13 April, 2008

Tekkoshocon VI (2008) Part 2


So Doug tagged along with me to the con on Saturday. We headed out in the afternoon, since there wasn't any terribly pressing programming going on earlier that day. We filled up at Taco Bell before reaching the hotel, some time after 4. It was a lot more crowded than on Friday, which I could tell even just from the amount of cars in the parking lot.

After Doug got registered, I showed him the tour of the con, from one end to the other. We ended up in the Dealer's Room, and spent some time there digging the merchandise. Doug bought a fancy knife and a sword, which I think is what he came for - he has certainly been excited about them. I ended up buying a full size poster which actually looks to be an advertisement for the white sukumizu Asuka and Rei pair of figures. I like it, and it was the best poster/wall scroll I saw there - unfortunately, the rest were less than impressive. There were, however, tons of awesome figures/dolls/models, including a number of Fate/Stay Night characters, and the requisite plethora of Asuka and Rei figures in various outfits and poses. There was one Asuka figure I saw that I particularly liked (see here), but it was too expensive. In addition to figures, there were a lot of neat keychains/trinkets, especially of the Fate variety - including Rin's heart-shaped jewel. There was one Code Geass item I saw which seemed to be a gold replica of one of the keys they use to pilot their Knightmare Frames - fashioned as a necklace. I looked at the t-shirts available, but I unfortunately - however expectedly - did not see the Sawachika t-shirt I've been wanting to get that's apparently impossible to find even in Japan...

There were a number of those "collectible figure" sets - where you buy one box, and you get a random figure from the set - but I'm always wary of putting down money on those, because you always end up getting the dud character. For example, I saw a cool Eva set with all kinds of Reis, and Asukas, and Misato, and one Kaworu. And I said to Doug, chances are, you buy one, and you'd end up getting Kaworu... They did have a number of "complete sets" available, which was awesome, but those were mostly the sets of smaller figures. So I ended up buying a Shuffle figure, after looking at the figures on the side of the box and determining that there was really no loser. Based on the poses, I was hoping for an Asa (ironic, since she was my least favorite character in the series), or a Kaede. I ended up getting Primura, the loli character, wearing a sukumizu (must have been a subconcious theme or something for me that day), but upon further deliberation, I've determined that Rimu-chan was probably the best figure in the set after all. I really like it.

And so, to repeat what I told Doug, I didn't buy a whole lot at the con this year, but I'm really happy with what I did get. And that's great, because it's maximum happiness for minimal coin! By the time we finished up in the Dealer's Room, it was already past 5, which unfortunately meant that we had missed the panel on Japanese Girl Groups that I had wanted to check out. Oh well. People were already starting to line up for the cosplay masquerade, which I also wanted to see, and which was scheduled to begin at 6. I wasn't quite feeling the line yet, so we walked back to the car to drop off Doug's blades, and my poster, which wasn't rolled, but backed with cardboard, making it kind of inconvenient to carry. Upon re-entering the con, the masquerade line had only grown longer, and we sucked it up and took a spot. Lucky, because the staff who were counting the people in line had to cut it off about twenty people behind us because they had reached capacity.

The line wait was pretty long, but what's a con without waiting in a line at least once, right? Also, it was a nice chance to just stop and watch all the pretty cosplayers going back and forth through the halls. I did, to my joy, happen to see a C.C. costumer. I actually spotted her twice. Before you ask, I didn't take any pictures, because I wasn't really feeling the "stop and let me shoot you" photographer thing. Besides, other people take much better pictures of costumers, so I'm content to sit back and wait for all those pictures to go up on the net. Anyhow, I also spotted what could only have been a Maetel, walking quickly past as I was waiting in line. I didn't have much time to marvel at the costume, but I was amazed and impressed to see a Maetel. I hope somebody got some pictures of her costume.

