title that I've never watched.

Anyway, that's about enough of that for now, right?

The other part of my BIG PLANS is that I need to come up with another cosplay. I've decided that cosplay adds a lot to the con experience, but as I alluded to before, I can't just keep being Xellos forever.

So. Who to cosplay?

The idea of doing someone from Avatar has been kicking around for a while, but I'm kind of lukewarm. I love Avatar in every way, but I don't love any of the characters I could cosplay. While I was rewatching the series, I briefly considered Azula in her Earth Kingdom outfit. It's hopefully still recognizable, while sparing me from having to compete with all the awesome armor-makers out there. But the most positive sentiment I have for Azula is an occasional "meh".

While flipping through the artbook at Kinokuniya, another idea came to me: I could be the Painted Lady. I liked it because it hearkens back to my first cosplay with [livejournal.com profile] nendil, when we were also alternate "versions" of the same person (Mistress Nine and Sailor Saturn). But... I don't know.

In the end, any cosplay -- no matter how simple-seeming -- is a huge effort for me. It's not worth it unless the idea grabs me completely. I really have to enjoy every moment that I'm in costume. Xellos was like that. But Avatar just wouldn't be, I feel.

The idea that did grab me . . . may well be the death of me. But since it popped into my head, it hasn't shaken loose.

The idea is: Sima Shi, from Dynasty Warriors 7.

Since Dynasty Warriors always has super-elaborate costumes, and weapons, and armor, and I don't know the first thing about how to make any of those, you can see why I have doomed myself. But somehow I slowly delude myself into thinking it's doable -- without having really researched any aspect of it yet, of course.

But how much fun it would be if I could pull it off! I would have poses, including the one from his kickass "chouten wo mezasu" cutscene. I could even bring a meat bun with me for gags. And I can totally to his hair. (Once I figure out how to attach that hat thing.) Another plus: he's kind of a lone character, so I don't need a group.

I confess I had been trying not to get too carried away with the idea until after AX pictures were up and I could see what awesome cosplayers showed up to put my feeble ideas to shame. But, actually, I've only seen one Sima Shi so far. Not necessarily a good sign, if it means everyone else gave up on him, but given the number of Wang Yuanji's and Bao Sanniang's, I don't think that's really it.

So, we'll see. I'm too busy right now to invest more in the idea, but I've got almost a year to cobble something together.

Or maybe I'll be inspired by some new series I'm watching after all. I did consider Anri from Durarara!!, but I think I have a bias against doing characters in schoolgirl outfits, although I have considered several over the years. Haven't seen anyone from Blue Exorcist as yet, but the series is still young. And there's still fall and winter seasons to come.

And maybe time will pass and this unattainable idea will fade. I've already mostly gotten over the DW7 addiction, after all.

Oh, bonus points to anyone who noticed (or knew) that Sima Shi is voiced by Okiayu-sama. But I promise that's not the only reason I like him.
elwen: (Default)
Man, time really flies. I guess I should post about Fanime before it all slips away...

It was a pretty chill con, so there's not a whole not to report. Compared to Yaoi-Con, when I was just running around from guest event to guest event, there wasn't a rigid schedule I had to follow at Fanime. I did go to a couple panels, but not really of the pure "fan" type: Awesomely Bad J-Pop Music Videos, the comedy club, Whose Line Is It Fanime. They were all quite good, but they were all in the evening, so didn't affect schedule much.

During the day, it was really just a bunch of wandering the dealers room and artist alley, multiple times each. And spotting cosplayers. And dropping in on random video rooms when our feet got tired. The only thing that was scheduled was the photoshoots. Also, somehow we could never manage to get to the con earlier than about 10 or 11, no matter how early we got up.

So I don't really have that many takeaways. It was a fun con, and another great masquerade year -- though it's a little discouraging that you almost have to be good at choreography/dancing to have a good skit. Not that I'd ever be in the masquerade.

