Tekko, 2018

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I am dreadfully sorry.  At least this time I have a doozy for you.  Tekko, 2018 in Pittsburgh!  My doctor was on vacation so it was perfectly timed, but the weather could have been nicer.  I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who is sick of the cold.

Anyway, drove to my friend’s house and we carpooled to the convention center.  I got checked in (they had already been there the night before) and we went walking.  There was actually a signing first thing in the morning from Vic Mignogna (voice of Edward Elric [FMAB], Zero Kiryu [Vampire Knight], and Tamaki Suoh [Ouran High School Host Club]).  We sat down at a table to wait and had scintillating conversations about feminism and political correctness in Hollywood (topic for another post), before the signing started.

Now, I’ll set the scene a bit for this one: there’s this girl, whose been going to these conventions for ‘years’ according to her.  She dresses as the same character every year and says hi to everyone.  Well, she doesn’t say hi to me and if she did, I would tell her as nicely as possible to f*ck off.  My reason for disliking her?  She’s inconsiderate and uses a ‘brain abnormality’ as an excuse.  So, the self-proclaimed ‘brain abnormality’ was near the front of the line when one of the organizers told us the rules had changed.  Previously, we could have two items signed and could get one picture; now, they were telling us to get one item signed and hold pictures till the end so he could get through the line faster.  Anyway, she broke that rule immediately, and Vic was (probably) too nice to tell her to wait till the end for her picture and to not bring more than one item to get signed.  Oh!  Me and my girlfriend were fuming!

After that signing, we went down to the exhibition hall and walked around.  I saw the sword booth and found myself a fancy rapier sword.  Slick silver hilt and I felt like a swashbuckler holding it.  Thankfully, they said they could hold it for me at the booth so I didn’t have to either cart it around or immediately take it to my car.  I went with my friends after that and we got in line for another signing.  My guy friend stepped out of line to go get something and was gone for a couple of minutes.  When he came back, he ducked under the bar and straightened up very quickly.  I watched as he stripped his jacket off and tied it around his waist.  “Don’t look now, but I just split my pants,” he said.  Myself and his sister just stared at him for a second before we broke down laughing.  “We need to find a onesie when we’re done here,” he said and that only made us laugh harder.

Once the signing was done, we did go looking for his onesie.  He got a black cat onesie from ‘Monster Hunter’ (if anybody is familiar with that).  Later when we were walking around, we caught sight of Vic Mignogna in the exhibition hall with his handler.  My girlfriend told me to go grab him since I wanted a picture.  I walked over and greeted his handler first (since we’re friends on Facebook and have hung out before), then I asked Vic how he was doing.  At that particular moment, he was ecstatic because he had found chocolate covered bacon.  No joke!  I politely asked him if I could get a picture.  He said, “Of course you can, sweetie!”  The handler took the picture, but Vic stayed hugging me for a few seconds afterward.  “She gives good hugs.”

“Yes, she does,” the handler said.  I thanked him for being so nice and went back in search of my group.

And that was Day One!  I’ll post Day Two another time, otherwise you’ll be here a while.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Be Prepared! I Was Prepared!

Whenever I go to a convention, I dress to impress.  Quite frequently, I’m already thinking about the following year’s costumes.  When you’ve been dressing up as long as I have, you know how to create a system that works and gets me my costumes in a timely manner.

This year, I purchased my ticket for Tekko, 2018 already and I’ve taken a look at the costumes for next year.  I already decided to be Holo, the Wise Wolf one day; and Hela, the Goddess of Death another day.  I have an envelope on my desk with all I’m going to need written on the front of it, along with where I can get it and how much it costs.

I reached out to the person who makes most of my props (she made my Kid Loki Helmet, Loki’s scepter, and my gun) and she is going to make my Hela headdress and sword.  I am saving my money so that I can get my costumes probably starting in the middle of February to make sure that it has arrived and fits me before April.  Some people (my brother) say I’ve got all my ducks in a row way too early.  I don’t think so.  It’s always nice when you get your costume all together, and then you try it one when you think about the convention and get excited.  It breaks up the monotony of your day.  And that always puts a smile on my face.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Sangawa, 2017

On Friday and Saturday, 12/8 and 12/9, my brother and I had Sangawa, the Japanese Cultural Society, the 18+ convention at the Double Tree Hotel, near our city.  The voice actors attending were Colleen Clinkenbeard and Robert McCullom.  After a very busy day at my dentist office (where I did not get lunch at all, BTW), my brother and I spruced up and left to go to the hotel.  We missed opening ceremonies, but we didn’t care about that.  We bumped into a few people we had met at previous conventions and decided to hang with them for a little while.

