Category: Anime/Manga


After taking in all that information, we headed over to the Indigo Ballroom. We wanted to make sure that we could get in to see John Barrowman.

So, while we were waiting, we managed to catch the Nerdist Industries panel. Nerdist was smaller but has grown a lot from when they first started. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown. Their panel was largely a Q&A session. There was a lot of questions to be had about things happening within Nerdist Industries. I was going to post a YouTube video of this panel, but of all the things they covered at Comic Con, their own panel wasn’t one of them.

Why, yes, that is John Barrowman.

Why, yes, that is John Barrowman.

So, after that was the reason we were their in the first place, John Barrowman.
John Barrowman… what can I say?

When he was on stage, he was on. He was there ready to engage. I never realized that how much he loved his fans, but he does. He really loves his fans. His panel was entirely a question and answer session. It was pretty awesome that that’s what he does every year (he has a panel every year).

So… if there was any way to describe him while on, it would be that he reminds me of Jack from “Will and Grace”. For some reason, that was my impression of him. I kept waiting for him to say, “My one-man show, Just Jack”.

While we were there he let us know that he has a permanent part on “Arrow”. Not a show I watch per se, but it was great to hear that he once again had a stable role.

One of the best Xena cosplays I've ever seen. Cosplayer: Bernadette Bentley www.BernadetteBentleyActor.com

One of the best Xena cosplays I’ve ever seen. Cosplayer: Bernadette Bentley
http://www.BernadetteBentleyActor.com

He also called his nephew in Scotland to wish him happy birthday. He got everyone in the panel to sign happy birthday. It was sweet and kind of awesome.

It was a fun panel to be in. He was so engaging and friendly. It made me want to meet him because he sounds like he would be great to just know.

After that, there was a little time to kill between John Barrowman and Best and Worst Manga of 2013-2014 (Comic Con to Comic Con).

This is still my favorite panel at Comic Con. I love hearing the arguments for certain manga. It gives me some new titles that I wouldn’t have thought of reading. This is doubly so this year as they had to pick titles that they had never chosen in previous years. So, everything was new. There was no repeats… it also means that there were so many new titles that they hadn’t discussed before.

It was exciting and fun to listen this year. There were a lot of good suggestions this year. I’m gonna have to expand my already expansive manga reading list to incorporate some of these titles.

This group is pure awesome

This group is pure awesome

I also got to talk after the panel with one of the panelists as I disagreed with his worst. He said that Seraph at the End is the worst manga period. While I agree that the main character is annoying, I think that there is a lot more going on than just the main character. I’m more interested in the political machinations that are going on as subtext.

That led us to having a discussion about Shonen Jump titles as we both actively read Shonen Jump. It was an awesome conversation that probably could have gone all night if he didn’t have a party to go to. It kinda makes me sad, because I would have loved to keep talking about it.

After best and worst manga, we decided to head out to the Gaslamp and find some dinner. This was much more difficult to do then one would think. Saturday was busy for… well, pretty much everywhere. There weren’t a lot of places that I could eat because of my special dietary needs. One we went in to we would be waiting an hour to hour and a half to eat. As it was already 8 or 9, we said no to that. We found another place with no hostess and no real way of getting food because it looked like the only people who were working were the bar, the sushi bar and the DJ.

An amazing Attack On Titan cosplay

An amazing Attack On Titan cosplay

That was obviously no good. So, we kept walking until we found a place.

We finally found an interesting restaurant, just outside of the Gaslamp that was gluten-free (and I didn’t have to worry about ordering a salad) and could seat us faster than an hour. That restaurant was Bice. They had places to sit and a quick turnaround time. As it was after 9 PM, we ate there.

And boy were we glad we did. The food was impeccable. I had never eaten in a place that I would consider to be truly a foodie joint. This place was it. I got an interesting dish it was named Rigatoni alla crema di Peperone Giallo e Mascarpone, tocco di Zafferano e Salsiccia. It was rigatoni, with a pepper, mascarpone and cream sauce. It had saffron threads and was quickly smoked. It came out under a thick glass dome. It tasted wonderfully. With each bite you could taste the smoke that had infused in to the pasta. It was really good. I would love to have it again. Craig had the rabbit ravioli. He said that the ravioli was also quite good too.

An incredibly accurate Morpheus cosplay

An incredibly accurate Morpheus cosplay

After the food, we split a dessert. It was a chocolate and coffee flourless cake with raspberry, peanut sauce and edible gold leaf. The dessert was to die for. The chocolate, peanut and raspberry went incredibly well together. Everything tasted so good. It was a pricey meal, but it was well worth it.

