Wow, so many walfasers, and other friendly folks. From what I hear, our original reservation was 20....and we had 21 people eating at Benihana.
- Keiniecat is chilling out in the front, being the wacky odd man out as usual.
- Rodie got himself all prettied up with a full on tux off to the left.
- Spaztique of course got his rocking outfit on and is screaming to the heavens just behind Rodie.
- Ceej is to Rodie's right, being a bro as usual.
- Mini is posing to Ceej's right. I told ya he's a wizard!
- Cirno84 is right of Mini, sporting the most fluffy hair in the group!
- Aussie is of course right behind Cirno84, big and tall for a cartoon!
- Between Spaz and Aussie are a couple we met at the con, now good friends of Rodie. I did not get to ask their names but....
- Up front are two others in their posse that were a pleasure to met, Kat especially with her jokes. Power to the plus sized curly tops!
- Britney (Brit-chan as Rodie affectionately calls her) is the girl on the front right, being adorkable as usual.
- ExPorygon snuck up behind Britney, doing Porygon things with that wild pose.
- Reuniclus is the twig to Pory's right. Glad you could make it to the party, bro!
- The even twiggier twig is on Reuniclus' right, good old Bleachbummer! (Or Bleachy-kun as Porygon reminded everyone during the days we were there)
- Behind Bleach, sporting his sweet Yuki cosplay is FullHitPoints. Seriously dude, how did you manage to wear that all weekend!?
- To FHP's left is of course his bro, ponfan. Super awesome to have you here in the US for the first time!9He's German) Hopefully the hugs weren't too much. XD
- Finally there's me to popfan's left, with 3 guesses who else right next to me. I'll give you a hint, god damn big and tall bear. If you couldn't think of Roy, you obviously haven't been around enough.
- P.S, Nova doesn't like pictures, so he hid behind Roy like a butt. Looks more Indian than Peruvian if ya ask me!
And that was just the Benihana. While at the con we met people like Remi_Scarlet, the Touhou Wiki team, Jesus (dude from last year as a staffer), and Greggo the Game Show guy (who is apparently a huge To Aru fan too).
Of course, can't forget the guests and Japanese vendors. TAM was amazing. I got to buy a CD from him. A PCB Orchestral mix to be precise. The guy is a ball of fun too, laughing and breaking into violin for fun.Due to some of our panels though, could not meet Henry Lao. ;-;
Also special thanks to Bleach's mom, Patti, for being such an awesome help, even with our nerd talk going on. She took pictures and drove us around the horrid LA traffic like a pro!
Wow there's just so much to take in.
For a pre-con day this was very eventful. The first walfaser I got to see was Bleach, wearing that Prinny hat of his in the searing heat. I had butterflies in my stomach until getting off the plane. Super happy nothing went wrong. Met up with Pory and Nova about 30 minutes later in baggage claim. I don't think there was a single moment of silence between us. And that was just the beginning.
After tight squeezing into the car and a lot of debate at the local Trader Joe's we get to the hotel and immediately settle in. Being so early we just made 3 Anaheim blocks (that's about 6 blocks for you suburban folks) to the Jack In The Box, because Nova wanted West Coast food fare. Who knew fast food tacos would taste good at a burger joint. Many a stolen fry from Bleach later, we raced back to meet the early comers like Aussie and Ceej.PorygonBleachCeejNovaAussie
The meetups happened in such quick succession, with epic elevator filling from top floor to bottom at least 12 times, that I can't remember the order of finding everyone, minus Roy, who showed up last. In that meantime we checked out the center. Whoops there's like three other expos going on, including a solar panel convention.
Yes, Mini was pleased. He got the Okuu button, which had no actual Okuu on it.
Then came Bubba Gump Shrimp. Yes, that is a thing. A shrimp place based entirely around Forest Gump. Man we were the life of the party too. The waiter was curious about our gathering. After some smoothies we got to hold a Gump trivia test. Most everyone shouted the answers in unison, except for the hard questions, which mostly I got. So many people watched this movie in high school, but it was my mom that got me to originally, at least 20 times too. XDBrit and RodieCeej and BleachMini and FHP
Lots of garlic butter and a tipsy Brit later, we go back satisfied and begin the gaming craze. We didn't have enough Gamecube controllers so I tried my hand at doodling Von Talon. That ended badly with no table to do it on.
This is also where the pillow fighting began, at least between pory and bleach, or me and nova. Go figure, right? Sorry Nova, you deserved every punch you got from me. Haha!
