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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Natsucon 2012: Day Two

Y'know, as a short note before I get into the actual day, I realize my criticisms of the convention in my previous post may seem . . . harsh. Brutal. But let me confess: I love Natsucon, sincerely and genuinely. It's a great convention that, quite frankly, is getting better with every year. It knows when to keep the things that are successful and dump the things that aren't. So I don't rip into its faults because I enjoy being an asshole; I do it because I want to see it become better. 

(Also, because I used to work for an anime convention for multiple years. I kinda know a thing or two about how this thing works that other con attendees who have never done work for a con wouldn't think of. Please, don't discount my ideas! I have experience! Not that I'm looking to get back into working for cons because a ha ha ha ha no.)

The day for me started around noon with the voice actor Q&A featuring VA guests Brina Palencia and Micah Soulsod. For the first of multiple times today, I was eternally grateful that I registered in the Doubletree con block, as my key card got me in first before most others - which meant I ended up being near the front of the line for signatures, too. Score!

Read about the rest of day two of Natsucon after the jump.

The Q&A was perfection. Aaaaand I took video of (some) of it! It's not great quality but I did, and I'll upload it Monday. Anyway, Brina and Micah are absolute stars, especially together. And here I thought they were adorable yesterday at the Soul Eater panel! Brina's Ciel voice really is impeccable; I need to get my hands on the Kuro dub, stat! Again, I ended up learning a lot about voice acting, working for Funimation, as well as a lot of great stories and anecdotes from the two of them.

After this, it was masquerade time - and once again, thanks to my Doubletree/Natsucon pass, I got in early and also got to sit really close to the stage! Note to prospective Natsucon atendees: if you can pre-reg your badge and order a room in the Natsucon hotel block, do it. The rewards with it are awesome.

Anyway, this was actually my first masquerade; I've always been too busy or at another panel to attend them at other cons. And it was lovely! I saw a lot of amazing cosplayers strutting their stuff across the stage and took mondo pictures. And at one point, I may have shouted "I LOVE YOU SABER" at a certain armored cosplayer. Sorry, Saber cosplayer! I - I still love you, though! The skits were also pretty darn quality, especially the exhibition Avatar skit. That one had me tearing up, I was laughing so hard. Azula and Sokka were perfect!

After the masquerade was over, I took a break from convention stuff to run back to my room and chill. Then it was back to attend the Hetalia panel. A ha ha ha! No. I'm sorry, but the Hetalia panel was a train wreck. The room was packed which meant it was very hard to see anything. The slideshow they had up was pretty basic and not very entertaining; seriously, who goes to a Hetalia panel knowing nothing about the characters? They could have done so much more, but they seemed more interested in being cute. It's one of those panelist groups where they have more fun entertaining themselves than the other people in the room. 

I lasted maybe half an hour of Hetalia boredom and then I walked out. I ended up visiting the game room, in which there are several dancing games - one on the Kinect, a In The Mood 2 machine, and two game systems set up for StepMania. It was pretty awesome dancing DDR-style to "The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku", although that song kicked my ass. Note to self: check the difficulty level before you start!

I went to two other panels today: the Black Butler discussion panel with Brina and Micah, and the Avatar: The Last Airbender fan panel. Do I even have to say the Brina/Micah panel was awesome? Good. Because it was (even if, for some reason, the chaps running the lights couldn't get a handle on the strobe lights for the beginning of it). The fact that they were even willing to do more signings after the panel proves how wonderful they are. Go Brina! Go Micah!

The Avatar panel was, um, superb. They had an entertaining cast of panelists - in costume, no less, as the Aang Gang - and kept the entire room in their thrall. They took what could have been a bland power point presentation and made it fresh and engaging. Plus, surprise Azula! And Yue! And teasing Sokka! It was great. If they run an Avatar panel next year, I am there. I know they were running a Korra panel immediately after, but I haven't started it yet so I left before spoilers could hit!

Actually, I left at the very end when they started talking about The Promise comics, which I hadn't finished yet, because karaoke was next door and I could hear Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" being sung - and no one can resist the allure of Queen. So I ended up doing another thing I usually don't have time for at cons: karaoke! I didn't take the mic, but I did sing along with several songs, from such artists  as Queen, Journey, and the Beatles. It was a ton of fun and it's another event I'd recommend to con goers looking for a good time without worrying how they sound. Believe me, there were enough off-pitch singers in there to swallow up my own terrible wailing!

The last thing I took part in was a Doctor Who photo shoot; if you see any Whovian photos from Natsucon, I'm the genderbent Seventh Doctor who has amigurumi Eleventh Doctors on both her lanyard and in her bosom. Almost disappointed I didn't wear my Sixth Doctor outfit like I did last year! Of course, my cosplay sempais were adorable as usual, dressed up as the Second Doctor and Jamie his space husband/cling buddy. And, of course, a goodly amount of Tenth Doctors. Allons-y!

Tomorrow, I'm going to try and attend a stage show by guests Samurai Dan and Jillian, as well as the AMV rerun and a panel on how to do convention skits (I think run by the same group whose been doing all the Avatar stuff!). There also seems to be a feedback panel after closing ceremonies - but I have a feeling they don't want me at that one!

(Actually, just kidding. Their Facebook staff seemed pretty cool about my first post. Hey guys! Thanks for reading and not perma-banning me! PS - BRING BACK BRINA NEXT YEAR I LOOOOVE HER. Thanks!)