rose_of_pain: (ginga bishonen)
[personal profile] rose_of_pain
This con took place over 4 months ago and I even started writing this over a month ago but then kept getting distracted and didn't force myself to finish it til now...oops. XD Still need to do a report on AnimeUSA too. x_x;


For once I managed to get everything done beforehand. I still had to put some snaps on Richard but other than that, all my cosplay was ready to go. Unfortunately we still ended up hitting massive traffic on the way to the con but not like I had much planned. I still have yet to actually go to the matsuri thing Otakon has on Thursday but from what I hear, I'm not missing too much. I was the last to get in so once Dar got off from the matsuri we decided to go ahead and eat first and then get into pre-reg later since it looked like the line was still pretty long. I was pretty excited that the group agreed we'd do Bubba Gump's Shrimp Factory again as I'll be honest, that was one of my biggest highlights of the con the previous year. lol I just REALLY love shrimp ok? XD Surprisingly enough there was no wait at all. I guess everyone had tried it the year before and so there wasn't as many people going cause last year we had to wait a whole hour. This time we just walked right in even with a pretty large group. It was kinda freezing though because they had the fans on pretty high but hey the food was still amazing so I was willing to deal. lol Once again it was a great experience there. We always seem to get a very flamboyant waiter too. XD But I guess having a lot of energy is required to work there. Hope they get paid a lot considering they do a pretty good job at entertaining. I had intended to try something different but ended up going with the exact same dish I got the year before. Pffft.

Then we got in line...which was ridiculously long which shocked all of us cause usually by that time its died down but we heard they were having a lot of computer issues. Still we had plenty of hours before the line would be cut off and it did seem to be moving so we had hope. How very wrong we were. Even after being in line for around 4 hours, they THEN decided to cut the line off by basically just locking the doors on the line. No warning, nothing. If they had known not everyone would get in, they should have cut the line of WAY earlier considering we weren't even near the doors when they closed it so they definitely could have told the line way before that we might not get our badges that night instead of wasting that time. And they still didn't get everyone inside the building before the building had to close at midnight so they moved them to one of the hotels and STILL didn't get a badge for everyone in line and those who did didn't get it til close to 2am. This is the first time ever since Otakon first started doing Thurs pre-reg that I didn't get my badge that night, even before they fixed the system so it would go a lot faster. So I was pretty mad about this. It sucks being in line on Friday as you end up missing a big chunk of the day just in line so we all decided we'd just aim to get in line by 6am and hope it wouldn't take up too much of our day. It just super sucked since we had been standing in line for hours and were tired from it and would have to get a lot less sleep than we were planning. So I made sure to quickly sew the snaps on Richard and went to bed. The only thing good about the pre-reg line is at least I got a lot of street passes. XD


Getting up sucked. But we managed. It was cold but at least we kept each other occupied in line. We went round the right side of the con center, only to realize the end was actually on the left side by that point so it would have been a lot faster to just walk to that side. The line was already starting to wrap around itself at this point. But they did tell us they were going to open registration earlier than planned to try to get the line moving faster and they did. It wasn't as long as we feared at least and glad we went when we did to get it over. We all agreed to go back to the room and take a nap for a little bit. lol Got up and got into Richard (Tales of Graces) but ended up getting to the Tales gathering late. There was a pretty good turnout even for an early day gathering but there was very little love for Graces and only had a few photo requests for those of us doing it. Though from photos I've found, it looks like there was another Richard who must have left before I got there? Shame, would have been fun to get twin photos. XD

We did get this great photo request though. XD ...which pretty much sums up the game.

As predicted, the gathering was mostly Xillia. I thought there would be a little more Symphonia but there was at least a decent amount. Made me almost a little sad I didn't have Zelos that day cause there wasn't a single one there...for once. lol I did see Aysha as Presea though but sadly she said she wouldn't be able to wear it on Sat when Alyce and I would be doing Symphonia.