The staff ‘quietly’ advertised the fact that they had gambling in one of the rooms and we went to go check it out.  It was just a few games with prizes like a samurai mask, or a Japanese tea set or a sake set.  My younger brother and our acquaintance played a few games and bought tickets to see if they could win any of the raffles.  After that, we checked out the ‘dealer’s room’ or the small market place.  It was interesting, but not as diverse as the market at Tekko.  However, I bought a few Soul Eater plushies to put on the rest between the seats and back windshield of my car.  My brother actually cracked and got a Ryuk Funko Pop bobble-head.  Then, the Sangawa Social started, and he went off on his own, and I went with my very fancy tumbler into the room and started drinking.  I was warned off a witch’s brew of sake and cinnamon fireball, but then (regrettably) I started to get a headache.  I cut my alcohol intake and just had water.  I was kind of glad, only because I saw several people already going loopy from just a couple of glasses.  My brother found me not long after and we left a little before midnight.

The next day, we arrived around 9:30 and immediately got into line to have our stuff autographed by Colleen and Robert.  I got my FMAB poster signed by both of them, as well as my Fairy Tale.  After the signing, we went through our schedule to see what we wanted to do.  There were a couple of panels we went to see, a Q&A for both actors, and then we played a Jackbox game in one of the game rooms.  We all became a bunch of liars on Fibbage.  Saturday was actually kind of boring after the Fireside Chat with both Colleen and Robert.  My brother and I went home after that.  However, we have higher hopes for next year and I hope to see them come to fruition.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Ani-view: Vampire Knight

Because I rather like vampire hunters (sorry Twilight folks), this particular anime caught my eye.  Also, it had Vic Mignogna voicing a (two) character(s) so I wanted to see it.  Yes, this anime is technically classified as a Shojo anime, meaning that it is geared specifically towards girls, but I’m a girl; so it’s fine.

The story takes place at Cross Academy, an elite school that has day and ‘night’ classes.  The day class is obsessed with the night class, and the (majority) of the night class couldn’t care less.  The two classes are patrolled by only two students: Yuki Cross, adoptive daughter of the headmaster; and Zero Kiryu, her moody partner.  In the very first episode, it is revealed the night class is comprised entirely of aristocratic vampires, under Kaname Kuran, a pureblood vampire.  Kaname seems to have an obsession with Yuki, which both scares and excites her; and just plain pisses Zero off.  The hostility between the two men is palpable whenever they cross paths, mostly on Zero’s part, but Kaname sometimes exhibits his own irritation.

When you first meet her, Yuki Cross appears to be a love struck, clumsy girl.  She has a special connection to both Kaname and Zero.  Her connection to Kaname began when he rescued her from another vampire that attempted to kill her when she was a child.  He then visited her after he took her to Master Cross.  Her connection to Zero came a little later, when he was brought to her house after his family was brutally murdered by a vampire.  She tried to help him as best she could, and finally, he opened up to her a little.  Yuki wants to help both men whenever she can, but sometimes, she trips over herself in the process.

For Zero Kiryu, it is almost ironic that he works as a mediator between humans and vampires.  He comes from a long line of vampire hunters, and hates all bloodsuckers with a passion.  Oh, and the irony continues when it is revealed that Zero is also a vampire, slowly descending to what is called a Level E: a purely animal vampire breed.  Zero doesn’t show affection for much, except for Yuki.  He cares for her, but he feels threatened by Kaname because he sees how the other vampire looks at her, as well as how she feels about him.  Zero is torn between the girl he cares about and his own predilections.

