Thursday, September 23, 2010

With laughter, hugs and kisses, NDK 2010 comes to a close

I actually started writing this particular post over a week and a half ago. My NDK musings were more fresh then but, as has been the case for some time now, I haven't had much time to actually put my thoughts down lately. Work....go figure. Hopefully, I can get better at putting these posts together in a more timely manner.

This year's NDK was kind of odd to me. Sure, I did have a very good time but the problem was that I'm not sure that I got out and enjoyed it as much as I should have. To start off, more members of the Krew didn't make it this year and then I didn't hit NEARLY the amount of panels that I usually do. I mean, I did hit the "History of Robotech, Part 1" and the "Robotech and the Legacy of Carl Macek" panels. However, I missed the "Robotech Free-for-All" on Sunday. In fact, I missed a panel on Satoshi Kon, the Giant Robot Rumble and "The Late Show" program. Missing "The Late Show" was especially bad because I was the one who came up with the idea and I really wanted to see what they did with it.

So, what did I do at NDK this year? Well....I did spend most of con in "party mode" with my friends who did make it.
We spent quite a bit of time in the atrium at the bar (our tabs were HUGE), walking through a depleted artist's alley (some of my personal favs were missing this year) and browsing through an impressive dealer's room.

This year was also odd in that we didn't have any part in running karaoke for the first time in over 10 years. Due to a..."misunderstanding"... my friends who have run NDK's best and longest running karaoke room were not asked back. We found ourselves fielding questions from karaoke regulars all weekend about the "how's" and "why's". To be honest with you, it was this decision that ran off more of the Krew as karaoke was their "clincher" for coming to NDK in the first place. That said, the 3 main members of the karaoke-crew did come to NDK and we spent most of our time at con together. I was proud of them for not letting that horrible decision keep them from participating (and having fun) as attendees.

So, going back to the panels I did make...
The "Robotech and the Legacy of Carl Macek" panel was PACKED...In fact, I was very lucky to get the front-row seat that I got. What really made the panel fun for me was listening to Rebecca Forstadt talk about working on the TV show. As she was the voice actress for Minmei, it was kind of weird listening to her talk as I kept thinking, "OMG, Minmei is talking to me!" She was a very gracious guest as was Barbara Goodson (Marie Crystal and Sera).One funny thing about this panel was Kevin McKeever (marketing coordinator for Harmony Gold) was texting throughout the panel and my Godzilla ring-tone kept going off every minute or so...

As is the case with me and cons, in general, I like taking pictures of cosplayers...

Easily one of my favorite cosplay pics from this year's NDK (they were VERY nice). Steam punk was pretty much everywhere at the con. There were cosplayers, panels and even the program was steam punk-inspired.

Yoko from Gurren Lagaan was on the menu (yet again) this year as I was looking for any and all things Yoko.

Some of my favorite Yoko cosplay...

Then there was the Yoko merchandise...below are some friends with a Yoko body pillow. You know, I never thought that I would ever purchase one of these but I ended up getting one as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't get as many cosplay pics as I normally would, and with Madarame not making the con this year, my cosplay pics are pretty meager to say the least.

One of my favs...
Not necessarily a cosplay pic but this is a friend of mine (Mr. Funny Cap) who donned this cap when we went out for breakfast on Saturday to the Original House of Pancakes. You should have seen the looks we got that day. Of course, we weren't the only con-goers there since it is just a few blocks away from the DTC Marriott.

With much sadness, on Saturday night we said goodbye to one of our favorite con guests, Wendy Powell. The con program guide said that it was her "fourth and final NDK appearance". When we first saw that line, we were alarmed to say the least as we thought it a mistake to determine how many times a guest could come to NDK. I mean, if the fans still want to see her and she is willing to come, then we should be able to see Wendy as many times as we want to. However, most of our concerns were answered by Wendy herself as she told us that she was leaving the voice acting biz to become a teacher. There were some tearful hugs and goodbyes. it selfish of me to hope that she comes back someday?

Sunday was spent checking out of the hotel and watching football early and getting autographs in the mid-afternoon.
Mr. Funny Cap was busy cracking me up while we were waiting in line by doing some Minmei imitations. That dude knows all the words to all of the Minmei Robotech songs...hilarious...

So post-con, we went out for a little bite to eat at Red Robin. While there we played the "Who would you be in this manga/anime?" was a terrific way to top off the weekend as we just transferred our gekkiness to another "normal" business.

I was voted the Shin Mitaka (from Maison Ikkoku) of the group. Not really sure what that says about me...anywho, as I didn't post anything from my trip to ComiCon, I will need to dust off the pics I took from that particular trip soon.


