Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thoughts: Otakon 2012

Another con, another haul.  Otakon this year was interesting for me, it was the first year I did two costumes and the one that I went to least amount of panels. Also it was freaking hot.

Friday I was dressed as the titular Franken Fran.  Which was interesting to say the least. As a manga only character I didn't expect a ton of people to know me (though at least a few people did).  What I didn't think of, was that most people would think I was dressed as female Stein from Soul Eater.  (Which is kind of funny because after I made my head bolts I made the Stein screw for one of my friends.) The costume was much hotter then I expected.  With the long wig and lab coat I had to stop shopping at one point in the dealers room.  I'm not sure if it was just the heat or if I was having hot flashes (I have some hormonal problems).  I still got a pretty good haul despite all this.

Saturday was interesting to say the least... I don't think I did much other then wear my costume and do a little shopping.  My friends like to get pictures in the Otakon Photo Suite early in the morning but things got all screwed up. I got in my Glados Potato costume later then I had planned but I figured it would be fine because we would be starting late.  Ugh, no so instead of 12 pm we did the shoot at around 5:30.  I was in the costume in the early after noon but after a couple of hours of wearing it I just couldn't do it any more and deposited in a friend's room in the Hilton for a bit.  I then did some more dealer's room and artist's alley shopping.  Which when much better, I was less hot and I felt like people were being way less pushy then on Friday.  I went and retrieved my costume but getting anywhere in it was a challenge.  I had a porthole view but it was so low I could only really see the chest area on people.  I tried going down and escalator and never before had I been so scared to try.  Luckily, a guy talked me through it.  Then I found out the Hilton skywalk bridge was closed (for what reason I guess I'll never know) so I had to go outside again.  Once that costume gets hot, it stays hot.  Even with a fan inside, it was like being in a mobile sweat lodge.  I did finally get my photos taken but I had to get out of the costume a.s.a.p. after that.  My legs are still sore from it.

On one hand I never want to wear this freaking this costume again but on the other had I'd like to try again and do it better.  It wasn't as last minute as the Fran costume but it was still done under a month.  My friend did the wire frame, batting, stuffing, and fabric.  I did the wires, clips, and face plate.  I guess we will see, for a winter convention I don't think it would be so bad heat wise.  Though we would have to figure out how to set the porthole so I can see faces instead of chests.

Sunday was the only day I went to a panel that wasn't my own.  I went to the Vertical panel, which I try to go to every year.  They are publishing some interesting stuff this year, Wolfsmund looks pretty cool and some how they ended up with the job of printing Queen's Blade art books (even Ed didn't seem to enthused by this).  Also Twin Spica is going out of print because of poor sales which is pretty sad, Ed quoted numbers and it was abysmal.  Remember if you really want a title to come out here buy it!

I ran two panels myself.  Both of them were 18+ this time around.  I did a Go Nagai panel, which was a rehash from last year but with more 18+ content.  Last year I managed to be informative this year I managed to wave my hands around a lot and spout stuff.  I tried, but it just wasn't with me this time.  It didn't help we ran into technical difficulties. My netbook only has HDMI out so I told my co-panelist to bring his laptop (we used his last year).  There is where we ran into a problem it was a different laptop but only had HDMI out also.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuu... Luckily the con staffer  and the audio guy called for a HDMI converter and I call my friend for her laptop.  Of course pretty much everything comes at once.  I tell my friend we don't need her laptop and she leaves.  Only my co-panelist's computer won't duplicate the screen.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.... I call my friend again and she runs down her laptop, again.  Fortunately we got there early enough that we were only 5 minutes late to start. It went pretty well, we had some laughter and we didn't have any one really get up to leave (which is always a good thing).

Saturday said laptop friend, another friend, and I ran a yaoi panel called Sugar & Old Spice.  Two of us had previously done it at MangaNext.  Only at MangaNext it was the same time as the rave and so only three people who really loved yaoi showed up.  Otakon we packed a room (a small room but still a room).  My friends were very prepared but I was not so much.  I knew the stuff because it is stuff I am very familiar with but I should have had notes.  Still we filled the time pretty well and had people asking us all kinds of questions.  It was cool.

As for the actual haul it was:

Printed yaoi web comics
Star Fighter - 1 & 2
Teahouse - 1 to 3

DMC  - 5 & 6
He Is My Master - 5 & 6
Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~  - Omnibus 1 & 2
Lament of the Lamb - 5

No Longer Human - 2 & 3
Ooku - 4
Sensual Phrase - 9
Three Wolves Mountain
Velveteen & Mandala
Venus Versus Virus - Omnibus (4 to 6), 7, 8

Mine Turtle t-shirt
Persona 4 Arena t-shirt (My friend got it at E3 but she gave it to me at Otakon)
Tanto Cuore playing mat

Some of the manga came from a friend who got it at a local store to her for super cheap.

Over all a weird but interesting year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Scanlation Get: Dororon Enma-kun

This one is a weird one to talk about and I may be skewed from watching Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera before finishing the manga. I’d pretty much sum up the manga as interesting ideas, lackluster execution.

Are heroes are the titular Enma-kun (nephew of Hell’s Great King Enma), Yukihime (an ice princess), Kapperu (a cute looking kappa), and Chapeauji (literally a sentient old man hat).  Enma-kun and friends are sent to Earth to (ostensibly) capture demons that have escaped from hell.  Expect Enma-kun kills them pretty much every time.

While there are some longer story arcs most of the stories are short one chapter affairs.  I think that is part of the problem the manga seems to be going somewhere at first and then just trails off into nowhere.  Part way through I was pretty sad because I came to the realization that the ending was going to be lame and I was pretty right.

It is supposed to be a horror/comedy but comes out more like light horror/juvenile sex comedy.  Which is a little strange when all of the characters look to be about eight.  Also there are only so many jokes about getting to seeing Yukihime’s vag I can take before it has worn out its welcome.  I also think a lot of the jokes almost work but don’t seem to follow through and they just fall kind of flat.

So here comes a left turn, while I personally would tell most people to skip this manga, I highly suggest checking out two anime based on it.  

One is Kikoushi Enma (Demon Prince Enma) this came out a few years ago in the US on DVD. While it is out of print and can be purchased used pretty easily online.  Kikoushi Enma re-imagines the characters as grownups and goes for a dark and moody atmosphere.  It reminded me a lot of Hell Girl but a bit more mature.  Also it was animated by Brains Base.  So the animation is pretty nice, some of it is a little dated by 3d effects but it doesn’t hamper the anime any.

The other is the more recent Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera.  This was also animated by Brains Base. For a TV series this show looks freaking good.  Really clean, sharp animation with lots of detail, way more then I would have expected for a show like this.  Also it is what the manga basically should have been.  It still has some of strangeness of eight year olds in a sex comedy but it goes way sillier than the manga and cuts out some of the strangeness of the manga (Like why is Enma-kun always in some underwear-diaper thing?).  NIS recently announced it for a U.S. release September 2012.  I have to say it is really great it manages to build off the content of the manga, it builds up to something, and take what was a kind of out of context lame ending to manga and turn it into something cool and funny.