learn about what I have been up to in the last month. It has been a busy
month so off we go!
Signe and I are doing great. She has been really busy this last month
preparing everything for our big move to Japan. She has been selling
things, shipping things, and generally been organizing about the move. I
don't know what I would do without her. :) Although, she DID finish
reading "Order of the Phoenix" while I was away at AX, but I'm not too
upset about that. :P
Trev's FanimeCon 2003 Report
FanimeCon when great this year for me. As you all know I was the Panels
Department Manager for the convention as well as the Guest Relations
Assistant Director. I have to say that it went really smooth. There were
a few small hiccups throughout the con, but for the most part it was
I arrived on Thursday around noon and hung out with the Con Ops staff
until people started to show up. Steve Bennett showed up and we got him
checked into his room and then he headed off the San Francisco with the
rest of the Guests of Honor to party in the city the night before the
convention. I got the keys to the Green Room (where the guests hang out
out of the way of fans) and the Guest Relations (GR) staff that were
there at the time helped me set things up before everyone returned. I
also met up with Dealer Dave and checked out the Dealer's Room before
the action started.
In any case, Thursday was uneventful and I got to bed around 4 or 5 am
after hanging out with everyone at the con and meeting up with my
Panels Department Assistant Manager, Andrew Tei. I was up so late on
Thursday night because I was making up the GR staff schedules for the
convention weekend. I was in Con Ops until about 4:30 assigning people to
Guests to make sure everyone got to everything in time. Fortunately,
Con Ops had a printer, so I was able to print out everyone's schedules to
give them the next morning.
On Friday I woke up around 7 am (I slept in the Green Room that night
because the GR Boys crash room wasn't ready until Friday) and Aya Chow,
the Guest Relations Director, and I headed down to the hotel restaurant
for our daily senior staff meeting and my only meal of the day. After
that Aya and I went to the Green Room for our staff meeting and we gave
everyone their schedules and the day began.
I met up with Andrew Tei in the morning and we both patrolled the panel
rooms making sure that everyone was in the right place at the right
time. There was a slight issue with the allocation of a projector.
Bandai needed a projector in their panel room before they would announce
any new titles at the convention, so Andrew had to work with the Tech
department to get a projector into one of our rooms. Fortunately, we
moved some panels around at the last minute and we were able to get the
The Friday panels went well. I also visited RedOctane, my employer, in
the Dealer's Room everyday of the con and our sales were doing well.
Dealer Dave was keeping busy as well making sure all the dealers were
happy. From all I heard, most of them were too.
Friday night there were lots of all-guest events in a row, so I was
pretty busy. First we had to collect all the guests and go to opening
ceremonies where Scott Rux, one of the Co-Chairs of the convention,
officially introduced everyone and started of the convention (well, the
rest of the convention that is). After the opening ceremonies we all
shuffled the guests to the poolside for the Meet the Guest Reception.
That is a paid event where fans pay some money and get to have a nice
dinner with all the guests. There was one troublesome fan, but besides
that the reception went quite well. Andy Kim, from No-Name Anime, was
invited to the reception as well so he could meet Sakamoto-sensei (who
was the character designer for Neon Genesis Evangelion among other
things), which he enjoyed a lot. Andy was one of the founders of the
convention, so it was quite an honor to have him there too.
After the reception, the guests were invited the Carl Horn's Guest Only
party. Carl Horn is a person working for Viz that is famous for throwing
cool guest parties. The party was fun, I popped my head in for a while.
they had some great booze, but I'm not a party type of guy. I peeked in
the dance too, it seemed to be going well, as was the karaoke contest.
They both always go into the early morning.
