Otakon, Good Endings, Bad Endings, and the Power of Prayer

For convention and (shoddy) fan event photos, click here. For cosplay photos, click here.

So, Otakon

Sunday night I arrived home from my first Otakon which is in it’s 25th year… older than some of its attendees, wow. The only conventions I’ve ever attended before this are NYCC, the defunct NY Anime Festival, and the young-but-thriving AnimeNYC. So, my thoughts about Otakon as a standalone con and in comparison to the offerings of my hometown are the same:

Otakon… is lit.

Lemme get the negatives out of the way first since there aren’t too many. Seems like there were some snafus with certain panels getting canned because of miscommunications and missing guests. Don’t know how that happened but that’s the big one that needs to be fixed. The other thing I’d like to see is some signposts or labeling in the Dealer’s Room and Artist Alley. Usually tables in those areas have banners with the Booth Name and Numbering, but from what I saw there the vast majority did not. The only way to know which table/booth is which was to look at the Guidebook app map and count as you move… Not really the most convenient navigation system. Actually, it would be nice to see the Dealer’s list and Artist Alley list published before the convention as well, so I know who to look forward to, and how much money I need to prepare to throw.

The good sides?
First of all, Walter E. Washington Convention Center is huge and gorgeous. It’s an excellent venue all around, and there’s ample space for everyone. My main convention (was) New York Comic Con, which is perpetually crowded wherever you go in the entire center. At *any* given point you will be caught in human traffic, be pressed up against other people, or waiting on an obnoxiously long line. On the flip, at Otakon I never even had to wait on a line to use a restroom at any point during the whole weekend. Any line to get into… anything, was completely doable. I like this man-to-space ratio a lot. In the closing ceremony they said this year’s attendance was at 29,000 – a significant increase to the last few years which were in decline. And there’s still space for more!

Left: entrance area of NYCC, 2015. Right: Entrance area of Otakon, 2018.

Second, there’s like… no excuse to be bored. I didn’t participate in a lot of things I wanted to because I was in Fervent Fangirl mode but, if shopping and panels aren’t your thing, there was an arts & crafts room, a Maid Cafe, card & board game room, multiple anime and movie screenings, a gigantic game room with both arcade cabinets and console multiplayer games… the list goes on, but basically if you come with friends you can have fun all weekend long whether you party hard or just chill.

Good Ending

There are two hardcore fangirl things I’ve done in my life.
The first is getting a tattoo of my favorite quote from my favorite character in Mystic Messenger tattooed on my forearm.
The second is dropping everything to rush out to Washington D.C. to meet the VA of my favorite character in their first overseas fan event.

To be honest, I’m still floating on that happy cloud, I’m having trouble coming down and concentrating on writing. But I will do it…!

[Fangirl Mode: ON]

Interacting with the Cheritz team, I’ll never forget it.
Sujin Ri had on the cutest dress covered in cherries! She signs her name with a cherry too!
When I showed her and Kang Soojin (Saeran) my tattoo, they were like “Wooow, show (Youngsun)!”

I asked Kang Soojin his favorite character.
“Ray.”
Youngsun: “He’s lying lol”
He then said Luffy (Luppi!) and Inuyasha!

Gyuhyuk Shin said my name is pretty >/////< I was going to tell him that a lot of girls waiting on line were fawning over how cute he is, but then I wondered if he’d have a Yoosung moment and get flustered… hehehe.

When I brought my tapestry for Hosan Lee to sign, he pointed and said “Rika is best girl!”
AND THAT’S TEA.
I showed him my Rika phone wallpaper and he was like “wow!” Another girl told me something similar… I think he has the power to detect the few Rika fans that exist. (If you’re wondering why I like her – to make it brief, I’ve always liked villain characters and liking them doesn’t mean condoning their actions. It saddens me that the Rika hate probably means I’ll never meet her VA.)

And Kim Youngsun.

“I wrote your name in Korean, see?” !!!!!!

Embarrassing as it was, I showed him my tattoo…
He read it out loud slowly and held my hand. That was about the time I died. I’m a ghost now, a happy ghost.

If that wasn’t heart-rending enough, I realized I had trouble reading his handwritten message. It took some work using various tools to figure it out.
“항상 행복하다요!” Always be happy… which is the same thing Kang Soojin (Ray) wrote. OH, MY GOD. This was the hardest game of “Try Hard Not To Cry” I ever played.

The next day was the Fan Event, a two-hour miracle. The video of the event will eventually be published on YouTube so I won’t spoil too much here. I will say that a room full of fangirls singing the MM theme was nothing short of amazing, Hosan Lee is hilarious (WAKANDA FOREVER!) and even though V is my least ideal MM partner, knowing Hosan is also frustrated with V makes me feel better. We laughed, we damn near cried, we oohed, ahhed, and cheered. One big Mystic Family ♡

[Fangirl Mode: REST]

Bad Ending

I never played an otome game until Mystic Messenger. I wasn’t opposed to it in the least, but my romance muscle is almost always asleep. It’s not that I’m completely turned off by the idea of a relationship, but finding someone who wants to put in a balanced mutual effort is like finding bottled ice cold water for $1 in D.C. (Otakon joke that I learned…). Plus I just grew up to be a pessimist about most things, so while I have faith in romance and relationships – more than a lot of other people I know, somehow – I don’t have much faith in finding it. Finding someone who clicks with you AND is willing to give mutual effort is the hard part – but if it doesn’t happen, I love the solo life a little too much, and there’s no need for romantic supplements. I only decided to play MysMe because someone wrote in a blog on MFC that their friends got sucked into the game and dragged them along. I was like, I’m bored and people are buzzing, why not? Problem was, my one poor iCrap didn’t have the memory to run the game beyond the introductory chatrooms. Still, didn’t stop me from going to NYCC and buying a print of 707 days later. Knowing nothing about him or the game, his character still felt intriguing.

Some time later I got myself a tablet and decided to just play on there and enjoy the bonus of a large screen. I played the suggested route, got sweet talked by three guys and one girl, and felt quite smitten with them. But I was dying to play 707’s route the most still not knowing what was ahead. I noticed something about him in all the other routes. He holds a particular… understanding of the nature of things, that there will always be positives and negatives, and you can’t have one without the other. The understanding that comes from that really clicks to me. (It’s the same reason I got into Sansei Muramasa from Fullmetal Daemon Muramasa, though that takes the yin-yang concept to an extreme). That mindset is just… the only thing that makes sense to me.

When I got hit with a snow day, I used my excess hourglasses to play through his route start to finish. Seven says a lot of sweet things in his phone calls, but then he hit me with this one line. This one line that hit me dead in the chest.

I swear I felt my heart smile in that moment. What in the hell? I genuinely can’t remember the last time I felt that.

Fast forward a year later, the snowiest day of winter. I went sliding down the slick streets to a tiny tattoo parlor to make those words a part of me. I figured, if I’m getting a tattoo in hangul, I should probably try to find a Korean tattoo artist since they’d be more comfortable and accurate (I’ve seen too many botched tattoos in English and other languages, so). The tattoo artist seemed to really like the quote. Looking at my hands, he asked what I like to do. Shorter fingers like his that are good for gripping are better for people who work all the time; longer fingers like mine tend to belong to more lax people. Never thought about that. This guy’s interesting, I thought. Too bad I can only see him if I’m getting tattoo work done.

About a month and a half later, it faded badly. I went for a retouch. I think I was mentally in a fog, and by the time I came out of it I was poking his muscles (by invitation) and answering a bunch of questions about myself. He showed me a dating app he was using without success and asked if I was seeing anyone. Wait. WAIT. Does he… whoa.

We exchanged numbers. I wondered if he would really text me.

