For those of you interested in my day out in London...
IT WAS FRIGGIN' AWESOME.
Um... shall we do this in order? Times given are approximate, I wasn't writing this stuff down and timing myself as I went.
Playlist for the day:
Brooklyn Rage by LittleKuriboh
Leather Pants by LittleKuriboh
Jaden's Rap by ShadyVox
So Alone, Be Sorrow by Motoi Sakuraba
Left the house to walk to the bus stop.
Got the coach - the bus driver took almost five minutes to open the door! He was faffing around with something, I don't know what.
Arrived at Marble Arch. Boy am I glad I wrapped up warm, it was bloody freezing! And I had my jacket too! I popped into a Sainsburys to get chocolate and an extra bottle of water - it was going to be a long day, and as I don't touch alcohol I didn't want to be stuck if the bar only served alcoholic drinks. Once I'd done that I got the train from Marble Arch, helping someone find out how to get to their station even though I don't know London very well! (I cheated - I had a map.)
Arrived at the Rocket Complex! And then queued in freezing wind for about 15 minutes, holding onto my hat so it didn't blow off.
Got my bearings and my goodies! There wasn't a map of the place, so it took me a little while to work out exactly what rooms were the ones indicated on the schedule. But hey, take a look at the second double-spread in the conbook!
When I walked in, I think I was expecting something more like Expo - not a nightclub!
And a nice nightclub too! Yes that is Alex Louis Armstrong.
There was a stage with a screen behind it, and a lot of screens around the room, all of which were showing AMVs when I came in - later they were showing anime like Disgaea (sp?). Man the voices on that show are annoying!
I went up to the dealer's room/main stage area, and met *DestinyBlue again! It's always lovely to see you, hun. I got my photo taken with her, and bought an adorable scented candle and lipbalm from her, as well as doing a little bit of catching up. I also showed her the designs for my rainbow cards, and told her how I'd done a card for LittleKuriboh. I couldn't show her the full thing, as I'd put it in an envelope.
I spied LK and MasakoX. It took a moment to work up the courage to go and speak to him, but I did. I waited for LK to be free (I think I took a photo of him with the guy before me for said guy), before smiling and saying hello - he offered his hand, and we shook, he's such a gentleman! I told him that it was going to sound stalker-ish, but: Happy Birthday! And I gave him the card in its envelope.
He was a little surprised, as he hasn't expected people to know about his birthday, but he's also just been given a present by someone! I told him that I knew because of the facebook update, and he understood.
He asked if I wanted him to open it then, as he realised that some people get embarrassed, but I said that I'd like him to open it. He opened it, smiled, asked if I made it, and said it was really good.
He read my message inside, which was saying happy birthday, and thank you for making such an awesome series that always makes me smile.
I asked if I could get a photo, and he said yes, so I have a photo of me and him! I'm not uploading it though, I don't want my picture on the interwebz. But it exists.
I went away thinking, "oh my gosh... I actually did it... and he liked it..." It took about an hour to sink in.
I perused the dealers' stands, and sat down for the end of Masa-kun (Japanese violinist) performing.
Whose Line is it Anime?
Teams were given a scenario + style (your wig is on fire but you're acting cool in the style of mime; fighting a giant chicken in the style of Jackie Chan; etcetera)
Above: Telling a joke via the medium of Riverdance
Above: You are catburglars, and the audiences props are up for grabs. Do it in the style of a musical. (The guy with the mic actually made up a song on the spot, and here we can see Reno (?) presenting him with a stolen item)
Then in the second round they were given props and a few minutes to make up a skit.
Third round was basically, you'll be asked a question and you must respond with a question; respond with an answer or silence and you're out.
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Marianne Miller was supposed to be there to give a Q&A about voice acting... but she was late. So it was filled up with dancing. Which I filmed, and will probably post on YouTube later. I WILL UPDATE WITH VIDEOS WHEN THEY GO UP.
On the left in the hat is LK, on the right with red hair is MasakoX.
Trotted off to do some more shopping. Everything I bought is pictured below (though I didn't pay for the conbook, that was free):
This was where the dealers were:
It was so much fresher and lighter and less crowded than Expo!
Sat down ready for the Cosplay Masquerade, much too close to the PA system - I think my hearing's only just recovered! We were told that the event would start at 3.10, so the MCs, a performing arts student from Telford and xthedarkone of DarkSideIncorporated (the joint name he and ShadyVox work under for YGO!GX Abridged), took over for a while, chatting with the audience. And then the rubber ducky was found.
A MASSACRE FOLLOWED.
Basically, they threw the ducky out into the hall, and anyone who could catch it got a free box of Pocky. But MAN it was DANGEROUS!
(Guy in red is xthedarkone, the blue one was throwing the duck. And hitting it with a foam stick. And kicking it.)
That's the hall. Totally different from the air-hangar style of the Excel Centre!