Signe visited my on Friday to drop off some spare clothes and to check
out the convention. I showed her around the entire con, the Green Room,
the panel rooms, video rooms, registration, dealer's room, everything
and she thought it was pretty cool, even though it wasn't really her
thing. We also ran into Judy and Kel, the Stitchin' Babes, and then
Signe left with them to have girl-like fun while I went back to work. :)
I also got a chance to watch some of GAINAX's very early work when they
were only called Daicon Films. They were showing some of the live action
Kaiju films they did. It was really cool seeing the GAINAX staff playing
around as characters like Ultraman stomping around mock cities. Very
cool. I also checked out our hentai (adult anime) video room as well. It
was pretty cool, a lot of people showed up to watch. As I peeked in they
were watching La Blue Girl ep. 3. I watched a few minutes and then
decided to head off to bed around 2 am. This time I was in male GR staff
crash room with about 7 other guys, but it wasn't too bad.
The next morning I woke up again around 7 am and went to the Green Room
to wake up Aya and headed down to the daily senior staff breakfast and
again, my only meal of the day.
Saturday wasn't as busy as Friday for me, even though there were more
events going on. I met up with Andrew again and he made sure that the
projector got into the Bandai room in time. Besides that, he and I spent
most of our hours checking panel rooms to make sure that everything was
running smoothly. I also checked up with the guys from No-Name. They
were at the convention as well. Since the con was on the third Saturday
of the month, they also had the normal No-Name showing on Saturday in
one of the panel rooms. It went well, I saw all the regular people show
up, and didn't hear any complaints, so that went smoothly.
I also peeked my head into the Art Show quite a bit. I love checking out
fan art, it is very cool to see fans showing off their work at the show.
A couple times during the day I got the chance to sit down in the main
events hall and watch the Anime Music Video contest which was really
cool this year. the Main Events Hall was huge so there was plenty of
seating for the videos.
I also hosted a "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" panel with Hank Wong and
Taka (the translator for AX) on Saturday where Taka announced that there
is a web form to fill out at https://www.gineigoods.com/form/ if you are
interested in seeing LoGH come to America. The panel went really well
and we all had a really great time with it.
During the day I checked out the Cosplay auditions to get the scoring
sheet info from Cosplay for the Guests of Honor to score with. It turned
out that not too many of the guests wanted to do cosplay judging, so we
only had about 3 judges, but it worked out fine in the end. I went down
to Cosplay early and reserved about 2 rows in the front for our guests
and they filtered in. The room was pretty full when the show was about
to start. There was a small delay, but it only lasted about 5-10 minutes
and then the show began. There were a lot of really good skits this
year, and only one real disaster. One girl fell out of her costume and
was accidentally dancing on the stage topless, but she didn't freak out,
which was impressive. The skit that won the most awards was this guy
that dressed up as a Gundam with working wings. It was extremely
impressive. There were some really funny skits there. I ended up all but
losing my voice cheering for the groups on stage. That is one of my
At the end of the show before the judging, the winning Anime Music
Videos (AMVs) were announced. "The Chibi Things That Kill" was one of
the winners, which is a great video about all these chibi cute
characters kicking a lot of butt. It was comedy gold. "Stop the Rock"
was also one of the winners, it was a fantastic AMV.
After the Cosplay was over the guests were invited to another party by
Carl Horn, but no one really came to it because all the guests were too
tired to attend. Most just headed off to bed.
I stayed up until 2 am again. I visited the dance where there was some
crazy sexy dancing going on on the dance floor. I went up and visited
with the DJs for a bit before heading off to the Midnight Madness room
where they were showing 6 hours straight of parody fandubs, where fans
dub over funny lines to anime shows. I stayed to watch "Welcome to
Otakudom" where the characters from Fushigi Yuugi are fans going to
Otakon. It is a very funny parody. I highly recommend it if you are into
anime or anime conventions at all. I also peeked in the hentai room
again right before heading off to bed, it was packed as always. :)
Saturday night I got to sleep in a second GR staff crash room, so there
were only about 6 of us in the room, which made it much nicer to sleep.
Sunday, the final day of the convention, started like the rest of them.
