Tempest’s Downpour – Con Report: AnimeNEXT 2010

Posted on Jun 22 2010

The original intent of 91.8 was to liveblog my AnimeNEXT experience straight from the con in real-time. But we thought, “Nah, let’s make them wait. That’ll go over well.”

So straight from the Tuesday after con, heeeeeere’s Tempest’s report: I was fortunate enough to attend several panels this weekend and I even scored a sweet interview with the brains behind Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex .

Kenji Kamiyama

To begin the activities on Friday, Asterose, my dear pocket-sized photographer, and I attended the Manga Storytelling Panel.  However, the panelists never showed up and the staff eventually had to cancel the panel.  Asterose and two other attendees took up the mantle via directions and audience involvement.  Working together as a large group, they put together a setting and storyline about what happened to the original panelists with a comedic theme.

One of the highlights of the convention was the Hetalia World Summit. This was a pre-scripted performance where Hetalia cosplayers put on something of a skit with a good dose of improvisation and character-acting.

As a world summit, the group tried to discuss important topics like global warming, health care and the economy.  America took the reins of the conference and promptly steered everyone onto tangents.  Canada tried to get everyone back on track, but no one could figure out who he was.

Greece suggested a sleep-a-thon to raise money, and the idea was rapidly warped into a sleep-together-a-thon.  America thanked England for the lovely goal scored during the World Cup and England claimed it was a trick, a curse or black magic.  America went on to blame the oil spill on England.  Altogether, nothing new got accomplished, but no one bombed anyone else.

Uncle Yo’s show later that evening featured rhyming speeches and lists that included “numbers that are bigger than three.” He ended his act with the ever-spectacular “Your Mom Meteor” joke that had the audience rolling in laughter.

Uncle Yo

The Burlesque show followed shortly thereafter. Burlesque is a form of entertainment catered to adults.  At anime conventions, it is not unlike an 18+ version of the Masquerade, with skits, songs and dances where oftentimes articles of clothing are removed.

The performances were beautiful and the dances were very nicely choreographed. This year’s theme was Pokemon with Professor Oak and Pimp!Ash as the hilarious hosts. Oftentimes they attempted to introduce the next act with silly play-on-words, but went so wildly off-script that they began ad-libbing the entire end of the show.

The next day was full of rushing around that eventually led me to Little Kuriboh’s (LK) panel at 1.  He screened a French re-dub he did of the first episode and then showed us the video revealing Kaiba’s true father.


Some answers to questions included: Joey doesn’t hate furries, he’s just in denial; LK created the series out of boredom, not inspiration; Marik is his inner child let loose and LK aspires to be like Yugi.  Other important announcements included that he will play the Moonlight Knight in Sailor Moon Abridged.

His panel was so popular that it had to be held in one of the main events rooms in the con center that seated hundreds of people, and there were hundreds more scrambling to get in who had to be turned away.

It’s intimidating,” LK said.  “I keep expecting I might half-fill a room and there’ll only be 20 people.  I honestly love you guys.”

Following that was the Anime Radio panel at 3 hosted by Kyle Hebert, featuring Little Kuriboh, Kirbopher, Kroze, somatosensation, Stacie Renna and more.  They read the script for the 1930’s radio program “The Shadow,” which totally wasn’t a ripoff of Batman, no way, of course not.  This was complete with cheap laughs at the expensive of the script, exaggerated dialogue, misspoken names, whacky sound effects and Batman’s theme music.


That evening I missed the Masquerade in favor of Bad Anime Bad, which was so bad it was good and it hurt.  We watched an anime adaptation of Frankenstein in which Dr. Frankenstein has a young daughter who decides to adopt his monster as a pet, featuring a detective doing an excellent Columbo impersonation.  The ending is filled with enough suicide to send the little girl to therapy for the rest of her life, and the audience’s reactions of horror, shock and humor were so strong that the panelist recorded all of us on his camera phone.

We saw various other clips including cutscenes from the infamous “Zelda: Wand of Gamelon” that Nintendo even tries to cover up.  That was followed by scenes from Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned which included a one-sided sword duel with a man in a wheelchair.  Just… you have to see it for yourself.

Sunday crawled by as con exhaustion and depression set in so thickly that everything turned a shade of grey.  Lethargic bodies collapsed over chairs as people dragged themselves and made last-minute phone calls.

A glimmer of light was in the form of Cosplay Chess, which was themed “Old-school vs New-school.”  The battle scenes were amazing, as always, with Mr. and Ms. Pac man as the king and queen of Old-school, and Kamina and Yoko as the king and queen of New-school.  There was frustration when one of the host chess players kept going off script and had to redo his moves a couple of times.  The event ended in a dance-off that old-school won.

Other than panels, people were the best part of all.  In no other place could a conversation between two strangers exist as: “Stacy’s mom.”  “Has got it going on.”  It’s also a place that transcends age as I found myself talking easily between people nearly half my age and people certainly twice my age in a similar fashion.  We all automatically have something in common due to our one shared interest, and it doesn’t matter who we cosplay or what we do in real life.  What other place on earth can boast that sort of social experience?

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  • Drago142222 June 22, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    i wanna see tempest

  • Sandgolem June 23, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Great job Tempest!

  • SaiQ June 23, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Great report Tempest!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Asterose October 6, 2010 at 6:00 AM

    Good times, good times, thank you again to 91.8 for sending me out with you <3 It was so fun photographing and handing out fliers (great conversation starter and a good cause wrapped up as one). Now I'm wondering why didn't I go to Burlesque, though.

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