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Just survived the 20th Otakon August 11, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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I think that was the first year I’ve managed to get up early enough to go to 9AM panels. (Though it’s certainly not the first year I’ve wanted to go to some of the panels at 9AM.) First year I didn’t get an 18+ wristband, too. The line was insane, and there wasn’t anything I desperately wanted to catch.

My parents both registered — their second time as attendees — not as fans, exactly, more as baffled-but-amused fan-parents. I talked my dad into getting the Free! badge design out of solidarity; he was disappointed that they weren’t showing it at the con. Mom went for the Wolf Children design, caught the screening on Saturday, and reported liking it.

[A Certain Scientific Railgun] Mikoto and KurokoCaught the first episode of A Certain Scientific Railgun, which was cute and looked like a fun action series, except for some unfortunate fanservice (of the “young teen girls sexually harass each other and it’s treated as harmless mischief” variety).

After an incident where one character feels up her companion in the post-gym showers, a guy behind me said, “So, uh…” Female friend of his replies, “That never actually happens.” Him: “Well, obviously not now, but at any point…?” Her: “No. Never happens.”

And later on I watched the pilot of A Certain Magical Index, which I tried to watch once before but couldn’t get into. Turns out it’s a lot more accessible once you’ve seen a bit of Railgun, so you’ve had a more well-rounded introduction to the setting, and so that the random characters jumping in and out of the plot are familiar cameos from Railgun (and you can learn about the new characters by how they interact with the ones they already know) rather than random strangers with no clear motive (which only makes things harder to track).

Which is why it’s really weird that Railgun is apparently the spinoff, the series that came second.

Point is, I’m putting Index back on my to-watch list, but this time after Railgun.

On a bus heading for dinner, a woman was explaining the crowd in costumes to a baffled guy in a construction vest: “Some people are fans of baseball, some are fans of football, these people are fans of cartoons. Everybody’s gotta be a fan of something.”

Sounds about right.

I didn’t do any serious cosplay, but I wore a big-floppy-eared Kyuubei hat. It got some appreciation. One guy wanted to know where I’d gotten it. For the record: the Internet. Try Etsy.

It makes me so mad when people on magical girl panels say really dumb things.

Extended rant about that here (frillsofjustice). It got a bit long.

tumblr_static_tumblr_inline_mkch8dktn11qz4rgpOn a happier note, saw Evangelion 3! On the big screen, in the big theater with the big subwoofers, which means we got the full impact of the opening “there’s an enemy in orbit, so we’re sending a couple of Eva up using booster rockets” sequence.

It was mostly an excellent movie. Gorgeous animation. Eerie plot that unfolded at a good pace. The audience cheered when a mid-battle Asuka impatiently yanked off her helmet, and aww’d basically every time Kaworu and Shinji talked. (Understandable, given the dialogue: actual lines include “We make beautiful music together, don’t we?” and “I wanted to look at the stars with you.”)

Without spoiling anything too specific, my one complaint is that the big climax depended on Shinji abruptly grabbing the Idiot Ball. In defiance of a lot of his characterization up until that point, no less.

On the plus side, the plot was mostly comprehensible! Which is a remarkable point, when you’re Eva.

One afternoon on the elevator at the hotel, a guy actually turned to the rest of us on the way up and said, “I bet you’re all wondering why I gathered you here today…”

Screen-Shot-2013-05-18-at-1.52.54-PMThe last thing I watched was This Boy Has Caught A Merman, which was a little disappointing — shorter than expected, with a thin plot — but came with really trippy, visually distinct animation. Plus, the merman hanging out in the kiddie pool in our hero’s living room was cute.

And the last panel I went to was “Anime After the Quake”, which in theory was going to talk about how the effects of the 2011 earthquake were expressed through anime and manga. Turned out the panelist’s approach was more like “This put the country in a post-disaster mindset, and the whole origin of anime grew out of another post-disaster mindset, so let me spend the next half hour talking about Tezuka and Astro Boy.”

We did get some post-quake reflection, but not what I had hoped for.

Had to resist a ton of Sailor Moon and/or Madoka merchandise in the dealers’ room. (“Next year,” I told myself. “There will be even more Sailor Moon stuff next year. No rush.”)

I did walk away with a Madoka keychain. Trying to be moderate, here, not abstinent.

Dead tired by this point. Which is usually the mark of a good con.

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