THE OTAKU REPORT: Otakon 2011!

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Hikari-Katana's avatar

My Website: "The Cat's Cradle"
Otaku by Superfreak330 Chinese Zodiac - Dragon by Sharkfold Pisces 2 by SquallxZell-Leonhart

Hi everyone!  Long time, no see!  And new journal skin!  (I just finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and LOVED it, hence the new FMA themed skin.  ^_^)

Just a quick note:  I think it's been too long to do a Nekocon 2011 or Katsucon 2011 report, so those two cons will have to remain a mystery for now.  I'll try to be more responsible with my Otaku Reports from now on.  Thanks for bearing with me, and enjoy!

Peeps who went:
Me (obviously) Hikari-Katana
Gray Wolf (my bro) graywolf34
Shelverman (also called Shelver)  David-Grant
Foxglove (also called Fox)
Fullmetal Obiwan
The Todd
stinkulousreddous  (I saw you from a distance, but didn't get the chance to chat)
Charles Dunbar, anime anthropologist

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Wednesday night was insane.  While most of our costumes were already finished, we still had the major hurdle:  my Jessie wig.  I'd been basing my wig off of the tutorial by Ryoko-demon on DeviantART, but with some modifications (such as using cotton batting rather than paper maché.)   We spent four hours wrapping the 51" red wig around the base that I'd crafted, but, at the end of it, I decided to just trim and use a second red wig because the one I tried to make looked…well, it just looked awful.  Like a giant fuzzy comma or rabid tribble.  It just…sucked.  It was too big, too heavy, and there was nothing I could really do to salvage it.  So I wandered back home, rather disheartened, around 2am.  

Thursday arrived and was even more insane.  Running on only 5 hours of sleep, I had to do three cleaning jobs, then pick up my brother Gray Wolf, Shelverman, and Foxglove to go down to Baltimore and pick up our preregistration badges.  On top of that, my new car, a pretty little blue Hyandai named Tohru, started overheating, so we had to drive around with the heat blasting and the windows down in 90-degree weather.  Needless to say I was not in the best mood.  Even better, we missed our exit for the metro and spent an extra half hour trying to find an exit to get back to the metro.  The second time around we had more success and climbed on board the metro carrying Foxglove's luggage since she planned on staying down in Baltimore through the weekend having twin obligations of Otakon and a stage play performance.  

Foxglove had to be at the play by seven and we didn't actually arrive IN Baltimore (thanks to our unintentional detour) until seven, so we power-walked to the con while Fox tried giving directions to a friend who was coming to pick her up.  Thank goodness Shelverman is better at directions than either Fox or I and her friend found us and whisked Fox away.  (It was really weird on the way back….like the kitsune, it seemed like Foxglove's appearance to us that evening was some kind of surreal dream.  Very odd.)  Gray Wolf, Shelver and I completed the walk to the con and got in line for our badges.  I think they keep adding more booths for registration because, even though there WAS a line, it was very short and moved VERY quickly.  (Bringing all our prereg paperwork also helped.  The registrars were very happy with us.)  Within minutes, we had our badges and bag of Otakon goodies.  I relaxed considerably once we were inside the con, all the stress of the day just leaking away.  My people…  It felt very strange to walk back to the metro and take the subway back home rather than going to a hotel for the night.  This would be the first year that I would be coming down to a con Friday morning rather than staying over Thursday night.  (The hotel, while in a highly convenient location, was simply too expensive for me to afford a three-night stay.)  

Unfortunately, even though what I wanted most was to sleep, we still had to pack and finish that last few things on our costumes.  I also had to ask Shelver if he would be willing to provide transportation to the con since Tohru was acting up and I didn't want to risk leaving us stranded along the road to or from the con.  Thank you for agreeing to provide transport!  *bows*  
I dropped Shelver off at his house, then Gray Wolf at his, ran home, packed at lightning speed, and, still watching my temp gauge, raced back to my parents' house where Gray Wolf was finishing putting the red R's on our shirts.  I finished up making our Pokéballs and staggered off to catch a few winks on the couch around 1:30am.  I think Gray Wolf went to bed around 2am, also exhausted.

Friday, July 29, 2011

We reluctantly crawled back into consciousness at 7am, got dressed, and headed for Shelver's house the following morning.  The other two members of our party, Kmf0G and The Todd, had been picked up by Shelver last night and apparently they got even less sleep than we did (2 hours!)  It took some finagling to fit all of the luggage into Sylvan (Shelver's car), but we managed.  We were on the road to Otakon around 8:30am and thankfully missed most of the rush hour traffic.