I texted him the next day instead. He forgot to retouch the last mark of my tattoo. Felt bad to fuss over such a tiny thing but it’s permanent nonetheless. He said to get back to him in 3 weeks. Okay! Phew… I think. I was still thinking about it a lot. I always do the approaching, I never get approached… what’s going on?

So to keep this story moving, it took several weeks after that to get the guy to give me an appointment date. Forgetful, or I have bad timing with asking, or both.

When I saw him again he gave me a big hug. We talked about various things, he gave my tattoo the final polish. It’s finally perfect. He asked if I was dating at work. No way. He asked me to text him. Maybe we could have some fun. He earned the rare card of seeing me blush. A-Alright.

Over the weeks from them, I texted him from time to time, with him barely responding. On the one hand, working 6 days a week, training apprentice artists, exercising daily, along with all other adulting, makes for a tight schedule. On the other hand, better late than never. Have some courtesy and answer? On the rare occasion he did respond, he was super sweet, but also cited being super busy. Eventually the responses died down again. Well, I’ll text him when I’m home from D.C., he inadvertently aided one of the most precious memories I have. I wonder when he saw the quote, did he just like it, or did it touch his heart too?

And then, I tend not to think too far ahead, but just… Can you imagine that story? MysMe found me actual love?

When I got home it was almost Monday. When I finally settled in I checked my Instagram feed and saw his new post. Interesting picture and hashtag.

#inlove

WELL, SO MUCH FOR THAT.

Don’t “awww” or console me – I’m not hurt. I’ve been here so many times that I’d be mad at myself if I did feel bothered. An opportunity came but it wasn’t the one for me. He’s buff and good looking, maybe he’s fun, but I like men who are more responsive for a start, and more honest on top of that. Bar set too high or not

What really bites though… I think I might be out a tattoo artist… well shit. LOL

The Power of Prayer

Yes, I wrote that last post slightly tongue-in-cheek, but:

My first prayer is simple: that everything goes smooth.
I haven’t skipped town in an inordinately disturbing amount of time, so while I’ll try to prepare for any worst case scenarios, I hope to be free of theft, broken luggage, getting stranded, losing valuables, and any other ugly curveballs that could get thrown at me. I hope my energy keeps up since I’ve decided the only transportation I’ll be using is a taxi to and from my AirBNB.

Everything went 98% smooth. I did hit one snag though. On Sunday morning as I was packing my bags, I couldn’t find my RFA VIP lanyard. I thought it was in my tote bag but after searching my room high and low, in absurd spots and crevices, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Those aren’t sold separately, only in the VIP box which is $79, so replacement isn’t easy or cheap. When I got to the convention center I decided to try my luck and ask the Lost & Found.

And wouldn’t you know they had it??? They also had a Cone of Shame for me to sign for losing my belongings, LOL! I’m still super lost as to how that happened, as I wasn’t taking things in and out of that bag (I wore a hip pack all weekend for easy access).

The other thing that happened was right before the first autograph session, actually. Dozens of fangirls lined up for autographs in rows. Me in the front of row 2. I’m solo, but chatting with everyone in line because we’re soooo excited. Here’s the thing about me flying solo – I love it, but the reason it can suck is because I see things that no one else notices. Case in point. I noticed ProZD walking by.

“Hey, it’s ProZD!”

But everyone was buzzing so no one paid attention. It’s fine though, they may not know who we is.

Then.

Along the back of the area were various food vendor stands. The one closest to us had one of those industrial ovens that look like a big steel fridge (sorry, I don’t know the proper name) full of mini pizza boxes. Something in that oven caught fire.

“Wow, that oven is on fire.”

But no one paid me any mind, so I watched.

The person just closed it back. Were they trying to suffocate the flames? Someone else opened it. Still on fire. They started taking the stacks of pizzas out. The third stack was either catching on fire or just too hot to grab because the person burned their hand. The flame got bigger.

“Damn, that fire’s getting big.”

People start finally noticing. What the hell is this? A cloud of smoke was streaming straight upward. A cloud of irritation flew up from us: Please do not burn down the area right before we get the autographs we traveled from all over to obtain. Where the hell are the fire extinguishers?

Finally someone reached in and grabbed the burning ??? and stomped it out. The area filled with the smell of burning. Moments later, another oven on another part of the floor caught fire, as we couldn’t see it from behind the partitions but we could see another jet of smoke shooting upward. Okay, maybe I should add that to the improvement list – better equipment/fire maintenance?

My second prayer, which I’m surprised I’m making, is for people to be kind and understanding to Cheritz on their first voyage to the US. It dawned on me that people might try to put Cheritz team on the spot during the fan event because of the upsets related to the Summer Vacation event. I really want it to stay light and enjoyable. If they must broach such serious topics, I hope they do so respectfully.

The fan event was nothing short of stellar and actually ran out of time, so there was no time to ask questions, period. But being in a room full of fans singing along to the MM theme was one of the best moments of my fangirl life, and everyone was kind to one another. I only wish there was a cosplay group photo op afterward.

My third prayer, is for my wallet, my bank account, and all my cards. Be strong and full…

Other than paying for my largest purchase with Paypal from the wrong funding account (derp), we’re good!

My fourth prayer… is to see a hot Tamamo cosplayer. I’m a total ho for Tamamo, what else can I say?

I did see one! I didn’t get a photo though as we were moving in opposite directions, but yay for Tamamo!

My fifth prayer is for no post-convention illness. It’s hot enough, I can’t handle a fever on top of that.

I am free of illness! I’d like to thank the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil soap.

I can’t use these since my hands are too sensitive to sanitizer, but… this is SO genius to have in a convention center.

My sixth prayer, is for everyone to be safe since The Whites are at it again, and for those useless Nazis to get hit by a bus. And if that statement bothers you, either you’re part of the problem or not paying attention.

No one got hit by a bus but the march failed AND it rained on them. Bless.

My Seventh Prayer is that meeting the God Seven himself will go smooth.
This seems a bit out the way but as I mentioned elsewhere… the last time I met someone important to me… they hate me now and I still don’t know why. Story for another day.
Please, God Seven, remain a shining light in my tiny metal heart.

From top to bottom this weekend was the best. Cheritz team flew 14 hours to meet us. People came from all parts of the country AND THE WORLD to see them. We exchanged so much love, and I’m sure Cheritz Team will return to work fueled and ready to continue making amazing content for us. And we’re ready to show them all the support. For once, my heart is full and happy. ♡ I hope to meet them all again!

AnimeFest: The Last Disrespect

A while back I wrote this long-winded piece about NYCC and how it’s failing as a convention. I won’t lie to you, if you haven’t read it, I don’t think I can even be assed to re-read it. So here’s the short of it: NYCC developed amazingly over time, and after year 10, it just derailed. It got too big for its own britches, but still acts very hot-shot. The worst part is ticketing; they gave up 3-day and 4-day passes for individual day passes. To go for all 4 days, after taxes/fees/shipping, is almost $300 – when in my opinion, while it’s good, it’s not a $300 show. Now add to that the failed fledgeling NY Anime Festival. A tiny con that they barely developed, and eventually merged back into NYCC. I think NYCC makes it pretty obvious that they don’t care about the anime crowd, just the money and clout: one anime guest per year (provided by either Viz or Kodansha), and any anime vendor that isn’t a brand company gets pressed up against the crowded back walls of the con floor. The Artist Alley doesn’t have anime artists anymore, period.

So AnimeNYC comes along and it’s a breath of fresh air in so many ways. Not only does it cater to the weeb crowd, it’s much smaller in size and much easier to do what you want. And like I said before, that Artist Alley was like the ripest, juiciest peach in the basket.

Then this happens.

Where do I start?

