October 12, 2010

Minorin day at NYAF

Though I missed Friday's events entirely, I had a pretty good Minorin-centric Saturday, starting at 2AM when I went to line up at Javitz for autographs. It was cold, but at least not too boring after moy and alexd showed up a few hours later. After the con opened up at 7 and we got tickets, alexd went back to his apt, while moy and I went to the nearest couch and promptly passed out dead for a bit. The moment of rest was short lived. By 11AM I was back camping the panel room for Minorin's Q&A.

Though there was no fan participation this time, the East Meets format is pretty interesting. It consisted of Minorin (east) opposite several western voice-over actors (west) having what amounted to a semi-scripted and friendly dialogue to discuss their different experiences in voice acting. Welcomely absent from the panel...

- Biographical questions that could have been looked up 2 seconds on Wiki
- "Who/what is your favorite" dilemmas
- What's your inspiration? x 10000
- Guys more concerned with promoting themselves than asking the guest anything

Admittedly I do derive a bit of guilty pleasure from seeing the occasional oblivious fan ask questions of a career-ending/bridge-burning nature if talent were to answer truthfully. It's funny to see seiyuu rack their brains trying to formulate fluff non-answers to dodge things that most people would know better than to ask.

There were good bits and pieces which will no doubt make it onto youtube. In one part, some of the western actors talked about how they auditioned for a role by recording a demo-tape at home. Minorin misheard and thought American voice actors could phone in entire sessions in their own home and flipped the fuck out for a while before somebody picked up on her confusion and re-clarified that it was for audition only. Minorin totally froze up and went "Oh yeah. Of course, we do that too!" with a REALLY embarassed look on her face and started laughing. It's ok Minorin, nobody thinks you're an airhead for missing a translation (they think it for the million other reasons). Probably the funniest part was after Minorin learned that for American cartoons, voice actors would record with only a script and some storyboards, but no video. She just burst out with very loud and cute "EEEEEEEHHH?" several times while the translator was explaining things. The english VAs thought she was adorable with the reactions. I think that may have also been a bit of misunderstanding at work though - Maybe Minorin didn't get that for our cartoons, the animation is done to match dialogue after the voice recording, because she was asking stuff like "how do you know how the pace of the lines?" and remarking how incredibly hard it sounded.

After the panel, we took the group picture that is now posted on Minorin's blog, and then immediately rushed to autographs. I previously got a name-personalized pinup thanks to moy, and this time a non-personalized autograph on Kimi Ga Kure Ta Ano Hi, an older single. When I brought out this CD, one of her handlers (anyone else feel she looked like an older version of a certain other seiyuu?) was really amused and called over another handler to share like there was some inside joke associated with this item. I wish I had asked what was so special about this item but I was momentarily starstruck by Minorin being way too close, and didn't really have time as they were rushing us through the line at top speeds. So I give my CD to the handler, and she gives it to Minorin who signs it in just a few seconds - even faster than May'n. But even though the encounter was brief, Minorin has a way of looking straight at you and delivering a killer smile that makes all that time waiting in line overnight worth it.

Since I didn't have a VIP ticket, I figured I had to line up as early as possible to get a decent chance at finding a seat so right after the autograph I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed straight to IGN theatre. By this time, the lack of sleep combined with the effects of post-lunch food coma caught up with me and made those 3 hours wait in line an absolute torture. I was in a zombified state yet unable to sleep because of the hard floors and cramped space. Finally the doors opened a little past seven. I wish the staff had allowed people to file in a bit earlier and in a more orderly manner, because as soon as they started letting people in it turned into a mad dash for the best remaining seats. Originally, I was in 6th row all the way on the sides, but somehow got moved up to 4th row center-right into VIP seats reserved for people that were no-shows. Still I was away from the main FC section to my left (see video - I'm the lone UO guy on the right side while most fans with UO are on the left). As I tweeted earlier, there are advantages and disadvantages to this. First, in my section people were sitting down while the FC section was all standing up. At first I was really low key with my glowstick and actions because I felt like a bit of a jerk being the ONLY stander blocking the view of people behind me, but by the middle of the first song I decided "hey how many times do you get to see Minorin perform this close live, if people aren't going to stand up...well fuck-em" and went into full-on concert mode. It was also harder for me to see what others were doing and follow along since it meant I would have to turn to the side and divert my attention from the main act (I decided to just do whatever felt right based on experience from other concerts, and it turned out all right and mostly in synch). Some advantages were the extra space from the aisle being so empty and the fact that being the only standing and participating person in the area, whenever Minorin came over she waved to me a bunch of times (yayyyy).

