Please note that these are merely my own observations; I know for a fact that we missed a lot due to travel issues and so forth.
Con season in this part of the world (ie, Midwestern United States) is generally limited to the summer, starting from AnimeCentral in April or May, and wrapping up with AnimeIowa in September. It makes for decent spacing as far as timing goes… but it does make for a long, cold winter in between.
But now, there comes something called OhayoCon… a title which, given its location, was perhaps inevitable. Imagine, if you will, an anime convention in the dead of winter, when it's truly needed, when we need a break from the winter blahs with a little fresh anime! What a concept!
Wait a minute… an anime convention… in Ohio… in the dead of winter?
I've never had to drive this far to get anime before… and in this weather, is that wise?
Well, there's a first time for everything, I suppose.
The distance notwithstanding, there are other unusual things we're dealing with. Sure, this is OyahoCon's inaugural event, but that's not a first for us. What's really strange is that this was Konatsu-chan's idea, not mine. And here I thought I was the otaku of the family.
My kunoichi assures me that this is still the case, however. Konatsu isn't as concerned about the anime per se as hanging out with the otaku themselves. My kunoichi is a remarkably social creature, and loves having people over for any reason (Konatsu is still wondering if the Ucchan can still recover from all this to pull off something for the Superbowl: and all 'Natsu-chan watches the game for is the commercials!). I figure it's a matter of making up for lost time, all those lonely days working at the Sexy Ninja Teahouse.
In any case, I gave in, and registered us for OhayoCon as an anniversary present (among other things—come on, I treat my kunoichi right these days!) and braced myself for the drive of my life.
FRIDAY, 26 January 2001
January is a dicey month for ground travel, and it did worry me. But the first three weeks were, if not warm, at least free of snow (save for what was already on the ground. It looked as if we might have smooth sailing…
We get our first snow in January about an hour before we intend to leave. Which, of course, turns into two hour, as: everything takes longer than it seems to get together. Although the drive itself turns out relatively uneventful; heading east, we eventually manage to outrun the storm.
It's once we get into Cleveland that the fun begins. It's already dark, mind you, and well… let's just say Switchboard.com gets you onto the road the hotel's supposed to be and tells ya, "You're on your own for the next five miles or so, bub." We thought we were supposed to turn a corner and be there… boy, were we wrong. It's a bit alarming, really.
But we manage to get there, get our rooms (I've seen longer lines at other cons) and get registered. Now we get to find out how much we missed out on already. We knew we'd miss the opening ceremonies due to this seven-hour drive… but you mean the they've been showing stuff for twelve hours already? Oh, gosh…
We've also arrived too late or too early to find other fic writers (you know, I never did find out who else was going to be here), so dinner plans en masse are pretty much by the boards. We're not that hungry, granted, but it would be nice to be doing something with fellow writers tonight… maybe get prepped for tomorrow's panel.
Oh, I forgot to mention… we see a few people in costume as we're looking for a parking spot. Folks, take my advice: don't wear a costume and go outside in January. Especially the girls: fanservice and snow do not mix.
We chat up a few people in the lobby, and show clips (on the computer) of some parody anime we'll be showing tomorrow night after the cosplay. Hey, we know the TCAAMS didn't make it—somebody has to fill in for them. There is some discussion about ordering pizza (and one passing delivery guy presents us with coupons on his way in), but everyone wants to head off to one panel or another soon…
…including us. We didn't even bother considering a cosplay this time around, but we have had done so in the past, so we head to the cosplay panel. A quick discussion of materials, and it quickly gets silly as a tall young man asks if he should shave his legs to play Sana Kurata. One panelist arrives late with a lovely (can that be applied in this case?) Akira costume. Horror stories ensue: think about your material: leather and vinyl don't breathe. Armor: hard pink insulation foam beats real metal, when coated with resin plastic (but it's sticky on one's bare skin if you don't wait for it to dry). "Wire is your friend:" wings, wigs. Body paint is discussed: be prepared to spend time on it, and do not use it on certain places. It gets a little self conscious as the panel plug individual web sites, but it's agreed that sometimes the best way to put together a good costume is to find someone else who's done something you like, and ask them for tips. And a few favorites are recalled by panel and audience alike.