1. AX, I had to spend a week worrying about your damn linecon and if my friends were gonna fare in that outdoor line heat and those sardine-can line conditions indoors. Fix yourself up, and work on those dumbass rules too. No R18 in Artist Alley, and now no SCISSORS? Don’t worry about us here, you got shit to do.

2. Two concurrent cons with their own ticket prices, as if NYCC wasn’t expensive enough. A day at NYCC is $50-55. AnimeNYC is $65 for the 3-day weekend. AX is $80 for 4 days. Who said I wanna pay an extra $20 per day to go to a separate, concurrent convention?

3. This separate con is at Pier 94, which is 15 blocks away. I’m a walker but I promise you that going back and forth in that area will thoroughly exhaust you, and even if you taxi or transport, it’s still going to burn precious time and money. Also it’s on the very edge of Manhattan so no, it’s not like you can grab food along that trek either.

4. NYCC is less than 3 months away. Who’s appearing? What guests can you announce on such short notice? What artist alley is this? AAs take months of prep alone, plus travel for people coming from out of state/country.

5. Assuming they did put together a good show on short notice, then you have to pick and choose which events you want to do between both cons, and then factor in travel time between both. As it stands there’s no indication as to whether they’re simply going to take the usual anime fare out of NYCC and relocate it, or have an entirely new set. Either way sucks.

Look. Screw AnimeFest, just admit you’re trying to use the anime fans you barely care about to rescue your failing convention and go. If you don’t believe me, just check out the Q&A people are throwing at them on Twitter, and take note of which questions they’re openly ignoring.

A mystery short notice con with no lineup set happening the same time as another con and the first thing you got to say is “come buy tickets”…
Got me fucked up…

Syrup-colored Memories

Last month I was talking to my dear friend and he asked what I’d like for my birthday. Precious friend was kind enough to grant my wishes (thank you again and forever!!): a pair of Rosuuri keychains, a shiny new TECHNICOLOR keyboard to blog with, and an artbook I randomly discovered with all the concept art from my old pastime… MapleStory. Flipping through the pages was quite a nostalgia trip so I thought I might share some of the more common anecdotes I gathered from my years of playing, but… typing formally about the happenings in a glorified chatroom felt too stiff. So to mix things up, I’mma try spittin’ this one in pure chatspeak (if Cory O’Brien can do it in print form, I can on a blog)

buss it

so first of all
i started with my friend from school and her big brother
my very first character was a warrior but i wasn’t feelin it so i made a mage
mage was fun except chillin with a warrior and a thief meant playing in some painful ass areas with my low ass mage HP
so her brother is all… oh just put some stat points in STR for an HP boost!
ok so you probably know there’s a few things wrong with that
to be fair, this was my first time playing a game that involved stat/skill allocation
but yeah… mages get INT not STR… but what’s done was done and thats how I ruined my first character off the bat (:

🍁

then
the 3 of us met 3 brothers, 2 were twins
one was real chill, one was nosy af, and one was right in the middle
so one day the nosy one was like “SOOOO WHAT ARE YOUR REAL NAMES?”
YIKES
we all froze
without saying a word we were all thinking the same shit: yo… no one wants to share those details my guy!!!
but you know, think fast
i had an OC with the nickname “el presidente” and my friend had one that was a samurai
so…
“oh, i’m elle”
“i’m sam”
and i can’t rmb what her brother came up with
but ayyy when your posse is on the same wavelength shit is ace lol
but yeah, remember this name bit for later

🍁

my two friends quit
i fell out of touch with the brothers
just my ass left but that’s fine just make some new frens!
the guild system came out so everyone and their mama was tryin to make a guild but i was like… eh
i joined a friend’s guild, it was him, real life besfren, online girlfriend, and some of his chums, some young lil cutie pies
being a total perv, i made a fair number of lewd retorts in the guild chat
dumb move… cuz..
one day i log on and its just the RL besfren… his name is Mikey
i’m like oh hi mikey sup and he’s like not too good so i asked him whats wrong
and he says lol
“i was cybering with my gf but she couldn’t make me com”
(yes, com)
i was like…. ???!!!?!?!
like i really wasn’t expectin THAT of all things lol
so i was like oh… that sucks… maybe tell her what you like or sth?
and he’s like… maybe u could do it for me
WHAT?!?!?!
ok tbh i was conflicted
part of me was like, tell the guild leader
the other part was like, don’t out the poor horny boy
and… a tiny sliver was like pffft i could probably get him off lol
but no we ignore those cues
i was just like ahh no i don’t really think i could do that, talk to your girl, etc
i thought about it carefully and i was like, i’m the lewd one in the group so he’s not gonna bother anyone else about this
and if i tell the leader they might get into a fight and they’re RL friends so it’d be worse
so i kept my mouth shut…
and he kept asking!!!
but i kept declining cuz i’m not about that life… whatever that life is

🍁

i quit mage after a while and got started on a bandit (who later became a legend tyvm)
and i got invited to this random guild
turns out it was run by some pissy low level lil… tantrum kid
kept whining and demanding people party him for party quest
(people didn’t like low levels in party quest so you either needed friends or had to beg)
i made some snide ass remark and he booted me lol
and someone in the guild told me he was still pissed afterward LOL
joined another guild
to get to the point turns out the leader was hacking on the side AND he STOLE some dude’s account
so yeah nope on that…
one of the top 3 guilds in Bera kept asking me to join
but every time they invited me a fight broke out on the inside and they’d lose another chunk of members lol
i was like… guess i gotta do this myself
so i got 5 friends and we hit guild hall
(guild npc looks like long hair Sean Connery js)

one of the dudes was noob (no like, he was pro, he just had noob in his game handle)
noob always talked about how he was blackamese (black + Viet)
i was like aite, don’t think i’ve met a blackamese person before, cool
kinda weird to keep talking about how you’re blackamese but to each their own
anyway his account got hacked so he made a new character
we’re in guild hall discussing what name to choose
of course his ass is like… “Blackamese!”
i’m like lol ok but you’re the only Blackamese person here so i must politely decline
time passes, he leaves the guild to try hacking, then he quits altogether to play counter strike or sth
~months pass~
me and my buddy are strolling thru Ludibrium when we see his friend
so we go up to ask how he’s doing
and i say something like, i miss our lil blackamese fella
and dude is like what? he’s not blackamese he’s pure Viet
LOLOL WHAT?!
he then pulls up dude’s photo from his online game profiile
indeed… pure Viet.
why u gotta lie craig… you don’t gotta lie…

🍁

btw speaking of Ludibrium
the Ludi release was one of my top fav moments in MS
everyone logged on and rushed to Orbis Station
and we ALL missed the fucking boat LOL
but then we all boarded the next ship
everyone traveling together and exploring a new world
i think thats why Maple oldbies never feel the same
the more you play, the more the sense of “wonder and unknown” is gone even with new content added
sigh
moving on

🍁

next… lemme tell you about this chick named khee
possibly youngest gold digger i ever met
but like, she was also greasy af…
so there was this dude J, he played a priest
one day i was like sup J, wanna train?
he said sorry, i got an appointment

?!?!
“APPOINTMENT”?
that’s new to me… but ok
he explained he’s scheduled training slots with khee
and afterward i found out they were an item!
so i thought that was actually really sweet
J was trying to raise one of every character class so his money was stretched super thin
EVEN SO, he still gave khee any good drops he found… true maple gentleman i guess
problem was this other dude, also a friend of mine, K
K would flirt hell-hard with khee and of course J didn’t like it
so the game updates and the Wedding Patch is released
just like guilds, everyone is in a frenzy to join the fray
so i asked J, damnnnn u gettin married?
and he said he asked but she declined and said she ain’t never gettin married
aite…