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel. We enjoyed rest of the evening in as we both felt rather full from dinner. We were also meeting a friend in the hotel bar for a drink before he had to go back home. It was fun to see him again, but it was far too brief.

After getting some sleep that night (finally), we were ready to hit the last day of Comic Con. Sunday is often the most chill day of Comic Con. It’s the last and shortest day. Most people are packing up and leaving. We were heading back to the convention center to check out the final day of panels.

I had been thinking of going to the Emily the Strange panel every year that we’ve gone, but I’ve never made it… until this year.

Emily the Strange originated in Berkeley, around the time I was a Freshman in high school. It was

I think this is supposed to be a pirate Harley Quinn. Please correct me, if I'm wrong.

I think this is supposed to be a pirate Harley Quinn. Please correct me, if I’m wrong.

something of an inside joke. My family would get me Emily the Strange shirts all through out high school. I had a few of them. Given my name, I thought it was kind of funny since it’s pretty much me.

I finally got to share my story with the creator of Emily the Strange. It was one of those completely coincidental things where I was the age, name and personality of the character that he had created. He seemed to enjoy the story immensely. Maybe it was something in the aether of the mid-nineties that just seemed to come together.

Who knows? It was great to finally get to share the story with the creator of a clothing line I’ve been wearing for years. The fact that he loved that that was something that really existed probably made him feel amused.

Emily the Strange has come a long way from when I first found it. It’s not just clothing. It’s also a comic series and there’s also music. It’s cool to see something that I picked up in a small store on Telegraph (that is no longer open, like almost all of Berkeley from my high school years) in to something that is loved by so many. It’s mind-blowing.

Silent Bob checking out the dealers' room, sans Jay.

Silent Bob checking out the dealers’ room, sans Jay.

After that, we wandered around the dealers’ room one last time. It was as crowded on Sunday as it was every other day of the Con. We made one more round before going out for lunch then back for the final panels.

We wound up getting lunch at a restaurant called the Blind Burro. It was a fun place to go to and the food was good… as were the cocktails. I got a version of a pina colada that used coconut water instead of coconut cream. It made the drink much lighter and refreshing. It was incredibly humid that weekend, so the coconut water was amazing. I also could have street tacos as they were in gluten-free corn tortillas.

The tacos were amazing. The drinks were great. The outside bar was fun to sit at. I would love to go there again… because I enjoyed myself at that restaurant. I would go there again.

My final panel for the Con was called “Full-Time Creative Work on a Part-Time Schedule”. It was an interesting panel. It was part networking and part question and answer. It was a great idea, but I wish that I was more about the networking as that would have been more useful, in my opinion.

After the end of the con, we headed back to the hotel to decompress and relax… and sleep before the

Caius Ballad from Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Caius Ballad from Final Fantasy XIII-2.

long trip back home on Monday.

It was a great Con and I think a lot of good things happened. I’m hoping that I can get more networking in next year.

Who knows?

We’ll wait to see what next year brings.

 

 

 

 

Black Cat and Pam from Archer

Black Cat and Pam from Archer

IMG_0337

Rosie the Riveteer and Jessica Rabbit

Rosie the Riveteer and Jessica Rabbit

Crossplayed He-Man and Orko

Crossplayed He-Man and Orko

Oogie Boogie, on the move

Oogie Boogie, on the move

Quailman, all grown up.

Quailman, all grown up.

Go Speed Racer, Go!

Go Speed Racer, Go!

A Space Marin and Space Wolf from Warhammer 40K

A Space Marin and Space Wolf from Warhammer 40K

SiderMaus

SiderMaus

Amazin Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cosplay

Amazin Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cosplay

Space Dandy and Chun Li spotted

Space Dandy and Chun Li spotted

Love these two Pinochio cosplays

Love these two Pinochio cosplays

Beautiful Maleficent cosplay

Beautiful Maleficent cosplay

Another Space Marine cosplay

Another Space Marine cosplay

Red Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Samurai

Red Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Samurai

IMG_0438 IMG_0439

Sister of Battle It appears that Warhammer 40K was popular this year.

Sister of Battle
It appears that Warhammer 40K was popular this year.

A wood elf and Gandalf the Grey

A wood elf and Gandalf the Grey

Black Widow, Winter Soldier and Nighthawk

Black Widow, Winter Soldier and Nighthawk

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After that panel ended, I made my way to a panel that I was actually looking forward to, the Kodansha

Random people, walking in the hall

Random people, walking in the hall

Comics panel.