Accuracy versus comfort is discussed: one of the panelists is decked out as Cowboy Bebopís Faye Valentine: "I couldn't wear this top at the length the character wears this without giving you all a free show." (some disappointment is expressed by the males in the audience). Comfort is essential in carrying off a costume: if it feels natural, you won't carry it like a costume—and that's realism.
The bottom line? Ask for help. You may feel dumb for asking, but you may look dumber doing this without help.
This over with, we wander around, looking for something going on, and encounter a poster for a group called "Rotguts". They're playing music videos, and serving real hooch (though what's actually in the drinks they're mixing is kept a deep dark secret). Konatsu-chan hungrily scarfs some cold leftover pizza from them; I pass. We invite them to our party, but they're actually planning on repeating this tomorrow night.
They've got a gorgeous one of Kodomo no Omocha set to the William Tell Overture… "The guy who did this had way too much time on his hands," says the group's leader. And this is a bad thing? "It is when you're competing against him." Well, I've gotta get my hands on this… I trade email addresses with the leader, and show some of my collection in turn.
Big mistake. There's a fourteen-year-old in the audience, and I forgot what the sight of breasts do to fourteen-year-olds. Most of the rest of the evening, I have to fend off requests to show more. Or better yet, go online and dig up some anime porn… and we dig ourselves into a hole by admitting we "don't have the equipment" to do so. What we mean is that we don't have a phone jack to plug into the laptop — what it's taken as, I don't have to tell you. Is everything we say gonna be used against us? Nobody read us our Miranda rights…
After we run out of videos — well, at least out of videos with female breast shots (we offer to show some Utena videos, but warn the kid that the bare nipples he'll be seeing are male ones, and he propmtly pulls an extraordinary face) — the talk turns to Monty Python, and I pull out a copy of the Quest for Akane and read a chapter aloud, to raucous laughter. It's at this point that Konatsu points out that the door is open and we're being quite loud, so we pack up and extend our thanks to the Rotguts crowd and depart for our room.
We don't quite make it, however. A group is interviewing the guests of honor for part of a project/report on the otaku in America, and we step off the elevator as they wrap up with Brett Weaver (Touji from Evangelion, among other things). Their next interviewee is a fellow by the name of Rob Miles, who's been in anime for longer than some of y'all have been alive. He grew up in Japan during the 70s and 80s, so he'd been exposed to this stuff in its original form. After moving to the Bay Area late in the 80s (or was it early in the 90s?), he was an important member of Nexus Studios. According to him, of the 50-plus titles they fansubbed, nearly all of them were picked up for commercial release within a few months (Don't cry for the translators, though… all four of them who worked for Nexus are now plying their trade commercially, so their work was not wasted).
He has very little patience with certain anime purists, who are all johnny-come-latelies in comparison to him. Anime cannot reach the mass market if it's required to be left subtitled, he says. I appreciate this: while I like subtitled anime as much as anyone, Konatsu reads rather slowly, and one of our regular customers is dyslexic, so the Ucchan has a fair number of dubs… and it bothers me that some folks make me feel less of an otaku simply because of this. I thank him for his opinions, and he offers to continue our conversation in his room, as the hotel management kicks us from the fifth-floor lobby.
