The Answer is Always… – Saturday at Animenext 2011

First ever Kaichou wa Maid-sama cosplayer I’ve ever seen and she does the maid uniform. I’m glad I notice details.

As a normal con-goer for my local conventions, Nii-chan and I decided to go (Saturday only, of course) to Animenext 2011 this past weekend. Unlike last year, when we could only go for the Stereopony concert, we were able to sit-in on the typical Karaoke Contest and random game shows,  Anime Dating Game and Chain Reaction. However, this year didn’t have the major typical technical difficulties with the panels and the cosplayers were quite decent so I actually have a decent amount to say for the yearly convention post.

Arriving early to get registration done, started off slow with the rain coming and going. However, it instantly got better when, RIGHT AFTER, we finished registration, I saw a Madoka Kaname cosplayer, and a well-done Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu cosplay group. After getting their pictures, we wandered around the dealer’s room full of new Durarara wall scrolls, Mio and Kyubey shirts, and cute Mameshiba pillows… I won’t go into details since it’s a typical dealer’s room.

Madoka-sama. I have found you.

Eventually, we went out to chill some time in the earlier open mic karaoke and the karaoke contest. At first, I was fairly content because I was able to listen to Resuscitated Hope from Gosick (TV) and Renai Circulation from Bakemonogatari. Though, it got much better during the karaoke contest because I was able to listen to: Bad Apple from Touhou Project, Don’t Say Lazy and My Love is a Stapler from K-ON, Yasashii Yoake from .hack//sign, Inori~ You Raise me up from Romeo x Juliet, Colors from Code Geass, Konna ni Chikaku de from Nodame Cantabile, Naraku no Hana from Higurashi Kai (TV), and Hanaji from Maria+Holic. There were also the usual Hare Hare Yukai, Cruel Angel’s Thesis, and Fukai Mori.

Now, for most Karaoke contests I sit in, I would usually hear really mainstream anime and only one or two relatively recent (recent = around 2 years or less) or non-widely known songs. However, this contest had K-ON, Romeo x Juliet, Nodame Cantabile, Higurashi Kai, and Maria + Holic, which made me extremely happy. As for my vote as a part of the audience, I have to give it to the girl who sang the ED of Nodame. Although the female who sang the Maria+Holic OP had her own dancers, did the nosebleed parts really well, and stripped her outer clothes (she had inner clothes on) during her performance, I believe I enjoyed the girl who sang Nodame a bit better. However, props for those who were willing to go up, sing (without reading the lyrics), and perform that day and disappoint-points for those people who didn’t know the Nodame or Maria+Holic songs.

Not only do you cosplay Homura, my favorite character, but you decide to do her Moe version. Kudos to you, fellow cosplayer.

Also, luckily, they hosts had the technical problems during the open mic session instead of the contest so they didn’t have to waste a lot of time getting songs out. Best thing is that the technical problems hit its peak when one cosplayer wanted to sing Friday from Rebecca Black (and for you Otaku who don’t know who she is… Don’t bother). Though, she did end up singing it so Nii-chan started singing the Starcraft II, Funday Monday, version of the song so crisis averted.

Time passed and I entered the Anime Dating Game panel. Now, for those who don’t really go to the game show panels, they’re usually hit-or-miss because it depends if the cosplayers know their characters well enough to portray them correctly, know the old game show decent enough to not be shy and go all out, and know the anime of other cosplayers to understand what they say at times. Luckily, the Anime Dating Game was a full-on hit this year. There were a great amount of innuendos based off the questions from the bachelor and bachelorettes and awesome responses from the contestants based of their cosplay. It was great that everyone was disappointed that Ash from Pokemon didn’t choose Tohru from Fruits Basket because she portrayed her character REALLY well and was willing to do anything for him. He took it for the team… Though I’m not sure if Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII should be with Van Hohenheim from FMA. Yet, I can’t say much about Kari from Digimon ending up with England from Hetalia either. Overall, it was a great comedic relief for the entire hour.

Woot! First time ever seeing Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu cosplayers and they pull it off really well. Sadly, Akihisa wasn’t with them when I took this photo.

As for the Anime Chain Reaction, it was a slight hit and miss. There were some decent puzzles and some others (like how all the words just rhyme) were just flat out stupid. However, it was great when the next word started with a C because someone from my part of the audience kept yelling c**d**. Yes, fill in the asterisks and yes, it is what you’re thinking. It was at that moment when the answer changed from always being 42 to always being c**d**. All hell ensued from there, especially when a C started the word that came after the word “Damn” in Chain Reaction. It was the most memorable part of the game other than the random jokes about our host being short.

Now you’re thinking with Portals.

Anyway, before I end this, I need to “slightly notify” the new thing I’ve recently noticed (since they may have been there last year or the year before that) which was in the gaming room. Ever since Animenext moved from Secaucus, NJ to Somerset, NJ, I’ve avoided going to the video gaming area because I would have to make a 10 minute walk, though using most of that time just crossing the street, to get there from the convention center. However, since the dealer’s room and artist alley weren’t going to open until 10, I decided to check it out if they had Osu. Of course, I didn’t find it, but I did end up seeing the legit arcade-machine version of In the Groove and the arcade joystick and buttons for some fighting games. Now, for someone who hasn’t been to most gaming rooms in an anime convention, I think that’s pretty badass having those expensive equipment and transporting it each year.

Not a great Kyubey cosplayer but he was a good sport about it. He also was willing to show me the soul gem he collected that day. Great guy even though he wanted to make a contract with me deep down.

Anyway, I may have to end up dropping Zenkaikon or Animenext from my convention roster due to the amount of money needed to go to those 2 and NYAF every year. Also, since we’ve been going to Zenkaikon and Animenext for a good whole 5 years, there aren’t a lot that amazes Nii-chan and I at small, local conventions anymore. I don’t know how next year will stand with conventions, but look forward to the NYAF 2011 post in October~!

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