One downer to the masquerade, which I might as well get out of the way: they told me at the door that I had to leave my staff under one of the tables outside of the auditorium. When I lifted the tablecloth to find a place to put it, the area was full of all sorts of random crap -- strollers, wall scrolls, and other people's long props. I had serious misgivings about leaving my staff there, but I tried to tuck it in the back in hopes that it would be spared. When I took it out, everything seemed fine at first. Then when I started to raise it, the red globe fell out and shattered on the floor. That kind of sucked, but at least I have plenty more where that one came from. But I realized later that there is actually a serious crack in one of the upper prongs, where it's pure papier-mache. To fix it, I'll probably have to sand off all the paint, and possibly several layers of newspaper, and then redo the whole section. All this, when if they'd just told me in advance, I could have gone and left my staff in the car.

So yeah, that still bums me out a lot every time I think about it. I try not to, especially since I'm retiring the Xellos cosplay indefinitely anyway. Maybe I'll never have to deal with it.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Xellos cosplay. Even if I had to wear glasses this time, and ended up not having a chance to get white gloves. I'm proud of how the whole thing turned out. And I think maybe I got slightly more recognition this time. Also, as shown in my pictures, we found another Xellos. I guess there are always two of us. :]

But I think two years is about right for a costume. Xellos is a classic, so I bet I could go back to it down the road, but not for a couple years at least.

So, window-shopping, photoshoots and random cosplay, and witty performances. I think that sums up the con.

Oh, we did watch the best videos of 2011 from AMV.org, which were pretty good. Even the serious ones. And there were some awesome comedy ones, like Every Anime Opening Ever Made (which kind of loses steam, and may be laugh-out-loud funny only in group settings, but which I think is still worth mention) and the dangerously addictive Fast Food Song (sorry, I really can't find an original video).

And while I'm posting videos, as I mentioned there were lots of great masquerade skits. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but here's a sampling:
Portal - Amazingly well put-together, even though I didn't recognize it at first.
Team Obsidian - Just a fun little Pokemon skit.
The Hungry Cosplayers - An example of what I meant when I said you have to be good at choreography/dancing. I enjoyed the skit, but I wasn't sure I recognized the series until halfway through.
And, of course, the martial arts Avatar skit.

...okay, rewatching them now on YouTube, I realize that there were just a ton of really good skits this year, so you should just go watch them all. I remember now: the majority of the first ten made no sense, but after that it was great.

I had a soft spot for the Sengoku Basara skits, as well as Sengoku Basara cosplayers, since that was one series I'd picked up since my last Fanime. Actually, I started watching it because Okiayu-sama mentioned it at Yaoi-Con. Apparently it was his one cosplay experience, for some promotional event. Of all the awesome roles he has that he could dress up as, he had to be . . . Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Ugh. And I went into the series knowing that Okiayu-sama didn't show up until season two and really wasn't that major a role in terms of speaking time. But it turned out to be a very fun series that I enjoyed a lot. Completely silly and ridiculous, but fun. I have to mention two of the skits. The first one because they capture Sanada's delivery and Masamune's random English catchphrases so amazingly well. "Here we go!" XD And the second one because it really is pretty witty, whatever you think about the ending. (I think DateSana is blah, but you can't beat the enthusiasm of squealing fujoshi.)

So I know that was totally disjointed, but that's what I remember of Fanime right now. I was going to include thoughts about next year's Fanime -- since I'm going to be working downtown, I might as well go -- but I think I'll save that for another post. And thus I will slowly train myself to post regularly again . . . or something.
elwen: (Default)
I guess I at least owe you guys pictures. Especially [livejournal.com profile] nendil, who has been waiting to see the Avatar photoshoot. And considering how much Avatar I've been (re)watching lately...

I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Main Gallery

Some highlights:

Avatar photoshoot starts here. Melon Lord!

Super-awesome FFXIII cosplay starts here.

Chief Pikachu redux. Now with sexy sidekick. But what happened to Charlie the Charmander?! (Cf. 2009.)

With another Xellos.

Pimpin' Super Mario. My first picture, and I think still my favorite cosplay of the con.

Aaaaand... getting those pictures to you took all the time/energy/attention I have for now, so the report itself will have to wait for another time.
elwen: (squee!)
So, picking up where I left off...

Sunday. )

Speaking of which, I have no cosplay pics (well, a couple, but not enough to post in a gallery like I usually do) but I want to show off my autographs. I had waffled about whether I wanted some of them personalized, but in the end the issue was decided for me because they were all required to be. I assume that's to keep people from running off and auctioning things off on eBay.