Miles-san is a study in contrasts. Despite his vast experience with anime, he speaks most fondly of a con he recently went to where most of the people there were kids whose anime experience was limited to what's shown on the Cartoon Network et al. He has MC'ed cosplays despite the fact that he loathes American cosplay: "The audience doesn't respect the effort put into this." At the same time, he relates the original cosplay chant of "Dance, dance!" (to a girl at a '91 con dressed as Rei Hino in miko garb who didn't know what to do once she was onstage) as though it were a pleasant memory, despite the fact I think of it as the rudest thing the crowd does to cosplayers. He's actually threatened to hit someone with a chair if they start yelling "Chair! Chair!" even as he cheerfully explains the origin of the chart itself (Konatsu suspects there was a bit of wonder in his voice, too: the idea that a theatre full of otaku would give a five-minute standing ovation to an empty chair on an empty stage just seemed as if it were an alien concept)
He and his roommates mention certain cons in California that are on the verge of collapse, thanks to poor planning and hubris on the part of their leadership. What bothers me about their tales is the Schadenfreude behind them: they seem to take pleasure in the cons' demise. This seems to be counterintuitive for someone so interested in anime establishing a foothold in America; one would assume the more cons, the better, and I say so. His roommate explains it as a sort of natural selection issue: if a badly managed con fails and disappears, those who attend it will be forced to go to other, presumably better conventions elsewhere. While I understand the logic behind this, I still am disturbed at their glee as they tell of police raids on dealers' booths and what-have-you. These kinds of events give a black eye to the whole anime community, not just the one con they want to be rid of.
His method of dealing with hecklers may explain his views; he gleefully tells how he stops and focuses all attention on the offender: "Soooo, ______, are you having a good time?" "Well, I, uh…" "IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU ARE!" Well, that may explain a few things. Granted, hecklers infringe on other people's good time, and there's a point beyond which you shouldn't cross in order to protect other people's good time. But the point of a con is to have a good time, if you ask me (not that you did)—in other words, it does matter. Miles-san appears to see cons as an opportunity to expand anime's marketing base.
I don't tell him this, though. I have to wait until…
SATURDAY, 27 January 2001
…to even think of this.
We set our alarm early, as the blurb for My Neighbor Yamadas sounds appealing, but it's airing at 9:30am. Well, no… it's been pre-empted by a GundamW DVD. Okay, then, how about some breakfast, then? We head up to the con suite…
Only there isn't one. Oh, there's a room set aside for it, but it's completely empty. Even the sign with the obligatory cat-girl mascot that was out last night is missing. A passing volunteer explains a bit: putting a con together is hard work. Too few people working on too many things, and some things wind up on the back burner in all the chaos. We walk off, musing about how a con, like an army, travels on its stomach, to find out what the hotel is serving for breakfast—it's really the only place to go, since we're surrounded by airport, way off from the rest of Cleveland.
They have a breakfast bar… six bucks for continental, eight-fifty for the whole deal. Geez… never mind, then.
The Anime Match Game is a real hoot, even if I don't get a chance to be a contestant. It's as much fun to match wits against the real contestants (Konatsu actually does better than I do), and the voice actors perform some of the questions. Juliet Cesario in particular apparently doesn't like it when fanboys sacrifice animals to her…
Anyway, it beats the heck out of ACen's trivia game. And the MC is a scream, wrapping up with a Bob Barkeresque bit at the end: "Help control the fanboy population: have your fanboy shaved and showered." Beats having them spayed or neutered… hell, that'd ruin the hentai portion of the industry…
Once it's done, we're getting really hungry. We decide to find out if Papa John's delivers for lunch (as we didn't bother with ordering from them last night like nearly everyone else in the hotel) We have a little difficulty—would you believe the nearest Papa John's is in a different area code?—but in less than an hour, the goods arrive. While we wait, we head down to the car to bring up beverages for tonight, and come across Erika and invite her to share our pizza, as the deal they offer (two large for $12) is too much for just us. She, in turn, brings her friend Jeanette, who mentions that Steve Bennett (who she had been talking with when Erika found her) wished he could join us, but had to head up a panel. Obligingly, the four of us endeavor to cart half a pizza down to him, since he can't come up to us for now… but by the time we get there, the panel's already started. Konatsu slips in quietly (ninja training, after all), and slips Steve a message to join us after the panel wraps up: we'll have plenty.
