I totally loved our hotel. The room was huge and the bed was extremely comfy. I actually saw Allen Iverson (famous basketball player) in the lobby! I'm sure he was looking at people in costumes walking by going "what the fuck kind of twilight zone have I walked into?" But anyway, while there were only 3 of us this time in the room, it was pretty nice being able to shower when you needed to as well as not worry about how messy the room would be later on. The pre-reg line on Thursday is getting better and better. There was no line outside this year that we had to wait through. We simply went right in and got our badges. Makes me understand even less the stupid idiots that camp outside for hours until the doors open. Pre-reg didn't start until 5pm and yet people were waiting out there since 11am!
Next came the official Day 1 of the con. We went to bed pretty early the night before so when we woke up we got there around 9:30am. We didn't do much at the time, just going in and out of panels and viewings, but around noon I met up with Phoenixblood. It was really awesome to finally meet her in person. It's so funny how different it is to speak with someone in person vs online. It's like it really hits you that "hey, this is a real person!" We ended up hanging out for about 95% of the con together. When we first met up, we ended up calling Crystal Renee so that she could tell me what happened in the latest Naruto chapter. She told me "you're not going to be happy" then proceeded to tell me how Peebs had translated the latest Naruto chapter's cover page. It had Sasuke on it saying how "He gave up friendship. He gave up love. He gave up the village. All that's left is a name and a memory." It was complete squee for me as a SasuSaku fan since naturally I believe by "love", it meant Sakura, the "frienship" was Naruto and the village was his home. I mean, he WAS confronted with those things separately and directly before he left. And then low and behold the cover show him in the Uchiha district in his post time skip outfit. Foreshadowing much Kishi? Because the village hasn't given up on him, and Sakura (love) and Naruto (friend) haven't given up on him either. So yeah, me and peebs discussed that for a little bit.
Then we checked out the Hellsing Ultimate II-III viewing. We got in late so had to sit on the floor, but we DID get to watch all of part II. Sadly though, they kicked us out for III since they said too many people were in the viewing room. I wasn't too upset about it because I enjoyed II more than III anyway, but I was just happy to get my smexy Alucard fill on a large screen. It was dubbed, but I'm actually liking the dub! It's pretty hilarious. I think I'll purchase it.
We then checked out the dealer's room. There was this AWESOME Hellsing set up from Geneon! The theme was awesome. But I didn't really buy much. I only purchased this wall scroll that I LOVE and it is hanging in my room right now:
We then checked out the art auction and there was SOOO much SasuNaru and it was gorgeous! The funniest one was of Naruto and Sasuke together with a Sakura puppet. They'd ripped the head off of the puppet. Then another one by the same artist had Sakura holding two Naruto and Sasuke puppets together making them kiss. This artist also drew an AMAZING Misa Misa drawing that Peebs bought a smaller version of.
Later that day we went to the Narutofan panel. One of the panelists was ALREADY cosplaying as Blue Hair! She looked pretty good too! The panel itself was kinda blah though and didn't really offer us much insight. I was happy with no pairing debates though. I get sick enough with the tardish behavior on Naruto fan and didn't want to have to hear it in person. The extent of it was someone asking is Sakura and Hinata would get together. *sigh* ahh fanboys...
After that we caught the amv contest. I was not extremely impressed with most of them. When the romance category (out of action, drama, comedy, etc) is amongst the best, we've got a problem. And I also noticed that they seem to avoid Naruto AMVs like the plague. There were a couple Naruto AMVs in 2005, none in 2006, and none in 2007. The only Naruto you'd get is if it's included in a "various anime" music video that uses different series. While I understand that the screeners probably are so sick of Naruto AMVs that they probably don't even bother to look at them most of the time, they need to think about the audience. I'd rather see a well done Naruto AMV than another one of lesser quality just for the sake of it being from another series. Otakon is the second largest con in the country and with people submitting things world-wide, I simply expect better! 2005 had the best, and then it's gone downhill from there.
After the AMV's I was pretty spent for the night so headed back to my room, skipping the parodies. Maybe next year.
Day 2 of the con, I spent a large amount of time in Artist Alley. There seemed to be less artists there this time, but there was still SOOOOO much to see! I love going to the alley because you can meet the people responsible for the AMAZING stuff you see online all the time. One artist we met actually used to frequent the twinbells site and is responsible for a well known 18+ SasuSaku pic, so I was glad to finally meet her. I also got to meet this one artist who drew these two ridiculously smexy Byakuya and Renji pics that I'd seen floating around the internet. I decided to buy the Byakuya one (since I'd purchased this REALLY awesome Renji bookmark). The artist had all of my fave characters from different series, but totally topped it off by having this adorable IchiHime pic! Orihime was feeding Ichigo a dessert for Valentines Day apparently and because it was some weird potentially nasty dish, he had this big sweat drop, but because he loves her, he was going to eat it anyway. It was sooooo cute! I didn't buy it though because I was lacking cash. Besides, I'd just bought this other REALLY nice Bleach poster.