Anyway, I don't really want my pictures all over the internet, so I'm keeping them friends-only. Sorry. Head here if you are special enough and want to see autographs and seiyuu. (The mangaka asked that people not take pictures, and while the request was blatantly ignored by basically everyone, I will at least respect them by not posting any.) Be forewarned that the picture of Yamane-sensei's autograph, on the second page of thumbnails, is not worksafe. ^^;;

And so that was Yaoi-Con 2010. Don't know if I'll ever go again. Maybe when they bring Midorikawa Hikaru, whom I've decided is the next seiyuu I really want to see. ^^ Or Ishida Akira, but I don't know if he does any BL. (Then again, I didn't know that Okiayu-sama does, either.) But I have some good memories, and no major regrets or gripes, so.

And now you're probably hoping I will stop posting about nothing but yaoi like I have been for the past two months. Well, I'll have to talk about Togainu no Chi in my next anime post, but I think I'm mostly done other than that...
elwen: (Default)
Yeah, I know, why am I posting about registering for another con when I haven't even finished debriefing from the last one?

But, Fanime pre-reg for $45 only lasts for another couple days. Anyone want to take the dive and commit with me?

I heard rumors from someone at Yaoi-Con that they lost the McEnery Convention Center to some other event this time, so who knows where it will be and whether the venue will be any good. Also, they don't even say when it is, though I assume they wouldn't deviate from their usual Memorial Day slot.

But it's not like I will know with any more certainty when the pre-reg prices are higher whether I will be able to make it or not, so it seems like I might as well lock in the lower price. I seem to have a pattern of going every other year, so 2011 is it. Paper print-out badges can suck it.

On the other hand, after Yaoi-Con, the guest line-up is going to look pretty shabby no matter what...
elwen: (Default)
On the whole, Yaoi-Con 2010 was great, and I am glad I went. There were some many moments when it reminded me of the years Fanime was too big for it to know how to deal -- long lines with nowhere to go; stupid, unfair policies for how to deal with people in those lines; panels falling behind because of the time it took to empty the room and re-seat people... But, I went there for the guests (which Fanime can never deliver), and I got plenty of guests.

I think I've said before, but I'm not a star-chasing, "omg he shook my hand now I'll never wash it" type, and this is probably the first time I've really done something like this. But even for people like me, I think it's worth it. It was great to just bask in their presence, hear them share little tidbits about their work and lives. I guess it's much like what you would get from listening to a seiyuu free talk or reading a mangaka's little notes -- without challenging my Japanese reading skills like the latter -- but those tend to be more focused on the particular series, while the panels were more about the person. And, I guess, even for the huge number of people packed into the room for Yamane-sensei, there is still a sort of intimacy to be sitting there in the same room with the person, hearing their voices first-hand (and being really glad you know Japanese so you don't have to rely on the horrible translations). The seiyuu mentioned how fans don't get to get that close in Japan, and I was glad that we did.

In the end, I didn't get to go to any of the fan panels because all of the guest events ran over into any time I had marked off as, "Hm, spare time, I think I will check out panel X." Not that I really care, since the panels I was more interested in were scheduled at the same time as guest events in the first place. Maybe next time. But then, next time will also happen mainly because they bring in amazing guests again, so... maybe not.

I did go to main events -- including the Bishounen Auction, which I'm glad I didn't miss -- and those were fun. I think there is a dichotomy in Yaoi-Con attendees. There are the ones that are more like me, there to see the guests and love the series and cosplay and all that. Then there are these creepy people who seem to be there to drool over the bishounen and grope and spank them. (Which I still don't understand. I thought we are there to celebrate BL...) Sometimes the main events became a little too suffused with the latter. Especially closing ceremonies. I'm not sure I want to go to that again... especially if they don't teach people how to properly spank. It's like how they were saying at the fantasy writers panel that you have to actually try punching or stabbing someone (or a chicken) to write it... I had the feeling most of the people there did not really know what spanking is supposed to sound or feel like (whether you're the spanker or spankee). On the other hand, I did think the bishies were hot and well-selected, and it was fun to see more of them.

Anyway, so I guess we will go in chronological order now.

Friday )

Saturday )

But that was Sunday, and this post has become ridiculously long, so I think I should stop and pick up with Sunday and pictures another time. ^^;;
elwen: (squee!)
Hardest to read schedule, evar.