The four of us settle in to watch… well, what shall we watch? Parody? Fine. I put in Koko wa Otaku, and Jeanette flips. "Oh, Greenwood?!" Not exactly… but the characters are there, and that's all that matters to her. That ended, the two girls head to the dealers' room.
So do we, under separate cover. The rooms are small, but adequate. Konatsu thinks it looks better this way than the open, empty feel of AnimeIowa (I point out that there were as many dealers there as here—it just looked empty). I do manage to find a couple of sizable doujinshi for AMG and, of all things, KareKano. Add resin figures of Yukino and Arima, and it's quite a haul, really. We check out and head back in less than half an hour.
Meanwhile, Steve's gotten out of his panel—and is immediately required in another. At this point, we decide just to bring the box to him. He thanks us profusely, and at about the same time, he recognizes us from AnimeCentral and AnimeIowa (is it the shirts?). I figure it's as good a time as any to ask about an order I'd placed over a month previously: not out of impatience, mind you, but rather curiosity (hey, I know they'll deliver eventually, they've always been good with that—I just want to know when). Well… with his father's passing late in November (and I extend my condolences), the business and scheduling ends of the Ironcat operation have been thrown into some chaos; his father was the real manager of Ironcat, and now Steve has been thrust into the role. Needless to say, it's been daunting, and they're rather behind on their publishing schedule. And since I ordered issues of Futaba-kun through December (among other things), and since it's not yet been issued, my order hasn't been assembled and shipped.
So as a public service to all your folks with Ironcat orders: You have not been forgotten. Also, they are going to take a month's hiatus from publishing in May of 2001 in order to get themselves back onto a set schedule. So bear with them.
Satisfied, we head back to the room to prepare for what is, for me, the main event: the fanfic panel.
This is another new experience for me. Whenever the call goes out for panelists at a con I'm going to, I try to sign up. Given the number of ficcers that attend ACen and AIowa, I know I stand little chance of getting on, but there's always hope, after all (Yes, I know what Tom Servo says about hope in one hand…) But for this con, when the cattle call went out on the FFML, I got a response directly from the con's chair: "Oh wow… I was reading your stuff when I was first getting into anime…" gosh, I hadn't realized I'd been around that long… "You're in, Ucchan. Congratulations." Woo-hoo! I had, in my mind, arrived in the fanfiction world.
Pity that it should happen at a time when I haven't written anything to speak of for the last six months. And there really doesn't appear to be much likelihood of any further progress in future. Really, I feel like I've all but retired from fanfiction. Heck, I haven't even had the chance to go on the FFIRC in over a month, it's been so busy (and last time I tried, irc.nabiki seemed to be down, anyway) So of all the times to be part of a fanfic panel, this time seems a bit ironic.
Even more ironic is that I'm not part of a panel… I am the panel. There are no other writers here. Well, there's one, in the audience (such as that is); a Sailormoon fanfic writer who's created a whole set of new senshi, including one who's mentally handicapped. Judging from the binders he has with him, he's cranked out more material than I have; I don't have the heart to speculate how much actual Sailormoon characterization/plot is involved in his stories. In any case, he travels in circles that are apparently mutually exclusive to mine.
If I sound like I'm dwelling too long on a single member of the audience, that's because he and one other fellow (a Gundam Wing scriptwriter, he described himself as) are the only ones in the room aside from Konatsu and myself. It's really very disappointing. I didn't think I'd meet the same fic authors I do at Central or Iowa, necessarily, but I expected some of y'all from parts further east might have been able to be there…
Perhaps I should have had an inkling about what I was inn for earlier: the con program refers to this as 'The Obligatory Fanfiction Panel.'
Konatsu wants to go swimming once the 'panel' winds to a merciful conclusion, and I go along. Since the pool is by the lobby and en route to the parking area, there is no way my kunoichi is going skinny-dipping, but I could use a soak in the whirlpool. Granted, not for a long time, since we have barely an hour before the cosplay is scheduled. No fear, though: a few laps, and we're both winded. Guess we are getting old.