We didn't hit any problems until we actually got into Baltimore.  The Hampton Inn, our chosen hotel, said it had parking, but we circled the block for a while trying to find some and couldn't.  Eventually we pulled up in front of the Hampton and I hopped out to ask where the parking was.  Apparently there was some limited on-site parking, but it was all valet (meaning someone takes your car and parks it somewhere.)  I'll freely admit that I kinda flubbed up this part of our journey by not researching thoroughly enough into the particulars of our hotel situation, so I was very flustered and probably not very helpful.  When the others came back around, there were several key questions I had forgotten to ask the valet man Ryan while he was unoccupied; most notably, where DO they park the cars and can we check in now?  So I hurried inside to ask one of the ladies at the desk these questions.  Alas, the morning had yet ANOTHER curve ball to throw my way:  the hotel room was available to check in, but apparently the site that allowed me to book the room did NOT make a money transfer to secure it.  When I reserved a room for us at Katsucon, a portion of the full payment for the room was required via debit/credit card or Paypal to secure the room and the rest of the money was paid when you came to get the room.  Not so with the Hampton.  I thought I'd paid for the room back in March and now I was being told that no, no monetary transaction took place, so I needed to cough up over $500 right there.  

The catch?  I'd only brought $300 to the con and, according to my checkbook, I only had about $100 left in my account.  So I'm standing in the hotel lobby about to cry with my friends confused and roasting in the car outside and me thinking, "Oh God, how the hell can I pull this off?  Could this morning get any worse?"  Not wanting to be left with no money for the con, I paid $200 in cast and used my card for the rest.  (Yes, I did try paying with money I didn't have.  Or didn't think I had.)  When I went back outside, Ryan the Valet was talking with Shelver and the others.  I told them that we were checked in and the valet parking was probably off-site, although Ryan explained more.  (Sorry, Shelver, I think I kinda pushed the whole valet thing on you without a real consultation of the options.  My only defense is that I don't do well under stress, especially when it involves just losing a large amount of money and there's somewhere else I want to be.)  

We unloaded the car, trundled up to Room 809, and deposited our stuff.  I was still freaking out and called Mom, asking her to transfer money into my account so I wouldn't have an overdraw.  (I am SO SICK of overdraws!)  Once that was taken care of, I felt better, although my enthusiasm for going to the con was now shot.  Still, Gray Wolf and I changed into our Team Rocket costumes while Kmf0G and The Todd headed out to get in the registration line and Shelver changed into his Captain Hammer costume.  (Apparently Gray Wolf and I "look very anime" and not just because of the costumes.  Must be the hyper-active crazy grins and fangirl/fanboy squeals.  ^_^)  

It was VERY hot outside as we walked to the con, but the Hampton is, like a 5 minute walk from the con, so we didn't have to endure it for very long.  Our arms were roasting the most since we each had black gloves on.  Once inside the con though, the air conditioning enfolded us in its welcome embrace.  We had missed the 9am panel that I'd been interested in seeing, as well as the Johnny Young Bosch panel, but there was still time before the "Otaku and the Grim Reaper" panel, so we decided to walk around for a little bit.  (By the way, the "Awesome Sheet of Awesomeness" has gotten even better this year.  Things are color-coded with the room numbers and is just really, really helpful.  Love it!)  The plan WAS to wander around, but once we got onto the 300-Level, none of us could move for about 15 minutes because people were taking our pictures.  Honestly, I did not expect this kind of reaction, but people LOVED us as Team Rocket!  I guess since the new Team Rocket uniforms are easier to make, you don't see too many original Team Rockets running around.  And Shelver's Captain Hammer was INSANELY popular; I think he got even more pictures over the course of the con than we did.  ^_^  

At some point over the course of the round of picture-taking Gray Wolf and I got separated from Shelver.  We craned our necks for a little bit but didn't see him and, since our panel was coming up and I never make arrangements to keep a group together beyond my brother and myself, we headed off to Panel 2 (where, ironically enough, most of the panels we went to were held) and our first panel of the day:  "Otaku and the Grim Reaper."

