kristensk: smile (Default)
Well, Otakon time has come and gone, and it was absolutely weird not to be there. Seek and I decided not to go this year as it was the convention's first year in Washington, and we expected there would be some bugs to be worked out. Although, reading about it, the biggest problem I'm seeing is long lines for bag checks. Ugh. Not sure how to avoid that. At the bare minimum, I feel like I need a bottle of water, sunscreen, and an umbrella. Even with the wonderful seven pocket jeans Seek found me, I don't think I can pocket all that. There's also the matter of increased fees everywhere. Though we have half-seriously discussed staying in our usual (cheap) Baltimore hotel and getting a ride into Washington every morning. Eh, details to be considered for next year.

I did make con-ish purchases though. The entirety of Ao no/Blue Exorcist's "Kyoto Saga" has been pre-ordered because I've been saving my money since the series was announced. I really, really love the Kyoto/Impure King Arc.

And, more seriously, it's been a good thing that we didn't have Otakon locked in for this year since Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in the last couple weeks. She starts treatments soon, and everyone's optimistic and praying hard for a good outcome. Still, if I'm not around or slow to reply for the next few months, that will be why.
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
I hadn't mentioned it previously, but, yes, I attended Otakon 2016! It was the final year in Baltimore, and I was sad that I didn't get a last visit down to the Inner Harbor proper. But, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90's and a heat index over 100, it was simply too hot to spend more than the minimum amount of time outside. Still, it was a good year. I got to visit my favorite sandwich place, Macado's twice on the drive to and from Baltimore (and try their giant cinnamon bun... mmm...) and, while we were in Baltimore, we hit Pappa's Restaurant one last time for the fantastic crabcakes.

As has become the norm, we kicked off Thursday with a movie. This year, it was Star Trek Beyond, which I much enjoyed. The plot was straightforward but fun, the character interactions great, and the whole movie a fun ride I suspect I'll enjoy watching again and again once it's out on DVD. And, as a bonus, Mom, the biggest Star Trek fan in our group, finally got to see one of the new movies in the theater.

Then, of course, it was Otakon time on Friday.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: Blue Exorcist - unsheathing sword (ane rin unleash)
So, Otakon 2015. Aside from Thursday's technical difficulties, it was a good year. A really good year. The weather was absolutely perfect with no rain, and the temperatures were generally in the mid to upper 80's with a breeze most days. The convention was a ton of fun with great guests, and I found a crabcake that might be almost as good as Faidley's. Pappa's Restaurant (the Glen Burnie location particularly) was this year's big food find. Delicious crabcakes that are almost pure lump crab with minimal filler. *drools*

So, like last year, we "officially" started vacation on Thursday by going to see the latest Marvel movie, Antman. I honestly went to see this one purely on the strength of Marvel's previous movies because the trailer didn't wow me. But, the movie did. Mom came along, and even she liked it. Seriously, Marvel, please keep up this winning streak. I'm loving it. After that, it was off to the Power Plant Barnes & Noble to take advantage of their Buy 2, Get 1 Free deal on manga. Then, of course, came Linecon. But, I got a free T-shirt.

Otakon proper started on Friday.

Click for rambling... )

ETA: I forgot the best quote of the con. A tweet posted up in response to the delayed lines: "I saw the line move once. When I was young and full of dreams."
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
Whew! It's Otakon time again, and this year has been a bit hectic. Some sort of computer system malfunction set badge pick-up back hours. Seek and I spent three and a half hours in line, but we were among those fortunate to get a badge this evening. Plus, a free appeasement T-shirt from staff!

Otherwise, it was a good day with good food, good manga deals at Barnes & Noble and free shirts! (Look, I've never caught a free item tossed into a crowd in my life. The fact that they were basically lobbing shirts at everyone who walked past and that it was an attempt at placating all the grouchy, tired attendees of "Linecon" doesn't matter. I caught a free shirt.)