I survived the big push of busy-ness at work, and while there is more stuff to fix and finalize over this week, I think I am on track to be able to put my foot down on working next weekend. *fingers crossed*

I went home on Friday to do laundry while I could, and to pick up my copy of the first volume of Finder, thus completing my set of things to be autographed. Actually, it was mainly done as of two weeks ago, when I got my CDs from Japan and Glimpses from Amazon, but looking at the schedule now, it seems I might be able to get in a signature from Yamane-sensei after all, so why not. I'll basically be spending all of Saturday morning at the guest panels. Not sure how they are going to handle them being back to back in the same rooms, but whatevs.

You may recall from before that I was agonizing over what I would ask Okiayu-sama to sign. I most love his silly, outrageous roles, and his sexy, evil roles, but usually those characters aren't the focus of the series and don't get much merchandise. I thought K might have been an exception, but no. Then I remembered, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] okiayu_sama, that he did a radio show for Clannad called "Nagisa to Sanae to Akio no Omae ni Hyper Rainbow." Clannad! The series I thought I'd never find anything for because it's Key series all about the girls. But the CDs are perfect because it's got him as Akio, and then a lot of free talk where he's just being himself.

Before I settled on the Clannad CDs, I was this close to getting the character CD for his character in Miracle Train. (You know, the series where train stations become bishounen who appear only to help women in distress.) But that just seemed way too Mary Sue. Actually, the drama track is precisely Mary Sue. So, yeah. As hot as Shinjuku is, it's just a little too gratuitous for me.

So I got the two volumes of Hyper Rainbow from CD Japan, and they are awesome. Each one has half of the 26 original episodes in MP3, and then a second disc that's a special session done for the albums. Japanese CDs are expensive, but this seems like a great value in terms of seiyuu goodness. Great listening comprehension practice, too. So now I really want all of the volumes of Souken no Mai, the Saiunkoku web radio show with Midorikawa Hikaru. There still aren't many Midorikawa-voiced characters that I particularly like (partly due to lingering bias from Tamahome days), but I love him as a personality in these seiyuu free talk type things. And I guess Seiran is one of his characters that I do like, so it works out. If only Geneon hadn't split the show into so many volumes, and the exchange rate were better... *sigh*

I feel kind of bad about Kiuchi-san. I was originally thinking of getting the first season of Darker Than Black, but then it wasn't anywhere near my price point (about $1 per episode) and I like what BSS did with it anyhow. So I am handing him my Saiunkoku animation book, that has a page about Ryuuren. Hey, it even has his name on it... ._.;;

And for Takanaga-sensei, there is Koisuru Boukun, of course.

So that will be the bag of goodies I'm carrying around . . . crap, I just realized I don't have a good backpack to use... well, I guess I can use my computer backpack, since I wouldn't mind the extra padding for some of these things anyhow.

Um... yeah. It's been hard to keep track of what I need to be ready, between everything going on at work. I'm just glad I got all of the things that required more foresight (like ordering CDs from Japan) out of the way before the storm hit. The little things I will work out one way or another.

Just gotta survive the coming week...
elwen: (reading)
I swung by Kinokuniya yesterday because it's been so long since I've been, even though I'm at the point where I have to special order of most of my series. [And in writing the preceding sentence, I just realized I forgot to check for new Genbu Kaiden, d'oh!]

To my pleasant surprise, they had a bunch of stuff I wanted: Koisuru Boukun 6, Junjou Romantica 13, and all three currently released volumes of Kimi ga Koi ni Oboreru. In fact, they seemed to have ported over all of the Takanaga Hinako stuff I had had to get from the SF store last time. (I wonder what yaoi series got kicked out, since the section as a whole didn't look particularly expanded.)

While scanning the books in, the checkout guy said, "You know she's coming here, right?" I looked at him blankly, trying to process his statement. Did he mean Takanaga-sensei? Did he mean "here" as in Kinokuniya? Or the United States? After a few seconds, he added, "...to Yaoi-Con." (I think maybe he didn't want to be the first to say it. ^^;;) The lightbulb went on, and I said, "Oh, yeah." Then, after a beat, "I did't think you would know." Not in a "are you a closet yaoi fan or something" way, you understand, just in a "why would you ever know that" way. [I was kind of sleep deprived yesterday, so it took time for things to percolate through my brain.]

