June 9, 2010

Fanime day 2

Since I finished my last CFA exam last week, I can finally forget it forever (unless I failed). But now I can close out the last few days of Fanime, which I'll say was and probably will be the best trip I've taken all year for various reasons, even factoring 2 other events I still plan on going to.

Day 2

You know you're off to a strange start when the group makes an early excursion to Whole Foods for breakfast, and the first thing you hear is an employee making a "har har it must be Halloween" comment - this store was well outside the range of the convention area and our party included a dude wearing cat ears and a girl in a panda costume. It was a minor reaction though, compared to the time when a waiter gave us the evil eye for being in concert gear at the CN tower rotating restaurant. And nothing compared to that time in 07 when we did a cyalume run exploring hardware stores in downtown Long Beach with chibitech dressed in full meido drag.

Quest 3

After returning, we lined up outside the karaoke hall for Quest #3. The previous day, due to running out of time, the panel actually forgot to mention the location so we were kind of worried when the line looked pretty short. Luckily it filled up just before the show started.

Quest for Momoi #3
Momoi came back in her signature sailor fuku as made famous in Yume no Baton. For the format of the events (several scattered mini lives that relied on people following signs and hints), she wouldn't be changing costumes. That's fine though, this has always been my favorite one post-U17 and it makes up for when she didn't wear it last year. What did change during each quest though was the hairstyle.

This time was a rare casual style.
Quest for Momoi #3

Momoi seems kind of hesitant to play her newer original stuff though. Again, this time the tracklist was a cover song, and two established fan favorites. I guess she's trying hard to tailor the list to her American audience, but I kind of wanted to hear at least something from the new album.

1. Get Wild
2. Tenbatsu! Angel Rabbi
3. Motto Yume Miyou

Well, Tenbatsu is always fun for doing calls. It is always another front row chance to cheer for a UO-type song after all.

After the mini-live, we took a quick break and then moved over to Stage Zero again in case Momoi showed up for the Fanimaid performance like she had done last year. Each maid had a repertoire of idol moves and songs memorized with pretty good accuracy, and Momoi was impressed they stepped up their game to include singing in addition to dancing. However, since she was crunched for time and had to host a panel right after, she only stayed in the guests area this time and didn't jump into the crowd to lead calls.

Fanimaid Live

Quest 4

Quest 4's panel format was pretty much the same as Quest 2's. Although they are given unique names like "Halko Momoi and Industry", she doesn't give a themed speech or anything like that - just regular Q&A. These will probably be uploaded by Autolooper at some point. Highlights to look for are:

Momoi asking if anybody watched Kodomo no Jikan, followed by a complete silence in the room. After an awkward pause, one guy slowly raises his hand. Momoi looks him in the eye and just deadpans "you are lolicon."

And Momoi singing "Take me out to the ball game" and playing on her keytar, but forgetting all the words.
Quest for Momoi #4, Panel

Call Workshop
After the panel, we headed to the call workshop to talk about Momoi's calls, and Japanese concert etiquette in general. Sadly, we had requested two hours but only got half of that, plus we were sandwiched right between Momoi's panel and autograph session so nobody was willing to risk running long. The workshop ended up being incredibly rushed and probably 70% of the information content got skipped. The etiquette bit is something I'll probably post about separately as there are some questions I think are interesting. The media and live demonstration were also heavily cut so we could pack up and race to the Momoi autograph line.

Autograph Session

Momoi generously allowed two items per person plus a posed photo. The photo is a bigger deal that it sounds. I think most Western fans are used to taking pictures with their favorite celebrities during meet & greets as it is practically the norm, but in Japan taking a posed picture with an idol seems to be very limited. Usually, you have to win a raffle or pay for the privilege. In fact the photo is always mentioned as one of the selling points in the Momoi tour packages. So, while I shamelessly took advantage of the opportunities, there was a small bit of guilt since we were hanging out with the Japanese fans. Some of them actually passed, maybe because they felt uncomfortable crossing that culture barrier.

1st Autograph Session
In case you were wondering about Momoi's hat in her new twitter picture, she's actually wearing an Angry Video Game Nerd cap that she got from a fan.

Not eventful, but if you remember my sidestory from Fanime 2009...well we went to THAT diner again. It was just so damn good there was a unanimous vote to make the drive all the way to Winchester House.
Flames, Classic American Diner

And that wraps up Day 2. By the way, to respect everyone's privacy preferences, if you were in any of the group pictures we took for any of the days, shoot me a mail and I'll send you a link.

Posted by Paranda at June 9, 2010 1:52 AM


If it's Flames you guys were down for, there's a Flames downtown within walking distance of the convention center.

...Although, admittedly, I'm actually not 100% sure the downtown Flames is part of the same chain, even though all signs point to 'yes'.

Posted by: Spiritsnare at June 9, 2010 3:10 AM

We found out about that Flames later, when we read the handy dandy little guide the hotel gave us. Is it the same kind of atmosphere? Classic American dinner? Because that is the reason we went back to the Flames near the Winchester house. ^_^

Posted by: tenton at June 9, 2010 9:44 AM

I've actually yet to try the Flames downtown, actually ^^;

Posted by: Spiritsnare at June 9, 2010 10:51 AM

Thanks for the great report so far :) I hadn't known who gave Momoi the hat!!

Posted by: mandi at June 9, 2010 11:52 PM

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