Okay, seeking sleep now. I'll try to get messages back to everyone who's messaged/mailed me when I'm more awake.
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
So, yes, Otakon 2014. It's come and gone, and, yes, I went. I was afraid the trip wouldn't happen this year due to a variety of family health issues, but, with a lot of prayer, it did, and it was wonderful. Lots of fun, lots of rest, lots of great food. (Brownie smothered in cookie dough ice cream, fudge, Oreos and whipped cream... Mmmm....)

Seeker and I started out on Thursday by going to see Guardians of the Galaxy. As seems to be the norm now, Marvel did not disappoint. The movie had just the right mix of hilarious and awesome plus some gleeful subversions of tropes the viewer was set up to expect. (That Power Walk... *cackle*) Then, it was off to the Cross Street Market to try a crabcake from Nick's Seafood. It wasn't quite as good as Faidley's, but not bad at all.

Finally, it was on to Otakon on Friday. This was my ninth visit. And, it was an oddly - though not unpleasantly - laidback convention. There was nothing I had my heart set on this year. The con's primary focus seemed to be "Sailor Moon" to accompany the releases of the old and new anime, and I've never been a fan of "Sailor Moon". So, with no premieres or must-see guests, Seeker and I just picked whatever sounded interesting and drifted that way.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
So, because there was a reduced rate for signing up early, Otakon 2014 is already locked into my schedule for the year. Not that there was much of a chance Seeker and I wouldn't be going again.

Vaguely related, on a whim I gathered together all of my anime and manga just to see how my collection has grown. It started (well, became anything you'd call a "collection") here. Presently, it's a bit more of: Shelf 1, Shelf 2, Shelf 3, Shelf 4, Shelf 5, Shelf 6. Plus artbooks, of course.

I didn't try and squeeze in any of my figures (or posters, wall scolls, mouse pads, and keychains) this time except for my cute little cooking!Rin. But, you can see several of my Inuyasha figures in the old shot.

(No, I can't really keep it like that due to space problems. When not being photographed, the anime and manga live in separate places, and my Inuyasha manga is double-shelved.)
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
As always, my con report is very belated. I really meant to post something while in Baltimore, but it just never worked out. Then, I came home with lingering sinus woe that killed my desire to do much of anything. But, all is better now, and it was a great trip.

Mom and I started on Thursday by taking one of the Baltimore Trolley Tours, which was a fun mix of sightseeing and history. (Although, while our guide was very well-versed in his history, someone should let him know that Otakon is not a "Halloween party" inspired by Japan.) Then, we wandered through the Otakon matsuri (festival) and hit the Power Plant Barnes & Noble where I finally succumbed to temptation and picked up "Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, which adds some nice backstory to the movie. Of course, the real Otakon adventure began with the con on Friday.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
I'm not dead yet, just having a massive creativity slump. Though I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least, I've got drabbles in the works. That's something, right?

And, I've used the dead time to finally manage my email backlog and catch up on anime-watching. Of the current series, "The Devil is a Part-Timer!" has remained hilariously wacky (if occasionally burdened with obnoxious fan service). But, I've also been poking my way through Hulu's collection of completed anime that I somehow missed along the way. Thus far, the standout series has been "Soul Eater", which I watched on [personal profile] jordannamorgan's recommendation. It's a fun series with an off-beat sense of humor and a tendency to lead you along before gleefully subverting the standard anime trope you were expecting. Almost always in a good way. The resolution of the final battle is decidedly lacking, but it's a fun ride up to that point. And, things resolve so happily I can't complain much.