I tried to make it to more manga/anime panels as they are something that I enjoy and love paying attention to… largely because I’m that kind of nerd.

So, there’s a lot of information in this, so I’m just going to cover the info.

Attack on Titan, the hugely popular series both here and in Japan. Kodansha prints the manga for Attack on Titan. Well, this month they released box sets 1-4. That’s everything that they have released so far in box set form. They’re also starting a spin-off collection starting in November.

They’re also going to be releasing Natsumi Ando’s series Lets Dance a Waltz in spring of 2015. Natsumi Ando is known for Zodiac PI, Kitchen Princess and Arisa.

Also coming out next Spring is Miki Yoshikawa’s Yamada-kun and Seven Witches. This series is fairly popular in Japan. I”m curious about it myself and might add it to me manga reading list (because it needs to be much longer).

Masster Roshi from Dragonball Z

Masster Roshi from Dragonball Z

Maria the Virgin Witch or Junketsu no Makia will be coming out on February 2015. Masayuki Ishikawa (the manga-ka of Maria the Virgin Witch) is an Osamu Tezuka Cultural prize winner. He won in 2008. He won for his best known title, Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture.

A Silent Voice by Yoahitoki Oima will be released in spring 2015. A Silent Voice is the story about a bully who bullies a deaf girl to the point where he has ostracized himself. He then sets himself on a path of redemption. The story sounds both poignant and sweet. I think that I really want to read this series.

Then there’s the Attack on Titan news.

Attack on Titan, vol. 1 has been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 57 consecutive weeks. Volume 13 came out on 26. August. Attack on Titan: Before the Fall was released on 17. August in print and 22.July, digital. Attack on Titan Junior High, volume 2 will be released 18.November. The Attack On Titan Collosal edition will be released with 15 color pages in November.

Attack On Titan: No Regrets, volume 1 is out now. Volume 2 is also out now. The Attack On Titan

Someone was brave enough to dress like Beamo and venture in to the Dealers Room.

Someone was brave enough to dress like Beamo and venture in to the Dealers Room.

Guidebook came out in September,

The Heroic Tale of Arslan by Yoshiki Tanaka was released in August. The story is set in the historical setting of Persia and is based off the Persian story Amir Arslan.

Kodansha also holds the rights to the manga series My Little Monster. It is currently available now. My Little Monster is about the relationship of Shizuku, a studious yet cold high school student and Haru, an unpredictable and violent high schooler who doesn’t understand human relationships.

There was a lot of dates and information about upcoming manga releases. It made the otaku in me very pleased to see that manga print releases are still incredibly popular despite the prevalence of digital media.

The view from my hotel toom every morning... life didn't suck

The view from my hotel toom every morning… life didn’t suck

Woke up bright and early Friday morning. I had a lovely breakfast of Italian cold cuts, cheese and some of a wonderful gluten-free baguette from Mariposa bakery. Not exactly what anyone would consider breakfast, but it was worth it. I had to make sure that I was going to be ready to have another day fairly packed with panels… not even enough time to really get lunch.

After finishing breakfast it was time to herd back in to the expansive convention center. It feels both huge and crowded when you’re looking at about 120,000 people in one place.

I quickly made my way to the Neon Alley panel.
Thankfully I made it in time to get a decent seat for the Neon Alley panel. I’m not a huge fan of sitting way in the back for anything… well except for when I was in high school, but that was for entirely different reasons… and I digress.

So, the Neon Alley panel was largely similar to Viz Media panel as Neon Alley is run by Viz. Like their specialized panels, they tend to focus on what the panel is about.

In this case they’re focusing on Neon Alley. So, they start by talking about what Neon Alley is about.

Hercules and Megara

Hercules and Megara

Before last year, Neon Alley was a subscription-based online channel. They wound run shows on a timetable. They dropped that model in favor of just having a Hulu channel where they stream anime on demand. This is a huge change, and makes it easier to both see what you want, when you want and to be able to binge-watch series.

They then told us what they are currently showing on the Neon Alley Hulu channel. So, what are they showing on Neon Alley?

Here’s a list: Sailor Moon (subbed, dubbed coming soon), Naruto Shippunden (dubbed), Ranma ½, Bleach (up to episode 205 both dubbed and subbed), Death Note (dubbed and subbed), Vampire Knight (dubbed and subbed), Inuyasha (entire series, dubbed and subbed), Blood Lad, Gargantia (dubbed). Starting in fall they will be showing Naruto: Rock Lee and Ninja Pals.