I asked this Milla and Presa if they would be willing to do this part of the game and they were totally into it XD Though I noticed people started gathering around behind me to steal the shot too lol

So I had been a bit skeptical of Otakon deciding to take over the photo gatherings this year, making "official" ones that are on their own schedule etc. But I must admit, they were pretty well organized about it. There was even a person there with a little count down dry-erase board to let us know how much time was left and made sure we cleared the area for the next group to come in. We didn't even really need the full time they gave us. So I guess it works after all. Though still sucks that it forces smaller groups who just want to casually meet up, to have to meet up outside of the con center. Pretty much most of the gatherings I had considered going to, were having to do that. Though in the end this was the only one I made it to.

After the gathering, met up with Utai, Liz, and Jon. We had all been anxiously waiting all week to hear about when we'd find out about Yoshiki's piano concert passes. The con had decided to do this in one of the smaller rooms so they decided instead of giving out passes first-come-first-serve at con like they did for Yoko Kanno, that the passes would be given out via lottery and you had to enter your badge number online to be entered, etc. They originally said they would announce the lottery winners a few days before the con...but that didn't happen. Then said they'd announce it the day before. ...still didn't happen. So here we were, at the con, the day before, still waiting. But while we were talking, Liz checked and saw that it finally went through so we all checked our numbers. Ironically I was like the ONE person who didn't win a pass. x_x;; Figures. lol While everyone else I knew got one but as they gave 2 passes to each person, Liz just let me have her 2nd one so we were able to make sure all our friends had one in the end. Liz also won the photo op which at first I was determined to try to get her to give it to me...cause I'm selfish like that but then in the end realized that was stupid and she deserved the chance to do it. Besides, turns out it was a group photo with all the other winners too so it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. ^^;; But I'm still glad it made Liz happy! Though man, trying to find out the info for how Liz got this photo (where she needed to go, what time, etc etc) proved tough. lol NOBODY knew anything about it and we kept asking every staff person we could find and they kept sending us to other people. lol Eventually we did find out and apparently because we were the first people to ask about this, we started a thing where all the staff people learned from US where to send everyone else who asked after us. So we became helpful, yay us! XD

I had some time before judging, so went to find food. I figured we'd just go to one of the concession stands since last year they had actually improved them a lot...only to find out they took away all the great things they had added. D: So that sucked. Ended up getting a thing of fruit since I wanted at least something to eat and there was no better option. Oh well. Then went over to judging a little early and turns out they said they could just go ahead and take me in then since a lot of people were running late due to the pre-reg lines so they decided to just take people as they showed up since they were running ahead of schedule. So that was pretty easy and painless and I got to say hi to Jez who I hadn't seen in ages!

Met back up with Utai, Jon, and Liz and went to the Dealer's Room with them. Didn't get far into the place before we all spotted the X-Japan booth and went straight there first. I didn't even know there would be a booth so I was excited. They of course were mainly advertising for the Madison Square Garden concert and had tickets on sale at the booth for a discount. It was...very tempting but at this point I still was telling myself I shouldn't go due to the Japan trip coming up. But I did plan to buy both CDs they had on sale and it turned out there were raffle tickets given out for a certain amount bought (I forget how much) and since I already planned to get enough for it (also got a t-shirt), ended up with 2 raffle tickets. XD The raffle was going to take place the next day at the booth where Yoshiki, Pata, and Heath would be showing up and the raffle winners would get their own poster signed by all three members plus a photo. So I definitely got excited for this and immediately decided to change my plans on Sat so I could go to this. I hadn't planned to buy much at the con and already felt like I spent a bit much but then I saw this...

...and that was the end of that. lol I didn't know there was another Utena figure out besides the big special one coming out later in the year (which i still haven't bought but I am planning on it XD) so this was a pleasant surprise.

I also ended up buying a chibi Shaka figure from Saint Seiya and we spent some time at the doujinshi booths and while I was whining over FF7 djs, Utai was evil and got me one of my favorites (the one with fox-Cloud eeee). ;_; Theeen my feet weren't so happy about still being in the boots this long so decided it was time to head out of there. But I did want some photos of me in Richard first so went to the Hilton lobby for some quick shots.