Kaname Kuran is mysterious and hardly ever reveals what he’s feeling.  He’s used to people bowing and scraping to him because of his pureblood lineage.  That’s why I actually think he kind of likes Zero’s insolence on occasion.  It’s nice to not have everyone kissing your *ss.  Now, occasionally, Kaname shows his displeasure, usually with Hanabusa Aido, but it’s never actual anger.  Kaname is always calm and collected, a true leader of vampires.  His love for Yuki is incestuous (as is revealed later in the second season) and he will literally do anything to protect her.  Even working with his rival (Zero) to keep her safe.

The anime was ‘fun’, but I wished that Yuki had made a different choice when it came to men.  She left Zero in the end and he promised that if he ever saw her again, he would have to kill her, because he is first and foremost, a vampire hunter.  If you’re a girl, you’re probably going to enjoy this anime; if you’re a guy, probably not.

And on that note, it’s been real!

 

Ani-view: Spice & Wolf

Spice and Wolf!  The anime that taught viewers a little something about economics and capitalism, while at the same time, introducing you to one of the cutest anime couples ever!  Based off the light novels by Isuna Hasekura, they were later turned into manga and adapted into anime.  My friend told me about it and I bought the seasons and watched them.

So, the anime follows traveling peddler, Kraft Lawrence, as he travels across a medieval world, trading with other merchants.  When he stops at a pagan village called Pasloe, that is when he hears about the local legend of a wolf that aids them growing their crops.  At least the wolf used to.  And then, Lawrence actually meets her.  Her name is Holo the Wise Wolf.  She has a beautiful red tail, pointy ears, and crimson eyes.  She escaped in the wheat on Lawrence’s wagon.  She wants to get back to her home in the far North.  Lawrence promises to get her there and their journey begins.

Almost immediately, Lawrence is protective of Holo, but is mostly because he doesn’t want her to be found out and taken by the Church.  However, eventually the protective feeling shifts from that to a different kind.  The jealous kind.  Lawrence hates it when other men talk to her, especially in a romantic fashion.  He doesn’t have the courage to claim her as his own, but he doesn’t want to share her.

As for Holo, she is the Wise Wolf, as she repeatedly tells Lawrence (in between stuffing her face and being drunk).  She can sense when somebody is lying, but cannot outright say it for a fact.  She has a nose for trade and economics, and helps Lawrence with his deals.  Which I suppose helps makeup for the fact that she spends a great deal of his money on apples.  Holo also doesn’t like it when he is around other ladies; rather apparent when they run into the shepherdess, Nora.  She is defensive of Lawrence, but does not say that he is hers.  Once again, one of them is afraid to speak first.

Their journeys together during the anime test Lawrence’s skills as a merchant and Holo’s skills as the Wise Wolf.  But together, they are a team, and one that travels its way into our hearts with a smile and an apple.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Ani-view: Ouran Highschool Host Club

This particular anime, all is fun, laughs, and goofs portrayed by the characters.  The first time I saw this, I was at a friend’s house and he insisted that we start watching it.  At first, I thought it very strange: a girl basically pretending to be a boy, joins a group of surprisingly heterosexual (Kyouya Otori is doubtful) boys, and every day, pays court to the highschool girls.  It made me laugh and I had to complete it.

Enter Haruhi Fujioka, a commoner, who has a scholarship to attend the privileged Ouran Academy.  At first, the viewer believes that they are seeing a depressing, fashion challenged boy.  Haruhi stumbles into a music room, and gets introduced to the Host Club, a group of the school’s handsomest and eligible youths.  There, she accidentally destroys a priceless vase, which, according to Kyouya Otori, puts her in their debt for quite a bit of yen.  At first, all she does is run errands for them, until Tamaki Suou sees her eyes and orders a makeover.  They transform the little shrimp into an adorable boy-girl.  And now, she has to play a host in order to pay off her debt.

Now we have the ringleader, Tamaki Suou.  Tamaki is the inspiration of the group, the one who comes up with the crazy ideas and pushes each member of the group to be whoever they are.  Tamaki is considered the illegitimate son of a Japanese millionaire, but his rough past doesn’t seem to bring him down at all.  Tamaki is quick to protect Haruhi, and his affection for her becomes more and more apparent as the season moves on.  Tamaki is the heart and soul of the Host Club, which is obvious in the last two to three episodes when he ends it, and how everyone reacts.