Last month they said they were going to have Bleach up to episode 229. They also were going to have

Love that I found Link with the Postman. Looks like the Bunny Hood really works.

Love that I found Link with the Postman. Looks like the Bunny Hood really works.

12 new episodes of Naruto. They also put up 13 more Nura episodes (for you Nura fans out there).

Other then that, it was largely a lot like the Viz Media panel. There wasn’t any news that was specially held specifically for this panel. They did, however, talk a bit about what they were planning for their Sailor Moon panel on Saturday.

After that, I made my way to my next panel. For the first time in 3 years I finally made it to the Comics Art Conference. They always seem to have interesting topics, but I’ve always had other panels the same time. I finally made it this year.

I made it to the panel on sexism, gender and comics. It sounds like an interesting enough topic. Something that seemed to largely been discussed this year.
The topic itself was interesting. The Comic Arts Conference is a place for scholars to present their papers on to comic fans. That means that not everyone is going to be as equally engaging. That was the problem that I ran in to. The topic itself and the papers on their own were interesting. The people presenting them were not as engaging. So, I found myself less interested as the panel went on.

The papers being presented were on the following: A Methodology for the Analyzing of Sexism in

Child Deadpool is ready to fight some crime... or make witty remarks.

Child Deadpool is ready to fight some crime… or make witty remarks.

Comics: Birds of Prey, Love Slaves and Wonder Woman, Golden Age of Wonder Woman (this one had an interesting discussion of psychology) and Abjection and Objectification of Motherhood in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World.

All interesting titles, but the presenters lacked the charisma to keep me truly engaged. In many ways that made me sad. Since they’re dealing with more scholarly subjects, you have to find a way to make this more engaging.

After that, I made my way to a panel called Manga: Lost in Translation. They were talking about issues of translating manga and what it’s like working as a translator. Most translations are done by freelancers. There are not many translators getting steady work in the US.

Iron Man and a little fan

Iron Man and a little fan

They also talked about the origin of the word “glomp”. The earliest usage of the word glomp goes back to Matt Thorne. He’s the one who coined the phrase glomp.

They considered Japanese onomatopoeia to be one of the hardest parts of translating. The Japanese has onomatopoeia for everything… even things like passing a sheet of paper. These are things where we may not have a sound word for in English.

There was also a discussion of the merits of 100% translation vs. perfect English translations. Most fan translations are done as a pure Japanese-to-English translation. And there’s merit to that as you don’t lose a lot of intention from the language of origin. However, it reads very awkwardly. Also, some Japanese puns may not translate as well in to English. Largely because the puns are based on Japanese wordplay and those jokes may not translate as well because it works in the language of origin.

They also went on to discuss issues with working as a translator. When you work as a translator in Japan, you’re largely having your translation edited by people who don’t necessarily speak or understand English. However, it’s also hard to start as a translator in the US. You need to build up your credibility. And build up your own voice and style as a translator. There are also plenty of companies

An amazing Charlie Chaplin cosplay

An amazing Charlie Chaplin cosplay

that will pay ex-scantalators pennies instead of a fair rate. This alters the economics of translation.

The last panel of the evening was called the Psychology of Cult TV. This panel was one of the most interesting panels. Instead of tearing apart cult TV shows for psychological content, they talked about the therapeutic merits of using cult TV in therapy. This is interesting because I have never had a therapist who engaged me through television.

They started the panel with the discussion of whether TV is useful or a waste of time. They concluded that TV can be therapeutic in moderation. It can help us deal with more traumatic or difficult things in life. It can also help create connections in real life.

It can also teach you lessons vicariously. This is largely because you’re dealing with some of the harshest lessons without having to actually experience them. It can be helpful with dealing with issues like death and bullying.

Representations on television can make people more compassionate and more capable of understanding bigger atrocities. It can be a way to work through issues with PTSD. It can also help give context to issues through another lens.

People get creative with naming things,,, including their octopi.

People get creative with naming things,,, including their octopi.

The entire discussion was incredibly enlightening. It was an interesting panel and one that I would love to go to again to get more perspective on using television in a therapeutic practice.

After the Psychology of Cult TV, it was time to head back to the room. We ate in the room (I managed to bring some extra food so we didn’t have to go out to eat). I was planning to go out and attempt to do some networking, but that wasn’t to happen. Before I got a chance to go out, I received a call from the person who said they were going to watch our dogs. They couldn’t make it. Since no one was going over to feed them, I got incredibly nervous and no longer felt like going out to network and drink.