I packed up all of my stuff and took it to the GR room around 7 am and
woke up Aya to go down to the senior staff breakfast. At the senior
staff breakfast the board of directors announced that we had not only a
date, but a place for next year's convention: San Jose Convention Center
Memorial Day Weekend. I think this is the first year they have ever
announced the next year's con at the con. I broke into tears, it was the
perfect icing on the cake. The con was going so well, and we were
actually organized enough to start getting ready for next year too. It
Once again I met up with Andrew and we made the rounds. The big thing on
Sunday was the guest of honor autograph sessions. GAINAX decided on
having a big one for all the GAINAX people together so it was Andrew and
I that were in charge of organizing the lines for the sessions. The
GAINAX line had to be moved to a bigger room downstairs. It was sort of
a hassle, but we did it alright.
There was also a fiasco over some panel called PTS Anime. They were
causing lots of trouble, throwing things at people in the audience,
cursing through the speakers, harassing people, etc. I finally had to
come in and shut off their AV equipment and tell them if I hear one more
report we were going to pull their badges and escort them off the
premises. After that I didn't hear from them again.
The day wrapped up with all the guests that were left going to closing
ceremonies with a room full of attendees. The room was packed because
GAINAX was giving away some signed Evangelion posters as prizes. It was
a great end to the weekend.
After it was all over, Andrew and I did a double check to get all our
stuff from the panels rooms and all the staff and guests went out to
have pizza as is a tradition after the convention. We all had a good
time and said our goodbyes.
A week later all the staff got together for the annual "Dead Dog" at
Foothill Community College. The Dead Dog is where staff come to relax,
talk about the con, and give suggestions for next year, and comments for
last year. It went well, there were a lot of good comments made, and
lots of good suggestions as well. The Dead Dog is also when all the
staff for this season are set free and the season is officially closed.
A lot of staff are returning, but not of all of them. All and all, it
was a really good experience, and I loved being a part of FanimeCon 2002
and 2003. I wish them great success in 2004.
Trev's Anime Expo 2003 Report
My employer, RedOctane, had a booth this year at AX and I was lucky
enough to be one of the two people that went down to the show, so I
attended AX as a dealer, which was a great experience.
We got into Anaheim on Wed. afternoon and checked into the Marriott and
went down to the dealer's room to set up our booth. When we got there
all our stuff was already there since Jamie Yang and Andrew Kim shipped
all our goods earlier that week. That made things much easier. The only
problem we ran into was getting boxes to display our used games in, but
we made a run to Office Depot and solved that problem. That night Kai,
the CEO of RedOctane, and I went out to dinner in downtown Fullerton and
ate at "Wacko's" a local Fish Taco place. We also picked up some food and
water for the 4 day weekend. It was pretty good food and good service
too. I recommend it next time you are at AX or PMX. When we got back I
played a round of DDR Extreme in the 24-hour arcade room before going
off to bed.
Thursday morning, Kai and I went to the dealer's room to finish setting
up and I bought a hentai PC game called "Kana: Little Sister" which I am
currently playing. I have heard many good things about it, and the
dealer-to-dealer discount helped too (as well as a free hentai
shitajiki, or pencil board!). Right before the hall opened we also went
to opening ceremonies and saw all the guests of honor introduced. My
favorite was how the writer of Excel Saga was introduced. They made
animation special to look exactly like the intro of every episode of
Excel Saga and introduced him with it, it was extremely awesome to
watch, the crowd (including myself) was roaring with cheers.
Our Thursday sales went well. The joysticks were popular throughout the
convention as well as our used games. 6 hours of standing up and helping
con goers is tiring work though. After 6 pm when the hall closed, Kai
and I decided to go out to eat and see a movie, T3. We went to a local
50's diner called Roxy's where there was, again, great service and
pretty good food. T3 was a let down though. The action sequences were
lame, and the only really cool part was the ending. I thought that was
neat. If you haven't seen it I recommend waiting until the video comes
out and rent it.
