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Friday, August 10, 2012

Natsucon 2012: Day One

Without further ado, Natsucon opened as it usually does: with minimal fanfare, long lines, and a lot of confusion. God bless pre-reg, or else I would have been stuck in line for hours as well!

The first panel would have been Cons 101, but in a fit of irony perfectly befitting this convention, the panel runners never showed. Ha! Let it be said that Natsucon is consistent in its imperfections. So after a bit of wandering about in the noon, I foolishly went into the dealer's room - and came out having spent way too much. The dealer's room this year is actually pretty impressive; despite the smaller room, there were more dealers and more diverse options in merchandise. Seriously eyeing up River Song's sonic screwdriver and an Accel World figure (Kuroyukihime or Chiyu), kol kol kol.

After doubling back to my hotel room to dump off my precious wares, it was time for opening ceremonies!


Well. To say it was underwhelming would be the understatement of the weekend. It was unscripted, half of it mumbled, a lot of time was spent on stage goofing off and making up for time that should have been spent explaining the con, going over con rules, and talking about events. No offense to the Nerdfit Network, who are wonderful chaps all around, but the opening ceremonies =/= one of your panels. You don't get to dominate every aspect of this convention. Although seeing the DJs and voice actors on stage was rather fun; Brina Palencia is an absolute treasure and Micah was oddly adorable.

And with that, Natsucon 2012 had officially started! Below are the panels I attended:

Soul Eater Discussion with Brina and Micah: This was a blast. I don't go to a lot of VA panels, so it was absolutely fascinating to hear how Brina and Micah do their job. Micah is apparently a self-declared introvert, so he didn't talk much. When he did, however, he was a gem. His Soul voice is great, too! Note to self: watch the SE dub!

I'm horribly biased but my favorite part was Brina. She was wonderful and had a ton of great stories, including those involving pranking her VA friends hardcore. A lot of the questions came in her direction and she handled them with infinite class. She also did her Ciel voice; I was too much of a baby to ask her to do a Horo line, but there's always tomorrow!

I would have gone to the AMV showings . . . but I got seriously sidetracked after the Soul Eater panel with the dealer's room and catching up with friends, so I'll be seeing the AMV 'reruns' on Sunday instead. Hopefully some of them will be on Youtube in time for the AMV Of The Week on Monday!

Fate/Stay Night (And Related Works) Fan Panel: I'm pretty sure the same guy who ran this panel also ran the Tenchi Muyo! panel last year - and I raved to hell about that one. Well, this one? EVEN BETTER. He clearly is a fanatic of Type-Moon's works and had everyone fully entertained for the full time. He's the kind of panelist that has you leaving the panel much more knowledgeable about the series at hand and really amped about being a fan of said series.

Also, he's convinced me to watch the Carnival Phantasm series; it looks hilarious! Oddly enough, it was his panel last year that convinced me to look out for Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, which was licensed for North American DVD release a week before this year's Natsucon. Will wonders ever cease?

Fanfiction and You: Kind of a wash, albeit entertaining. The actual panelists never showed up (huh!), leaving a frantic staff member and some helpful con attendees to fill in the space. Note to Natsucon staff: don't let these people run panels again for you if they can't be arsed to show up. They're clearly not reliable. At least collect their contact information so you can call them the day of their panel and double-check with them their panel times and locations!

Ghostbusters Save The World!: The last panel of the night and I'm biasedly in love with it, because it was run by my married sempais and the convention folks I used to work for (Kawakon staff, holla back!). They pretty much ran it as actual Ghostbusters members, presenting the panel (for the most part) as members trying to recruit new members. Actually, the Greater Saint Louis Ghostbusters group is a thing that exists, as is the upcoming Ghostbusters convention Ecto Con which looks to be a lot of fun (and pre-reg is still open!).

Plus, they had custom made proton packs. You can't beat that. Honestly, they are the ultimate costumers. If you love Ghostbusters and live in the Saint Louis area, you are doing yourself a major disservice if you're not a member of the GSLG group. Do it now!

Tomorrow, it looks to be a busy day, with several guest actor panels, two Kuroshitsuji panels, a masquerade/skit show, a lot of costuming/cosplay panels, and hopefully a Hetalia panel that doesn't suck. And perhaps, if I wish hard enough, every panelist will actually show up on time, willing to run the panel they signed up for. I can hope, can't I?