This went on until 3.10. And then they said "five more minutes"... so the massacre continued... and continued until about 3.30, when the Masquerade actually started.
It was really late starting because there were last minute signups, and everyone wanted music. This is most of the people, followed by some larger-size special mentions.
What music started playing for our epic Major Armstrong? Nothing FMA, but...
YES WE ALL SANG ALONG.
NO I DIDN'T GET IT ON VIDEO.
These two were very impressive, and after everyone was finished...
...it was announced that they won.
Other very cool cosplays seen on the day:
Major Alex Louis Armstrong, a central soldier (possibly Denny Brosh) and the Fallout guy. LOOK AT THAT MOUSTACHE AND CURL.
Duke Devlin, babeh. This girl was from Brazil!
It's f**king Jaden Yuki bitch! And some FFVII people, and Miku from Vocaloid?
I was getting a serious headache, so I headed outside for some fresh air and to eat. But it was so bloody cold I couldn't stay out long. I really wished I'd brought some ibuprofen or something. I came back inside, and they were showing DBZ Abridged, so I sat down and watched that for a while - I couldn't hear everything, but I'm going to sit down and watch it properly sometime.
Yes that's Piccolo on the big screen. I think it's Ep 1, I'm not sure.
I wish I bought a Pikachu hat.
Went back up to the main stage, and sat down at the end of a talk about games.
UK Abridgers Q&A
Basically, MasakoX, LittleKuriboh and xthedarkone talking about their series and work, and answering questions. I got the first 20 mins on video (I WILL UPDATE ONCE IT'S UPLOADED) as well as MasakoX's and LK's answers to my question - I ran out of memory as xthedarkone started talking. Sorry!
Questions that I remember include (gist of answers given in first person, gist of answers in third person):
Q. If you could voice someone in another person's abridged show, who would it be?
A. M: Pegasus, Yami, Yugi and Mai in YGO!tAS
LK: Master Roshi (sp?) in DBZA
X: Same as Masako
Q. Who's your favourite voice to act?
M: Got to be Goku (we got the gumdrops and icecream quote from him XD )
LK: Naruto from Ninjabridged; he likes voicing old guys, so Grandpa (he'd have liked to voice Grandpa in the new film as the original VA passed away, but that didn't happen); and Marik's fun to do, apparently he just switches off the intelligence in his brain like a light switch. We then got a bit of Marik.
X: (The... the one who goes "PFF F**K NO! AHAHAHAHAHAHHA!" I haven't watched the GX Abridged)
LK: You know, I find doing distinctive laughs really difficult. People say the Bakura laugh is good though.
Q. If you could make your own series, what would it be?
M: He'd made a series called The Nomad when he was younger, and reworked it into a radio play of six half-hour episodes - using that helped him to get through his uni course. He said he'd like to come back to it.
X: He made a story when he was younger about a person with alien qualities, and the army hunted him down etcetera, and at the end when he's cornered the guy makes the decision to use his powers as he wants, kills his love-interest who's trying to make him give himself up and the army people. At the time, xthedarkone thought this was a cool, edgy story ending, but now he thinks it was completely messed up.
LK: Well... he'd make a series based in a high school about a teenage boy... And he'd find something that would allow him to play games really well... And he'd make friends through this game... And then he'd find out that it was all real, the games were magic...
M: FUND IT GUYS
Q. Any tips for avoiding being sued?
The answers mostly revolved around how to tag your YouTube videos so bots don't take them down, and how essentially LK actually gets on okay with 4kids! and TeamFourStar get on okay with Toei/Funimation.
Q. Is Naruto the Abridged Series going to continue?
M: Okay, that's not a troll question anymore. I just got in touch with Vegeta, but I haven't had net access since Friday so I haven't heard back yet. I want to get on with it though. His girlfriend's been really helpful with editing the film while I've been busy with work, and the film's going ahead. I don't have a date for that happening though. And DBZA Ep 21 will be out 22nd Feb! Follow us www.twitter.com/teamfourstar for updates.
And... that's all I really remember. I'm sorry I didn't get more, and I'm sorry that when the vids get uploaded the sound is so bad, but it was good view + bad audio VS bad view + good audio. I should probably have gone for the latter, but oh well.
After that I passed by :destinyblue: one last time and went home. I didn't manage to get LK and Masako to sign the design for LK's card, but I'm not at all upset about it. On the way out I said thanks to LK again, and that I hoped he liked the card - he said that he did, and he'd been showing everyone.
I got home about 9pm, told my parents about my day, and went to bed.
Basically, that was one of the most quietly satisfying days of my life. I met someone I really admire, gave them something I made and was proud of, got into the conbook (to be fair, there were barely any submissions for it) and had a lovely, pleasant day out (headache and wind excepted.)
Whew! Report over. Like I said, I'll hopefully get video up sometime soon, and I'll update this entry.
Love and prayers,