Hijacking Roy's room was fun. Railgun and Red Line to finish off the night!
Waking up to some lovely Utsuho Caution sounds, another pillow fight breaks out to wake porygon up. I swear, this would become a game between him and bleach. Unfortunately me and mini forgot to buy popcorn for such lovely occasions.
It's too early for panels, and we have our badges, so what do we do? Look for breakfast. Spaz and a few others went to IHOP, so we thought we'd join them...
....turns out the IHOP was in the other direction...stupid blue roof!
So we stop at Chicken and Waffles. Turns out it's chicken WITH waffles, at least if you get the super gravy-fied dish I did by mistake. Ah well, still a filling breakfast and a lot of walking to work that off!
We got back just in time for the line to the line to the Opening Ceremony!Okuu and OzaiCeej, Spaz, Bleach, and Mini
After some forgotten amount of time and a few jokes with Ceej, it began. Oh boy there were so many guests, and most of them were Japanese. TAM performed live. That was a great way to start the day.
Of course just after there was another line for the exhibit hall just after. Staff was really worn thin during this whole con. With such a huge turn out of people, I'm not surprised. Thankfully we had pocky, and Fire Lord Ozai to talk to. Then the doors opened.
I'm not a shopper, I will admit that. I'm usually in and out of a store with minimal cash expended. So going into this place with cash to spare and no idea what I was getting made me look like a disoriented dog in a meat market. It didn't help that many of the vendors were Japanese and had minimal English speaking abilities, but hey, they went out of their way to do this.The crowdsFirst Loot
Yes, there was a prop shop stand, and that energy sword was there alongside the anime goods. For justice, and many dead grunts, I had to buy it. Also raided the TAM booth for a CD or two. Unfortunately all the large sized shirts were gone. ;-;
Now for the panels. The Touhou as a Career panel reminded me of every business lecture I've been to. Which is a good thing, because some folks don't get to go to college lectures like that. Simply put, play to your strengths and go for it. Something the WSW has been shouting for years. Both me and Spaz had a good sized grin on our faces after that one.
We had to rush to the Indie Game Dev panel after more shopping. Sat far back, and honestly it was more of a history lesson than a how-to or how-did. I may have just been focused on how the Walfas panel was going to go. Sweaty hands suck.
Moment of truth, and even with a bit of disorganization, I'd say the walfas panel went well. I had to cover most of the history section in Miki's stead while Spaz walfas'd a scene from Hamlet. Thank you, Rodie, thank you.
We were supposed to kick to Disney right away, but we stopped at Lunatic Theater for a bit while my phone charged and some others got all wrapped up. One long walk later, and....
Disneyland, here we come!
Me, Roy, Bleach, Mini, Rodie, Brit, Joe, and Spaz all crossed many streets and LA 5 pm traffic. It didn't take long to get in, and we were just in time to view the Main Street shows before boarding the train for New Orleans Square.So many people!Roy, they said stay inside the train!
The cafe was full, and Haunted Mansion was crazy long, so we trekked into Adventureland for skewers and hot pretzels before snagging a spot in line for Indiana Jones. That ride could not decide whether it was open or closed. Roy managed to almost trip on a guide rope because he was so tall!Pretzels!A wild, hungry Spaz.Boba....Lemonade?
Well, we basically had SA Walfaser Edition, a few silly madlibs, and 45 minutes of foot pain before the ride. Worth, so worth. I got to drive. Spaz's face was hilarious. I forget if he ever went on this ride before but the man was certainly impressed. Then again, can you really go wrong with Indiana Jones?
Star Tours and Ghost Galaxy (Space Mountain) into the darkness of the night. I did consider buying a homemade lightsaber, but then realized I knew a better source for some. So, drinks and another walk to New Orleans later, it was time for the Fantasmic show! Well, we caught the tail end of another show with AMAZING effects. Frozen never looked so cool....no pun intended.
Bleach got us some front row spots and treated us to off the menu churros at the Golden Karole. He and his mom go to Disney frequently, living only 20 minutes away, so they've picked up a few things by now. The dude didn't even carry a map!
So, at 10 45 the show begins and we all just sat back and enjoyed. By that time, it'd become a topic between me and Spaz to guess how the engineering worked behind all the rides and special effects. Gotta give those Imagineers credit. Artistry and engineering never looked so good together!It's so dark, and so bright!Look at them lights!That boat!