When we came back Kai headed off the bed and I stayed up a bit to watch
some Midnight Madness where they were showing the first two episodes of
the next show by Yoshitoshi Abe, "Last Exile." It is a retro-futuristic
steam punk show about two kids that are couriers in wartime. It is a
pretty cool concept and the art and CG were great. I also went and
visited Hank Wong in the karaoke room as well. I got back to the room at
about 2 am and headed off to bed.
Friday morning we woke up again and headed off to the dealer's room,
although I ditched the first hour (from 10-11 am) so I could attend the
Legend of the Galactic Heroes (LoGH) panel that is held annually at AX.
It went pretty well, and they discussed the same web form that they did
at FanimeCon and some of the results of the form. Hopefully we will hear
more at AX Tokyo, as the producer of the show is on the AX Tokyo Board
of Directors. They are also working on a new series from the author of
the LoGH books scheduled to be out in a few years that looked very cool.
Around 11 am I got to the dealers room where I bought the very last
plastic poster of Skuld and her angel that Kinokuniya's had for sale.
Ever since Andrew Tei told me about his I always wanted on myself. I am
very glad that I got it there.
When I got to the booth Kai had all of the XBox used games boxed up
because it turned out that bob from Stylin', another dealer, decided to
buy 150 of our used games from us, which was really great news! We also
sold out of joysticks on Friday. Ignition pad sales were doing steady as
I took a break in the middle of the day to go and buy a custom-made
"Papa" (from Azumanga Daioh) from an artist in Artist's Alley. I always
love getting fan-made items and art, it is one of the best parts about
I met up with the Stitchin' Babes, Judy and Kel, that day as well so we
could plan their Masquerade skit. I was their handler for the show. They
were playing characters from the CLAMP manga Wish and they all (there
were 4 people in the group: Judy, Kel, Aimee, and AJ) had huge wings to
put on and take off. That's where I helped!
In any case we all met up after the room closed and went out to dinner
at Red Robin. Then Cordy, Kel, and I (Cordy was also down helping out
Judy and Kel with their costumes) went out to see "Charlie's Angels:
Full Throttle" which was way fun. The action was extremely over the top
and they poked fun of themselves a lot. It was a very fun and silly
movie to watch.
After we got back I bid them goodnight and went up to watch the rest of
the AMV contest that was 2 1/2 hours late (although better than last
year at AX where it was canceled all together). It was hard getting in,
they locked all the doors from the inside, so I had to wait for someone
to leave to get in, which was quite stupid if you ask me. I was able to
catch most of the videos, I only missed the drama category. There were
lots of overlaps with the FanimeCon AMV contest, and I didn't like the
format of the contest as much, but the videos themselves were really fun
to watch. I had a great time there.
I left the AMV contest after they finished showing all the contestants
and headed down to Midnight Madness again to watch some new stuff. I
ended up watching the first two episodes of the show "s-CRY-ed" which is
a pretty cool show about people with special powers and how they deal
with life in their world. I am interested in watching more of it.
After that I headed off to bed at around 2 am again.
Saturday morning started off like the others. We started taking
pre-orders for the joysticks on Saturday, and the pre-orders went really
well all throughout the day. By Saturday afternoon our stock was really
low, but people were still coming by the booth and buying our goods,
which was encouraging. A lot of the con-goers knew about RedOctane and
we got a lot of "I love you guys!" and "You guys rule!" throughout the
show. That is a fantastic feeling.
Around 1:30 pm, the Stitch' Babes came and picked me up in the dealer's
room to head off to the pre-Masquerade meeting where they confirmed all
the groups and the groups can rehearse. The Masquerade coordinator was
about 1 hour late, so it didn't start for a while, but once it did start
it went fast. I left to go back to the dealer's room after about another
hour and we decided to meet up at 6 pm for the Masquerade.
At 6 pm we all met up at the back room where all the Masquerade acts
were gathered together for the show. The Babes were the second act, so
they got set up pretty early. The show was only about 15 minutes late,
which was nice.