If there’s one thing that I wish that I could have done, it’s do more networking.

So, we stayed in and kept on checking on the dogs on our puppycam, then went to sleep.

The Funimation panel is also chock full of dates and information. It started with a summation of Funimations 20 years. They went on to introduce themselves: Vic Demangana was the MC and Justin Rojas was the guy who was giving out lots of information… including that Vic Demnagana would be doing signings at the Funimation booth.

Riddle me this Comic Con patron...

Riddle me this Comic Con patron…

They also talked about the Funimation show… and Funimation.com. They stream anime. However, unlike Neon Alley (which is free), you have to pay for content. Considering that Funimation licenses an awful lot of anime, there’s a lot of content on that site (including Attack on Titan). They’re also running the Dragonball Z’s Broly saga (it streamed on 26.August). They’re also streaming Tokyo Ghoul, Terror in Resonance (music by Yoko Kanno, also known for doing music for Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell), Espionage, Free! Eternal Summer, and more.

So, on to the new releases:
DBZ Season 5, Battle of Gods was showing August 5,6,7 and 9. I believe you can find more information about it on Funimation.com. They’re also releasing a next gen Dragonball Z video game called DBZ Xenoverse.

They were also talking about titles that were available at the time. Those were Axis Powers Hetalia, The Devil is a Part-Timer (picture the devil working for McDonald’s), A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Karneval, Fairy Tail, pt. 1 and Attack on Titan, pt.1 (the collector’s edition for Attack on Titan is available online at funimation.com).

A Disney Princess... Sleeping Beauty, I believe

A Disney Princess… Sleeping Beauty, I believe

Senran Kagura, a series that’s pure fan service was released on 29.July. HAL will be released on 2.September. One Piece, Season 6 will be released on 30.September on Amazon and available for general release on 18.November. Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist will be made available on 28.October. Bayonetta: Bloody Fate will be released 21.October.

There was a lot of information they gave out in that hour. We managed to get through it all… as it’s listed here. I wish that I had some of the preview videos for some of the titles. There are some smaller titles that look genuinely good (like the Devil is a Part-Timer).

Of course they talked about new volumes of both Bleach and Naruto Shippunden. This year, Viz had brought Junko Takeuchi, a voice actor from Naruto, who signed autographs and took gifts at 10:45 on Friday morning.

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing

They’re going to be releasing the complete Vampire Knight (which breaks down to Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight Guilty) in to one complete and very nice looking box set. The set looks amazing and comes with some pretty nifty extras. That was released on July 29.

They’re also re-releasing the complete set of Moribito, this time on Blu-Ray DVD. This will be available on August 26.

They have decided to release Ranma ½ in glorious HD. This is something that any fan of classic anime would love. Ranma is being released in very lovely box sets. Sets 1 and 2 are currently available,

set 3 will be out in September.

They’re also going to be releasing all of Blood Lad (the anime). The series is short (10 episodes), but it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be worth having… especially considering that it’s a satire series. The series will be available on September 2.

They’re Also releasing a box set for Gargantia. It looks like an interesting series. If you’re already a fan of it, it would certainly be worth picking it up on DVD. The set will be available in October.

Viz Media panelists

Viz Media panelists

Viz is also releasing a new Naruto movie for the general populace. The movie is Naruto: Road to Ninja. It will have a limited release in movie theaters. It will be in theaters for a limited release on August 29. Keep an eye out to see if it will be in a theater near you. If you live in San Francisco, it will be playing at the New People theater from 7-9 PM.

And finally, they’re going to be releasing all the Sailor Moon catalog. It will be released in an amazing looking, sparkly box set. It will be a combopak release (so a season at a time instead of individual DVDs for 3 or 4 episodes). Set 1 will be released November 11. Something to look forward to for all you Sailor Moon fans out there.

After all of that information, they also did questions and answers. This gave birth to one of the most awkward and uncomfortable pick-ups I’ve ever seen anyone attempt. A guy went up to the mic to ask if Viz was ever going to release any hentai because he really liked hentai. They told him they weren’t sure, but Viz does release Yaoi. He then used this point to state that he was also single and looking for a special woman.

Comic Con accessories

Comic Con accessories

After he said that, I looked at the girl next to me and we both said no. There was no way that would happen. I have to say, that has to be one of the most awkward pick-up attempts I’ve seen. Who knows, he might have found a girl who shares his passion for hentai. If he was successful, more power to him. To me, it was awkward and uncomfortable.