Judging from the title, I suspected it would be a bit like Charles Dunbar's most excellent "Dead Like Us:  Shinigami" panel which I had enjoyed at AnimeNEXT 2010 and Otakon 2010.  It was a little like Charles's panel…but a lot shorter and not as interesting.  The panelist did not go as in depth as I had hoped she would have on shinigamiand the portrayal of death in anime and manga.  In fact, even though she said she had given panels before, she did not seem very comfortable with giving a panel.  From a new or inexperienced panelist I would have expected this, but not from a veteran.  Charles was actually in the audience, probably interesting in seeing what this panelist would do with a topic he himself had explored in such depth.  So, while it wasn't a spectacularly bad panel, it'll need to put a lot more meat on its bones before I go back to that particular panel.  (But if you have the opportunity to attend "Dead Like Us" hosted by Charles Dunbar, go to it.  In fact, go to any panel he hosts.  I promise you will not be disappointed.)  

I had hoped to at least try attending the Nobuo Uematsu Q&A panel, the composer for most of the Final Fantasy game music, but there had been a line for him forming an hour before the Grim Reaper panel started (which was an hour before Nobuo's panel) so Gray Wolf and I headed elsewhere.  We had an hour and a half before our next panel, so we wandered around the halls for a bit and got our pictures taken a lot.  Seriously, it was hard to move any real distance without being stopped.  Since we usually had between an hour and thirty minutes between panels we didn't mind.  I think this was also Gray Wolf's first experience with being so photographically popular.  As long as you don't have to get between places quickly, then it's rather fun.  (And no matter what, it's always gratifying to have people admire your efforts at costuming.)  

Our second panel of the day was "Exploring Tokyo," and was extremely fascinating.  It was hosted by three people, two men and a woman (sorry, can't remember names!), who had spent time in Japan, specifically Tokyo, and wanted to share their experiences with others who might want to go to Japan and enjoy Tokyo.  It was a very interesting, well-presented, and highly informative panel.  (They had one of the most impressive Power Point presentations I've ever seen.  It showed a lot of work and thought.)  I learned so many things that I didn't know before, like the intensity of tuna actions, the insane network of subway tunnels making travel fast and convenient in Tokyo, the fact that Tokyo is actually an entire prefecture of Japan, not just a city (although when most people say "Tokyo" they are thinking of the urban area), that there is one section of Tokyo, Shinjiku I think, that doesn't worry about earthquakes because it's the only part of Japan not on a fault line, and that Japanese addresses are so confusing that you can't get somewhere without a map.  (Part of this confusion comes about because Japanese street addresses don't go in numerical order, but in order of the buildings' construction.)  I think the lead host's name was Joe who hosted several other panels at Otakon this year, and between him and his two cohorts, it was a really good panel.  I highly recommend it!

At 6pm we attended our third panel of the day called "Fandom and Criticism" hosted by Evan Minto, Ink, and Elliot Page, which was about people actively viewing and analyzing what they watch and read to make an informed opinion about what they like and don't like about a work.  This topic dovetailed nicely with several books that I've been reading that apply literary criticism to things like comic books, video games, and fan fiction, so I was very interested.  In addition, it was well done with one of the hosts presenting a question, asking for a response from his fellow hosts who are all reviewers of manga and anime, and then asking the audience what they thought about it.   The point of analyzing and looking more in-depth into a work is to allow for detailed conversations and explanations about anime.  I thought it was an AMAZING panel, and here's their website Ani-Gamers if you want to check out their reviews, podcasts, and other fun stuff.      

Right after "Fandom & Criticism," Gray Wolf and I headed over to the nearby Harbor Place mall to get some food (our first meal of the day, yippee!)  We ate at Roman Delight, a pizza and pasta place on the second floor.  I eat there every Otakon.  The prices are good, the food is better, and there is, like, no waiting.  Since we went around 7pm or so, the dinner rush was mostly over, so we actually found a table to sit and eat at.  Once dinner was over, we headed back to the con, where I got us promptly lost in the Hilton section while looking for the "Alchemy 101" panel.  When we finally DID find the panel, to my disappointment, it had nothing to do with alchemy (Fullmetal Alchemist or otherwise), plus, since we got seats in the very back, we could hardly hear the panelists and the people in front of us were very rude and noisy.  So, we hopped up and headed for "J-Pop For Dummies" back in the main section of the con.  (I swear, we spent almost all of our panel time in Panel 2.  It was kind of epic how that worked out.)