So he explained that Kinokuniya goes up there every year, which makes lots of sense. Though I still kind of wonder why the SJ branch would care; seems like it would mostly be the SF store involved. Then again, maybe they need to pool inventory or staff or something to handle all the fangirls. The guy read Tanakanaga-sensei's name out loud from the cover, as if confirming to himself that he had the guests right. (After all, Nakamura Shungiku isn't going...) Then he said, "There's another person, too... uh..." "Yamane Ayano," I supplied for him. By then, the transaction was finished, so I left.

It was kind of a surreal conversation. But it made me more excited for Yaoi-Con. And more conflicted about prioritizing which guests I want to see. Okiayu-sama obviously has to come first, but I still can't decide if -- assuming I could even get a second session -- I want to see Takanaga-sensei or Lynn Flewelling. Especially with Glimpses coming out and being the perfect thing to ask her to autograph. I know it could all be a moot point, but I still have to be prepared for the possibility. One month to decide!
elwen: (squee!)
Because Okiayu Ryoutarou is going to be there, and he is hands-down my favorite seiyuu ever.

I will do my best to be a good, rabid fangirl. O:)

I know I probably can't convince any of you to come with, but I will put out the plea again for good measure. *puppy dog eyes*

ETA: So, obviously I am going to do everything I can to get a ticket to his autograph session. (And Takanaga-sensei's.) But... what do I ask him to sign? Maybe just a shikishi, so I can frame it and love it forever and ever... But it would be cool to get something specific to him... but I don't think there is anything of him in my favorite roles (Akio from CLANNAD, K from Graviation... there are more, but it's hard to think on the spot, and his list is so long). I suppose I could find something Tezuka. But I would pick one of his really dark, evil roles if I wasn't going with the silly, crazy ones. Hm. Anyway, something I should start thinking about.
elwen: (reading)
I was going to call this "vicious cycle", but I thought about it, and it wasn't really vicious as in tending to a bad result. So, I thought, "virtuous cycle?" But if in Japanese they call us fujoshi, "fu" meaning rot and depravity, I suppose it's not really virtuous either. :P So, I guess it's just a cycle of me running around as a fujoshi.

With the thrust of the cycle being that I want to go to Yaoi-Con.

The problem is, it kind of sucks to go to a con all by yourself, and I know absolutely no one who would be even the least bit interested in coming with. In the end, too, I think I probably won't go because, really, what would I get out of it.

Anyway, to go back to the beginning:

It all started when I was browsing the AniDB calendar and saw they were making a new BL anime called Koisuru Boukun. There haven't really been any good BL anime lately, not since Junjou Romantica. (I don't even want to talk about Uraboku.) I had come across the Koisuru Boukun page a few times, but this time I decided to investigate. I found the gensaku manga . . .

. . . and couldn't pull myself away until I had read all five and a half volumes or so that are out. I want to fangirl talk about the series some more, but I think that needs its own separate post.

So then, I thought, well maybe I would like the mangaka's other series. And in Googling her name, I realized she was going to be a guest at Yaoi-Con this year!

So then, I started perusing Yaoi-Con's guest list. And I have to say, they get so much better guests than FanimeCon. I guess it's not that surprising, since Yaoi-Con is the one and only, while Fanime is just another generic anime convention. But seriously, Yamane Ayano, Takanaga Hinako (the Koisuru Boukun mangaka), and . . . Kiuchi Hidenobu.

Okay, how in the world did they get a male seiyuu to guest at Yaoi-Con. I have to admire his courage. I mean, every girl in the audience is fantasizing about his characters being with other male characters. And even if he distances himself from his characters, it would still be his voice that's supplying the sound effects. >_>

[Actually, if I went, it would no longer be "every girl," because I see some of his roles that I like (Oshitari from PoT, Ryuuren from Saiunkoku, and, OMG, Hei from Darker than Black) but none that I would slash. He did play someone in Cluster Edge, which is one of those series that has zero insinuations but just happens to have a lot of pretty boys so girls take it and run. I guess PoT could be like that, too. But I speculated in a post once about potential pairings in Darker than Black, and just none of them appealed. I mean, Hei is a hot, sexy guy and deserves someone, but no one suits. The second season didn't help much in that area, either. What, is he going loli and hooking up with Suoh? *shudder*]

Anyways, so also in the guest list, I found Lynn Flewelling. Who apparently writes a fantasy series called Nightrunner. And I thought, "hey, I just finished a Pern marathon, which came after a Tortall marathon, and I am out of familiar series to marathon, so why not try something new?" And I read a couple of reviews at WeRead, including one that said Flewelling really did her homework on spycraft.