…so u know what happened next right?
they broke up
she IMMEDIATELY got with K
she IMMEDIATELY married him

and still didn’t fucking live happily ever after LOL

K eventually broke it off with her even though it was a good long run
i was like dude, what happened
he was like, she wants me to come over to [her state] and give it to her but i’m in college and she’s only (16 or 17, I forget)
wow
I was like yeah… teen poon not worth the risk

so she moved on to dating all the rich boys who were gullible enough to have her
and eventually left to play warcraft (LOL)
but before she dipped she made one last foul
J actually found someone to marry
and invited khee to the wedding
and she bombed his wedding screenshot
not photobombed, BOMBED. when the “shutter” went off she used her poison gas skill to cover the screen in a huge green cloud
she already dragged the poor boy and used him… and then got petty anyway?
oh khee
then again i never expected much from her
this was the girl who made lolAIDS and lolCancer jokes until her father DIED of cancer and then she decided cancer wasn’t funny anymore and decided to police other peoples jokes
tuh…
js.. i lost my grandma and 3 other relativos to cancer, i’m still not policin anyones shitty humor
i just silently judge them and keep it movin *sips tea*
(also yes. my humor is also its own brand of shitty. moving right along)

🍁

speaking of girls gone wild on maple
i’m still wrapping my head around this one
there was this girl named winwy, well real name Winry-Ann
at first win didn’t like me because i was close friends with the object of her affection
but said object didn’t want her beyond friendship
so insert unnecessary tension for a while…
winwy eventually found a boyfriend in the game
and they had an ugly breakup where the dude HATED her afterward
totally REFUSED to acknowledge her
i think it was around then she messaged me and i had to read the convo a few times to understand
because she said she had “klinefelters” and had to have shit done like hormone injections and have fat sucked from her chest
it really took me a moment, even AFTER googling for me to get it (i might have been tired)
but then she could have just said it straight that… she’s a he
klinefelter is some rare syndrome where your body doesn’t produce enough testosterone and it causes infertility among other things ~the more you know~ and s/he did mention not being able to have kids
but i still couldn’t figure out why he lied and said he was a girl and even started dating someone ELSE by deceiving them
the first person getting pissed wasn’t enough??
(i should point out a few things. 1, this is the viewpoint of a younger and less knowledgeable me and 2, this is also before anyone was openly talking about trans or gender-related matters at all)
the funniest thing is i talked to one of my guildmates and she was all
“oh yeah i been knew he was a guy”
WHAT?!?!?!
turns out he has a blog that made it clear as day, that he’s a guy named Ryan
duped the shit outta me… aite fam.

time passes, win/ryan quits, i talked to them some time after that
i think it ended up being our last convo
and it confused me bc i can’t remember what he said but it prompted me to ask about the klinefelter-related medical care
anbd he was like “huh? what are you talking about lol?”
so… was the klinefelter thing a lie?
also i’m just saying. if he wanted to identify as a girl in the long run thats fine and i’d respect that
but if that was what he wanted… why even bother with the medical care to correct his klinefelters? (unless it was necessary to health/survival)
idk, man. winry-ann. guh.

🍁

so if you kept up with me this long (God bless LOL)
a lotta dishonesty went down
and it had some less than stellar results
lemme tell you…
honesty doesn’t work out either LOL
remember i said i used the pseudonym elle
i decided to keep doing so bc a lot of people got their accounts hacked
and someone told me it was bc they shared personal info with “friends” who gathered everything and broke into their accounts
ouch… fake info it is

had this friend named jason
he was an interesting guy
on the plus side he was like a kind older cousin i guess? looking out for people and always taking friendships very very seriously
on the down side he had a huge fucking mouth
like he could not keep anything in
ngl i got some nice hot tea as a result lol
but still… he really put peoples business all the way out there
even his “facts” about his girlfriend’s PMS was an open discussion, jfc

so yeah… idk what possessed me but i told this dude my real first name and said keep it on the low
i really don’t remember what prompted it
…just like i don’t know what prompted him to SAY IT in our buddy chat a day later
i was like… really mofo? really?
he tried to be like, lolol no one’s gonna see or know
but i was already clicking the “delete from friends” button
1 800 GIRL BYE
like who cares if no one sees, what kind of blatant ass disrespect did you just throw at me? i told you to keep something private so it becomes your shitty public goonery?

few days later i met a mapler iRL for the first time
we just went to have lunch and chat
so i told HIM my name since it was a RL meeting, but again i said keep it on the low
and i told him about jason being a dick about the same info
and he told me
ugh
so jason took it harder than i thought?
like, he hit the vodka bottle hell hard and got FUCKED UP!
i was like well shit, didn’t think it would have THAT effect…

bwahahaha

but then he also said he was getting fresh with the Maple girls in his stupor
that i didn’t like at all, got pissed about that
in the end we hugged and made up and got along just fine
cos i refrained from telling him any personal details whatsoever
that’s apparently the key… lol

🍁

like with all things, my maple days came to an end
i was the top in my class in my server
top female in my class in my game
but i just couldn’t, even logistically
most of my friends quit
the few that were left only wanted to play with their guildmates
i could only level by soloing with the aid of double exp cards which had preset slots
so i was paying to play 7-11pm every night after working 830-630
do you see the problem here?
it reached the point where i was throwing my life at a game that didn’t show me any love
i got nexon’d hard, they randomly banned my credit card/paypal
and refused to give me a reason or support
(but charging through Steam worked so… proof it was horseshit)
everyone was cheering for me to hit 200…
…but no one wanted to help
my single protege backstabbed me
(fuck you forever Straybird, you eternal trash… i know what fuckshit you did behind my back too, i have nothing but ill wishes for your punk bitch ass)
i came back after the game revamped to finish 200 and played again for a while
but stupid balancing updates… ruined my damn bandit.  bandit was the hardest class but easily the most fun… and they crushed my skillset.
plus as time passes the more my achievements are insignificant
no one cares about the first zakum speedrun, or the one party run, or the all girls run
the original horntail squad
etc…
i still like logging on and people going “OMG ITS THE BANDIT GOD, YOU’RE A LEGEND”
but do they know why anymore?

lemme wrap this up
when i made my guild i was at peace
no more stupid kids and their stupid whining
just a few chill, arguably mature friends
and then my friend comes with two kids in tow like HEY CAN WE ADD THEM? THEY GOT BULLIED BY OTHER GUILDS
i was really like ….. really?
how do i know they weren’t the bad guys first?
now i gotta babysit? TWO kids?
TUH… but he was my friend and we looked out for each other so i did it

turns out they were complete angels
and i love them forever
so i think i’ll send this to them
as i don’t think they know about all of my dumb antics in the game
i hope they laugh at my stupidity again…
listen! elle mama loves you! i’m so proud of you!

also LOL it’s my doing that Ievan Polkka is the Bera National Anthem. THE END!

Review: SUPER SONICO 10th Anniversary Another Creator Visual Fanbook

By popular demand (thank you IG friends), here’s the better-late-than-never artbook review of the “SUPER SONICO 10th Anniversary Another Creator Visual Fanbook“.

Fanbook Cover

This is the second Sonico fanbook published by Toranoana. The first one, SUPER SONICO Visual Fanbook vol. 1, was put out in December 2011 and came in regular (¥1143) and bonus (¥1905) versions. The bonus version came with a paper book sleeve, mousepad, and a “love note” from Sonico.

2017 Visual Fanbook next to 2011 Visual Fanbook

This book however, doesn’t have any special features besides being hardcover with a dust jacket. Physically, the book is solid quality.

Back cover

Actual cover inside dust jacket

Artist Index/Table of contents

So, about the contents. The bottom line is they’re ace. You get a healthy mix of:

Sonicos based on existing designs

New Sonicos

Scantily clad sonicos

Sayori!

Favorite.