We've been posting fliers around the hotel about our room party, with a mention of some of the material we're planning on showing. As self-appointed publicist for Zoogz' fandub group, Arctic Beach Animation, I have a duty to show his first effort here, but I also have tossed in a few shorts by Neko-Sama Productions. While we're changing after our swim, we get a call from Jer Alford, a.k.a. Neko-Sama himself. He's here for the con, and he's seen the fliers, and… "you want us to knock it off?" "No, I just wanted to make sure. When're you showing all this?" Well, this is a first, too… having the original artist present at a screening. We explain the arrangements, and he promises to be there after the cosplay—whenever that is.
Heck, we don't know when the cosplay will start. A passing volunteer assures us they plan to start as close to on-time as possible—or, failing that, as close to 'con-time' as possible. Meanwhile, the fellows who had been filming the interviews last night happen by, and pick up on us and several others around us waiting in line to get in. They set up their cameras, we do a sound check, and eventually answer some basic questions about what a cosplay is, and why it's such a big deal that everyone lines up for so long to see it all. This is obviously meant to be seen by folks who aren't familiar with the concept of 'otaku', so we try to keep the answers simple and upbeat. No sense in scaring off the newbies, after all…
'Con time' it is, indeed… fifty minutes after the scheduled start time seems to be about the standard for cosplays, and this is no exception. Finally, the con chairman mounts the podium, and nervously begins the introductions. He has reason to be nervous, as the fellow who'd been done up as Akira at last night's cosplay panel muscles him aside, with the help of an MiB-type flunky. But this MiB is no ordinary lackey, as he carries a dry-erase board which he holds up from time to time with insults about his 'boss' behind his back. They, in turn, are pushed aside by another character dressed as an assassin from a series whose name escapes me at the moment, and he introduces the acts from this point on.
Some of the 'sketches' are little more than walk-on bits: a dead-on Sailor Moon declaiming the whole 'in the name of the moon' schpiel, Card Captor Sakura reciting the Key of Clow prayer, a Digimon character puts on his dark glasses and cries out that he can't see with them on, Akuma from DBZ does a brief kata, and Makoto (aka Sailor Jupiter) complains about having burnt her food (I muse that it might make more sense for Hikaru Shidou to exclaim how she'd burnt her Fuu…), Vash the Stampede walks on to cheers of "Love and Peace! Love and Peace!" from a group of fanboys and girls in our row. One of the cheering section is even carrying his own cross…
Others are a little more inventive: Terry Bogard opens a literal can of 'whup-ass' on the MC (and chugs it down onstage), Galaxy Fraulein Yuma confesses to her envious companion that she stuffs her battle armor (which brings a cry of disappointment from right behind us—that kid from the Rotguts party is upset) Utena and Anthy walk onstage, and a samurai-type slaps Anthy (when the MC objects, the samurai slugs him—which causes him some distress before he remembers he's an assassin and pursues the guy offstage for a moment) Ryoko offers to give Tenchi a little sword practice (to which the MC adds, "If you were watching that on the Cartoon Network, she was just inviting him to tea")
There are dance routines: a pair of J-rockers do some serious stuff-strutting, complete with lip-synching (when a 'fan' tosses a CCS plushie onstage, the lead vocalist rubs the lucky doll seductively up and down her leather-clad leg), and let's just say that the cabbit dance is nothing like the chicken dance—particularly when it's done to the tune of "I'm Too Sexy"
A fellow dressed as Triton of the Seas (a show contemporary to the likes of Speed Racer, he explains) does a monologue that rivals the old Batman shows for camp, and far outpaces them for swish, capping off with him being carried off, bride-over-the-threshold style, by… Aquaman? And there is a "Cooking With Sasami Show" where she tosses plushies into a pot to make "Mascot Stew—one of Tenchi's favorites." Personally, I'd've preferred seeing her chop up the panda and toss him in rather than P-chan, among others, but hey, that's just me. A mad scientist sends his henchman out to collect a certain talisman from Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev (who cuts him down); Team Rocket appears to reveal that the 'talisman' is nothing more than a Pokeball ("Is that worth anything?" asks Gourry. James replies, to great laughter, "Not in this commercialized society.")