Not the best photo but it shows the whole costume at least

Changed out of Richard and then we went to the Spanish restaurant for dinner and I had some very filling tapas. Then we had a quick visit to the candy store before we got into costume for some late night Pandora Hearts shenanigans. I hadn't worn Gil in ages but Utai wanted me to bring it to go with her Vincent costume. We were going to take photos in their hotel and Mally had requested some terrible incestuous photos (I'll admit I ship it so I was ok with the idea lol) but we totally failed at taking any serious photos because we couldn't come up with any poses and we kept cracking up. this one XD

There was a big game going on in the stadium which we had a pretty good view of from the hotel so we stuck around to watch the fireworks at the end of the show. Its funny how as soon as they started, all the con-goers in that part of the con all rushed to the windows at once to see. XD Cause everyone loves big things that explode. Hung out for a little while after but eventually felt pretty tired so went back to my own hotel room.


Went with Lex to get Dunkin Donuts for everyone in the room. They were out of a lot of stuff though so we had to pass up on some of our first choices. They got some parts of our order wrong too but we weren't going to pester about it considering how busy they were. Then I just hung around the room since I was just waiting for Alyce to finish her Sailor Moon photoshoot before we could then do Symphonia together. We were originally going to do Symphonia later on in the day and I was going to go to Yoshiki's panel but because of the raffle time and the fact I didn't want to cancel Symphonia, decided to not go to the panel and instead do Symphonia then. I do feel a little bad about not going to the panel though cause it turns out they didn't even fill the room despite the fact that Pata and Heath also joined him for it and I heard later they had a lot of great stories. Oh well. I just assumed he'd be packed like the first time he came to Otakon but I guess they announced it too last minute for people. Alyce and I had been planning to do our Symphonia costumes for years now though so I didn't want to push it back again. Especially since I had finished remaking Zelos just in time for the con.

Alyce used our room to change into Sheena after her and Brittany were done with the Sailor Moon thingy. Forest also came with Brittany, though they almost didn't get to the con due to horrible traffic for yet another game that day. But they did and we all went to have lunch together at the sports bar next to the hotel. Then we did some photos in the nearby grassy area and ended up never going near the con in costume but hey the point was more to get fun photos and we accomplished that at least.

Me as Zelos. I'd like to say the remake of this costume is a huge improvement but there are a number of things bugging me that I messed up on. Like making the positioning of everything. But its mainly because I had to make the neckline higher than his is in order to hide my binding. Last time I did this costume, I didn't use my binder and went for ace bandages instead so I could get a lower neckline but I refuse to ever go back to the bandage method. Oh well. Maybe some day I'll find a binder that goes lower.

Alyce as Sheena ^.^

Shot of us together

Zelos being a perv

...and the aftermath XD

Chatted for a bit afterwards but then made sure to head back to the room and change so I'd have enough time to make it to the Dealer's Room or the X-Japan event. I decided to dress up a little, wearing the outfit I brought just in case I got the photo op thingy (so at least it did come to use). Utai and Liz were already there with a small group of fans who had decided to get there early. Glad we did cause by the time the event started, there was quite the crowd but we were right up front. They played a video about Yoshiki's accomplishments on the booth's TV while we waited and we sat down and chatted among ourselves for a bit. Then the band came in and we were at full attention. XD Despite how many times I've seen Yoshiki now, I'll never get used to seeing him in person and seeing Pata and Heath up close too was an extra awesome bonus! The raffle turned out that each of them would pick a ticket out of a hat and that person got a poster signed by all 3 and a photo with them. So yeah. Really wanted that. XD Sadly despite having 2 tickets of my own and Utai offering hers up to me as well, I did not get selected for that raffle. Boo. But I was still pretty happy getting to see them. And Yoshiki talked about the upcoming show and such. Then one of their staff came over and handed Yoshiki some stuff and he was all "...oh I guess there's more?" lol So then they did another contest. They asked us all to scream "X!" as loud as we could and they would select whoever yells it the loudest would get a free copy of the limited edition of the X World CD. Ok, I was ready for this because I know they do contests like this every so often so I was totally going to give this one my all. I lost the first round to a guy who had much louder vocal chords than me. lol But I was determined the 2nd time and sure enough, Heath (they took turns choosing) pointed at me so not only did I get the CD, but I got to walk up and have it handed to me from Yoshiki directly. *_* Closest I've ever been to him so that was pretty awesome. I was in my happy zone the rest of the con. XD I'd already bought the CD but I didn't care! lol They did a few more raffles but I honestly forgot what it was for. I think leftover posters they had or something. But then they took some dorky selfies of themselves before they headed out. seen here. XD

