Last weekend, I went to Anime USA, which is usually the final anime convention that I attend each year. The following is some of my comments about this year's Anime USA.
-One running bit that I did during this convention was the idea of referring to Totoro as Cthulhu whenever I see a Totoro and vice versa. The whole thing is a reference to a very recent South Park three-parter in which BP drilling results in Cthulhu being unearthed, with Cartman, as his superhero alter-ego the Coon, befriending him in hopes that he can use Cthulhu to rid the world of everything he hates (as well as getting revenge on the fellow kids for kicking him out of a superhero group after he beat two members of the group up a la A Clockwork Orange). As for the Totoro part, twice in the second part, South Park spoofs the film (first with a parody of the scene where Mei meets the big Totoro for the first time; then with a parody of the film's end theme song).
-The Dealers' Room was a little disappointing this year, as once again Video Games New York didn't show up (which is one reason why I ordered one import video game from Play Asia last month, just to play it safe), and there was only one dealer that was selling DVD's of more recent anime titles that weren't licensed by Funimation. However, I still bought a number of things in the form of various Funimation titles (Hetalia on DVD, FMP Fumoffu and Slayers Seasons 4 and 5 on Blu-Ray), a couple of plushies (Chibitalia from Hetalia and Guu from Hale + Guu), and a statue of Akari from Battle Athletes.
-Given how Anime USA's autograph lines are usually not that bad when compared to other conventions that I go to, I was able to get Brina Palencia and Patrick Seitz to sign my Hetalia DVD. Also, keeping up with a what seems to be becoming a tradition when it comes to Anime USA, I got Brina to sign my Pactio card "folder" that was released in honor of 200 chapters of Negima.
-If anyone starts mentioning some of the weirder moments during the AMV Sing-Along on Friday night, then I confess that was partially responsible for some of it, more specifically singing "Vegeta" during the Advent Children/Ghostbusters video (the Ghostbusters theme will never be the same after DBZ Abridged) and yelling out "I love you, whores" during the Black Heaven/Code Monkey video (a nod to the Code Monkeys TV show).
-Before the Friday night showing of the AMV Contest, I "lost" my camera bag. More specifically, when moving to a better seat for the contest, I accidentally forgot to pick up my camera bag. While I knew that the bag was still in the room, I eventually found out that someone found it and turned it in to the people running the AMV room (who then turned it over to Lost and Found). Hence, it wasn't really that "lost", although I still had to go over to Lost and Found to retrieve it (luckily it wasn't a big problem, and was taken care of quickly).
- As for the AMV Contest itself, it was a mix bag IMO. While I do give props for the audience for choosing AMV's that have uncommon sources for first and second in Drama and give Fun/Upbeat to one of the best video in the category (one that showcases Mr. Satan's big ego), I felt that first and second in Action and runner-up in Fun/Upbeat went to what I call "sheep videos" (aka a video that uses sources that most anime fans know and was voted by a lot of audience members, although I didn't really care about the video myself).
-I kinda wish that when it comes to game shows at anime conventions, there was a position for someone to serve as a judge, with me being perfect for the role given how I've been an anime fan for over a decade. Case in point: one game show on Saturday morning had people trying to list titles that belong in a certain category. In one round, the category was "anime licensed by Funimation", and someone guessed Utena. Obviously, the people running the show weren't aware that Nozomi was the company that licensed the show, because a few minutes were spent trying to figure out whether Utena was a Funimation title or not (with me having to tell the people running the show that it isn't).
-Instead of the Masquerade, I attended the the craziness that is Spoiler: The Panel again. Like the two years beforehand, this panel was filled with outright silliness. BTW, one question I need to ask for those people who've seen the second Darker Than Black series: is there actually a moment in that series involving a group of guys dancing along with the "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" song?
I'll leave you with the usual link
featuring pictures of the various cosplay I saw, autographs I've received, and purchases I made at the convention.