In other news, Otakon 2013 is sounding better all the time. I'm especially excited that Kaoru Kurosaki, wife of "Rurouni Kenshin" and "Buso Renkin" creator Nobuhiro Watsuki, will be coming. Of course, there's also that concert by Yoko Kanno... I've never stayed for a Sunday event before, but this might be the year. Oh, and having favorite guests like Vic Mignogna and Todd Haberkorn doesn't hurt either ;)

Otakon 2013

Apr. 3rd, 2013 11:43 pm
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
And, it's official that Seekersks and I will be heading to Otakon 2013. It's their 20th anniversary, so here's hoping they're going to have some awesomeness lined up. And, that that survey I responded to at Anime News Network leads to the appearance of at least one of the guests I voted for. ....Please let it be Romi Park. Please, please.
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
And, I'm finally getting around to my big post-Otakon post. This will have been the eighth year [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I have attended. We've toyed with the idea of trying something else - another convention or just some other event entirely - but Otakon almost always delivers a great weekend.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Alright, [livejournal.com profile] seekersks, you were right. This year, we opted not to brave the heat and stand in line hours early to pick up our con badges. Instead, we waited and, when we arrived at 4:30, we were able to walk right in. The entire trip to the convention center and back only took an hour and a half, most of which was travel time on the light rail. Which was fantastic given how hot it was today.

Also, I received no less than three compliments on the Inuyasha T-shirt I wore today. I'm slightly flabbergasted. Just a few years ago, it earned some quiet teasing. Ah well. These things truly do go in cycles, I suppose. (And, I do like that shirt, so yay!)

Today's only other excitement was finally getting to see Pixar's "Brave". As always with Pixar, it was excellent. Though the trailers I had seen somewhat obscured the main plot... but I think that was a good thing. And, the little short before the movie, "La Luna", was absolutely adorable.
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
So, as has become our yearly tradition, [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I will be going to Otakon at the end of July.  Sadly, I noticed just yesterday that Nobuhiko Okamoto (voice of Rin in "Blue Exorcist") will actually be in the US... but at a con on the west coast weeks before Otakon.  *sulk*  Ah well, we get Simon from Gurren-Lagann ;) 

And, I've set some definite shopping goals this year: to complete my FMA artbook collection, possibly snag the Blue Exorcist Color Archive... and get an FMA T-shirt.... because, yes, I need an FMA T-shirt.

In other happy, fannish news, I've learned that Disney has finally made a Broadway version of their musical "Newsies"!  *squee!*  "Newsies" is one of my favorite movies with a great story and songs by Alan Menken (of Little Mermaid/Beauty and the Beast/Aladdin fame).  And, it always seemed to me to have been intended for a live show that never happened.  Until now.  Not that I'm likely to see the Broadway version, but if there are any off-Broadway tours in the future...
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
And, back from Otakon! *sigh* Vacation always goes by too quickly. But, it was a great trip. Much too hot, but fun all the same.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma group)
*tentatively pokes LJ* Is this thing working yet?

Well, here's hoping it is. I've been meaning to make a post for days but hadn't managed it between getting the last, monster chapter of "Nameless" up, packing for Otakon and all the LJ problems. But, yes, I'm now in Baltimore. [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I picked up our badges today (no cool FMA badge this year), and Otakon starts tomorrow.

It's looking to be a good year. No voice actors that I'm super-thrilled to see, but there's some sort of "Voice Actor Storytime" that sounds fun. And, best of all, the convention will be showing the new Fullmetal Alchemist movie on Saturday! And, yes, [livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan, I'll let you know if I think it's something you want to see. Though the review posted to [livejournal.com profile] fm_alchemist sounded very positive in that regard... and got me excited to see it all over again.
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
Ah, so much fangirl squealing to be had!

Firstly, in completely squee-worthy news, I received a great big package of Free Comic Book Day comics from [livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan! *dances* Thank you so much! I missed the day itself, but I had really wanted to see that Darkwing Duck comic they were offering. Of course, now that I have... I want that next issue.

Then, there's a new, full-length trailer out for the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist movie (click the "streaming" link). It's got a lot of nice action sequences, though I'm not picking up too many plot details from it. Also, Funimation has announced information on the US release. Since [livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan had asked: they're hoping to have it in theaters in early 2012 with the DVD release to follow in the spring.