Two of my favorite genres, spy fiction and fantasy. Can it even be? Forget the slash part!

So now there are at least three big-name Yaoi-Con guests that have something on me. (With the potential fourth, Yamane Ayano . . . I don't know. It's been a long time since I read any Finder, much less Crimson Spell.)

But, what would I really get out of seeing or even meeting these people? That's why I think in the end I probably won't go. I will obsess for a while about how all these people I know are guests -- a stark contrast to Fanime -- but then I'll get over it. I'll keep consuming their media, but I'm not a star-chaser. It would be cool, maybe, to get an autograph or a sketch, but even with cons I tend not to make enough effort to get anything from the signing sessions. So that's that.

But it is crazy the amount of new stuff I have been dragged into, starting with this one little screenshot on AniDB.

I'm three chapters into the first Nightrunner book, now, and five chapters into the Koisuru Boukun prequel. ^^;;
elwen: (Default)

Fanime 2008 | Fanime 2007

Highlights from '08 include:

Tons of Phoenix Wright pictures, starting here.

Tons of Dynasty Warriors (different groups), starting here. I guess 5 was a big hit. (Not like 6...)

Silly poses from the Final Fantasy VII gathering, starting here. And by "Final Fantasy VII" I mean, "90% Advent Children".

A. oryzae.

The best fake-out ever.

And dude, there was this awesome Lina that I'd forgotten about. Why didn't she come this year? ;_;

As for '07, I only went for one day and wasn't really focused on taking pictures, so I can't say there are highlights per se. But there was Hard Gay.
elwen: (Default)

Main Gallery | Xellos Cosplay Subgallery

The subgallery has some pictures of my costume in-progress with more comments about its construction, in case anyone cares. I probably should have taken more progress pictures, but I was so rushed to just make the thing that I usually didn't think to pause and document. Especially the last few days when it was like: sew until I can't sew anymore; as a break from sewing, pink until I can't pink anymore; as a break from pinking, paint another coat on the staff; back to sewing! @_@

Some other highlights from the gallery:


With the other Xellos.

Seirei no Moribito, squee!

And Candace, this one's for you. (Sorry, I didn't see any Moyashimon this year.)

But there's too much good stuff for me to mention them all, so you should take a look.

Will get the previous two years up as soon as possible, but I have already neglected bar studying too much today. T_T
elwen: (Default)
I have to say, of all the cons I have been to, Fanime 2009 was probably the one I enjoyed the most. Looking back at my comments on the previous two Fanimes, it's kind of hard to tell what was different. Maybe it was just the cosplay. Maybe there were subtle changes in operations. Maybe it was the realization that, even though Fanime guests are obscure and tangential to my interests, they are generally cool, amusing people. But whatever it was, it worked.

Panel fail. )

Masquerade win. )

Cosplay win. )

Random remainders. )

And that's Fanime 2009!

I really think Fanime hit its sweet spot this year. Enough people and things going to have constant excitement but not so crowded or busy as to be overwhelming. I'm afraid that it will soon pass critical mass and become "line con", but for this year at least, it was good.

[Pictures forthcoming, I promise. It's hard to juggle the rest of my life with bar review classes -- I had to write most of this post over the course of several lunch breaks. *sigh*]

ETA: Masquerade video links! Kuroshitsuji and Pokémon.
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Today was kind of a day of panel fail all around. But it's not time to talk about that yet.

Xellos final evolution(-r). )

I have to say that Xellos is a really good cosplay choice. His outfit is relatively manageable in terms of moving around, being able to go to the bathroom, etc. And underneath the cloak, he basically wears normal clothes, so you don't need to strip to be able to go somewhere for dinner after the con. And he has a bag, so you can carry stuff with you and not need to put it down every time someone asks to take a picture. (And black is almost an acceptable choice for the bag color, so you don't have to make or buy something special, either.)