I helped the Babes get their wings on and then they performed! It all
went pretty smoothly, although stress levels were pretty high during the
evening it all went well. I spent most of the show in the press area
taking pictures of all the groups performing right before they went on
stage. Using Judy and Kel's cameras I got pictures of most of the groups
performing including many pictures of the Babes themselves.
Unfortunately, they didn't win any awards this time around, so we all
packed up and left to take off the costumes in their room and go out to
As the door to the elevator opened on their floor I was blessed with the
image of four angels disrobing in the hallway, which I must say was a
surprising and pleasing site to say the least. In any case, I helped them
out of their costumes and assisted in moving their stuff to their room.
I helped them tidy up a little bit while everyone changed into street
clothes and we headed off the Denny's for dinner.
After dinner I left the Babes for some well needed rest. I peeked my
head into the video rooms, but nothing was inspiring me, although the
Arcade room was still pumping this late at night. I headed to bed again
around 1 or 2 am.
Sunday, the last day of the convention! I let Kai sleep in and take care
of checking out the room. I went ahead and packed up all my stuff and
took it down to the dealer's room with me to start the day. Things went
great on our last day at the convention. We sold out of everything we
had at the con except for about 10 games. It was a great success! I even
had a bet going with Kai that I couldn't sell the shirt off my back (I
didn't, but it was fun trying).
The hall closed up at 3 pm and we left about 3:30 or 4 pm. Our flight
was at 8 pm, so we had lots of time to kill. We attended the charity
Auction for the City of Hope, which is always fun. I love watching
people bid thousands of dollars on pieces of art, it is really cool, in
an insane sort of way.
That ended around 6 pm and we headed off to the Airport to check-in and
eat. The flight was delayed until 8:40 pm, but we made it back safe and
Thus ends my con reports for this month! A lot of text, huh? :P
Work is going well. We just hired EJ Nelson to replace me and I have
been training him this week. I think he will be a fine replacement for
me here at RedOctane.
Besides that, work is going smoothly. The new metal pad that I have been
helping design for the last 6 months arrived this week and I am very
pleased with the outcome of it. This will pretty much be the best metal
pad out on the market so far in my humble opinion. I am glad that I got
a chance to see the fruits of my labor before I left.
Trev's JET Work
As you all know, my wife and I are leaving for the JET Program in
August. Signe is selling a lot of our stuff, and I am busy brushing up
on my Japanese and trying to prepare myself to become an Assistant
English Teacher in Japan. If you wanted to know, our new address as of
the middle of August will be:
Signe and Trevor Lalish-Menagh
Oaza Shimo Akana 830
Akagi Town, Iishi-gun, Shimane-ken
Please send us letters! I am a bit nervous, but I am also very excited!
See above reports. :D
Every now and again Mike Chu comes over and we all play Empire Builder.
I am pretty sure that Signe and I are at least going to bring Settlers
of Catan over to Japan with us, perhaps some other games too. I also
want to try and find a cool Go board while I'm over there as well.
The laptop is running great, I haven't had any problems with it at all
after we reinstalled everything from scratch. We have also transfered
all our CDs to MP3s and stored them on the 120GB external USB 2.0 HDD
that I bought. That should make our suitcases a lot lighter. :)
I am in the middle of the Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
right now. It is a fantastic series that I highly recommend to any
science fiction fan.
When I get to Japan I am planning on rereading all of the Harry Potter
books as well to ramp up for reading the 5th book. Signe finished the
5th book in one weekend, which was amazing, so I am really looking
forward to reading it as well.
Scott Francis, my best man, and Matt Dunn, a good friend from college,
are coming down this weekend to visit me one last time before I head out
to Japan. We are going to my last No-Name Anime showing on Saturday, and
will probably just hang out and have a good time the rest of the
weekend. I don't have any really solid plans. I am really glad that
Scott could make it though. I haven't seen him in a long time.
Well, that's about it for my very last Trev Report from America. The
next time you read one of these I will be in an small mountain town in
Japan. See you there!