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Strip 418, Volume 3, Page 92

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< Piro >

b3w4r3 t3h cut3

"skyway to nowhere"

Wednesday - June 4, 2003

[Piro] - 23:40:00 - [link here]

Hard to believe Anime Central was almost three weeks ago. I feel like I just got home. Conventions always seem to feel like four or five days of activity crammed into two days, and this year's Anime Central was no exception.

One of the hardest things to believe is that this was only my third Anime Central since Megatokyo started. Oh, and Dom was right - it has been only two years. MT had just started to build a readership around the time of our first con. Our first Acen experience I described in a recent rant. The next Acen, last year's con, was a lot of fun and it was an honor to have lunch with Akamatsu Ken of Love Hina fame. Nothing like making a total fool out of yourself in front of someone you admire and respect ^^;; (thankfully my lameness was buffered by the rather excellent translation skills of the infallible Asmodeus ("uh, are you sure you wanna say that?" ^^;;)). The most astonishing thing about last year's Acen was the sheer number of MT fans who stood in line to get into that tiny little room... the Con folks noticed, and that's why this year we managed to get a room big enough for everyone. It was a true 'told you so' moment :)

Of course, the fact that so many people are so bored at these cons that they see fit to waste time coming to the MT panel puts a little burden on us to try to be somewhat entertaining. By some quirk of nature, we manage to do so at most conventions, but I feel that fans deserve something special at some of these cons if we can manage it. That's how the Naze Nani Megatokyo's were born.

Anime Central is kind of my 'home base' con - in fact, i remember going to the very first Anime Central years ago. Hard to believe that here I am, years later, talking about how I was able to make a total fool out of myself in front of 1800 people wearing a cat similar to one worn by one of my favorite female anime characters. Life sure is kinda weird sometimes.

Seraphim and I arrived Thursday night and were put to work even before we had a chance to unpack the car. All the guests had a meet and greet session with all the con staff before the rest of the con got underway. Later that evening, the con treated us and the rest of the guests to a trip to see the Matrix Reloaded. Of course, by the time we got back to the hotel it was almost 3am. I won't comment on the film - enough people have done a better job at critiquing it than I could. I'll leave it at that.

On Friday, Seraphim and I didn't have any scheduled events, but we planned to sit at our table and sign and draw stuff for people for as long as we could that day. There were a lot of complaints from people in the Artist Alley from previous years that the line of people waiting for MT autographs was impinging on other activities in the Artist Alley area, so I decided that moving over to the Exhibitors Hall was ok - All I wanted to do was sit and take care of people without bothering anyone.

The biggest problem this year with the Exhibitor Hall at Acen was that it was in the Convention Center next door, not in the hotel - a veritable 2 mile walk via the 'skywalk'. Now, this 'skywalk' is probably a real blessing in bad weather, but it was so circuitous that it was a lot quicker to walk outside. Aside from the distance, it was pretty nice. Dealer Rooms usually tend to be pretty cramped, so the extra space was nice. When we arrived to set up, we discovered that someone had taken the table and chairs the con had provided for us, and that they would have to wait for the convention people to bring out more but and they were on lunch. Once we were set up, things went fine. We were set up right across the way from the Nekobox folks, who didn't have chairs (they were like $35 a chair x_X)

If you were there, you may have noticed these really nice banners on stands that were behind us at the table. Seraphim and I purchased a pair of 7 foot x 3 foot banner things to bring to cons to, like, spruce up things. ^^;; One has Piro and Kimiko on it, the other has Eimi from Warmth. They came out really nice, and I'm giving it about three cons before someone rips them off :( I think that we were able to take care of everyone who stood in line on Friday - thank you for your patience if you were in line. :)

Friday night Dom, Asmodeus, Ukyo, Cortana, Natsuki, Seraphim and I were supposed to get together to go over the plan for Saturday's panel. Only one problem - Dom was still stuck in Los Angeles. ^^;; It seems that his plane kept breaking. He finally got in around 2am central time... which left a rather comatose looking Dom to explain things to over breakfast the next morning. He nodded a lot and rambled on about things that had nothing to do with the panel, I felt we were good.