The Mother Hen of the band is Kyouya Otori.  Kyouya is always quick to put anybody who challenges him in their place.  Despite Tamaki calling him (and the twins) homosexual supporting cast, Kyouya holds his own spotlight.  Even though is never officially confirmed or spoken out loud, Kyouya has a specific loyalty to Tamaki, and it stems from a possible love… but it was never said aloud.  Kyouya is a shrewd business man, and he is the one who really markets the Host Club.  He’s always considering new ways for them to make money, in order to pay for Tamaki’s more expensive endeavors.  He is ‘Mommy’ while Tamaki is ‘Daddy’.

Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, the borderline incestuous, identical twins.  Hikaru and Kaoru are the resident troublemakers, always quick to have a laugh at the expense of their fearless leader.  However, they use this sarcasm and sardonic quips as a cover to conceal their real feelings for every member of the Host Club.  However, with the arrival of Haruhi, a sort of separation begins between the two of them.  Not in a bad way, but Kaoru realizes that Hikaru kind of likes Haruhi (despite Tamaki’s unofficial claim almost from the beginning), so he begins to place his brother in situations where he is with Haruhi.  It is a gentle parting that actually doesn’t really affect their sibling love, but is one we see later on in the season.

Mitsukuni Haninozuka and Takashi Morinozuka, the cousins.  The first time we meet Honey and Mori, we all mistake Honey for a child, until it is revealed that he is in fact a third year student.  Mori is also a third year, but he is much more believable with his towering height, and grim bearing.  Honey, on the other hand, is a pipsqueak, who still carts a fat, pink bunny around.  However, they care very much for each other.  Honey tries to make Mori smile, and Mori looks after Honey.  Honey always likes to charm people with his almost toddler charm, while Mori is the strong and silent type.  Honey treats Haruhi like a big sister/brother, sweetly calling her ‘Haru-chan’ whenever he addresses her.  Mori just stares, picks her up, or just says, ‘hi’.  However, they are (like the other members) important contributors to the club, and they clearly care for Haruhi.

The anime as a whole was meant to be light-hearted, fun, and in all honesty, a general mockery of public school.  If boys have an entire afternoon to be a host club to girls, who also have an entire afternoon to be waited upon, then somebody is doing something wrong in the chain of command!  Now, drink your commoner’s coffee and long live the poor!

And on that note, it’s been real!

 

Welcome! To Tekko, 2016!

Tekko 2016 was an interesting year.  Completely Marvel for my costumes that weekend.  It started on Friday as it always did, and just kind of went from there.  That was obviously a couple of months before Suicide Squad came out, and there were an obnoxious amount of Jokers and Harley Quinn’s there.  I actually almost through up at the amount of neon green, sparkling purple, and starch white I saw.

On day one (Friday), I dressed as Black Widow.  And I did run into the best looking Deadpool and threatened him with my batons.  But then, he did have a gun behind me.

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There were quite a few people dressed up as Marvel characters.  We had a couple of Iron Man’s, we had a lot of Deadpool’s, a few Hawkeye’s, a Thor running around, Jessica Jones, Spiderman, Spider Gwen, Peter Parker, Dark Phoenix, and even a Captain Marvel.  And then on the flip side, Jokers, Harley Quinn’s, Batgirl, Batman, and a couple of others.

On day two (Saturday), I went as Loki in his Stuttgart suit with the disguised version of the Chitauri scepter.

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On that day, we were asked to a Marvel vs. DC photo shoot.  We got a large area to ourselves, then it was us against them.  Somebody on the DC side said they outnumbered us.  I countered with, “Only because you’ve got repeats galore!”  No comebacks from Camp DC.

No voice actors that year I wanted to meet, but I didn’t let that stop me from having a blast.  As I walked through the convention center, I would hear people say, “Look!  That’s a Loki!”  It’s always so nice when people recognize you.  Sometimes people don’t remember that a character looked that way (the staff was probably what did it), so when people do remember, it’s refreshing.  Got give them what they want.  In true Loki style!

And on that note, it’s been real!