Friday, July 16, 2010

In production...Turn A Gundam...

With the OtaKrew deciding to get back to our model-making ways, I decided to snap some pics of my early efforts. The below model is my MSN-03 Jagd Doga from the Char's Counterattack movie.This was my first attempt at painting a Gunpla model. There were some areas that I did OK on however, as a whole, the kit could have been done MUCH better.The above model is my HGUC ORX-005 Gaplant from Zeta Gundam. This was done for the Krew's diorama that we put together for NDK07.
This thing was pretty huge and it was a lot of fun to do. Unfortunately, this happened to be the last NDK that all of the Krew attended.

Currently, I am working on the Master Grade Turn A Gundam. Now, I have been "working" on this particular kit for over a year and I recently decided to actually finish it.

With work being as hectic and stressful as it is, I really do need something to calm the nerves and I have decided that Gunpla modeling is it.Actually, I thought that I was a little further along than this but...oh well, it IS a start...

The model below is the MG MSZ-006-3 Zeta 3.I WISH this were a kit that I had done, however, this is actually OtaKrew member Indaglow's model. I should have taken him up on the offer to buy it from him but, in the end, I'm glad to see what he ended up doing with it. I think that it came out VERY well.

With Indaglow being one of the better modeler's in the Krew, I find myself getting ideas from him all of the time in regards to how to do this or how to do that.For instance, one area that I have struggled with over the years is the application of ink to my kits. In the past, I would ink my kits after putting them together. While it may seem very obvious to many, Indaglow's suggestion that I apply the inking while the parts are still on the sprew came as a great discovery to me. I don't know why really. I mean, it's so easy...a caveman can do dum dum...

Once I finish this kit, I plan on starting up on my MG MS-18E Kampfer next. Perhaps if I feel enough, I will finally get to my Perfect Grade Strike Gundam.

Watched a movie last week that the good folks from Viz Pictures brought to us by the name of "Battle League Korumo".I wasn't too sure what to expect but I am happy that I decided not to check out on the movie as it did turn out to be a pleasant surprise.
The movie is based on the fantasy novel "Kamogawa HORUMO" by Manabu Makime. The story is basically about a Kyoto University student (Akira Abe) fresh out of two years worth of cram school and his being introduced to a club called Azure Dragon. Let's just say that Azure Dragon is not all that it seems as Abe is introduced to the world of Horumo. It's a world filled with strange chants, even stranger gestures and oni.

One note of interest was that the actor playing the part of Abe was Takayuki Yamada who also starred as the awkward otaku in "Train Man: Densha Otako" another WONDERFUL movie brought to us by Viz Pictures. Keep it up Viz, you are most definately on a roll!!!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just over a month away...

It's kind of embarrassing for me to admit but, while looking over some of my pics from last year's NDK, I came upon a pic that I really liked.

Taken on Saturday while I was on my way to a Robotech panel, I came upon this gorgeous cosplayer and I had to take a picture. It wasn't until months later that I realized that this was none other than the COSPLAY IDOL, TristenCitrine. This is somewhat embarrassing for me due to the fact that she has cosplayed the BEST Cutie Honey I have ever seen and that I have always wanted to meet her.

I had pictures of her donning the Cutie Honey togs in a photoshoot from 2008 when she debuted the costume but, I always wondered if she ever took it to a con before.Upon further investigation, I found that the lucky con-goers from Sakura Con (2008) were graced with the awesomeness of TristenCitrine's Cutie Honey. Oh, I am sooo jealous...

Hopefully, she makes it back to NDK again this year.I wonder if she will break that costume out ever again?

Anywho, with ComiCon coming up in just over a month away, I'm putting the finishing touches on my wishlist.

Near the top is this Microman Cutie Honey.
I have a history with this VERY hard to find toy.

I have been known to bid on items from Yahoo Japan from time to time. It's where I get a lot of my cels (as well as hard to find Japanese toys) from. I actually won this in an auction for just a little over $100. Imagine the disappointment when my auction was cancelled without warning.
Bummer...I know that some Japanese sellers don't like selling to overseas buyers. That's why I use a proxy to act as an in-between. Oh, win some and you lose some. Thankfully, I didn't lose any money in the transaction.

So, we have been watching Gundam ZZ at forum for the past couple of months. Being the UC-based Gundam freak that I am, I was really looking forward to seeing it.Sure, I had heard bad things about it but I wanted to see for myself what the big fuss was about. Initially, I can honestly say, Gundam ZZ deserved all of the bad reviews that it had received but around episode 22ish the story began to get better. It began to actually FEEL like Gundam again. We are currently on episode 32 and it looks like this is going to turn bloody soon.