What luck that the Haunted Mansion had a short line just in time for midnight. Yes, we rode it at EXACTLY midnight, I even checked the time throughout the line. Perfect ending to a long day.
We didn't get home until 1 am, and Porygon immediately called us insane. Another pillow fight for the count, making three. Sleep came fast for us all.
I forgot to unset my phone, so Mini and I both woke up early for this day. After yesterday's feet destruction, none of us wanted to walk. Besides, we had bagels, ham, and cheese to eat!
Unfortunately the bagels were somewhat chewy, but worth the Swiss cheese in the end. Most of the morning was lazy for the Railgun rooom, especially Porygon. Even though he did not trek to Disneyland, he was out of it...or just pulling our legs so Bleach would throw pillows at him. Such a lover. :3
Many folks did more shopping, but I went to another panel. Unfortunately I don't remember much about it, probably because it was either boring, or I was tired. On to the Touhoushoot!
Well, Touhou Photo Shoot. There was a lot of confusion as to where it was outside, and about 30 minutes of floundering later, at least 200 odd people gathered at the hotel's rock garden. It was hot, very hot, but the cosplays...wow.
Never thought I'd see so many laser shooting lolis(or dudes pretending to be lolis) in one place.
Roy and Nova also tried to be clowns. The heat got to everyone. That's what happens when you wear pettycoats and tuxes in summer....almost fall. It's California, it's always hot.Roy looks quite dapper today!THE LOLISThe shot keeps growing.They just keep coming!The whole show.After moving.
Now for the game shoots.PC-98EoSDPCBThe Rans are servingINPoFVMoFKanako joins why that shiny chest thing.SAUFOTDDDCLOLKFighting Games
Man it was crazy taking so many photos, sorting through them all later for good enough shots. Was lucky to get a front spot, actually. I think there were as many photographers as cosplays, and there were a LOT of cosplays.
But, that is about when the heat got to me, so it was time for food and drink. Thankfully, I found an Aussie along the way with the same thing in mind. While waiting for curry burgers and chewy mochi cheesesticks, we got to jam out to some Taiko with Raiko!Raiko Taiko
Man, I love drums, and these were some of the best ones ever. So loud it could put you to sleep. Curry burgers were fantastic too.
Now time for more shopping. Managed to grab a few goodies and drop them off before the Gensokyo Radio panel. Cool bunch of folks, and cool buttons. They used walfas images in the beginning, can't believe I was old enough to remember that.
Then, the Yukkuricraft panel. Poor Remi was up there all by himself this time around, but I snagged a spot in the front row and chimed in a bit when he got stuck. Lots of giggles and old jokes came up, boy oh boy was it a goofy day. Three Gensokyos, THREE.
Remi looked more like a Tenshi that day. I made sure to give him a good punch like I do all my friends. :3
And yes, that was a thing, punched everyone on the shoulder at least once. Some more than others(like nova, the perv)Me and Remi(Tenshi)
Anyway, then came the big show. Gensokyo Survival Guide. I had run out of water at that point and needed something. What luck that nothing was open...and the magnetic strip on my room key got nuked by my phone. So yah, that was 15 minutes wasted.
But thrown Victini plushies and drunkard fairies made it all worth. Rodie and Roy, a monzi pair if I ever saw one. A girl even brought up her own dice for the game. Drunkard fairy, Tengu Fightmaster, Ice Elementalist Human, and Fire Elementist Oni.
Tabletop games have always gone to the silly side. That entire panel was laughter and snark. Probably the most crowded non- guest panel there! Great work, boys, you did the system justice!
Horror and Hentai...well, only horror for me. That panel turned out to be more of a showcase than actual exploration of mythology, but ah well. There was a nice Byakuren doujin I saw that at some point, need to read.
Spaz screamed at me in texts when iwannafuckyoumu was mentioned in the hentai panel.
I cannot believe that meme still exists after 4 years. Then again, the panel host was a YC member, and iwannafuckyoumu.net was their brainchild that I am unfortunately partly responsible for making. One joke, turned into so many others. Not sure whether to be proud...or disturbed.
But that matters not! For it was Mario Party time! Okay, I didn't get to play, but it was still great. And there was plenty of snacks. At some point before that, me and Ceej did some voicing for something Eevee will likely bust a gut on.
Junk food and sleepiness, more pillow fights, Nova being lewd and sleepdrunk, and Roy using me as a pillow. That was a night. Cramming 12 walfasers in one room turned out to be fantastic and loud. Bleach is a vengeful gamer!