Utai took a photo of me with my prize, being a happy dork lol

They also handed out some free X-Japan stickers to everyone who came so we made sure to get our stickers and then wandered the Dealer's for a little more but I had all I wanted so didn't stay there for too long. Went back to the hotel room. Originally I had intended to get into Kid Loki for the rest of the day but it was kinda later than I had originally thought and it felt silly getting into costume when I didn't plan to do much more that night and the roomies had convinced me into going to the Masquerade with them (originally was only going to go when they announced the awards) but I felt lame about bringing the costume once again and not wearing it (since I also never wore it at Zenkai) so Lex agreed to take some photos for me if I put it on so I did. And we basically took the same photos Ren took of me all the way back at DragonCon since I STILL haven't seen those. x_x And while I know it may be a while before I see these photos off of Dar's camera, I know I will eventually see them at least. And it was fun since Lex just happened to have her Avengers blanket still out on the chair in the room so we totally had me sit on it during the photos. XDXD Then quickly changed out and we headed over to the Arena for the Masq. They actually did the fashion show first which surprised me. They normally do that last while the Masq judges are making their decisions, etc. Then came the Masquerade itself and I really wondered why I let them talk me into going. I gave Laura a pretty dirty look of "wrrrrry" several times and at least everyone said they got a laugh out of my reactions. There's a reason why I haven't gone to these in years. Its just not the same anymore.

I feel like it should be re-named "Otakon's Next Dance Crew" or something because that's basically what its become. The only decent skits are just dance skits. Now don't get me wrong, I saw some pretty talented dancing going on but for the most part, there wasn't anything more to it than that. And this seems to go for the majority of con Masquerades now to the point that sometimes they people in it aren't even actually cosplaying while doing it. Kinda defeats the purpose to me but eh, I guess if that's what people like now? I spent most of the time on my 3DS or exchanging looks with everyone else. There was one skit, that I immediately brushed off as just another one of those mindless dance skits with characters that have nothing to do with each other...only to be surprised that the skit was actually pretty creative and the people in the skit...were incredibly talented in terms of dancing. Like way better than what I normally see. These kids must been part of their school's dance team or something since they have to be used to actual dance competitions since they were on that level. They did a skit based on love triangles so it was actually clever even if their costumes were mediocre. That and Tohma's Tiger & Bunny skit about con attending were pretty much the only skits I enjoyed and understood. Or at least the only ones I remember. There was a short skit from that bicycle anime too that was pretty good and won best in show, I believe. After the skits finished, everyone else left since none of them really cared about the awards. Which meant I had to suffer through the "talent show" half-time thing by myself. x_x;; Good thing I had that 3DS. lol But it was worth sticking around cause I got to see Bonnie win Best in Show for her Medicine Seller costume! I was so happy for her since I know how hard she's worked on that costume ad its incredible and I was sad I didn't get to see her in it yet so I stuck around outside the Arena doors hoping I would catch her when she came out. Luckily she did get my text and finding her was pretty easy once her and her husband came out. Sadly she had already taken the box back to her room during the skits and her make-up had to come off due to her having an allergic reaction to it (eep!) so still insisted on getting at least some photos of the costume...

These pictures really do no justice for the actual costume though. It was just all around perfect and even the judges said so when they announced her award. Bonnie almost missed the award since she wasn't paying attention when they announced it so she only knew cause the other contestants back stage told her so sadly she didn't get to hear what they said about the costume so I did my best to tell her. The costume was pretty inspiring and I hope some day I can make something on that level. I went back to her hotel room to chat a little while she got out of costume but then headed out when she wanted to get in the shower. So went back to my room and was a bum in my room since honestly there wasn't anything going on I was interested in (I rarely do much late night at cons anymore) and then went to bed.