One of the things that initially sold me on Gundam ZZ was the main antagonist, Haman Karn (or Khan in some circles). She is, quite possibly, one of my favorite characters in all of anime and easily one of my favorite characters in the Gundam Universe. Very strong-willed woman who is a very charismatic leader. Of course there is that undying love of Char Aznable that she has to contend with.What the world needs now is more Haman cosplay...Looking for a Haman I-Doll at ComiCon, for sure...Then there is the RAH-DX figure.From some of the reviews that I have read about it online, it tends to be a leaner and needs a little doctoring up and some TLC. However, with how much I love my RAH-DX Lunamaria Hawke figure, I can see myself springing for one of these too.

Ah...ComiCon could be a VERY expensive trip. Especially if the cel dealers that I normally buy from show up....

Monday, April 19, 2010

R.I.P. Carl Macek (1951-2010)

The plan was to write about StarFest and how much fun it was and yadda, yadda, yadda...but, the news of Carl Macek's passing made that a moot point.The shockwave hit the Robotech fandom pretty hard late Sunday night as news of his passing spread like wildfire.

I know that Carl Macek was a very polarizing figure in Robotech/Macross fandoms (heck, anime fandom in general) and you can say what you will but MANY American anime fans owe their fandom to Carl Macek and his baby, Robotech.
With the Krew going to ComiCon in San Diego this July, I was really looking forward to seeing several of my fanboy favorites. Carl Macek was on my short-list of people that I wanted to meet.
What a loss...however, his legacy will endure.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Macek family, his friends and his extended family...

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm pretty impatient...

Initially, the plan was to pick up the MPC Alphas when I hit Comic-Con. Pfft...Yeah, being who I am, there was honestly no way that I was going to wait that long.

I got my MPC VFA-6ZX (Maia) just recently and I must say that I am quite pleased with my purchase. There has been a lot of chatter on Robotech-related sites about the Alphas and their poor quality. As it is, the only issue that I have with my Maia Alpha is a small gap on the left wing.
Speaking with Tommy Yune at NDK last year about the first release of the Maia Alphas, I really looked forward to seeing what they did with the re-released version 2.
We were told that the mold was going to be re-made and that the paint job was to be re-done as well.

Upon opening my Maia, the first thing that I noticed is that it looked as though the previous issues with the paint job had been corrected. No smudges!!! As for the mold, I didn't get the first version so I didn't really have anything to compare this one to. Having said that, I know a solid toy when I see one and, thankfully, I had one in my greedy hands.The joints were solid and the toy had good balance. I'm really looking forward to the Marcus Rash MPC Alpha. Hopefully, we don't have to wait too long for it.

Something that I got for Christmas last year was this VR-052F from Mospeada (MegaHouse). It was probably the crown jewel from Christmas for me.

It was kind of a pain to transform, though...
What I will be looking for during con season is Yellow's VR-041 which is also from MegaHouse.
This will probably take the place of the Alphas as the much sought-after toy (along with a Beta) at Comic-Con, for me.
I really like this particular mech as it was, actually, my favorite Mospeada on the show. Plus, it was the mech used by my favorite character Yellow Belmont. (Gotta love those cross-dressing bishonen singers, LOL)

Something that I have really enjoyed on the comic book front has been X-Force and the Necrosha X event.
One of the neat things has been the variant covers like the above cover parodying "Interview With A Vampire". Makes sense, no?
I have always liked Selene the Black Witch and felt that she should be featured more. Probably has something to do with my vampire kick. Honestly, though, she probably works best in small doses. Anywho, the story is basically about Selene having millions of dead mutants come back to life in order to use their power to make her a goddess. So far this event has been good but then, X-Force has been something of a personal fave of mine ever since it's re-launch.

Speaking about kicks.
This movie was a VERY pleasant surprise for me. Michael Jai White stars as Black Dynamite a man who, as the title says, is 50% supercool, 50% Kung-Fu and 100% Dynamite!!! You know, if you have a love of spoofs, you have got to see this movie. Blaxploitation has NEVER been done this well...

Forum Watchin': We have been watching the final Inu Yasha arc for a while and it finally came to an end, for us, just this past Monday. While the ending was predictable it was what we have come to expect from a Rumiko Takahashi manga/anime and as someone who has been watching/reading Inu Yasha religiously for years, I (personally) was VERY happy with it. People ended up with who they were supposed to end up with...but...the biggest question was, "Where will Kagome and Inu Yasha end up"? Of course, we are still getting the manga from VIZ (currently at volume 46 out of 56) so my Inu Yasha journey is not over just yet. Then there's the DVD release....

StarFest (and ComicFest for that matter) are just over two weeks away...Here we Go!!!