Of course, this was a lot to have packed in to 1 hour. It’s a lot of information. However, it wasn’t the only informational panel that I went to on Thursday. After hitting the Viz Media panel, I made my way to the other end of the convention center to make it in time to see the Funimation Industry Panel.

On the stage at the J-Pop Summit Festival

On the stage at the J-Pop Summit Festival

This past weekend was packed with a great deal of things. First of all, it w the last weekend of prep before Comic Con. That means doing all the shopping for what you need. That also meant that fitting anything in became… well, tricky.

Saturday morning, we headed out to the Ferry Buildinng in San Francisco. We were headed there to pick me up some super-tasty gluten-free baguettes from Mariposa Bakery. There is one type of bread that I have missed since I’ve had to go gluten-free and that is sourdough. The flavor and texture… it makes my mouth water. The smell of sourdough bread is enough to make me hungry. Mariposa Barkey’s baguettes are the closest in texture to sourdough. They are super-tasty and worth getting. They also make other wonderful gluten-free foods. I’ve tried their quiche and their cakes. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I suggest picking some up.

We also went by the Cowgirl Creamery stall and picked up some local cheese. Also very tasty. Both stores were super-busy. Of course, it was also the Farmer’s Market, so that would explain the large influx of people. It was difficult to get around, but it’s worth it for all the tasty artisan and local food stuffs in one location.

One of the sales girl. She was quite cute.

One of the sales girl. She was quite cute.

After going to the Ferry Building, we made our way to the J-Pop Summit Festival. Getting there Saturday

was a total nightmare. The garage was packed and people were lined-up on the street waiting to park in the garage. After we saw that line, we decided to go to the festival on Sunday instead. The traffic was just awful.

So we headed home and took care of 90% of the shopping we needed to do. We managed to make the most out of a day. I think we did that with flying colors. We bought all our food provisions and other things we’ve needed for the next week.

We woke up semi-early on Sunday morning to head out to the festival. However, the festival wasn’t just about going to the festival. I still had some things that needed to be taken care of for Comic Con both for home and for the trip.

A cute cosplayer

A cute cosplayer

Getting in to the garage was a bit sluggish when we got there just before the festival was really starting. Once we were parked, it was time to go and check out the rest of the festival. This year the festival wasn’t just about the music. They had sake tasting again this year (they had sake tasting last year). I really enjoyed it last year. I should have done it this year, but I had left my ID at home which meant no drinking for me. They also had a ramen festival this year. I belive this was probably the largest draw.

The music was fun. It’s pop, so of course it was fun. The music was great. It’s always a part of the J-Pop Summit Festival that I’ve enjoyed. The crowds were huge. I don’t think pictures or words can even begin to cover the way the crowd felt this year. It was packed.

The food trucks had a pretty great selection. Of course they were largely Asian food, but there was other food available. The very popular San Francisco food truck/restaurant Bacon Bacon was also there. Onigilly had an upgraded spot this year. Last year they had their food cart. They have great onigiri (stuffed rice balls). They also had these incredibly tasty rice bowls. If you happen to not be able to eat

Naruto cosplay

Naruto cosplay

gluten, they are accomidating and have food that you can eat. They were very knowledgable last year. I would have gotten another one of their bowls, but the line was so long. I missed out on tasty food.

There were some interesting things that you could buy there too. Artists, small clothing companies, artisan food… there were so many things for one to buy. I felt bad because we couldn’t buy as much. Between this being before Comic Con and during a period where we’re prepping for a big trip, it means spending needs to be a little tight. That’s a shame too, because there was so much awesome there.

I was a little sad that I couldn’t volunteer this year. I had a lot of fun volunteering the one year I did. It was something I had enjoyed immensely. It was a great experience. I’m hoping that next year the festival will be at a time where volunteering will definitely be a

The ramen line-up

The ramen line-up

feasible option.

I had a great time again this year. I enjoy the festival and love that it’s exposing more people to music that they would never otherwise listen to. It’s a great time.

As for the rest of this week…

I’m leaving for Comic Con tomorrow morning, bright and early. Ack!

So, that means this is, unfortunately, my only real post for the week here. Does that mean you can’t see what’s going on or what I’m doing at Comic Con including impromptu pics from my phone? Nope. I have a solution to tie you over until I start my posts about Comic Con this year. I will be live-tweeting and posting pictures to Instagram. If you want to see what’s going on while I’m out and about experiencing San Diego Comic Con, feel free to follow me.

