Dom's note: this is a rant from Ken, AKA Asmodeus... you may have seen him at Otakon running around drunk and trying to make trouble. Here's his story, edited for content, humor and grammar
Iím slowly recovering from the trip down to Baltimore for Otakon. It was a 5 day trip for me-I was driving alone for the 780 miles and I wanted to be safe. It was a long distance trip to a place I've never been before. The thing is, 5 days passed so fast it felt like a 2 day trip.
I left my home at around 10 AM on Thursday, the day before the con started. I wanted to arrive at the hotel before 5 so I could avoid the nasty traffic of Baltimore. Driving down there went better than what I imagined. Didnít get lost. Got there in 6 hrs. including lunch/bathroom/gas break. Got to the hotel on time but Ukyo wasnít there yet since his girlfriendís flight got changed. The room was reserved under his name so I could neither check in nor park my car until he arrived. So I just sat in the hotel lobby, pulled out my laptop, and played bunch of 2D fighting games like Partyís Breaker, Glove on Fight, and Eternal Fighter Zero (Editor's Note: Blah... play some real fighting games, Ken. :)). While I was playing the game, a couple of people came to see what I was doing. Some of them were MT fans but since Iím not famous like piro (yet) they werenít going berserk or anything. They were very cool. After playing games on my laptop for a while, Ukyo finally arrived. So I went to drop my car off in the valet parking and brought my bags in. That nite, we just chilled and met with friends who arrived early. Had a small party in our room, where I got groped by like 6 people at the same time. THAT wasnít fun (Editor's note: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA). At 1 AM, we kicked everyone out so we could sleep. We had a long day ahead of us.
After a good 6 hrs. sleep (Editor's note: Lucky bastard), I was ready for the con. Since Fred and Dom wouldn't arrive until later in the morning, we wasted our time checking the convention center for the cosplayers, the Dealerís Room for goodies, and friends for conversation. Once Fred and Dom arrived at the BCC, the riot started. We ran to the Green Room to meet up with them, headed over to the opening ceremony, snuck back to Green Room to plan out the day, then to the Dealerís Room to pick up a Comic Party Visual Fanbook that was on reserve (Editor's note: I want that book, dammit), and to the autograph session that lasted for 3 hrs. I believe we did autographs for over 500 people in the 3 hrs. We had to share the autograph table with Fred Perry for the last hour.
After the autographs, I had to make a quick run back to my hotel room to pick up Nadesico the Movie: Prince of Darkness LD box limited edition to be autographed by Tatsuo Sato. Mr. Sato is such a nice guy that he not only autographed but he also did a Ruri sketch on the back of the cover of the box. Itís sad that he had to leave early on sat. afternoon. I didnít have a chance to talk to him after that.
The night ended with a fun dinner with group of MT crew and MT fans. But after the dinner we had to plan out our panel on Saturday. We found out that the flash file for the Naze Nani Megatokyo crashed. Kai made a promise to do his best to get it fixed before our panel. The meeting ended around 12:30 and I headed over to the dance and danced there till the convention center closed.
Saturday finally came. It was the busiest day of the con and it became the BUSIEST day. Since we truly appreciate our fans, we were mostly down in the artist alley to do autographs for the people who missed the session the night before. Before that, we made a stop down in the dealerís room to see how many ďCapture the B34rĒ posters were sold down at the US Anime booth. Fred had to run to the artist alley so he gave me $100 and told me to grab Chocola 2001 and some Japanese gal (editor's note: non-porn) magazines. After buying Chocola 2001 and Megami for Fred, headed over to the artist alley and hung around with friends and staff for a while.
After that, we went back to our hotel room to prepare for ďNaze Nani Megatokyo: Live!Ē and we freaked out when we saw the line of the people trying to get in. It extended from the entrance of Panel Room 1 all the way to the end of convention center, near Skywalk entrance. The poll gave us the data that over 1000 will show up but never expected to see over 1000 people coming. Where did all these people come from? Isnít there any other things to do besides come watch us make fools out of ourselves? The con staff assigned to organize the entrance wasnít enough, so some of us volunteered to help them. Still, it took almost 30 min. to fill up the room. The panel started half an hour late since filling up the room took more time than what we expected. Seeing Fred in a cat suit was simply funny. Heís not the type of a guy who would normally cosplay. Heís not shameless like Mr. Shirt Guy :P (Editor's note: Damn straight) The flash presentation had some trouble but it went pretty well. Kai did an excellent job to recover the lost flash file. He only had like less than a half day to recover the thing. I heard some people say it disappointed them but seriously, he did a fine job to recover the lost file and pull off such a funny flash. After the submitted Q&A, we moved to live questions from the audience. During that, I asked kai to show some images I chose that would be interesting to show. I had to pull out the "Taishi in a Union Jack speedo" (Editor's note: Mustn't forget the roses... with the thorns still in them. That HURTS image since thatís what domís future cosplay will be. (weíre trying) (Editor's note: No we're not). And I wanted to see how 900 people would react to that funny yet horrific image.