Covered-up Sonicos

Summer Sonicos

Sweaty Sonicos

Cool ‘n’ cozy Sonicos

Pastel Sonicos

Shy Sonicos

Bold Sonicos

Slender Sonicos

EXTRA THICC Sonicos

And, even broken spine Sonicos!

Final verdict? Despite the original visual fanbook coming with a bonus edition, this book is still the better buy. The first VFB focused solely on summer/bikini Sonico fanart, whereas this one is more rounded and carries a much better variety of content. If you have to choose between the two I would definitely recommend this, but if you’re a hardcore Sonico fan… you already have both, don’t you?

Purchase info:
Toranoana ¥2000 // ON SALE October 2017
Available and well-stocked at the time of this post.
If sold out, Mandarake or Suruga-ya are recommended.

If you want Jaehee, just ask

Getting straight into it, recently there was a hashtag making the rounds on Twitter to confront Cheritz (creators of Mystic Messenger) about Jaehee and her lack of new CGs in the new Ray route and the erasure of her identity as a bisexual woman, which has been labeled as clear discrimination. Lemme break something down in three easy steps.

1. Cheritz never had to add a female partner in the first place.

I’m not sure how common it is to do so as this is my first time playing an otome game, but from what I can gather, it’s not at all common. So if anything, kudos to them for stepping outside the box.

2. Jaehee’s bisexuality isn’t a sure thing, and it’s only present in her route.

Think about this again. Jaehee shows no interest in woman outside of her route. Her interest in men is very clear, however. Had Jaehee been bisexual all along, she probably would have (a) shown it in other parts of the game and (b) entered a relationship with MC right away instead of asking for time to “explore the feeling” she’s having. And that’s totally okay. I’d be willing to bet that everyone who likes Jaehee as a partner doesn’t identify as bisexual/lesbian/etc. Believe me, I’ve been wanting the day where Jaehee gets fresh/sweet with me in the same manner that the other RFA guys do. But, had she done so it would have come off as unnatural considering the progression of her story. Not to mention that by offering a female partner, Cheritz dipping their toes in new waters, so who knows? People could have responded badly to a full romantic F/F scenario. It’s not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee, since this is Jaehee we’re talking about). Which brings me to the last,

3. Don’t come for Cheritz like that

“We want to save V!” Granted. (Personally, ugh to V, but I like playing new MM stories, so)
“We want to save Saeran!” Granted.
Cheritz has most definitely been listening to their fanbase and responding and delivering. I think instead of accusing them of discrimination the better move would be to… ask for a romantic Jaehee scenario. They probably haven’t done so because people haven’t shown solid interest like they have with other ideas. I’ve seen more clamor for a Vanderwood route than I have for more Jaehee content. People react to/repost pictures of 707/Zen/Jumin more than they do Jaehee. If Jaehee is your Baehee then stan for her the right way instead of pointing (baseless, accusatory) fingers. Why would Cheritz throw their own character under the bus? Try again, my mystic friends. I believe you can turn it around and reach the Good Ending.

P.S. Jaehee singing that taco jingle warmed the mess out of my tiny metal heart.

Velvety Season’s Greetings

To everyone taking the time to read this in a timely fashion, Happy New Year. Actually, my entire piece on 2018 is here. For right here right now, I’m going to rewind the tape one year.

January 2017: I’m in Food Gallery 32 in Koreatown, warming up with a bowl of piping hot yukgaejang. The various eateries in KTown tend to have big screens that play Kpop videos nonstop, but the sound system is on a completely different playlist. So, you can listen to the music or watch these silent videos. Fine.

So I’m enjoying the hell out of this spicy bowl of love, when I look up at the big screen, to see what video is on, and… these five cute girls are just killing each other

?!?!

I stopped eating and just stared. Usually the song lyrics will have some English words that work as an indicator of the subject… but there’s no sound so these girls are pushing each other into empty pools and in front of moving cars for an unknown reason and I’m just there open-mouthed on some “Uh… what in the hell prompted this?” And then ITCHY AND SCRATCHY show up. ?!

At the end of the video the group name/song name flashed so I made a note to look it up when I got home (stupid FG32 has no wifi, but then again, they’d probably never get people to leave if they did).

I-it’s love…! I bought the albums on Google Play (though their media downloader dealy is a piece of shit).

(Keep in mind that prior to this I had no real interest in Kpop and even now am still a rookie to the genre. A lot of people had their gateway through SNSD’s Gee from what I remember, even my at-the-time boyfriend… but I HATED Gee. Sorry. SNSD is fine otherwise.)

April 2017: The fandom officially has a name. I am a Reveluv.

June 2017: Best girls have an official Twitter account.

September 2017: There’s a tweet about collaboration back-to-school goods with eMart and various SMTown groups. For RV the lineup is a neck pillow, sitting cushion, house shoes and coming later on, an umbrella. But uh. Getting things proxied from Korea is no easy task. How am I gonna get this cute RV swag? I decided to phone a friend and fellow Reveluv about finding a solution for this matter. And the result?

Introducing!! Sydney the Group Order Manager! She took on the task of hosting an order from eMart so I was able to put in for a cushion, umbrella, and house shoes. Looking at her other available GOs, I also put in for a Season’s Greetings, a photobook, a ballcap, and in November, the newest album Perfect Velvet.

December 2017: With the exception of the photobook, I got all my goods. Drumroll please…

Usually pillows and cushions are mailed in compression bags so I was surprised that the SM x eMart cushion was not… but it’s actually the right balance of soft and puffy so a compression bag might have been overkill. I thought it would be a cushion + pillowcase but it’s a cushion with a fluffy texture. Quite a pleasant surprise in the end, I haven’t sat on it but it’s perfect for hugging or using as a back cushion. Mostly hugging though.

The unpleasant surprise on the other hand was the house shoes/slippers… They were advertised as 26cm so I was super pleased. Usually women’s shoes from – well, I only have experience with Japan – only go up to 24cm and anything bigger is a hunt. I’m not sure if it’s the same in Korea or if they were just looking out for their taller fans or male fans or what… but whatever the case, these are lies. The moment I took them out of the shipping box I could SEE they were too small. I broke out the measuring tape: 25cm. Insides are 24cm, so they only juuust fit my feet with a tad of overlap from my heal. I was prepared to deal but then… the left foot became super uncomfortable and I realized the wedge-shaped padding on the inside had slipped from the heel to mid-foot. I tried to uh, manually fix it (read: holding by toe, vigorous shaking) to no avail… so I made an incision on the side of the instep to fix it hands-on. Inside, the foam wedge isn’t secured in place by anything. I slid it back in place but over time it sometimes slips forward again. I gave up and bought slippers from Uniqlo. Nowhere near as cute but I can’t keep stressin’ over slippers, fam.

As for the umbrella… they were never produced! And no one said a word about it.

I don’t usually collect CDs but RV is my one exception, so here’s Perfect Velvet. It came with TWO posters, but I asked for them to be folded thinking a) it’ll be cheaper and I need to conserve money and b) it’ll get my goods to me faster. Well, the former was correct, the latter didn’t happen for various reasons (including the sheer amount of album orders in the GO – I was #100 and it kept going). Maybe I’ll buy the unfolded version in the future, but for now I’ll enjoy the album and my Irene/Wendy photocard streak. You can read my two-cent review of the album here.

The ballcap is ace and actually really comfy. Also I felt like I needed a cap with something SFW on it… lol
(August 1st is when RV came to be)

Lastly, the Season’s Greetings (which is a fancy term for a calendar combined with other goods, whether fanmade or official) by IS9194, a fansite for Seulgi and Irene. The sum of goods is a desktop calendar, small poster, large poster, stickers, clear cards, and a paper standee.