The Naze Nani panel went... really well. Surprisingly well. If anyone remembers the disaster that was the first Naze Nani Megatokyo panel at Otakon last year... this was a lot better. Tons better. I guess there is something to be said for (gasp) planning. I learned a few things from that disaster , and tried to apply what I learned to this years Naze Nani... things.

First problem with the Otakon show was that I tried to put together a single, 10 minute presentation that offered little in the way of audience participation, and then expected everyone else to, well, just sort of ad lib things and we'd go from there. Ya. that worked well -_- This year, I put together a much more organized framework but left leeway for Dom, Asmo, Seraphim to improvise. A series of Top Ten lists worked surprisingly well. We filled up any time left near the end of the show with our usual Question and Answer stuff. Dom gave away a vibrating ducky. We finished on time. In short, it went off without a hitch, and i think everyone enjoyed it. For once the room was big enough - it held about 2000 people, and about 1800 showed up. :) There were a number of Megatokyo cosplayers at Acen - I'll post some pics in my next write-up.

On Sunday we had our Web Comic panel, hosted by the irascible Hot Soup / Pogo of Fate Drifters fame. What made the panel so much fun was how many webcomic people were there - Dub This, /me glomps j00, Fate Drifters, Nekobox folks, Ghost Girl Kimiko, and a few others. There were a lot of really good questions asked, and everyone on the panel had quite a bit to say. So far, i'd say it's the most informative webcomic panel i've seen, and hopefully future ones go this well at other cons.

The final activity for me at Acen was the dreaded 'Iron Guest' competition. As you might imagine, it's a spoof of the whole Iron Chef thing... and last year i lost. ^^;; This year i went up against Bruce Lewis of CheapDisposable Entertainment - an excellent artist in the more traditional manga/anime genre. I was pretty exhausted by sunday afternoon, and i have to say... if 'kawaii' (cute) wasn't the subject matter, i would have probably lost :P Pulling from my sleepy brain, i did a 'happy cute' and a 'depressed cute' character, and added a little Boo with a jet pack in a IAC shirt (ok, that was laying it on thick) and managed to pull ahead and win.) Here's a picture of the drawing. It was a fun competition - but i only won by a few points - Bruce did a great job with his (I have a picture of it somewhere, but I can't find it), but i think my little Boo with IAC shirt won the day for me :P.

I originally considered sending dom up to be a stand in for me, but it would have been unfair to Bruce. Dom was able to produce a comparable 'cute' piece in 8.65 seconds - imagine if he had had the whole 20 minutes. :)

After that, we were pretty much done. I don't know why, i but this con wore me out. Anime Central is always a great con, and i would like to thank all of the Acen staff, in particular Eileen, Issac, Fraggy, Pocky, Willie, the sound guys at the panel, the guys who lugged the lounge chairs onto the stage, Crowie, The staff of the green room, the guy who we woke up and helped me and john update the website saturday morning via his cell phone data connection... the list goes on. ^_^ Thanks guys, great con.

As always, a big thanks to the MT crew people. Hope you liked the pizza. I don't think I even got a piece ^^;;

You'll note that i'm trying to increase the rantage a little. My goal is to get it back up to three times per week again. I'm not gonna promise it (because we all know what happens when i do that) - but i figure i'll just quietly try to do it. Doing it is, after all, what counts.

Oh, and just a quick note - I've been spending some time working on new merchandise for the MT store. The latest piece is a new version of the old 'ph34r the cute ones' design, in an attempt to provide something cuter, a little more deadly, and a little less Ruri. :P It came out really well, actually. Look for shirts in about a month. Other stuff in the works as well, more info on that later. (whispers 'blankets' and 'darkly cute' into the air)...

< Dom >

What, you think I'd actually link a porn site?  Heeeeell no

"I am not a crook"

Thursday - June 5, 2003

[Dom] - 21:30:00 - [link here]

Okay, first things first. As you may already know, I'm a baseball fan. And given how much crap the sport has brought on itself, and how the fans are extremely jaded by this point, I shouldn't be surprised at how quickly people turned on Sammy Sosa after cork was found in one (and only one) of Sammy's 81 bats. After all, with steroids and scuffballing being a proud tradition in the sport, what's so hard to believe about a home run hitter putting some cork in his bat to add a bit of distance to his swings?