Also, though I'm late in mentioning it, a new Rurouni Kenshin animated project has been announced. No word yet on exactly what it will be, but I'd like to join the people hoping to finally see the Revenge/Jinchu arc fully animated!

Lastly, [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I are once more attending Otakon in July. Though, given the jump in the price of registration, I'm not sure about next year. Yikes!
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
Yes, I'm now back from Otakon and posting about it sooner than a week later for once! And, as I rambled a lot, see behind the cut.

Click if you dare... )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
Just a short post for now. Today was the first day of the convention and while [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I didn't see a lot, we had fun. We enjoyed a couple of voice actor question and answer sessions. First was Patrick Seitz and then Todd Haberkorn, who I had specifically wanted to see since I've actually heard and liked him as Ling on FMA:B (FMA:B being the first anime I've watched the dub of in years). Both were good, but Todd's was hilarious. He even managed to spice up the repeated requests for him to sing "Happy Birthday" to friends and family not present.

Then, in the afternoon, we caught the tail end of Vic Mignogna's mini-concert. Our timing was pretty good as we got there for the apparent Fullmetal Alchemist portion, including a showing of Vic's no-longer-banned fan video "Fullmetal Fantasy". (Which is goofy, but fun.)

Oh, aaaand... ::waggles her convention guidebook:: It took some waiting, but I have a little something for [livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Ah, it's that time again. [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I have once again signed up for Otakon! Sadly, this year it's at the end of July, which means waiting to pick up our badges on Thursday afternoon will probably be like standing inside an oven. Ah, well. As is the norm for this early in the game, there aren't a lot of guests or events officially announced just yet. But, I see that "Jordanna's Ed", Vic Mignogna, is already on the guest list. Shame there's nothing in the FMA:B soundtrack to cajole him into singing (and why couldn't "Bratja/Brothers" be re-used in FMA:B? Or a new ballad for the brothers?). But, maybe he'll have some funny stories from the recording process.

In other fangirly news, FMA:B is moving into the final battle. Episode 50 just made me want to stand up and cheer as some familiar faces showed up again after a long absence and we began the prelude to some really awesome action. Yes, I know from the manga things are going to go south soon, but the tide is already turning in the most recent manga chapter, so I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

And, my plans for tonight are to sit down with the final three episodes of Inuyasha. Yes, I stopped watching it weekly so I could see the end all at once. "Final Act" has improved in leaps and bounds since its rocky beginning, so I expect to be a very happy fangirl by the end. But, a sad one too. Because this is it. The manga has ended, now the anime adaptation will have ended. ::sniffle:: No more Inuyasha. Hmm... I wonder if they've considered doing another movie. ....What? The fangirl needs more of her fix.
kristensk: smile (blue inuyasha)
As always, I've waited until a week after the fact to jabber about Otakon, but oh well. It was another fun trip, as it always is. Mom went with [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I again, and, this time, we headed out on Wednesday so Mom and I would have all of Thursday to explore Baltimore some more. So, we got in some sightseeing, ate a lot of good food (Seek thinks we're crazy, but Mom and I think half the fun of vacationing is the food), attended a lot of voice actor question and answer sessions and watched a lot of anime. For more, click! )
kristensk: smile (bingo)
Project Updates: Well, I fiiiiinally finished that pic of Callie I'd been working on forever. See? At least, I think it's finished. Any suggestions would be welcomed. It's not the most exciting pic, but I used it to test out my tablet laptop, which is amazing, by the way! And, I've got another tablet pic in the works too.

Website Updates: Everything needs updating. Kristen's SWAT Kat Gallery should see an update within the next few days. The SWAT Kats Fanfiction Archive is due for an update, but I only have one submission at this time. Likewise for the SWAT Kats Fan Art Page. But, that one's waited so long, I'll probably go ahead and post it soon regardless.

Randomness: In other news, as usual, [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I will be going to Otakon again this year! And, that's... next week! Wow, it snuck up on me! They haven't listed any guests that I'm really excited over this time out, but I still expect that it will be fun. It always is ;)

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