Another cute cosplay.

Another cute cosplay.

If you have Twitter and interested in seeing my tweets, you can follow me @ph03n1x13.
If you want to see some pictures prior to my post, follow me on Instagram also at ph03n1x13.

I will have a quickie post the Tuesday after Comic Con. I might try to make it before I leave San Diego on Monday. I’ll let you all know what the plan for that week is.

Until then!

A tale of two Zeldas

A tale of two Zeldas

After Badasses of Japanese History it was time for dinner. I had 2 hours to kill between panels… so it seemed the best time to have dinner. So, I decided to eat at the Grill on the Alley. The restaurant happened to be inside the hotel where all the panels were. The restaurant looks like a steak house. It has that stereotypical steakhouse look. They also have a GIG certified kitchen which means if you’re ordering gluten-free food from them it is made with the utmost care. I sat in the bar. The cocktails were great. Their signature cocktails were tasty. I ordered the chicken breast.

Now I know, when you get chicken breast it generally winds up being dry and in need of something to make it edible. That was not the case with this chicken breast. It was so incredibly moist. It was the most moist I’ve ever had a chicken breast outside of making fried chicken at home. The seasoning was minimal. It was simple a simple salt, pepper and garlic rub. And while it was minimal, it’s all that was needed. It came with some mashed potatoes. The potatoes were also sublime. They were creamy and just the right amount of butter. I topped off my meal with a lovely glass of port.

Prophet of the Helix

Prophet of the Helix

After ordering, it took some time for my food to get to me. I’m not entirely sure how long it took as I

was reading manga. I realized it had taken a long time when I saw my waitress talking to the restaurant manager and gesturing in my direction. The manager came over to me and told me that my dinner was on the house. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only time that they were late. It also took a while to get my port. It wasn’t because they were busy. It was fairly quiet. It took them sometime to pour me my glass of port. They wound up comping me both my meal and my glass of port. They were incredibly apologetic. While it took me a while to get both my food and port, they did a wonderful job of serving me despite the hang up behind the bar and in the kitchen. I highly recommend them.

After dinner, it was time to head up to my last panel for the con, Gametrailers.com 7.9 Out of 10. It was an interesting panel. They talked about where they came from. It was nice to get an idea of where Gametrailers had come from and how it morphed in to what it is today. They talked about the programming that they’re currently running on their site. They also did a Q&A session where they were asked questions about their shows,

Naruto's Sexy no Jutsu

Naruto’s Sexy no Jutsu Picture by Jeanie Butera

 

 

talking about covering video games as a media outlet and even some personal information.

One of the questions was if they were looking forward to any video game event in the near future. One of them mentioned that they’re looking forward to the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest. The fest will be in October in Las Vegas. I will be attending the Fan Fest as well and will write about it afterwards.

Fanime this year was different this year for me on so many levels. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a wonderful thing. I felt more fulfilled this year. I had more fun this year than I have had previous years. I’m not entirely sure while that is, but it was fun. It was another succesful Fanime. So, until next year, this is it for my Fanime write-up.

Nightwing and Starfire Picture by Jeanie Butera

Nightwing and Starfire
Picture by Jeanie Butera

My start for Sunday was a rocky one. That’s not entirely surprising as I went drink for drink with someone drinking beer. I woke up at about 5 or 6 in the morning and eased my way back in to being human, one sip of water at a time. I wrapped myself in my blanket and sat in my chair and sipped a

Ryu fighting in the light of day

Ryu fighting in the light of day

glass of water while occasionally dosing in my chair.

I decided to take it easy dressing wise, after all, I was nursing an initially brutal hangover that managed to tune down to a headache.

We had to get an early start on the day as I wanted to hit a panel at 9 AM. So, its bright and early back down to San José for another fun-filled day at Fanime. Of course, I was still feeling a bit dehydrated and had a headache from drinking too much.

But I managed to make it there a little late to see a panel on how to make your own props.

I must say, the panel on how to fabricate your own props was incredibly enlightening. They talk about the time it takes to create something entirely from scratch, largely using MDF.

The props they made had an amazing amount of detail. It was interesting to finally have some idea on how to make props. It’s something that everyone who cosplays will need to do more than likely.

After that, I headed over to a panel called Sewing Lolita. I was hoping that the panel could give me more information on how to do tailoring as a lot of Lolita clothing, while designed for multiple body types, still requires a bit of tailoring in design.