But me, I'm waiting on the evidence to come in, and the initial evidence supports his story that it was an honest mistake--so far, at least. But from cruising ESPN and The Sporting News, it appears that everyone wants Sosa's head on a stick. Or wants an asterisk next to his home run total. And I say "screw that". For how many years has he broken bats, and how many times has their been cork in them before this week? This incident hasn't been fully resolved yet, people, give it some time before you try to crucify the dude.

Okay, that's enough baseball talk for now. On to the thrust of this rant. To wit, I have yet another question:

Why do people keep asking me for help with their porn games?

Warning: The rest of this rant will talk about pornographic video games. If you don't want to hear it, don't go any further than this. On the other hand, if you expect anything particularly lascivious, you won't find anything in here for you, either.


I guess it all started with Baldr Force, when I lent out my copy to a couple of friends who are mech combat fans. Like me, they liked the combat system, turned off their speakers and skipped through the porn as quickly as possible. Unlike me, they don't read Japanese, so I ended up explaining the surprisingly deep story to them. Or maybe it started with my roommate asking me to translate portions of Ren'ai Chu! for him, which I did for about 5 seconds at a time before running away from the screaming.

Of course these brushes with Japanese H games came back to bite me in the ass two weeks ago. Here's a half-remembered conversation with a friend in whose room I'll be staying at Anime Expo:

Her: Hey Dom?
Me: Yeah?
Her: Could you help me get a porn game?
Me: Why do you want to get it in the first place?
Her: My friend and I want to cosplay it, we think it's cute!
(Note: I have a few issues with people who want to do cosplay from games they haven't played, since I think cosplay should be love for the character, but maybe that's just because I'ved played too much Comic Party. It's also not my policy to get in the way of anyone else's enjoyment... which explains a lot of why I make myself the butt of so many jokes, really)
Me: ...and why are you asking me, of all people?
Her: I was told you were the best person to talk to about H games.
Me: ...

Things got worse from there. See, she wanted to get not just any H game. Noooo, she wanted Brightia (which I refuse to link to for reasons I'll get to), because she thought the costumes were cute, and she couldn't find any pictures of the costumes from the back (I'll come back to this factoid later).

Because I had nothing better to do and can read Japanese, I poked around for info on the game. I discovered that it's a rather... ah... objectionable game, with lots of what I like to call "bad kanji". When I asked Asmodeus-who really is a porn master-about Brightia, even he recoiled a bit, and considering that he's watched mind control porn within earshot of his mother before, that's quite a feat.

And what do you know? I found a place that had it, and a few days after she asked, it was on my doorstep. But guess what? She can't read Japanese, and didn't feel any enthusiasm for actually playing the game. So guess who played through the game trying to find CG for her costume reference?

Hint: It wasn't Senator Lieberman.

So there I was after a couple days of desperately skipping through a WHOLE LOT of screaming. And I grumbled over to Asmodeus about it, at which point he mentioned that he had all the CG for the game if she wanted it. Which led to the inevitable exchange:

Me: 何故そんなこと言ってなかった、同士? (><); (Why didn't you say that before?!)
Asmodeus: 聞かれなかったから (Because you didn't ask).

Of course.

So anyway, that's the situation as it stands. And I'm sure that my legend as a master of Japanese porn games will grow because of what I've done for my friend, acquiring an out of print game and all.

I guess I have no one to blame but myself, doing so many favors for friends who want to play/see porn games. And I can probably blame myself for not thinking of ways to solve this problem that didn't involve me getting my hands dirty (and DAMN do I feel dirty). For example, UkiyaShun suggested that I should've just downloaded someone else's save game, or asked around for the CGs. And it's probably nobody's fault but mine, especially since I don't know that much about porn. But me, I blame Asmodeus. You should too.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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