Even though "J-Pop for Dummies" was kind of an after-thought panel for us, I'm really glad we got to go, especially since the fellow who gave it said this was the last time he was going to give this panel.  Basically, he talked a little about J-Pop and showed us lots of awesome music videos, including these little gems:  "Mr. Taxi" and  "Go Go Summer"  It actually revived my interest in expanding my J-Pop library (which right now is woefully limited.)  And I must say, the costumes for some of the Japanese bands are very…interesting.  I've gotta check out more of this "visual kei" stuff.    
Once "J-Pop for Dummies" was over, Gray Wolf and I just stayed in our seats for the next panel in Panel 2:  "Ryokucha: Green Tea."  This panel was on par with one of Charles's panels, it was so detailed, well-researched, and the panelist had an obvious passion for the subject.  He talked about the origins of green teas, the different kinds of green tea, how the different teas were made, how they taste, how to make them the different kinds of green tea that are available in the US…it was simply stunning.  And we even got samples of some of the different kinds of green tea!  If you ever get the chance to go to the "Ryokucha" panel, do it, it's FABULOUS!  I'm sorry I don't have more detailed information written down; I was too absorbed with listening.  

After green tea, we headed back to the hotel.  I had contemplated coming back to check out the "Beyond the Tentacle: Japanese Fetishes" panel (purely out of morbid curiosity), but once I was out of my costume, I just collapsed.  It was midnight, both of us were running on next to no sleep, so we decided to head back to the hotel.  On our way out of the con, we ran into Shelverman again, along with Full, Kmf0G, and Shelver's friend Jimmy.  Jimmy was kind enough to give us and Shelver a ride back to the hotel.  Shelver freshened up and went back to the con while Gray Wolf and I pulled out the sofa bed and went to sleep.  I'm not sure when the boys got back in, although I heard them moving around a little at one point.  

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We had a panel we wanted to go to at 9am, so Gray Wolf and I dragged ourselves out of bed around 8:00.  Since we don't eat breakfast, all we had to do was get dressed and go (preferably without waking up the boys who were still sleeping off their nocturnal adventures.)  Once dressed as Jessie and James, we headed for "Unusual Manga Genres."  And yes, it was VERY unusual.  There are lots of different sports manga, some about playing go (including Hikaru no Go, which looks very good), cooking manga (such as Kitchen Princess), ping pong manga, fishing manga, a ski manga, a wine-tasting manga which actually caused a vineyard in France to stop selling the wine because too many people wanted to try it….Seriously, there IS a manga for everyone!  (I was happy to find the pair of anime and manga for librarians:  Library Wars and Read or Die.)  So that was a lot of fun.  Gray Wolf and I were scribbling down titles like mad…although now I can't find those titles.  ^_^;;  

After "Unusual Manga Genres," we headed for "Fanfiction:  From Mary Sue to Shakespeare" hosted by Disorganization XIII.  I figured that this panel could be either very good or very bad.  I was pleasantly surprised to have it be the former, especially since the hosts were, for the most part, people who working with writing professionally, (writers, reviewers, critics, publishers) and also wrote or read fanfiction themselves, so they could see it from both sides of the fence.  (Thank God it didn't dissolve into cries of "yaoi, more yaoi!" like I'd feared from some of the pre-panel chanting.  That's the only time I come to despise fangirls: when they try to ruin a good, intellectual panel with squee-ness.)  They had a very good discussion about the pros, legalities, and cons of fanfiction (especially the fact that BAD fanfiction tends to give ALL fanfiction a bad rap.)  Most of the questions posed by the audience were pretty intelligent, although there was a lot of focus on copyright issues rather than content.  (My personal summary:  if it takes place in a world with characters in a plot that isn't something you made up, then it's fanfiction and you can't professionally publish it for money.  End of story.  Even if you story has only 1 of the 3 things listed there, it's still not yours so you can't publish it.  The end.  People seem to have trouble differentiating between "inspired by" and "plagiarized from…except-I-changed-the-names!"  *sigh*)  But seriously, this was a great panel, and I wish they'd gotten the chance to go through all the "DON'T DO THIS IN FANFICTION!" on their list (which was compiled based on things that they have actually witnessed done in various fanfics.)  So, if you see any panels being hosted by Disorganization XIII, I recommend that you go to it; these guys are hilarious!  