But the capper is when a big beer-bellied guy with green hair, one small horn and a large tiger-skin diaper walks onstage. Lum's little cousin Jariten seems to have suffered a fate that has befallen many a child actor; now that he's grown up, and no longer cute, he can't find work. He tells of a kid asking him if he was a character in DBZ: "'No,' I tell him, 'I'm from Urusei Yatsura.' 'Oh, he says, was that on the Cartoon Network?'" A pause, and then, "I hit him with my bottle…" and he holds up the Budweiser he's been swigging, "which made me really sad, because it was half-full at the time. Of course, I always carry a spare…" and he hauls another brewski out of his diaper. The audience is laughing helplessly at all this, and Ten-chan seems to resent that. "Stop laughing at me! You! You're fat! You! You're bald! You! You're… well, I don't know what's wrong with you…" He finally leaves the stage, but not before letting us all know "you can find me… in my van… down by the river…"
More than thirty cosplay teams make their way across the stage, and the judges clearly have their work cut out for them. As they leave to deliberate, the con staff auctions off a few things, all for the benefit of the American Cancer Society (in honor, particularly, of Steve Bennett's father). A boxed set of Tylor, signed by the character designer, goes for $250 in fierce bidding—Steve throws in the Miyu graphic novels if the winner ups it to $300, which he obligingly does. The poster for the con suite is auctioned off (as long as they're not using it, anyway), as is other con-related merchandise. It's all for a good cause, but it's starting to feel like a telethon (a small mercy is that no one's trying to do Jerry Lewis impressions)
It gets too silly when the staff start auctioning off themselves, although there is a moment of humor when the con chair is forced to utter "the two filthiest words a Clevelander can: Art Bodell." (he's the guy that moved the Ravens to Baltimore from Cleveland) And it's going on waaay too long: people are starting to leave. I start fretting about how there may be already folks waiting for us to open up, and I make as if to leave. Konatsu begs me to stay so we can find out who wins, and smiles gratefully when I sigh and sit back down.
But even my kunoichi's patience has limits. Some thirty or forty minutes (it seems) after the judges leave, the audience is leaving in droves. We simply have to get back to the room. By this time Konatsu agrees: no decision appears to be forthcoming any time soon (although I am tempted to make a $40 donation if the judges show up in the next 40 seconds), so we leave, with some reluctance on 'Natsu-chan's part.
We discover the next day that the judges had problems voting on their favorites: while Ten-chan cleaned up (and deservedly so), there were other entrants who scored ties with each other. Come on, people… this is Ohio, not Florida.
As we step off the elevator, it is as I feared: someone is waiting for us. Fortunately, it's only one person thus far, but still… We get things set up while we ask Jeremy, our first guest, to select something to watch while we wait for the crowds to gather. He pulls out the mini-Goddess, and after only an episode or two, is asking if he can bring over his VCR so we can dub this onto a blank tape he's brought. We agree, but point out that we've got certain things we have promised to show tonight first, after all. As we break out the chips and Pocky, we set in Fast Food Freedom Fighters to kill some more time (and shortly, Jeremy is asking for a copy of this, too).
The crowd starts assembling, including Jer Alford and a fellow who works for a parody group called Dirty Samurai Productions. While 4F keeps running, we offer drinks, chips, and seats (housekeeping had left their storage room open earlier this afternoon, and we borrowed a number of extra chairs—after obtaining permission, that is). Jer talks about the projects he has in the works: Oh My Godzilla should be ready by the end of February, and I make a mental note to check on that within a month or so: the Ucchan can always use more parody anime. I mention to him our problems with his tapes wearing out; he offers to replace them, but we shrug it off, and show him bits of the digitized version of South Park, which really seems to impress him.
