11 April, 2010

Tekko '10 (Day the Second)

We continue on to my second day at the convention (Saturday), in which I was accompanied by yet another con-goer, related to the first. After securing a convenient parking spot in the garage attached to the convention center, we got into the convention and I noticed with surprise (and glee) that Kannagi (a very humorous series that I recommend) was currently playing in one of the subbed video rooms! We caught a few episodes before it was time to catch one of the few panels (actually, a workshop) I had my eye on. Which one, you ask? Japanese food!

I was hoping they'd have some samples (and thankfully, they did) from the start, but even more so by the time I got there, as I was getting pretty hungry for lunch. The panel (er, workshop) was pretty crowded, but we managed to squeeze in. The first part was a description of popular Japanese foods, accompanied by slides. All the usual suspects were there, as well as some surprises, except that I didn't hear much about sushi - although there's a good chance they covered it at the very beginning of the panel before we came in. Plenty to make one's mouth water, for sure.

After the descriptions were out of the way, the rest of the workshop consisted of eating the food samples (thankfully NOT plastic samples) that had been prepared. Naturally, there wasn't much for any one person to have, but there turned out to be more to go around than I was pessimistically predicting there to be. I was of course happy to try some of the samples, although it made for a very meagre lunch (even for someone like me, who doesn't like to eat a lot!).

There was a variety of samples to choose from. As you can see, I grabbed some gyouza (very tasty), crab/shrimp (or something similar) chips (which were actually pretty good), edamame (I was tempted by how nutritious they're supposed to be, and the story I heard that they're eaten like peanuts at bars in Japan, although I was less than totally impressed by their taste), a single sugar star, a strawberry Pocky stick, some delicious mochi, and some form of barley tea to drink. Attending that workshop was definitely a worthwhile experience.

And while we're talking about subjects that are more along the lines of Japanese culture in general as opposed to anime in specific, for those of you who are hoping for a description/pictures of a kendo demonstration, I am disappointed to inform you that I did not see such a thing in the schedule, nor did I hear anything about one. That's too bad, because that was the highlight of last year's con. :(

Since it was warmer and sunnier on Saturday, there were more people outside on the roof/balconies, compared to Friday. I actually discovered that you could go out onto one of the balconies, which has grass (fake grass, though), that I didn't realize you could go out onto last year (unless I'm forgetting myself). It was a nice place, a great outdoor location for photoshoots - and expectedly, there were cosplayers out there doing their thing.

Next up was a visit to the Dealer's Room, which meant it was time for me to make some decisions and spend my money. I'm gonna go ahead and describe my spoils in a separate post, so for now you'll just have to wait, while we jump ahead a couple of hours.

After linner (at Subway again; they were getting swamped and running out of things at this point) we headed up to the roof to enjoy the comparatively better weather. It was actually pretty nice out there. Sunny, with a bright blue sky, and not much wind. We ended up spending quite a bit of time up there getting some much needed rest and relaxation.

Afterward, I decided on a whim to check out a show playing in one of the video rooms, based only on the title - Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl. It's about a guy who gets changed into a girl after being hit by a UFO (yeah), and the resulting confusion with regards to the two girls who had feelings for him. Now that he's a girl, will their feelings become platonic, or will they remain romantic? You should be able to guess which direction it goes. I wouldn't say that it was an amazing series, but the subject matter alone made it of particular interest to me.

When sampling of that series ended, we went over to catch the tail end of the Evangelion Is Totally Awesome panel, which, as I predicted after reading the description in the con booklet, wasn't that great on account of the passage that read, "rather than talking about a bunch of philosophical nonsense, we'll be looking at all sorts of unusual and hilarious facets of the Evangelion franchise and fandom that you didn't know existed." Which included watching an animation of the Eva characters performing the Haruhi dance. One thing of interest that was brought up was the theory that the new Evangelion Rebuild isn't purely a remake but something like a continuation of the series after EoE or somesuch. I admit the idea makes the whole Rebuild thing more palatable, and replaces some of my disdain for it (on the grounds that it's a remake of one of the greatest series of all time) with fascination. And though I dislike the idea of tossing an entirely new character into the works, I saw some figures of the glasses girl in the Dealer's Room that looked pretty cute. I still can't forgive changing Asuka's family name, though. I saw some figure boxes with that name on it. I'll never accept it. Never!

Wandering around afterward, I oddly saw a lot of people carrying pizza boxes, and it not only accentuated my growing hunger, but intensified my craving for pizza. We spotted an address on the side of one of those pizza boxes, and since it was a street name that I recognized as being close enough to the convention center, we decided to go for it. We didn't make it there, but we found a different pizza shop (Pizza Parma) right on the corner past the Subway previously introduced. So, I'll consider that a new addition to my restaurant repertoire for future Tekkoshocons. It had a very corner shop pizza parlor atmosphere, and the pizza was very good (New York style) - it hit the spot.

Coming towards the end of the night, it was time for the anticipated Silent Hill panel (which I missed two years ago due to a last minute schedule change, by the way). The panel was fun, although I was kind of perturbed by the fact that they kept talking about the Silent Hill game I haven't played - Shattered Memories - although they made it out to sound very interesting (which I already thought it sounded anyway). But that's understandable, I guess, as it's one of the more (if not the most) recent titles in the series. They also spent some time at the end playing videos of the various UFO endings. Which are quirky. What they said about those endings being an example that the makers really enjoy what they're doing and don't take themselves too seriously, I agree is cool, but at a Silent Hill panel I want scares not laughs! :p It was still fun, though.

So to end my convention experience, I opted to do some final people watching outside the rave. Why does the rave attract me when I know it's no good for me? It's the same thing I felt in high school when other kids went to parties and I stayed at home. There's nothing in that rave for me. I went in there last year, and had no desire to dance. But the lights and colors and fog and music make it seem fun. It reminded me of Burning Man. But it's not my kind of party. If I were to host a party, my ideal party, the atmosphere would be different. So why do I feel empty because I'm missing something I don't even want? Why do I have to feel the desire to be social if I don't like being social? My life has been filled with such questions, and I still haven't found my place in the world, where I feel comfortable. Not just safe, but satisfied, too. Is there a medium ground out there somewhere?

To conclude, I had a lot of fun at the con. There's a certain other thing I'd like to discuss in another post, and then of course there will be a post detailing the goodies I picked up in the Dealer's Room, which I'm looking forward to. I'll have to take some more pictures of my toys as I open them up first, though. But stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I'd argue that the cure to social envy is engaging art which satisfies that desire beyond realities' wildest dreams. I'm sure you've got things like that in your arsenal so you'd already know whether it works or not but... when I first got The Smoker's Section or when I was watching Dawson's Creek, you couldn't have got me to go hang out with Varg Vikernes. Because in my room I had a whole social world that I knew for a fact was a million times greater than any real life social world on Planet Earth...

    Anyway... Rebuild as a continuation post-EoE? But... everything happens to occur almost identically to how it originally happened? Without actually knowing anything about Rebuild's content, I'd have to say it seems like quite a stretch of the imagination.

    Now, Sadamoto's manga for that stretch where Shiji & Rei were getting tight, I could see that as being a post-EoE trip. (It could be) As though life is destined to repeat itself much the same if you choose the individual entities route -- but there would have to be some significant progress made or else what a bleak existential outlook this series would have. 'Course for all I know Rebuild goes further off-script than Sadamoto's manga did. I suppose it eventually will near the end, if it hasn't already.

    In any case, a remake from the 21st century can scarcely hope to beat a 90s original. Making things glitzier and more digital is like raping a unicorn. Never the less I'd like to see Rebuild someday.