Well, we finally got into the main room to see the cosplay masquerade, but it was kind of so-so. It didn't help that we were near the back and there were too many people to see the stage clearly. I love the costumes, but I'm kind of disinterested in the silly skits they do, so I'm wondering if maybe the hall contest would be more in my interest than the masquerade. Besides, all told, there weren't that many costumers involved in the masquerade anyway. I saw a lot more costumes just standing in line... Anyway, it was pretty cool to see some "Clamp does Alice in Wonderland" (?) costumers dancing the Lucky Star dance. On the other hand, I was a little freaked out when Pyramid Head started dancing with a bunch of Pikachus... After the skits were done, there were some announcements and a charity auction before the winners were announced. Overall, the programming was less than spectacular, but I'm still glad I went, because it made me feel like more of a part of the whole convention.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the best part of the masquerade! Actually, it occurred before the show began, but after we were all seated. There were two staff members helping people get situated - one dressed as Saber, and another dressed as Archer, both from Fate/Stay Night. Well, all of a sudden, I hear somebody shout "Shirou sucks!" Turning my head, I find out it was Archer! And Saber's standing there shooting a mean look at him! Then they start arguing! It was great! I don't even think it was staged!

Afterwards, there was some time before the next thing I wanted to do, so at Doug's request, we hit the road to break at the local Dairy Queen [after appropriately spotting the C.C. costumer again, standing outside the in-hotel pizza restaurant!]. It had been rainy all weekend, but unfortunately, by this time, it was starting to get colder (it's even colder today, Sunday). We still had ice cream, though.

We made it back to the con and headed for the "unlicensed" Video Room, for the showing of Bamboo Blade. I know, it doesn't make sense to only watch the shows you've already seen (considering I just finished this series last week or so), but it's cool to watch it in the con environment, and to see other people's reactions. And the reactions to the show were positive. Maybe not as enthusiastic as Zetsubou's reactions, but then again, they were perhaps more respectful. The Video Rooms seemed to be under control, too, unlike the previous night. After "Banbure", we chilled for a bit, but when Giant Robo had some problems getting running, we decided to move out. Eva was playing in one of the other rooms, but in English, unfortunately. A Rei happened to be conveniently standing by. I didn't see any Asukas though...

Our visit seemed to be winding down, so we took one last stroll across the convention halls, to luckily catch the end of a photoshoot featuring Pyramid Head (a different - and better - one than was at the masquerade, I believe), another nurse, and one of the "spitters", preserving the SH2 theme.

Heading back toward the lobby, there were already people lining up for - considering the sheer quantity of glow sticks in that line - the popular Saturday night rave. I figured that was our cue to leave. It was about 11 then, but we had a good day of con-going under our belts. I arrived home even more exhausted - if possible - than the night before.

Second day's reaction: envy. I see all these people having fun, and I want to be a part of it. I've always been detached from my peers, and such a lonely life is painful to live. I want to be at this con with a group of my friends (assuming such a thing existed), staying at the hotel, dressing up in costumes (including myself). I want to be the kind of person that can have fun at the glow stick rave. No matter how close I get to this "social existence", I never feel a part of it. And I can't bring myself to become like "them". I'm just different, I have different values and interests and tastes, but it doesn't mean I live a happier life. Quite the opposite. I keep wondering what the point of truth is, if it just means living a life of sorrow. I scoff at anyone who says, "I'd rather be a happy idiot..." but, part of me wonders if I don't believe it myself a little... Still, I don't feel that it's a decision I can make. I am who I am, and my whole life so far has proved that I can't change it. So I continue to live a life of relative despair. Oh well.

And a note about costuming. I still have the desire to cosplay as Griffith from Berserk, but if you know me, I don't want to do a half-assed costume. I wore the behelit pendant for effect, but that's not exactly a costume. The armor or the fancy dress or the demon gear is way beyond my means, but I've been trying to develop an effective "plain-clothes Griffith" costume - well, by "trying to develop" I mean "casually thinking about". It's based on Griffith's outfit during his first duel with Guts, in the grassy hills. Still, even if I could get the shirt, the purplish pants, and convincing boots, I'd still have to do something about the sword. But I don't just want to do it, I want to do it good. Ehh...

(Part 3)

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