Got up early in order to put my stuff in Dar's car and then head over to the con center so I could get in line for Yoshiki's concert early. But first I made a detour to the Starbucks kiosk. While in the pretty long line, I recognized two girls behind me who had been at the X-Japan event the other day and they remembered me from the screaming contest. XD So we started talking and agreed we should be line buddies. It took quite a while to get my Starbucks but glad I got it since it definitely helped keep me awake considering how early it was and had several hours to go before the concert was scheduled to start. The two girls I met were named Sam and Becca. Becca wanted to get a smoke break in first so they went outside to do that while I went ahead to get a spot in line. There weren't too many people there already so got a pretty good spot though the line was quickly getting longer once I got in line so glad I went when I did. I was getting a little worried that Sam and Becca wouldn't be able to find me with so many more people coming and was afraid staff might not let them cut the line even though I was saving them a spot but they showed up just in time before it really started getting long and they started to tell us to condense the line together as much as possible. The wait was long but we didn't even notice as we had too much time chatting the whole time. Another girl named Sam who was next to us in line also joined in and we had a pretty happy silly group of X fans. I was especially excited to find out Becca was the same age as me and the Sams were only a little younger. Usually when I go to J-Rock events at cons lately, everyone is in their teens and I feel a little awkward, lol. So it was nice having people my age.

We were not surprised by the fact that the concert was running late but it didn't bother us too much. Utai and Liz kept texting me wondering why they hadn't let the line in yet but they were outside so I can understand why they were a little less patient than those of us inside. lol But it wasn't that bad of a delay really. My little group was pretty close to the front so we had a great view. I was a little bit sad that they didn't fill up the room entirely though and there were a lot of unclaimed passes left in the end. Its so odd too considering the first time Yoshiki came to Otakon, his panel was packed to the brink but I guess that was also cause it was one of his first con appearances and they didn't give people a lot of time to plan for this one. It was still mostly full though.

This concert was a big deal to me. Yes I had seen X-Japan live in NYC in 2010 and got to see Yoshiki and Sugizo perform at Otakon in 2008 and such but I've ALWAYS wanted to just watch Yoshiki play piano for hours and this was exactly that. I was also a lot closer than I was both of those times so it felt a lot more intimate and special in a way. Becca, who has been an X fan even longer than I have (which says a lot since I'm running on like 15 years now), had never seen any of the members before so she got super emotional about the concert and I don't blame her. Its amazing getting to finally see any of X, Yoshiki especially. He's a great drummer but its his piano playing that I've always loved the best. The concert opened with a video introducing Yoshiki and showed the contract of his heavy intense and destructive drumming to that of his calm and more formal piano playing which was pretty amusing and the audience laughed quite a bit at this (though clearly they forgot to mention his piano tantrums which can be pretty violent as well XD). Then Yoshiki himself came out. No matter how many times I've seen him, his presence always manages to take my breathe away. And then he started to play and just...god I will never get over his piano playing.

He started with Forever Love which was pretty much the perfect opening even if it did make us teary-eyed from the very start. XD He had several very pretty women who accompanied him on strings. He referred to them as "Yoshiki's Sextet" even though there were only 4 of them because he liked the sound better. ...Oh Yoshiki. lol Next he did Anniversary, the song he composed and performed for the Emperor of Japan quite some time ago. I was surprised to hear this one but quite delighted as I've always really enjoyed that piece and I'd only ever had a bad recording of it (though I guess I should have realized he might do it since its on the CD I had already bought lol). After that he joked about how he keeps coming to Otakon every 4 years, which I didn't even realize ti he said it. Cause he first came in 2006 and then with Sugizo in 2010 and now in 2014. ...and I saw him every time. XD So he was joking clearly he needs to come back in 2018 (though sooner would be better >_>). Then he brought out Katie, who I immediately recognized as the Violet UK vocalist (while some of my friends were all "...who is she?" pfft) and she sang the vocals for HERO, the song used for the new Saint Seiya movie. At the time the song had JUST come out since the movie had just gone to theaters in Japan (I think? I forget when it originally came out but it was somewhere around this time so there wasn't an actual single of the song yet). I have mixed feelings about the movie itself but I must admit I have been pretty giddy that Yoshiki did a song for Saint Seiya considering its one of my favorite animes. Technically the song is an X-Japan song but at the time I had only heard this version for the movie.

