Sunday – Finally the wallet comes out. I got some figurines for Joyce basically as thanks for the help with the hotel room. Got myself some Touhou playing cards from the Dealer’s Hall and a Patchouli Knowledge bookmark in the Artist Alley.
So the original plan was to go to the MusicFest, but while going there, I saw a couple girls sit down next to the guy who was the start of the line. I thought they were crazy and went in and put my bag down. But after a bit, I decided screw it, I don’t really care about the bands for the MusicFest anyway, and so I went and plopped myself down with the line as #4. This was about 1:45. The concert wasn’t going to begin till 8. Yeah. :P I just decided I may as well do something crazy for once.
Eventually people start lining up. I think they thought it was weird that even though I hadn’t heard of Momoi until a couple days ago, I was in line this already. :P I got Ultra Orange #2 and a bottle of water for that though, I think. Thankfully, the sun moved and we got the shade for most of our wait. Eventually while they were passing out the glowsticks to everyone else, I got Ultra Orange #3. Despite this, I ended up having to get another 2 glowsticks during the concert (a blue one for one of the songs, and another orange one for the encore).
There was a bit of confusion when we were finally allowed in and we thought we weren’t allowed to sit at the front. But we were. Unfortunately, the hesitation meant there weren’t enough seats for all of us at the front and center row, so some of the people who were waiting with us went to the side. The first act wasn’t actually Momoi though, it was the Makenai group from the afternoon. Apparently, the girls were only interested in that and left after that so the seating turned out ok.
The convention people would turn out to be a little oppressive though. The fans were doing a live web stream, but they were forced to close it down because the hall was unionized and they’d have to pay some union worker $3000 + $300 webcast fee. Regular recording was apparently allowed though. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Ruezu&view=videos has some videos. I’d be somewhere in the front row, with the regular dull glowsticks (compared to their battery powered glowsticks) and not entirely sure of what I’m supposed to be doing half the time. :P There’s also an audio recording where you can hear the calls going on.
At one point, Momoi made Jun-chan (the head maid of the maid cafe) go up and sing the ENOZ song. She also let people up on the stage for the LOVE.EXE song. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what was happening till too late and got stopped by the rovers. :( Though I guess that’s better, since I wasn’t wearing one of her shirts like the others, and wouldn’t know what to do either. Apparently someone also accidentally unplugged the guitarists’s guitar, and one of the guys noticed and plugged it back for him.
Another interesting point of note, her dress for this performance was made in Taiwan.
I got some goods after the concert (shirt, CD), and a lot of the fans stayed around to continue the live webcast. The convention people continued to be anal about it though, and turned off the lights on us (I went back later and the lights were on then too). It didn’t matter, and people just used glowsticks/flashlights for lighting. They actually started doing the Nico Nico Douga medley again. Eventually most of the group left to get food I think, but some went to the convention center to finish the webcast, which was filled with random stuff. I guess it’s somewhere on Nico Nico Video. I decided to go back to my room then. But then I noticed I couldn’t find my call book. Went back down to find it and couldn’t find it. Luckily I ran into them again and managed to get another book from them.
Monday – Got up really early to check out and meet Joyce. But Joyce overslept so I went to wait in line, which was already forming 2 hours before the signing event. I got my CD case cover signed. Convention people again imposed random rules and wouldn’t even let us take any photos inside (it was supposed to be no posing only). I also decided to get a wristband.
Went to the Para Para panel and that’s when Joyce arrived. Everything was completely foreign to her since this is her first convention, so I had to explain stuff to her. What was ironic was that she was using a friend’s Industry pass. Introduced her to Wei-chen and helped her pick out a couple wall scrolls for her brother. Watched some AMVs, watched people para paraing (one of the instructors from the panel was at the arcade), put stuff in her car, and then watched the closing ceremonies, which consisted of AMVs and a charity auction. The most interesting thing was when they were auctioning off a Wii guitar signed by every guest of honor, including Momoi. Instant attention from every Momoi fan in the room. In fact, Jun-chan’s boyfriend started the bid at $100, and made a gesture at me. Quick bidding war that eventually ended at $250. But he passed on that. Then they announced there was a *second* guitar. He gave in on that. If he couldn’t do it, I think I would’ve been willing to help augment his bid by a few bucks. Last thing to go was a Wii signed by last year and this year’s guests of honors. Starting bid was $600… nobody was willing to do it. Eventually a staffer made the bid and donated it back for next year’s auction again. You could tell it was done as a “somebody has to do it” move, but very awesome regardless.
Some observations/thoughts now that Fanime is over:
1) The momoists are some of the coolest and most generous people I’ve ever met.
2) It’s a good thing I didn’t win the exclusive Yamaga invitation earlier, since that was the same time as the Momoi concert. Would’ve altered my life a little bit I think.
3) The whole glomping/hugging thing is fascinating. I’m not sure why it’s such a feature in anime conventions. I think it’s the whole people letting loose. I was still being my pretty introverted self, but I was quite a bit more willing to try things out. Certainly talked to a lot more strangers than I usually would.
4) While at the convention, I was basically living in a completely separate reality. Completely ignored everything from my usual life.
5) This convention has rekindled my geek interests by quite a bit. I haven’t really been watching anime/listening to Japanese music for a while now, and I’ve pretty much spent the entire day listening to Japanese music, and Haruhi is now in its 2nd season which means something to watch (just as American shows I were watching are reaching their finales).
6) Kingdom Hearts cosplayers tend to uniformly have pretty cool costumes (their keys).
7) Wearing furry costumes will get you a lot of glomps/hugs.
8) Convention food/drink is way too expensive. $4 bottles of water just should not happen, especially if you can get the same water a block away from a restaurant for $1.60. This is a safety hazard as it causes people to drink less fluids than they really should be drinking.
9) I’m tempted to do some otage at the next American concert I go to with friends, just so I can have people stare at me and wonder what the heck I’m doing. Bonus points if I can get said friends to do it with me (chance of that happening? <1%)
10) I guess I should find some Para Para videos and just practice off that if I actually want to try the machine next year.