Once "Fanfiction" was over, we skipped down to "Mythbusters: Anime Edition."  There were about 3 panels happening at the same time that we had been vacillating about which one to go to (seriously, how do you chose between "Rumiko Takahashi: From Tomobiki to Furinkan," "Mythbusters: Anime Edition," and "Pop Culture From a Multipolar Japan"?). The selling point for us on the "Mythbusters" was that one of the panelists who did "Exploring Tokyo" was hosting "Mythbusters" so we had to go see it.  We got to learn about how an anime girl's breasts jiggled fast enough to break the sound barrier in order to avoid a bullet, Team Rocket really IS made of rockets (judging from their flight trajectory), Rock Lee MIGHT actually be able to jump the crazy heights that he does (although that is on the very outsie of possibility), the amount of power necessary to keep a Gundam flying for an hour would power the entire United States for a year (oh, and Minovsky particles are total B.S.), and that time travel actually is, possibly, theoretically, possible.  It was really neat to go into the physics of anime and seeing just how ludicrous some of their stunts truly are.  The only thing was that I kinda wished that they saved questions for the end of the panel because we got bogged down once or twice with technicalities coming from a few physicists in the room.  (Yes, physicists come to Otakon.  Who'da thunk, right?)  

We thought about trying to get into "Uncle Yo's Stand Up Comedy" but the line was so huge it didn't bear thinking about, so we headed off to the Dealers' Room and Artist Alley for some shopping.  (It was actually the only time during the whole con when we had a large enough break between panels to make going to the Dealers' and Artists' worthwhile.)  Alas, I was not able to buy as much as I would have liked since most of my ready money went into paying for the hotel room at the last minute, but we still had a lot of fun just looking.  Half the fun at Otakon is just seeing all the amazing, wonderful things nerds come up with.  And I really want to support all the hardworking artists, many of whom I know through Deviantart, but there just wasn't enough money for that.  It made me sad.  We bought buttons and manga and a cute little fox-ear hat for Gray Wolf and some artwork from the Alley.  I actually ran into a pair of high school friends, Terri and Joani, who had a booth in Artist Alley (that's where we got Gray Wolf's hat!)  
We were there for, like, 4 hours I think (2 in the Dealers' Room, 2 in the Alley) before we headed back to the hotel.  My feet were KILLING me, so we changed, then raced back to Roman Delight to grab something to eat before the Masquerade.  We bumped into Quackers and Imp on our way to get food (they were heading up to the Masquerade already), so we grabbed food as quick as we could and ate as we walked.  It shows you how much my stomach has improved since last year, because just 6 months ago, I never would have considered eating while walking.  I would have been far too sick to do that.  (Thank you, College, for screwing me over physically as well as mentally.)  On our way to the Masquerade, we ran into Quackers and Imp again, this time with Shelverman in tow, and we all went together!  Alas, it seems that the 1st Mariner Arena, which is where the Masquerade has been taking place for years, will be torn down soon, so I have no idea where they'll hold it next year.  :-(  Several people behind us were deriding the skits because there were so many dance routines.  I didn't understand why, most were decent, if not brilliant, but that's just my personal taste I guess.  I applaud people for having the guts to come up and do these things period!  Some of my favorites were:

    :bulletred: "What is that noise?" – a take on the Harry Potter Puppet Pals "Ticking Noise"…only with Inuyasha characters.  "Sess, Sess, Sesshomaru.  Sess, Sess, Sesshomaru Kagome!"  *giggles*
    :bulletred:  Mephisto & Co. from something-Exorcist did a dance routine to the song "This is Halloween" which was EPIC!
    :bulletred:  "Dance of Sea and Sky" between two characters I didn't know, but it was in a very traditional Japanese style and costume.
    :bulletred:  One that made fun of all the things that tend to be used in Masquerade skits, such as popular internet and YouTube memes like the Nyan Cat!
    :bulletred:  A skit making fun of 4Kids dubbing by having the 4Kids representative change/censor the speech of two very perturbed female anime characters (not sure what they were from…something similar to Sailor Moon I think.)
    :bulletred:  A skit with the cast of Ouran High School Host Club dancing to the song "Bad Boy."  Nekozawa was in it!
    :bulletred:  Skit where Yuna from Final Fantasy X summoned characters from various anime instead of aeons to various tunes and then had to send them back, pretty amusing.
    :bulletred:  Glitch with two squabbling Vocaloids.