The calendar is a winner since you have the option of standard calendar with mini photo or large photo with single-line dates at the bottom. Just saying, last time I had a calendar like this it DIDN’T have the line of days so it was pretty much “use the calendar or have a picture standee, choose one.” Calendars are recyclable but I’m certain I chucked that one.

I love the small poster. The large one… they’re cute, but I have limited wallspace so I have to really pick and choose with the big ones. Maybe I’ll sell it or give it to a friend.

The other goods. I really love Irene on that standee. My next goal is something with Wendy…
But for now, the calendar is already propped on my desk and in this stressful, bitterly cold season, it’s a nice pick-me-up to have.

Let’s Go to AnimeNYC 2017

For the convention photo dump, click here. For the Aniplex Fate Cosplay meetup photo dump, click here.

If you spoke to me before mid-October about AnimeNYC you know I had NOTHING nice to say about it. I did think that the lack of advertising was because this was meant to be a “soft opening” of sorts, which is a good idea, but the show itself looked lacking and it seemed suspicious that most of the offerings weren’t announced until last minute. I think I called it something like “Sailormoon and Gundam con” because those were the main offerings. Not to say those things are bad, but using two of the most wildly popular franchises to cast the net felt like a cheap shot.

Ok, so all those words there, I ate them. The bulk of the announcements WERE late, but they did make for a very promising show. And that Artist Alley list blew my mind… alright, let’s get it!

The Stupid Plight of a Negative Nancy

Okay, so things go a little differently when your skepticism kicks in full gear. You may know what I’m talking about.

I got to the convention center a little after noon, with the show floor opening at 1pm. Crunchyroll had a line for Premium members to get a special badge and goodies, and the general info line was giving out CR bags with a clear file, lanyard, and inaugural pin – they just take your badge and draw an X on the back to show you claimed your goodies. I got my freebies since the Premium line was super long. But that left me holding 3 bags – backpack, wide swag bag with hard envelope inside for buying A3 prints, and the CR bag – so I started consolidating. I dropped the clear file and someone picked it up for me. Here’s the dunce part – I also dropped my con badge and lanyard and didn’t realize it.

So I got my bags straightened out and moved forward, to the Exhibition Hall entrance. I was close to the front, but everyone who waited in the queue hall got first entry. When they finally let our line start filing forward… “Badges out!”

Oh right. After they X’ed the back I didn’t put it on right away. So I reach into my bag, and my badge isn’t there. But I also don’t remember putting it there. Well, check for it. I moved to the side and checked the bag. The other bag. The OTHER bag, which was in the second bag. The bag pocket which I’m positive I never actually opened. My hoodie pockets. W-where is my badge…

Under rational circumstances:
“Oh no! I lost my badge. I’ll let a staffer know and see if they can replace it for me. After all, I do have the email receipt. I was one of the first to buy, in fact! Ha ha ho ho.”

Under my buckethead circumstances:
“Where the hell is it? I really don’t remember now. I can tell them, but what if they tell me that’s that, get out? I mean, it would be easy to just pass off a badge and pretend to lose it to get another for free. The checkpoint isn’t even at the door. If that happens, my whole weekend is a bust AND I lost my hvy blk lanyard I can never get replaced and [SYSTEM ERROR]”

Saying I walked back to the desk to ask about my lost badge is a stretch because I tensed up from panic which made it hard to walk at a normal pace, and I felt like I was going to either hurl or faint.

In the end? SOME BEAUTIFUL SAMARITAN PICKED IT UP AND TURNED IT IN AND IT WAS SITTING RIGHT ON THE DESK I JUST LEFT. Next time I’ll add a billion can badges to my lanyard so it makes a CLANG if it hits the floor.

…Ahem, on with the show…

First off, and I think everyone agrees. The bag check checkpoint system has to go. As it was, you checked your bag to enter the con floor and the artist alley. So basically, going back and forth without exiting the convention center at all, you had to keep opening your bag for a check. Time consuming, redundant, and silly. Not to mention, in the worst case scenario that someone entered the premises with a weapon or bomb, they have a huge gap between the front doors and the checkpoint to work that out with. Safety has to be done right.

What can totally stay? The all-gender bathrooms on the first floor. Yes I used it, yes everyone shared it, no it was not weird or creepy. Just a bunch of people who have to piss!

What I wish could change: the timing. I imagine the week before Thanksgiving is rough on people who usually travel for the holidays. And uh, it’s cold as hell in November here, and the Javits being next to the water doesn’t help. The dates are already settled for 2018 though, and I for one am going again.

The con clocked in at something like 21,000 unique people. I think people were expecting something closer to NYCC (which is near 200,000) but were pleasantly surprised anyway. The low numbers meant you could do any and everything. No line was unbearable, getting to do something merely meant taking the time to get there on time. This includes everything from panels and autographs, to arcade machines and bathrooms.

Speaking of. I was worried about the panel rooms being on the event floor but that worked out amazingly – even better than the usual panel rooms in 1A. 1A is on the lower level so many of the panel rooms have huge support posts that render the seats behind them useless if you actually want to see anything. The 3B panel rooms were able to utilize the entire space, and the staff was generous enough to let latecomers stand in the back as well.

As for the arcade machines, Tokyo Attack set up a mini arcade right on the show floor. I didn’t play any of the games but opted to watch instead. But honestly – New York’s arcade scene is nonexistent outside of Barcade, and they deal in more classic cabinets. Behind the arcade was a huge row of tables for tabletop gaming, but I left that alone.

Four of the Overwatch VAs appeared for signings and selfies – Charlet Chung (D.Va), Jonny Cruz (Lucio), Lucie Pohl (Mercy) and Gaku Space (Genji). D.Va had the longest line throughout the weekend. Hard work, talent, and memes are the real winning formula? But like I said, with the humble attendance numbers, there’s no way you went the whole weekend without getting the selfies/autographs of anyone you wanted, unless it was a limited/ticketed signing.

I’ve never been hugely fond of Kinokuniya for many reasons, and their horrible figure prices is one of them. Ahem…
So I didn’t bother hitting up their booth until late, which turned out to be a bad move, as they had a huge discount sale on some figures, and most were cleaned out by the time I checked. I saw a guy with the X’mas Selvaria and Juliana set – turns out he got it for $90, what a freaking steal. Well, I’m still cutting back on figures right now, so maybe that was for the best.

Aniplex Booth was busy with sales of mostly Fate goods, but they also had a Fate cosplay meetup which ended up taking up quite a chunk of time. So many Fate cosplayers, so many class arrangements. I don’t know, dammit! I just love Tamamo. Though, kudos to them for having a fan activity. A lot of the industry booths did their usual sales and/or giveaways. I didn’t bother claiming my free bag from the Crunchyroll booth because I already got one at NYCC, just sayin’ :p

I said before that there would be no figure companies present besides Bandai, but I stand corrected. TSUME of all groups showed up, but partnered with another booth/vendor, which is why they flew under the radar. They had some of their HQS for sale, and I think they moved all of the large ones… including that Nico Robin. They had her box sitting on a table and I can’t get over how huge it is. You could fit at least 6 cats in there. I dunno why that measurement came to mind but its true, fam.

And then, the Panels

I’ve been a fan of Sailormoon since ’92, but I never really followed the new dub. So I decided to leave the panel to the more hardcore Sailor Guardians in attendance. Later on I ran into some people who asked about my HVY BLK x Sailor shirt and they told me about the panel.

“Everyone who got in got a poster and a special coin! But they ran out of coins.”
“Oh, that’s cool though.”
“The whole entire cast was there!”
“Right?”
“And the original singer of the theme song was there and sang it for everyone!”
“Wait, WHAT?”

DALI sung the theme originally so I’m assuming they meant Ishida Yoko (since she was there for Anime Diva night) but damn, I would have liked to see THAT!