Minorin came out in a short blue dress and thigh high leather boots, but more impressively she was rocking the same hairstyle as she had during Anisama 2010. She must have gone straight to dressing room right after the autograph session to get it ready in time. Similar to what MELL did at AX and Otakon before, Minorin's MCs were 100% in English for the entire night. The sentence structure wasn't very good, and the english wasn't polished at all, but it only made the MC better because she was trying so hard with what she had memorized and added a certain charm like she prepared her speech herself with only minimal translator help. "Do you like Haruhi? I like Haruhi too!" *trademark minorin giggle*

As predicted, the set list was dominated by Haruhi songs. In order:

Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite
FC went UOs. I should mention though that it's well known that full blown "otagei" is frowned upon at Minorin concerts, so even though we were standing up, we just did calls with high intensity and standard stuff. No craziness. Still I was kind of pissed that most people near me were sitting down though, even though they got free glowsticks. WTF, didn't you line up for hours to get to the front and all you wanna do is take crappy cellphone pics (despite the ban on photography), check mail, and watch the jumbo screen?

Almost 100% blue glowsticks

Junpaku Sanctuary
Slow song, but pretty popular. Got a decent reaction when she announced it. FC went all white

Tommorrow's Chance
UO. Crowd starting coming alive at this point. Couple of people starting standing up as well and coming up behind me.

Freedom Dreamer
UO. It's VERY fun to do live with all the call and response, and especially the coordinated jumping. This is probably what broke the ice for most of the crowd though and people starting getting up and participating as they got the hint during "everybody jump". Frankly she should have opened with this song as it set the tone for the rest of the night. I was doing leaps at full power several feet off the ground, so I can't walk now.

Paradise Lost
UO. Because Minorin doesn't want us to rest.

Keikenchi Joushouchuu
When Minorin did MC and said "Do you know...Minami-ke?" the crowd erupted into cheers. FC went UO again. She must not do this very often live though as there was a bit of confusion about the glowstick waving pattern. Even FC was confused, so it was very much a learning experience for all of us.

Yasashii Boukyaku
Blue/White. Break time from excitement.

Hare hare yukai
UO finisher. For the final song, Minorin called out Christi-nyan and another dancer Carrie and they all did the Haruhi dance. Minorin called for everyone to do the dance. I think it was the only time the FC got outmatched though, most of them, and myself didn't really know the moves and had to resort to hasty copying. In a reversal of roles, a lot of random people in the audience without glowsticks DID know the dance moves.

At the end Minorin read her thank you message in English and said how much fun she had coming to NYC. After she left, the FC "leader" put up his beacon and tried to start an encore chant but unfortunately it kind of fizzled out since not enough people were chanting "Mi-no-rin". Lights came up soon after so we left the arena and freed up seats for people who were there primarily for masquerade.

Afterwards, some fans had BBQ and afterparty but given how much energy I expended at Minorin concert I was on the verge of collapsing so I headed home for the night.

Final goods:

Autographed Minorin poster and CD

Not pictured, signed Puffy Ami Yumi CD.

Posted by Paranda at October 12, 2010 12:44 AM


LOL @ Suzume-san looking like.. who exactly? Brain not working atm and I'm too used to seeing her so lol. Here's her twitter btw.