Zelda, Groose and Ganon  from Skyward Sword

Zelda, Groose and Ganon from Skyward Sword

Boy, did it give me a lot of information. I learned a lot of places to go and find patterns for Lolita clothing that I had never thought of. It even talked about tips with taking care of finer details and trims which can be more complicated if you’re not used to sewing.

They also covered things that I had never thought of… like irons. They also talked about something that I’ve always wanted to do, drafting your own patterns. I’ve always wanted to draft my own patterns for designs that I have thought about making. It was a great class to go to and I kind of wish it was longer than the period it was. That’s OK, because I truly enjoyed it.

After the sewing panel, I met up with Craig and we headed out for brunch. The goal of brunch was to try to get rid of the headache that I had leftover from drinking the night before. We hit a local café that has some amazing gluten-free baguettes. I had a great breakfast sandwich. La Lune Sucre is a very good café that has gluten-free options for those of us who can not eat it. They have gluten-free quiches and a wonderful gluten-free baguette that rivals Mariposa Bakery’s baguette. They also make a fabulous hollandaise sauce.

After a wonderful brunch on a warm Sunday morning/afternoon we headed back to con. We wandered

Everybody was Gundam fighting... Picture by Jeanie Butera

Everybody was Gundam fighting…
Picture by Jeanie Butera

around Artists’ Alley and picked up some awesome art pieces. A large piece that shows the seven sages from Ocarina of Time, a Persona 3 piece and a piece that puts Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist as Rosie the Riveter. There was another piece that I saw that had Mikasa as Rosie and said I can do it. There was also a picture in the same scheme as the Obama Hope poster, but it had Shibe Doge and it said Wow. We also ran in to someone who does commissions of Final Fantasy XIV pictures. I e-mailed them, but I have yet to hear back.

After Artists’ Alley, I made my way to my next panel. It was also a sewing panel. This time it was a panel about reading patterns. I was hoping to get some more enlightenment about patterns that I hadn’t learned about before, but alas it was largely everything that I had known from having sewn. It was a great panel and addressed a lot of questions that people had. It was nice to see patterns torn down to the nuts and bolts explained like my grandmother had taught me.

Right after that panel, there was another panel that was about Japanese history. This one was called the Badasses of Japanese History, It was an interesting panel that talked about some amazing people in

Morrigan from Darkstalkers Picture by Brit Cossel

Morrigan from Darkstalkers
Picture by Brit Cossel

Japanese history. Many of them were shoguns. Some of them did other things. All of them were considered incredibly badass. Some of the badasses were Oda Nobunaga, Miyamoto Musashi, Fukuda Keiko, Uesugi Kenshin and more. It was a thoroughly entertaining panel.

So, after a somewhat good nights sleep, we headed back down to San José. After all, we had the weekend to commune with our fellow otaku. Besides, there were more panels to go to.

Forest spirit from Princess Mononoke

Forest spirit from Princess Mononoke

After parking we make a beeline to my first panel of the day. One of the neat things they have at Fanime is a martial arts dojo where they have all sorts of different demonstrations. They also have classes where you can learn as well. I attended the Self-Defense for Women class.

One of the reasons they started teaching this panel was because women have been getting increasingly harassed both on the streets and in conventions. And while that may sound silly, it’s a fact that a lot of women have to deal with.

To be honest, I found the panel both a lot of fun, a great place to socialize with other girls and highly educational. I learned some good moves to help fend off someone if they are giving me unwanted attention. They taught us pressure points which can help fall someone who is taller or more powerful. In the end, they have you run a gauntlet where they do everything they can to stop you from getting to the end. It was a great way to practice the skills that you learn in the class in a more life-like setting.

After the class, I had plenty of time to kill before my next panel. That means a lot of time to kill. I had 5 hours in between panels. So, what do you do with that time? Do a lot of looking around.

We did another round through the dealer’s room. Taking in everything that’s in and seeing if there was anything that I really wanted. Sometimes you just have to look and figure out what there is. There was a good amount of stuff (as I have stated before). We also got a tasty lunch at Il Fornaio.

Jack and John from Torchwood

Jack and John from Torchwood

While we were waiting, we decided to get a drink at the bar in the Hilton. It was there that we met a wonderful couple from San Diego. We proceeded to spend the rest of the evening drinking and talking. We went from the Hilton bar to the lounge at the Fairmont.

There was a lot of drinking involved. So, parts of my memories are fuzzy… which is not entirely surprising. It was a fun evening though. It was definitely worth it.

So after a while (not sure how long), we came back home and I promptly passed out in bed. I was out for most of the night except to get some water.