★ I went to the Aniplex Industry panel since they usually do some announcements and give away a ton of prizes. Well, the announcements barely moved the crowd, and at the very end they handed out something like three prizes. Wasted my time…

★ Did anyone go to the LeSean Thomas panel? I wanted to go and completely forgot. He was the first Guest of Honor announced and I honestly went “Who?” I also hadn’t heard of Children of Ether but the characters reminded me of my beloved Michiko to Hatchin. Turns out, same character designer. So I might have a tiny bias.
Instead, I went to the FGO Localization panel. I don’t deal in Fate *anything* so everything went over my head. I was just hoping to help in winning the raffle prize at the end (I did not). The host was quite hilarious though, probably best in show this year.

★ GOD DAMMIT I forgot to go to the MP100 panel. I wtached the sub but I wanted to hear the dub artists talk about the show anyway. But I was shopping/chatting with friends so it wasn’t like the time was wasted.

Our last Saturday panel was Nerds on Hip Hop. I had to make a quick stop & restroom break so I missed the first part of it, but it felt a lot like the panelists talking about the same things you hear in panels like this – personal experience with getting into anime, and the handful of series that prominently feature hip-hop. What I wish they did instead was talk more about Tephlon Funk – I thought it was just a comic but apparently it’s an animation too? That was a huge chance to promo to a room full of people, I wish they talked more about it!

Weekend commutes are a drag so I missed the Japanese Tea panel, but I did sit for the NYC Ramen Summit. At first the moderator did some reading from a paper about the history of ramen and I got worried on some “Oh Lord is this gonna be a history panel” jump, but thankfully it was not. Two things stood out to me though:
→ Someone in the audience asked why ramen is so cheap in Japan and so expensive here. “Because it’s ubiquitous.” True! Ramen is all over Japan like fast food is in the US, whereas as they discussed, it’s still relatively new here. STILL, when I first discovered ramen here it was $8-11 a bowl and fancy places like Ippudo were roughly $17 a bowl. Now I’m finding more and more ramen restaurants cropping up, but with menus in the $14-16 range. HMM. Ivan Ramen is included in that, lol.
→ Ivan Orkin mentioned that one of his rules of ramen is only Japanese ingredients, because a lot of people see Asia as a huge bubble where everything, including ingredients, is interchangeable. Someone came up to him after the panel and asked about this because I heard him responding into the mic… he didn’t mean that as an offense ;;; You can put whatever you want into ramen – I’ve seen ramen from Japan with buttered toast on top, come on – but it’s still good to have an understanding of it’s core ingredients and how they work, and even WHY they work. Lack of the core understanding of a dish would lead to things like pho made with spaghetti or japchae with rice noodles…

Danny Choo had an interesting panel, but between his soothing voice, accent, and the cold air in the room, I started yawning like crazy even though I was listening. And I was sitting in the middle rows straight ahead from him, I hope he didn’t see me ;;;
Basically, he spoke about some of the mindsets we are programmed with, and the key to success is thinking outside of the boxes we don’t always realize we’re in. I also noticed a lot of people nodding when he mentioned getting rid of excess possessions. I wonder if they’re past or future disciples of Konmari? The last part of the panel covered some upcoming SmartDoll news. I’m curious to see SDoll Mika Jougasaki in the future! My long term dream is to customize a SmartDoll into Sansei Muramasa, since the only doll of her is a silicon joke and doll companies in general don’t do dark skin.

Last panel for me was the Art of Wigs, out of huge curiosity. It was a very small turnout, but very informative and the small crowd made for easier audience participation, as people in the crowd also had styling and wearing suggestions. Bonus points to the panel hostess for having a wig she made for a Shinobu cosplay. Appealing to my love for No More Heroes is always a good move.

Crème de la crème

Alternate title: Let’s do some Wallet-Drying Exercises!

I don’t think I bought anything on the Exhibition floor besides a single dorayaki from the BentOn booth, but I threw down a ton of money and had a ball doing it.

The Artist Alley was fan-fucking-tastic!!

First off, it was held in the River Pavilion, which is so freaking ideal. Away from the traffic of the exhibit hall, the Pavilion is a T-shaped hall on an upper level filled with lovely natural light. Then, as cheesy as it sounds, the fact that so many talented artists came from all over the country AND the world to fill this space really melted my tiny metal heart. People have their varying opinions about the con’s offerings but everyone I’ve seen unanimously agrees that the AA was top tier. Thank you all for coming!!!

I would have bought way more if I hadn’t run through so much funds in the span of ~3 hours, plus return trips. So everyone has to come back next year and clean me out again. Promise?

From k009: charms and prints

When I got home I realized I got the wrong Osomatsu print, but it feels weird as fuck just thinking of coming back and going “Uh hi yesterday you gave me the wrong print” so I bought it the next day. LOL

From Kikistiel: Red Velvet’s Wendy print


We spent quite a few minutes bonding over Red Velvet with a bit of EXID. Russian Roulette is the song that got me into Red Velvet (and in turn, KPop, though I am still very green to the scene) so this print is special to me (heart)

From nemupan: Prints, cards, photos and a shirt


Everything she makes is so. Cute. I had to pick and choose before I went to shit. The shirt makes me miss my Pickles the Frog pillow and blankie (they got old/worn so I tossed them). I showed her how NYC does taiyaki ice cream… my dear, did you try it??

From milkbun: eNOMel Pins


I can feel it, I’m going to start slipping into enamel pin hell. Look how cute they are though…

From Dagneo: Prints

Every time I tried to get my hands on these prints, the shop closed for another convention. Well, my turn now ^^ the 707 art was my desktop wallpaper for a while.

From Gearous: Prints, cards


Everyone, EVERYONE, from my friends to randoms on the convention floor, were buzzing about Gearous! Would y’all have beaten me up if I didn’t get anything from them? Ehem, Gearous has really gorgeous eyes… I’m sorry if I stared a little ;;; Also we have the same birthday… ♡ ♡

From Shavostars: glow-in-the-dark pin


So back in the day me and my sketchy internet friends used to draw a lot and spend time on oekaki boards/p-chats. I remember Shavo from that time because her art was on point since then and I used to color her lineart from time to time (man, I miss doing color collabs a little). I feel proud now that she’s made a name for herself!

From Animusrhythm: prints, charms, lanyard


We all already know about my MysMe habits, but Catherine is another top favorite game of mine. Best boy and best girl? Ring me up, please!

From Jenovasilver: pins like crazy


Loving my new pins… the Game Grumps pins are actually a present for my brother, who used to tear up NYCC with me. He actually really loved the pins and was also wanting some in secret for his work uniform. I guess my big sister muscle still works.

From Yuumei: tapestry


I originally intended to just buy some prints, but when I saw the tapestry, welp. Still can’t get over how gorgeous it is.

And lastly,
From Tatouji: Prints and my first con commission!


I’ve loved Tatouji from afar for a while now, but I always missed out on her print sales so this was a golden chance for me. Plus, she mentioned commissions on Twitter, so after deliberating I decided to get 707 in his maid costume.

Stickers! The “LIES” makes me laugh LOL I love these!

It’s framed on my desk now and I can’t get over it. Super Love Love Love!!!!

Q: Why did you put that green bar over his face?
A: Because as of right now, the MysMe fandom is getting kind of wild in terms of fanart usage. Ahem.

Besides everything I got, there were all kinds of gorgeous apparel, prints, charms, badges, keychains, acrylic stamps, dakimakura covers, cushions, plushies and other delights. I really wish I could have had at even more of it…!

Bonus Segment: A fresh pair of eyes

I always talk about how I love New York. But to appreciate something fully, sometimes you need to get some outside perspectives to help build your own. And this past weekend, I got some from various people from around the country and world visiting NYC to help make our convention brighter.