Also while in Artist Alley, as I walked by this artist's table who'd made this GORGEOUS SasuSaku fanart, I heard these two girls behind me. One said "I actually like NaruSaku" and her friend with her was like "oh, I like NaruHina." Of course I chimed in and was like "Oh me too! I like them, SasuSaku, AND SasuNaru." The artist had art of all 3. Yet, they had no NaruSaku. Needless to say, they were gold in my book. So, the NaruSaku fan was complaining about how it's hard to get a hold of good NaruSaku fanart. And I could understand why. I saw NO NaruSaku at ALL in the alley. Maybe there was some, but I sure didn't see it. SasuNaru pwned naturally, but there were several NaruHina and SasuSaku works (I actually bought a NaruHina art). But yeah, she was saying how on Deviant art, there's just so much more of the other pairings than NaruSaku. I was nice and told her I was sorry, but I wasn't really. Well, I was sorry for her that she couldn't get what she wanted because she was actually pretty nice, but I wasn't sorry with the lack of NaruSaku. Figured you Anti-narusaku peeps would like to hear this ;-P.
Then I wanted to go to the Hellsing Ultimate panel, but we were stood up by our panelists. That made us sad. However, I got pics of awesome cosplayers! One had amazing teeth and his guns were REALLY well done.
After that, we missed the main Naruto photoshoot, but then caught the Naruto Prom photoshoot. At the shoot, this spiderman cosplay showed up and he was masked, however, when he took off his mask, he really did look like Toby Maguire! He was hotter, but smaller. Still it was pretty amazing. The photoshoot was a bit disappointing though because it was more like a gathering than anything. People wouldn't actually pose rather they were just there. One person was this really cool Sasuke that had a cursed seal dress shirt on. I loved it. We also got to meet annwyd. I always thought she was a great member and SasuSaku supporter.
After hitting up the alley and the photoshoot, we ate and then got ready to see Masquerade. The line wrapped around the building but this time, they were smart and opened up two major halls so that everybody could get in. The Masquerade wasn't the best ever, but it was definitely a step up from last year's. They had a Naruto prom skit that was pretty cute and the Kyuubi was pimped out in an orange tux with a pimp hat. The Street Fighter people who won last year won again this year. They were good, but I felt like it was the same old same old so I wasn't as impressed (compared to last year when they were the clear winners), especially considering on a whole the talent was much better this year. I was extremely impressed with this one Link cosplayer who played the Zelda theme on her flute. She was incredible and was the only one to get a standing O! She played to the crowd too and was just amazing.
Luckily, someone uploaded her stuff on youtube!:
After the Masquerade, me and peebs parted ways, but I caught up with my other buddies. We hung out for a bit and then went to the yaoi panel. OMG that panel was pure hilarity and crack!! And the DS pictochat convos were golden. I swear the panel was just an excuse for fangirls to get together and look at naughty pics. I PML most of the time. But they gave me my SasuNaru pics so I was good to go. However, we decided to leave when it came to discussion time. We went to the Fencer of Minerva movie. It was soft-core hentai about this princess who was taken captive to be a sex slave. For one, it was dubbed so you can imagine how pathetic and hilarious the voicing was. And to top it off, it was soft-core which was not what people in the audience wanted. I wasn't looking for good pr0n though. I was just expecting to laugh my ass off at everyone's reactions to stuff. OMG I laughed soooo hard!! I also couldn't believe that they tried giving the movie actual PLOT!! It was just BAD.
Oh yeah, one of my friends cosplayed Ed from Cowboy Bebop and she was AWESOME. She had the walk down and even did the airplane arms. My favourite Ed ever! After that was over though, I came back and crashed.
Day 3, final day, there wasn't much to do. We just lounged around a bit and milled around in the dealer's room bartering for stuff until we wanted to get in line for the Eminence concert. Being that I'd been seeing Purple Tentacle (a popular cosplay figure at the con) in 2005 and 2006, I was expecting to see him here. I hadn't seen him ALL convention until I went to the dealer's room. Last year he cosplayed Vash, but this year he looked to be cosplaying Ichigo. I was just happy he was there because the game "Day of the Tentacle" is like one of my faves ever.
But onto the concert. OMFG it was AMAZING. They specialize in playing pieces from soundtracks of anime and video games. I have a few videos of their performances. BEFORE I went to this concert I had felt the con was complete and the best yet, however this topped it off. They were soooo good! Check it out for yourselves!
Mario part 1
Mario part 2
Scars of Time
Evangelion theme (this isn't from Otakon, but they played it)
So yeah, the con was sooooo much fun! It was awesome hanging out with Peebs and meeting with some of my other friends I hadn't seen in a while! I also made some new ones! When I got home, I seriously crashed hard because I guess the fact that I hadn't been getting 8 hours of sleep caught up with me with the excitement of the con over and done with. Until next year Otakon! Hopefully I cosplay next time. I may do it at Katsucon which is in February. I will try something simply since it will be my first.