I would definitely want to wear the costume again, whenever my hair being shoulder-length coincides with my attending a convention. But someday I will do Yankumi, too. Even more obscure, yay!

We did find Filia, and as I suspected she had no mace, but we still got a nice action shot. )

And I sang at open-mic karaoke, as I've always wanted to! I thought I should represent for my series more, so I did "Plenty of grit", the Slayers Revolution OP. Unfortunately, the guy did not announce my song (though they did for most other people), so people were probably still clueless as to who I was and what I was singing. But I made at least one fangirl happy: as I walked onto the stage, she jumped up and shouted, "Yay Slayers!" and then as the song started, her eyes widened and she gave a little gasp and just looked so excited. ^_^v That was worth all the practicing last night and editing the track (to cut out that ridiculously long bridge) and burning it and printing out the lyrics and everything.

Tomorrow I will be free of having to worry about stepping on my cloak, or adjusting my tea cozy, or not whacking someone with my staff. It's a short day anyway, so I don't think it's worth the time I spend struggling with the sash. It really is one of those things... the parts I spent so much time on beforehand are more manageable, once I figured out how to do them (though I just realized tonight looking at my reference pictures that I've been overlapping the tea cozy backwards, d'oh!), and the parts that were so simple to prepare (cutting three pairs of different rectangles of fabric) were a pain. We also went through an entire can of purple hair spray figuring out how to apply it best. Today's application was much more even, efficient, and better-looking, in my opinion, though it apparently doesn't show up as well in pictures. It was a nice dusky purple tint, the way I think it's supposed to be.

Anyhow, I feel a little bad about this girl who was dressed as Kurapika that I ran into twice, who told me she kept wanting to take my picture but never had her camera. Now she'll never have the chance... at least not for a year or more. ^^;; But what can I do. There will be a Mudkip hat with my name on it tomorrow, and that will be the extent of my "cosplay". They herd I liek them. :]

[Actually, I like Wooper better, but in general I like them both, and the hats were cute and relatively cheap.]

Getting back to cosplay... Bonus pic! )
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Pics. )

Sadly, there was no Slayers revival from Revolution and Evolution-R. I saw one other Xellos, and that was it for Slayers cosplay today. Also, many people did not recognize me, which is sad. (A group of people told me they thought I was from dot Hack. *facepalm*) BUT! Everyone who did recognize me was very excited about it, and I got glomped on several separate occasions. Forget counting picture requests; I have never cosplayed anyone that made people randomly run up and hug you. :D

One of said girls who glomped me said she would cosplay Filia tomorrow. I'm hoping to find her and do some action poses together. I hope she has a mace, though I doubt it.

Also, posing with the other Xellos was fun. I felt like our costumes complemented each other in what parts we had ghettoed and which parts we had tried to do faithfully. He had a nice wig (though, like almost all Xellos wigs I have ever seen in pictures online, I thought the purple was a little too bright) and the white gloves. But I don't think his cape was lined, and I think my foam sheets and polymer clay broach thing looked better than his cardboard and foam one. Anyway, I'll have that picture later and you can compare. Sadly, he said he wouldn't be Xellos tomorrow, so he will not have the benefit of Filia.

So that was Fanime Day 2 as far as my cosplaying was concerned. Report on everything else later. Though I will say now that the masquerade was quite excellent.
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Well. I guess now I have the "real" cosplaying experience: staying up late the night before the big day to finish the costume? D:

I wish the tea cozy had turned out right in more ways. For what it is, it looks really good. But it's too short (even though I patterned the length so meticulously), the yellow is uneven, the red rectangles are jaggedy and different sizes (just like in the anime! 9_9), and the pieces don't join quite right. I've put a buttload of work into it, so if those things had worked out, it would have been so awesome. For my level of skill, it's on the high end of what one would expect, so I'm not going to bemoan it too much. It's just too bad.

Fanime today was surprisingly good. I hit not one but two excellent panels (one on how the industry takes manga from Japanese tankoubon to in-store graphic novel and one on amazingly bad J-music videos), did some good scouting work in the dealer's room (which I will undoubtedly go through again tomorrow with my sister), and got to see some good AMVs. No Slayers characters were sighted, sadly, and we do not get a scheduled gathering. And I missed the Ouran gathering, damnit! I mean, all Ouran people look the same anyway except with different hair colors, but still. (Though there was a Hani in a karate gi walking around with a black-haired Ouran guy, and it took me a long time to figure out who he was.)