At least Roy put an actual pillow between us, that would have been too close.
Somehow, I fell asleep on the floor 20 minutes after getting into my sleeping bag. That's how you know it was a good day, you don't give a fuck where you sleep.
Cue more pillow fights with Bleach and Pory send the day off! We even got up before spaz and the gang. Roy is funny when sleepy, and Nova needs a few nudges to wake up at all. Sunday, the last day of the con started simply with bagels and crappy ice tea. Ah well, the last minute shopping was worth it. As well, the panels had a good finish to them.
Poor Porygon had to spend the morning prepping for his panel.
Jeopardy tryouts, I balled at it compared to the Forest Gump trivia. Luckily, Spaz had the skills for it. There was a savvy charisma filled Remilia there as well, and the jokes kept flying.
Between that and the actual Jeopardy was Pory's danmakufu panel. I was in college lecture mode, as was Rodie. Pory, you did good, but might want a bigger time slot next time.
EUB Demo on disk. ON DISK. It is amusing how that works.
Jeopardy was a blast. Greggo, the host had one hell of a snarky attitude and announced like a pro. It was also amazing that a Railgun question about Mikoto was one of the first. Me, Mini, and Pory all doubled over in our front row seats. I think Greggo and Spaz both knew if Spaz got it wrong, there'd be horrible disappointment. He got it, and also got some Love Hina in there. Spaz loves him some Hina...just not the spinning kind.
We had some time before the last panel, so all of us stopped for lunch at the Fusion food truck again. I got a terriyaki burger and these cute little fried potato balls with bacon and chive. Like a fluffy hush puppy I'd say! Foods
Now, Tale of Two Wikis! Again, more of a history lesson, but still interesting how research is done and all. Now, Benihana!
The ride consisted of me, roy, rodie, and brit chattering GSG stuffs. Quite amusing, nuff said. Once we got there it took about 20 odd minutes before our tables were set, but was it worth it. I sat next to popfan and some folks Rodie met at the Con itself. Cat the Cat ears wearing Catgirl. Yes, cat ears. Either way, the night went on with delicious sushi, miso, rice, salad, shrimp, fillet of steak, and green tea ice cream. I had a 7 course meal...along with most others. How fitting the meal was called "Samurai Treat" Youmu fangirl always shows up somewhere. Popfan showing off.Rodie and Brit being....well Rodie and BritWalfasers all having a good time!You cannot escape the photos, NovaRoy peeking by.YELLOWTAIL SUSHI, YUM!Our chefMy daily dose of fruitLet us begin!Cooking Time!
Two fruity drinks later and half the meal, Spaz gave the most epic speech and toast ever! Seriously, to think, 4 years ago we all just knew out internet handles and just walfased together. And that day, we had 20 people, about 16 of them, walfasers, sitting in a hibachi grill, together!
Together, for real!
What a way to finish the con. A great big family dinner and an amazing group photo.
We still got another night of gaming through. Kirby's Air Ride this time. Roy also got tired again and tried to squish me. It didn't work. I tickled him outta that! Nova got buried in pillows for his snarky comments. But it wasn't until I punched his gut did he wake up.
That'll never get old. I punched everyone at least once.
A great pillow war ended the night, and then sleep came easy. Another fantastic day.
Ah yes, the final day. My flight was early, so we had to get up early, me and Bleach at least. Of course, couldn't go without another invasion of Roy's room, a pillow fight, and the obtaining of a Meiling hat. I have Roy's Meiling hat, it is nice hat. It's also too big for my head.
Porygon was pillowed over and many more hugs were had. When I got downstairs other walfasers were there to hug too. It turned into one REALLY long hug from popfan. Which, is ironic, because at the beginning of this trip, the poor guy had a culture shock from all the close contact and crowds. I find it heartwarming that he'd be the start to a massive walfaser group hug.
I left with a big smile on my face.
The way to the airport was short, and Patti was super mom, making sure everything went alright with us at the con. Last hug, Bleach, and I made sure to lift him high above the ground. That got his mom cracking up.
Fond farewells. I couldn't stop chattering to my dad about it once I got back to SeaTac. He was very proud that I managed this all by myself. It also put a lot more trust in my mom that I can be independent.Loot
Wel, honestly, all I have left to wonder is...can next year come already? XD
Seriously, that was the best week of my life, and none of it felt awkward. We all talked as if we had done this before, or knew each other for years...BECAUSE WE DID!
Thank you, Touhou, for bringing so many friends together in one place.