We begin with Neon Genesis South Park. Yes, Jer admits, he really did all the male voices (and a female one or two): nobody else wanted to do 'em. Nobody has a bad work to say about the show, or about the Lina:Warrior Sorceress parody sub afterwards. And it's not just because no one wants to offend the artist; it really is that funny. The shows are also relatively short, and the lines are really quite relentless in piling on one joke after another.
It makes me a bit nervous about showing Fashion Fury, actually, and for good reason. It's Zoogz' first production, and an ambitious one at that: the entire 90-minute Fatal Fury movie dubbed over with comic dialogue. To be fair, there are spots where we have to rewind the scene several times because the punch lines come so fast and furious that laughter covers up the jokes the first (and second) time(s) around—if you're reading this, Zoogz, I think you know which scene I'm talking about.. And a couple of times, one viewer kept singing along with the background music, requiring a second run-through so the rest of us could hear the dialogue as well. And when I explained Zoogz' background as a MSTer, several people nodded in agreement that certain lines seemed influenced by the MST3K style.
On the other hand, the parodists were not hesitant to offer criticism of the lack of sound effects ("You can make mouth music") and the length of the project itself ("Too long… you've got to cut some of the places where it drags"). I'm sure you're aware of most of this already, Zoogz, and I suppose I was being charitable when you and I went over this production, but I was aware that, like Andy Bogard, Arctic Beach didn't have the equipment to do stuff like editing and all that. Maybe I cut you too much slack… I dunno.
I think I remember a fellow having had a bit to drink and threatening to throw up on the guy who'd dressed as Vash the Stampede… considering it might have cost him $60 billion to do so, it's just as well he didn't. On the other hand, I may be misremembering… things start to get a little blurry after awhile… once we put on Sailor Goon (and started recording it upon another request from Jeremy), I start to doze off. There's only about three others left there besides us at this point, anyway.
When I shake myself awake (thank Kami-sama most of the otaku here are functioning on limited sleep, so they're understanding of such behaviour), the room is empty, save for Konatsu, who has put in the mini-Goddesses to record overnight, and is getting ready for bed. No one needs to tell me twice to do likewise…
SUNDAY 28 January 2001
We are woken up by Jeremy, asking after his tape and VCR. We're forced to admit that, while Konatsu had gotten the mini-Goddesses dubbed, we hadn't added Fast Food Freedom Fighters, and could he come back in an hour or so? I drag myself out of bed, and take a shower as 'Natsu-chan switches tapes.
We don't really have much else to do today: not much strikes our fancy, either in the video rooms or in the panels. Which is a good thing, seeing as we really need to check out and get moving. It's a bit of a pity to miss both opening and closing ceremonies, but that's what you have to deal with when you're this far away and want to get home reasonably early (yes, Konatsu still wants to see if we can manage a Superbowl party, or at least crash someone else's). We decide to splurge on the hotel's breakfast buffet after all—at least Sunday brunch is no more expensive than any other day.
We do take one more turn around the dealers' room, wondering if we can find any late-minute deals. But the place is even more crowded than yesterday, so it's obvious the dealers don't have to work too hard to find customers and unload their merchandise. As we leave, we run across a couple who have just registered for the con—using the one-day pass to go bargain hunting, sugars? You may be disappointed…
And that's pretty much it. We didn't get to see nearly as much of this con as others, so perhaps we're not adequate judges. Personally, I don't see how this problem could be dealt with—OhayoCon will always be in Ohio, and it'll always be this far for us to go.
For a final first, we do not pre-register for next year.
P.S. For the record, we do get back and have the Ucchan open ahead of the opening kickoff. We receive but one guest (not counting our babysitter) as the former Cleveland Browns crush the New York Giants.
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