Katie left after that since they had intended for her to do just that song. Then Yoshiki asked us if we had any requests and people shouted out all different songs. Becca shouted out "Tears!" so our little group decided to all scream it out together to help her. And holy shit he looked RIGHT AT US and goes "Tears? Okay. But I need Katie to sing for me. Katie you still here?" lol Poor Katie came back out and Yoshiki asked if she still remembered the words and she said she hoped she did so Yoshiki agreed to do just the short version to make it easier on her. But man we were surprised to hear that song sung in English by her. She did a beautiful job though and poor Becca was sobbing since she didn't expect him to actually take her request. So gotta say that was a pretty cool moment for us.

And here's the video I took of it...

Then Yoshiki went back to piano-only with a nice Swan Lake solo. Then he paused to talk to us about the hardships X-Japan has gone through and he teared up a few times as he talked. He then performed Without You in dedication to his father, hide, and Taiji. The screen showed clips of X-Japan's early days, photos Yoshiki's and Toshi's childhood together, and lots of photos and clips focused on hide and Taiji. Everyone got pretty emotional during that one. It was impossible not to cry. But then we moved onto something a bit happier. Yoshiki and his girls did a bit of Kurenai that then led into Art of Life in which Pata and Heath came out and rocked out on guitar and bass for a bit. The audience went crazy and oh man it reminded me just how much I love this band. I just figured they'd come out to talk at some point, didn't think they'd actually perform. Though it was too short and left us all wanting more. Which I guess was the point because they then talked about how we all need to come to Madison Square Garden to support them in concert. They joked around a bit and Yoshiki teased Pata, "are you drunk already?" XD Though man did I feel guilty once again about my decision not to go to the concert. I started to really re-consider it the whole length of the rest of the concert. Pata and Heath left the stage and for the final number Yoshiki did Endless Rain, of course. Though I was a bit aghast that the audience wasn't singing along! I mean I know its a classical concert but you always sing to Endless Rain. We even sang at Otakon last time when him and Sugizo did their small mini concert. So some of us near the front tried to start it up but only a few joined in. *sigh* We tried. I was too afraid to sing any louder though cause I felt a little awkward and didn't want to ruin the beauty of the music itself. But it didn't feel right to not be singing. Its tradition with X after all. It was sad to have the concert end already as it didn't feel that long (though it had been, the songs are long pieces after all). Yoshiki did come back out after we all chanted "X!" for a while and started a "We are..." "X!" chant for a bit but eventually took a bow and left, so sadly no encore for this show.

When the lights came back on and Becca and others made a mad dash to the merch booths, I was seriously about to go over there and throw all logic aside and just buy a bloody ticket though I did not voice this opinion aloud. Sam wanted to go find a place to sit and charge her phone while we waited for Becca so I ended up just letting her lead me out, telling myself its for the best I don't get a ticket. But it bothered me the whole rest of the day. (So of course not even a week after the con, I gave in and finally got a ticket and boy am I glad I went in the end!) Chatted with Sam for a bit but as people were getting ready to leave, I had to leave her so I could catch Utai and everyone before they left and I barely managed to catch them before they did leave. Sam was gone by the time I got back to her spot which made me a little sad but she had warned me her and Becca might end up leaving before I got back and I stupidly forgot to get their phone numbers (but we exchanged Facebook info so got to talk to them after con at least and eventually ended up going to the concert with them).

During all of this Laura had texted me saying they were going to eat and if I wanted to join, which I told her to save me a seat, figuring by the time I got over there, they'd have a table. But I guess I didn't take long enough talking to people because they were still outside waiting and it ended up still being a bit of a wait. Oh well. ^^;; I was pretty tired during the whole lunch/early dinner to make much conversation but was glad to have food since I hadn't had any yet. It did make it a little harder to arrange timing with my parents since I didn't want them to arrive before we left but they showed up not too long after we got Dar's car packed up and moved to the front so it wasn't too bad of a wait. My parents had planned to eat at Uno's on the way back though and I had just eaten so ended up just sitting there while they ate. Oh well. XD But I definitely couldn't have done a second meal so soon after the first. lol But that was the end of my con. Gotta say if it wasn't for X-Japan, it would have been a rather sucky con, mostly due to the pre-reg incident. But knowing me I'll probably be back again next year. x_x At least until it moves to DC. Then not so sure if I'll keep going or not.



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December 2016

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