Saturday, July 7, 2007

My Time At Anime Expo, Day 1.

I woke up on Saturday at 7:00 AM to get ready, dressed, and out the door to get to the Long Beach Convention Center by 8:00. The registration line had already started, and seemed very long, but I would find that by 9:00, I would have my registration in hand.

In line, I saw both good cosplay:

And bad cosplay:

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that AX is the largest anime convention in the world, with a reported 44,000 attendees. There are some really amazing, beautfiul cosplay done here. If you're interested, you can google image search for all the shots that I didn't get.

Finding my around was quite annoying and difficult, for the fact that the expo was not confined to just the convention center. The event took place across a total of six venues. There was a video room in one hotel, two video rooms, an arcade, and Karaoke in another hotel, an arena for the big concerts, a theater for the major screenings, and the convention center itself with another video room, the panel rooms, console gaming, artists alley, and the dealer's room. Registration took place in another venue entirely. Having all of this stuff spread out across two city blocks was quite inconvenient. After glancing through the dealer's room, noticing that console gaming was packed to the brim, and cavorting in the arcade (too fat for DDR anymore, it's all Tekken and Melty Blood for me), I ventured into the dealer's room.

I usually patronize FanimeCon, which happens in the Bay Area over Memorial Day weekend. The Dealer's room fits nicely in one of their exhibit halls. But this dealer's room was ten times the size. With elaborate booths, such as Geneon's Hellsing-themed display, and Bandai's makeshift theater. Best Buy even had a booth for some reason. And there were tons of independent booths, one selling anime cels for $300-$1,000. Rooster Teeth was apparently there, but I did not see them.

Eventually, I decided to get in line for the SOS Brigade concert. The original voice actors were going to be doing some songs from the show, and it sounded like fun. I got in line around 3:00, with the performance scheduled to start at 4:30.

Of course, this is an anime convention, right? I don't believe we got let in until around 5:30 or so, and the performance didn't start until about 6. For a half hour, we were watching promo videos. The best part of the videos was when they would stop, and someone in the tech booth would have to navigate the menu on the DVD. Good lord.

Finally, the performance started. The voice actress for Mikuru, Yuko Goto, did the song from Episode 0, Miracle Mikuru-run, or whatever the name actually is. The song's gimmick is she's supposed to be tone-deaf, so it worked out. But something seemed a bit... off. After the song finished, they introduced the translator for the Japanese VA's... and the Haruhi from the ASOS Brigade. Her name is Patricia, for the record.

I think the ASOS Brigade is one of the dumbest gimmicks of all time, for the record, and the woman playing Haruhi is fingernails drawing across my soul. At around this time, it was revealed they had about one live mic.

They show a demonstration of doing recording (ADR) for Haruhi. And the troubles begin here:
You can plainly see someone running Windows Media Player. Aya Hirano, the voice of Haruhi was next, and she did the opening theme from the anime series. It appeared that the music cues were off, because she was about a quarter of a bar behind the rest of the song.

Other things that were going wrong were people missing their cues to come onstage, the ASOS Brigade sucking the air out of the rest of the performance... if it were not for one factor, I would have called the concert crap. Even the song God Knows kinda sucks when you can't hear the lead guitar.

Johnny Yong Bosch is a king among nerds. You may remember him as the second Black Ranger from the old Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, but these days, he does anime (Ichigo in Bleach, Renton in Eureka Seven, Itsuki in Haruhi). When he went to do his ADR line, he flubbed it a bit, and in a totally awesome and superb fashion, grabbed the script out of Patricia's hands, and flings it aloft, scattering the pages. Much to his dismay, the script was not just his lines for the faux recording session... but for the entire concert. So the whole thing grinds to a hilarious halt for a few minutes.

Concert ends with a massive Hare Hare Yukai dance, and the entire Japanese and American ADR cast come out to do it, and some contest winners come out as well. Johnny Yong Bosch doesn't know the dance, and basically does the monkey.

Crowd cheers for an encore, so the Hare Hare Yukai dance is done again. End concert.

Sadly, I missed a Para Para instructional workshop for this because it started late. I left the con shortly after the concert.

1 comment:

Rusalka said...

...AX. *Sigh* *General facefaulting*