When the Masquerade ended, we headed back to the con.  Quakers and Imp went off on their own, back to their hotel, I think, and Shelverman hung out with us while we waited to get into our final panel of the evening, "Cyborgs, Cybernetics, and Metal Men."  Shelver headed off on his own before the panel started, and we stared with a mixture of amusement and wonder at the length of the "Crossdressing for Girls" panel that was right next door.  The "Cyborgs" panel actually got started late because of technical difficulties with the Power Point, which I found ironic, but the panel itself was very good.  The lady panelist talked about the history of cyberpunk and cyborgs, gave examples from literature and anime, and talked about the different issues that are addressed in cyberpunk.  She also told us about various advancements in current technology that seem like something straight out of cyberpunk, but are real and current today, like making new corneas for people with eye problems and specialized laser surgery for cancer.  After the "Cyborg" panel, we staggered back to the hotel and fell asleep.  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I stirred the next morning when I heard Shelverman, Kmf0G, and The Todd shuffle into the room….AT 7:30AM!!!!  WTF?!  Jeez, stamina much?  How on earth do you stay conscious for that long?!  At a CON?!  Well, I guess cons do have that special aura that allows for such antics, but man.  Wow.  *shakes head*  

Gray Wolf and I THOUGHT about getting up at 8 to go to the 9am "Anime and Manga Studies" panel.  We really did.  I wanted to go to it, but I was so tired…so we decided to lay around for a while longer and didn't bother putting on our costumes.  (I rarely wear a costume for Sunday anymore.)  Since we had to call for our car before 3pm or suffer more fees, we couldn't stay for the Read or Die OVA (which I kinda wanted to do, but, no money, so we roll with the cars!)  We DID get to go to the "Peter S. Beagle Q&A" and the screening of The Last Unicorn with Foxglove.  OMG I FORGOT HOW MUCH I LOVED THAT MOVIE!  (And within the next few years, we might get a live action version!  Yes!)  I went to Mr. Beagle's panel last year and really enjoyed it.  He's in his 70s, but still looks and sounds much younger than that.  And I love listening to his voice, very rich, deep, and precise so you feel like he's thinking about every word before he says it.  Gods, I wish I could talk like that.  Such diction…anyway.  This was the first time Foxglove had ever been to see Mr. Beagle and the first time she'd ever seen The Last Unicorn.  She loved it!  

When the movie was done, Fox went off on her own while Gray Wolf and I went to the fountain room for the first time the entire con.  Normally we spend more time there, but things didn't work out that way, so I took this opportunity to take some pictures, now that we weren't been mobbed every five seconds.  We got to see birdewilliams, her BF SacaradiTuenifore, her sister bookworm147, and her friend MargotlaRue!  This was the first I'd gotten to see them all Otakon, so I was glad to get the chance to say hi before they had to run.  We hung around the fountain for a little bit longer, then went to stake out the exit of the Dealers' Room, since everyone else was apparently in there scarfing up the last few deals.  We plopped down, took more pictures, chatted, and finally headed back to the hotel and Sylvan.  

Shelver wasn't sure if we'd be able to fit all our stuff into Sylvan (since I think all of us bought at least one new things while we were at the con) but we managed.  I just carried a few more items on my lap than I did on the way down.  ^_^;;  Our trip home was fairly uneventful, although it was funny that, at one point, both Gray Wolf and The Todd were asleep on either side of me.  We did stop at Burger King on the outskirts of Westminster since I don't think any of us had eaten that day.  Kmf0G became the Burger Pope, but I had to take a picture of him outside because the Burger King manager told me that I couldn't take pictures inside.  (WTF?  *shakes head*  From the way he was ribbing his employees, I think that guy was on a bit of a power trip, but whatever.)  We got back to Shelver's transferred nearly everything to Tohru, and I dropped off The Todd and Kmf0G at their homes before taking Gray Wolf back to our parents' house.  Then, finally, I got to go home myself and collapse.  

If you actually made it through this report, kudos, you have a longer attention span than I do!  I try to pay attention to websites and links that are mentioned during panels so I can provide links for the rest of you to follow and find out more about the panelists I enjoyed, so hope that helps.  I was literally blown away with how popular our Team Rocket costumes were, so if you find any more pictures of Gray Wolf and I as Jessie and James, please let me know cause I'd like to see how many of those end up on the net!  Considering the amount of work we put into those costumes, I think it was well worth it, and that those were our best costumes to date.  Thank you so much for reading!  ^_^

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birdewilliams's avatar
They started opening registration at noon, as of last year, so that's why the line moves so quickly if you get there after 3ish. ^^ I'm really glad you guys were so popular, though disappointed I didn't get to see you guys! Metal's Ghost costume looked really good, from what I saw of him. ^^