One thing amazed me with the panel is number of MT cosplayers. We saw like 3 at last yearís Otakon. But this year, there were like 50. I was amazed with the quality of their costumes. Especially Idol Kimiko cosplayer and DJ Piro cosplayer. That sure reminds me that ďCosplay is Love!Ē (^^)
After the panel ended, we found out that Eli and Ian's bags were missing. We thought the back hall would be secure since itís restricted to staff and BCC personnel only. Guess we were wrong. Whoever stole the bags, I wish they die in a horrific way. It is absolutely wrong to take another personís belongings. I feel really sorry for what happened to them since itís partially our fault. If they werenít helping us setting and running NNM:L, their bags and precious items would still be in their hands.
On the way to the guest dinner, I was chatting with staff and guests. I had a chance to exchange some words with Yoko Ishida. She is very sweet person. Itís sad I didnít have a chance to go see her concert. I was mostly talking to Mike, Jessica, and Amy, the autograph table staff. On the way, we found out that Jessica and I live like 5 min. away from each other. What a coincidence, eh? (Editor's note: And he didn't even hit on her once. I'm disappointed in him...). Itís very odd meeting person from your neighborhood at a random location. It truly is.
We returned from dinner at around 11:30. We had no time to waste and headed over to Panel Room 3 for Late Night with Megatokyo. There was a huge line again. Not as big as the afternoon panel but it surprised us completely. I had fun with this panel since I was able to mess with Fred and Dom. Got to hump Domís leg and show the Kanon poster that explains why Fred nicknames himself ďPiroĒ. Midnight panels are really fun since we can do things we canít during the daytime panel. I gave out Yakpak sampler bags to people who asked interesting questions that caught our attention. Hope you enjoy them.
Sunday was pretty much chill out and wrap up day. It was mostly business talk with industry people and chatting with friends and staff. One thing surprised me was that Mr. Nightow of TriGun heard about the Saturday madness. (I introduced myself and about MegaTokyo on Sat. morning when I met him in the Green Room.) He mentioned it when I went to get his autograph. Wow, what an honor.
While sitting around in artist alley with friends, we heard that Fredís DPD sketch got auctioned off at the price of $1750. $1750!! I canít believe someone is willing to spend that much money on a single piece of art. Thanks to him, we're going to have a new server, which will improve the access quality of MT.
Almost forgot. We saw the lecture of Great Teacher Largo in front of Green Room on Sunday afternoon. It was simply...scary. It made us think ďIs this our fault? Are we the ones who made these young men go insane? What have we done? What have we created?Ē Now we know how those Japanese creators feel when they see their characters in cosplay skits. It is truly odd.
At 3 PM, I said good bye to everyone and left the BCC, headed over to my friend Shaggyís place for an overnight stay. (Thanks for the kick-ass dinner and comfy couch.)
I drove 7 hrs. on Monday to go home. Got lost twice but the trip was smooth. Had no serious problems at all.
Wow, I was gone for 5 days but it only felt like 2 days. Itís truly an odd feeling. And I'm still trying to recover from the con.
Thank you list
I had a great time at Otakon and hope to return next year. For letting me have a good time, I would like to thank following people:
John Heaton, Scott Argenziano, John Harmon and John Scofield of the Otakon Green Room.
Mike Williams, Jessica, and Amy from the autograph table. (Jessica: since we are like neighbors, we should hang around sometime.)
Sam D. and Chris of Con Ops.
Ardith, Uchino-san, and Yamashita-san of Broccoli International.
Lianne, Cat, Joel from TokyoPop.
Andrew and the entire gang of US Anime. Without you, MT posters wouldnít have been a success. (Editor's Note: And Ken would have a lot less porn and other such items to rub on people)
Kei, Ellen, Steve, and David of Studio Ironcat.
Richard ďPockyĒ Kim for doing a kick ass MC for the opening of NNM:L
Bill, the guy who won the DPD sketch at the art auction. Without your support, we would've been stuck with slow server.
All my friends from the channel which shall remain nameless. Sorry we couldnít hang around with you guys that much. Next time, drag our ass out from MT business to have fun.
All the people from #MT who helped us pull off our panel. We couldnít have done it without you guys.
All the MT fans who support us. Without your support, we couldnít have done this.
Dom, Ukyo, Natsuki, kai, patchmonkey, merekat, and Crowie. I had a great time hanging around with you guys.
And finally to Fred and Rodney for creating such a wonderful web comic. It is an honor to be part of something big and entertaining.