I guess there are enough good series out there now -- or more series generally known to American fans -- so there's no longer the one series from which there are just too many people. I remember when it was Trigun, Fullmetal Alchemist, Advent Children. This year I see them all, but all in moderate numbers. But it's too bad Slayers isn't one of those old series that are still hanging around -- like Ranma and Sailor Moon. I am too young to even know how those relate to each other timewise -- maybe Slayers is way older? -- but I'd like to think it's just because the Slayers costumes are a little harder to put together than a red gi or even a sailor fuku. Anyway, I will represent!

Okay, I should go to bed now. Tomorrow will be a loooooong day. And I suspect the shoes will kill me and Sunday will see a Xellos with white shoes instead of white gloves. But it will be good while it lasts...
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When I first started composing this post in my head, I was only casually contemplating cosplaying for Fanime. I figured that this was one of the few times that I'd have a mostly free week right before a con, which made it good for making a costume on short notice.

But who to cosplay? My hair is short now, so Yankumi is out. I could do Honami from Rental Magica, but I doubt we could get my sister into Adilisia shape in a week, which defeats the point. I'm not a big fan of wigs or hair dye, so I try to stick to people with hair styles and colors approximating mine. The only person I could think of in recent shows that fit the bill was Shuri from Asura Cryin', and even if I really understood her character, I don't think she's the type I'd want to cosplay, and right now I don't even know what's up with her. (Although episode 6 helped a great deal, and she is all science-crazy.)

Anyway, as you may have guessed from the way I started this section, I did end up deciding to do a cosplay. As Xellos. I've always wanted to do it, my hair is as close to the right style as it's ever going to be (stupid anime characters always having bangs), and it's soon enough after the mini-revival of Revolution and Evolution-R that it's pseudo-current and not some dredged-up classic.

The devil is in the details, of course. In broad brush-strokes, it didn't seem that hard, but now I'm running into all sorts of issues. Should I sew or paint the border on the cloak? Should I get gloves? Where am I going to find the red jewel-y things for the brooch? And why is papier mache always harder to get in the right shape than I think it will be?

At least I've found some temporary purple hair spray that will probably show up enough against my black hair to satisfy me, and save me from having to dye my hair. (I was seriously considering it -- this is probably the last time in my life I can get away with it. Except I have a concert next Wednesday and my choir director would kill me, so I'd have to dye it black again right after anyhow.)

So, it will happen, in some form or another. Probably not as grand as I imagined, which is how most of my craft-y projects turn out, but good enough. At least I have a decent amount of experience at making cloaks -- including lined cloaks -- after Ditch Day. (Haa...)

Speaking of Fanime, though, I don't suppose any of you are coming?

...bar classes.

As I said in the comments of my last post, graduating from law school is not really an exciting moment because it means you are soon to begin bar classes, which last all summer. Then after the bar exam, you can kind of relax, and people usually go on a "bar trip" (mine will be in Japan). But you don't actually find out if you've passed the bar until November. By that time, at least in the past, you had started working, so no time for a big celebration. So... there's not really a good moment to be like, "Yay!" after law school. But between graduation and bar classes isn't even in the running, I'd say.

Like 99% of my classmates, I received a huge box of study materials from BarBri in April. I finally opened them the other day, on BarBri's advice that I skim the outlines for subjects that I hadn't taken in law school. ...which was apparently every subject on the state bar. (I've taken most of the subjects on the multistate, though I probably have a lot of relearning to do.) After looking at some of the outlines, I realized that it's not that bad, as I do know some agency law, civil procedure includes the federal rules, and hopefully I am at least vaguely familiar with corporations, partnerships, and professional responsibility. But community property, remedies, trusts, and wills will be all new.

I won't ask myself, "So what did I learn in law school?" because I was busy with IP, of course, but the bar exam is almost like the traditional chemical engineering curriculum that Caltech axed the year before mine -- the one that ended with everyone having to design a refinery and all. I thought we liked specialization and diversification.


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