I see that Lantis producer Saito P was also there.. who else went? Her main manager Seno-san couldn't go because he had to handle SAL Photobook misprints, but I expect the other (female) manager to go? She's such a cutie btw *runs*

>>delivering a killer smile that makes all that time waiting in line overnight worth it.
I remember that. One smile that stopped time and made life worth living lolol.

>>Junpaku Sanctuary
I can say this is Jap-fan-favorite, being her first reborn single & sentimental value in FC event 2 years ago, this was the surprise birthday song from all fans (cue from staff) that brought Minorin to tears.

>>Frankly she should have opened with this song as it set the tone for the rest of the night.
They probably thought that "Yuki, Muon, Madobe nite." would be better since it should be more familiar to overseas fans (Haruhi etc) instead of FuriDori which is a no tie-up single?

>>Keikenchi Joushouchuu
She just sang it in Summer Camp 2 so Jap fans should have no problem.. but yeah not in normal live at all, being chara/trio song.

@penlight, well actually Paradise Lost = red. Yasashii Boukyaku = white. XD

Since NYAF should be the one making setlist.. they should have set 1-2 encore songs. A concert without encore kinda left fans hanging (still energetic & hoping for more).

Sorry for the long comment and btw Jap fans are safely back home today. :)

Posted by: danie~ at October 12, 2010 11:12 AM

TY for comment and good info. Suzume-san eh? I thought she was similar to Marinajou IRL, though it's def. not apparent from that twitter pic - a lot different than how I remember her.

I def. saw Saito too, but not sure about the third manager. May not have been present.

Posted by: paranda at October 12, 2010 11:48 AM

Oh, I wish I could have gone. Don't know if I would have been that hardcore for autograph tix lineup, but that concert sounded like it was a ton of fun. No encore is sadness.

Posted by: tenton at October 12, 2010 3:57 PM

Totally wish I could have gone, if not for one more person to add to the much-needed jumping and cheering at the concert. Glad it went without much of a hitch, jealous of the loot though lol.

Posted by: Mei at October 13, 2010 4:50 PM

@tenton 5, maybe 6 AM would have been early enough since most people were there for Stan Lee. I've gotten used to no encores at concerts abroad but the JP fans failed attempt was kinda sad with the slow realization that it was actually over - especially since they were probably saving some supplies for the encore.

@Mei Thanks. Hope you can make it next time cos we could always use more of the jumping/cheering type. Some fans are just too passive..

Posted by: paranda at October 13, 2010 7:55 PM

About the UO section confusion for Keikenchi Joushouchuu and Hare Hare Yukai I think at least the first one can be attributed to me and my friends, knowing the shouts but not the actual patterns. I flew out from Seattle to see her, so I kind of forced them to get the whole she-bang, ended up buying like $120 of glowsticks between us, but we basically were able to trick you into thinking we were part of the FC group (even lined up like 4 hours in advance just to be in front of them in line)! Just as planned. Thinking back, busting my throat to keep that encore call alive (I ran out of water right before the concert started, orz) at the end makes my throat dry right now. Still, wouldn't trade that experience for the world. I saw/briefly talked to moy and alexd, shame that I didn't get to meet you.

And JESUS, 2AM on Saturday? A bit early, don't you think? My friends and I got there at like 5AM on both days, we still easily got tickets. Pretty jealous of moy and his like, 6 signed things total though.

TL;DR - You thought we were part of the Japanese group but we're ABCs. Just as keikaku.

Posted by: Socratics101 at October 26, 2010 5:23 AM

Extreme envy is permeating from every fiber of my being right now!
I can only pray to Minorin that she will soon come back to L.A.
I will loudly cry and wither in my corner of sadness until the announcement is made and I can step into the light again.

Posted by: andyichigo at October 28, 2010 2:36 AM

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