With that said…

HOW DID I NOT KNOW THERE’S A LINE FRIENDS STORE IN TIMES SQUARE?!

Just beat me with the damn dunce cap. I kept seeing people here and there with LINE tote bags and thinking “oh damn, is that mail order or something?” I had no clue the store was there… granted, I don’t go to Times Square often, partly from lack of need and partly because I don’t need Scientologists trying to drag me away yet *again*. Still, after the convention ended I stopped at Disappointmentkuniya for a card sleeve book, then over to the LINE store for a quick peek.

That James sports jacket is fire.
That James jacket is also $180 BYE

I’ll be back to buy something from there in the future, when my wallet is ripe and lush again.

So, all in all? A great start, the two main points of improvement would be the security check system and fleshing out the Exhibition Hall a bit more. See you in 2018!

Let’s go to NYCC 2017

First off, a warm thank you to my friend who hooked me up with a badge again this year, and to everyone who hung out with me, I genuinely wouldn’t have had as good a time without y’all. xoxo!

Thursday

First thing’s first, getting right into the 2017 Figure Scene. For the full gallery of NYCC 2017 photos, hit up my flickr here.

Good Smile continued on their trend of lacking displays and leftover-filled sales menus.



Once upon a time one of their staffers told me anime figures don’t sell well at their booth so they started switching to their comic/game IP figures, but how you explain the current menu is beyond me. While in the past they’ve had amazing displays such as the entire Nendoroid family to date, the Guts and Griffith Max Factory statues, and the TMNT line, we’re now at the point where the cases aren’t even full  and not much is really a big debut/reveal.

While Kotobukiya remained at a standard half Western, half Eastern IP display, their booth was right across from WeLoveFine, who had their own GSC display/sale selection directly across from Koto. Bold?



A new challenger approaches: First 4 Figures, making their NYCC debut.


While their booth was small, most of their display was without glass casing which made it muuuuuch better for taking photos of their displays. However, looks like Alucard suffered for it? His hand WAS there at some point.

I hope next year they get a better booth space, but they’ll probably opt for cases too. (The mix of lights from inside/outside the case + sunlight from the front wall of the convention center can make a photo lighting nightmare at times).

Bandai had their usual “ton of figures” but rotating displays are the *other* photo nightmare.



Lastly, there was Pop Culture Shock and Sideshow Collectibles. PCS had their 1/3 scale Sagat + Thai Guardian Statues along with Ibuki and Dhalsim in 1/4 scale. They all looked great and beautifully detailed… but welp, I was so busy looking I forgot to snap photos.

Sideshow… had a lot of Star Wars on display, so their booth was under my interest radar. I’m sorry, I’ve tried but I just can’t get into Star Wars!!

Friday

Friday was the one and only figure related panel. Kotobukiya applied for one but was denied, not sure about GSC but I assumed they wouldn’t be having one. So we got… Banpresto, surprisingly. They held their World Figure Colosseum finals during the panel with Christopher Sabat (voice artist) and Vampy Bit Me (pro cosplayer, dressed as Android 18) as guest panelists. Six One Piece sculptors from around the globe went head to head, followed by six DBZ sculptors. The prizes were fan prize of $3000 (I missed the Banpresto booth so I didn’t get to vote) and grand prize of $10,000. Nice! Oda Eiichirou was one of the One Piece judges, double nice!

For the One Piece side, Fan choice went to Bruno Moss’ Shirahoshi.

Grand prize went to Yamaguchi Noriyuki’s Zoro.

DBZ prize went a little differently. Fan prize went to Varoq’s Trunks.

Grand prize… ALSO WENT TO VAROQ LOL. “(Party at) my house!”

Afterwards there was one more prize, although they never said if there was money involved. I wondered if they came up with it because Varoq won two prizes lol. Anyway, it went to Eric Sosa!

They gave everyone two blind box figures on the way in, and they had a raffle at the end for some of their yet-to-be-released color variants. I lost by one digit… but that means one of my friends won :) Bonus, he got it signed by Chris Sabat! Seeing as Chris will be at AnimeNYC doing signings for $25 a pop – my guy, you’re a bigger winner than we thought!

Saturday

I managed to get a hold of the elusive Jon Gray to hang out for a while. But in order to make myself available without having to ditch a panel in the middle, I missed out on the two (overlapping) panels I wanted to see – Titmouse (a staple for me) and one on styling wigs (this just interests me who has never worn a wig). I asked him for some advice with copic markers and he gave me some basic tips… so I bought some copics to experiment with.

I also bought the last D.Va jacket from the WeLoveFine booth, it wasn’t my size but they told me it runs in juniors sizes so going up 1-2 sizes is recommended. WELP, it was WAY too big for me and I ended up selling it after the con and buying the last one in my size for slightly more coin from a different authorized retailer. Ah well.

Sunday

Somehow for the past few years Sunday is more congested than Saturday?!
BUT ANYWAY… the time was spent strolling and making last minute splurges. I only went to one panel in the morning for IDW’s Sonic Town Hall. I gotta say for someone who has been a Sonic fan since his debut, and has been part of the fandom, and hell, I still have friends from my active time in the fandom…

SONIC FANS SUPER ANNOYING LOL

Q&A-type panels often annoy me since
– some questions can’t be answered due to legalities/spoilers/etc
– some questions can’t be answered because there (currently) is no answer
and once you weed those out, there is often not much left to ask.
…so you keep asking the same questions from the aforementioned categories, as if an answer will suddenly magically be given.
Add to that, noisy kids and parents not even trying to shut up said noisy kids.
The “Who’s Kenders?” bit was amazing though, A++. Everyone got a Tyson Hesse illustration flyer for attending!

When I got home I finally got to read the full news about Marvel. This was Marvel’s worst NYCC weekend ever since
– they canned their main panel in light of the Vegas massacre (which got swept under the rug anyway)
– they had to cut off their retailer panel early since some old men decided to go off on an anti-(everything) tirade
– and they last-second canned their plan to do a collab comic with a GUN MANUFACTURER

After that last one I thought, they’ll just throw out some new Black Panther teasers to get things flowing in their direction again. GUESS WHAT HAPPENED.

THE LOOT

From PulsArt Studios: Kawacy prints. I technically have the 13×9 version of 707 already (a gift from a dear friend) but… this is what being trash is all about. Got the matching Unknown print and the Youjo Senki print… I read some of the manga but it didn’t catch me, but I love Kawacy’s fanart of the series.

From Sure Thing Toys: Finally got my hands on Caster after Crunchyroll failed me royally. Also got Ichinose Futaba – couldn’t say no to that price!

From PandaHat: Yet another letter cap for my inappropriate hat collection
From PiQ: A Rilakkuma “Snacks and Naps” shirt
From WeLoveFine: the aforementioned way-too-big jacket

I always forget the name of this booth but I buy hair accessories from them every single year, they’re handmade by the family of the guy who owns the booth. The masks were from another cosplay/accessory booth.

From Jerry’s Artist Outlet: cheap copics and a book to practice in.

Pusheen Summer Box from CultureFly + bonus shirt. One of the items inside the box is a passport case, a gentle reminder that I can’t put off renewing my passport anymore. OTL

Freebies from VIZ booth, Banpresto panel, and IDW.

In upcoming events, AnimeNYC has finally posted their exhibitor list, Artist Alley list and panel list, and we’re looking MUCH better than anticipated all year. The Artist Alley has me most excited by far. The panel list is looking better than anticipated, while the exhibitor floor is looking like a mixed bag. No figure booths outside of Bandai for anyone wondering. Still, for a baby con it’s looking pretty good. I’ll be back with the scoop, of course!