Welcome to another 404s convention report, this time from Otakuthon 2011! It went down August 12 to 14, 2011 from Montreal, Quebec. http://www.otakuthon.com/
It was a LONG 7-8 hour road trip in Crazy Bridge Town/Tunnel-Ville which we dubbed Montreal, though there were fewer pylons this time so I guess they stopped procreating.
Here’s once again more links for more stuff on the convention, the shows and more! Didn’t get to meet the guests except Lar DeSouza http://www.leasticoulddo.com/ this year (who was great in making the late night Saturday and Sunday shows this year), the buzz from everyone invited and involved was in the air. The shows got larger in crowds each time, with a late Friday opener we managed after 8 hours of driving, a Saturday NAIL format, a late night Saturday show and a Sunday finale.
The weekend kicked off with that late Friday show with a patiently waiting crowd as we got the show underway. We had a party with a guy losing limbs when shaking hands, a man turning into a snake and someone afraid of people (which turned into a marathon around the halls), standing-sitting-leaning to test beds, and a PSA to explain to Hey you, down there how to make cosplay costumes while dodging spiders. Pan Left-Pan Right showed us about EVERY version of Mario Party, how the hospital tends to Mario Party injuries and even Portals. There was even a Dating Game with a pyromaniac, a guy who kept leaping through time uncontrollably and a bad rapper (no not Marky Mark but that’s close).
Saturday had the Late Night show (which the big event will be mentioned in the video section of this report) but also the re-introduction of NAIL (National Anime Improv League) which takes its origins from Quebec’s (LNI) Ligue Nationale d’Improvisation which you can find at http://www.lni.ca/nouveausite/ so the 404s adopted most of the format and rules and adjusted it to be geared to our anime and con-going fans. As the referee and host it was a pleasure to present it with 2 teams of the 404s, Team Anglophone and Teen Girl Squad, squaring off for the title of best improv team! Categories, titles, type of improv, actor and time counts were given before a 20 second huddle was had. Then teams either worked together (mixed improv) or as teams (compared) to get the fan votes via color cards to score points, while being aware penalties could cost them. It was a close score by the end with Teen Girl Squad getting the win by a slim point! Scenes ranged from card games on motorcycles, musical moments, a marriage, travelling to the woods in the narration of a dancing girl going to the Source, Fish stories about sacrificing crayons and the heat with no air conditioning, Shakespearian shouting while walking around town, Team Rocket sucking up moments while a dead Magikarp was present, and scenes involving shotguns, time bombs and smart aleck computers. The rollicking crowd cheered on their favourites and it’s a format to stay indeed!
Finally Sunday came as did the final show for the weekend. Another party was had where I hosted a 404s actor’s baby and a guy who liked himself among others. The show introduced Look-Look Away for a couple in the woods hunting unicorns while gazing to each other (and sometimes the unicorn) when the music played from the Legend of Zelda-Epona’s song. Song Titles also made a return where 2 actors acted a scene out while 2 more raised hands once they here a song title or lyric they wanted to sing. We got Rick Rolling and a Titanic Celion Dion moment. The show ended on Marshmallows for a dramatic scene where laughter meant stuffing a marshmallow into one’s cheeks. It was a very fun set of shows and it is welcoming when fans post show lined up outside for signed mousetraps, photos and thank you wishes.
Here’s some of Epona’s Song for you to enjoy the rest of the con report! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0wuzx9_UF0
We toured the city between the Saturday shows this year. We finally visited Schwartz, a famous eatery for smoked meat. The line up to sit down was CRAZY around the little street! We got take-out where I got the smoked meat on rye and fries. While I loved the French fries even cold, I found the meat decent but that grand. I liked La Belle Province a bit better for quantity and less breaking-up of the meat, but will admit that Schwartz had the better fries. We also visited a little 24 hour coffee shop to eat, gets smoothies and drinks. I got myself a nice croissant for breakfast which hit the spot. It was a lot of uphill walking but worth the food, even if my legs cramped after taking a dip in the pool for the second time (I had a swim the first time in the morning along with a sauna sitting and some work in the exercise room, all nicely set in the pool floor and a nice added touch with headsets for TV set in the treadmills) where I just cut it short for a rest on the long pool chairs. Along the way got myself a Montreal Canadians flag to hang in my room (my favourite hockey team-Carey Price and PK Subban are my guys to follow) while we got to pass by a museum with an Indiana Jones exhibit, as well as the famous Just for Laughs studio-someday it’s a nice dream to ever perform there!
Later in the day and on Sunday I got to have some time shopping on my own in Chinatown the later on taking groups to eat at the restaurants. I got all the items I wanted to buy from Chinese meat buns to BBQ meat like roast pork, but wow just like Schwartz the place to get the meat also had a line out the door! I did meet a nice NY couple who chatted to pass the time away while helping me with my broken Chinese (yes I can speak English and French but little Chinese even if I am Asian...). The meals at Sha Shing for a sit down meal was nice and quick where we got a lot of good proportions of wonton soup, 2 plates of sesame & sweet and sour chicken respectively, fried rice, Cantonese Chow Mein noodles, and Salt and Pepper Pork Chops (my favourite). The Dim Sum place was just as nice with Shrimp Dumplings, Meat Dumplings both steamed and fried, Cantonese Chow Mein noodles again (this time more vegetarian made than the other place), short ribs, and stuffed eggplant. There were a lot of great places to eat in Montreal in just a small area to get to them.
I still got in a bit of convention activities like seeing the Dealer’s Room/Artist Alley in sections (it was huge) and seeing a few video rooms for some older mecha series. Not as much was bought on the hunt for more treasures since most was spend on the awesome food, but here’s a list of what I got this time:
-A set of 3 small buttons with Amu (Shugo Chara), Yuki (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) and Hinata (Naruto) from the Artist’s Alley
-A gifted to me Chi Sweet’s Home sushi button for past artist purchases and being funny so I was told for our shows
-A Skanty and Kneesocks (Panty and Stocking) keychain again from another artist
-Another artist’s had Panty from Panty and Stocking (was hoping for the latter but this is fine) on a mini pillow about the perfect size for on my desk to rest my lead right hand’s wrist/forearm for using the laptop to hopefully let heal the bruise I got on the arm from the AN fall (thanks again to the many fans who checked on my status and yes am fully healed!)
-From the Dealer’s Room I got a booster pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s The Shining Darkness, a booster pack of Pokemon TCG Call of Legends and Pokemon Black and White Deck Protector Sleeves
-And from the city sightseeing, got a nice Montreal Canadians flag to hang in my window.
This is a promotion promo video for the convention: http://blip.tv/concordia-university-television/otakuthon-promo-video-5452438 (woot she picked a bunch of anime shows I’ve watched or am watching like Beelzebub, Level-E, SKET Dance, and Dragon Crisis! Oh and one of the hosts of a certain comedy improv troupe is featured-see if you can spot him!
For simply the big game of the weekend, Mousetraps at the Late Night Show (I’m heard in the end shouting about them being attacked by bees), there’s video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBAg5Ljww2U as well as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nmMMFGGPMM and at http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2363101676688&oid=2319599887&comments#!/video/video.php?v=2363101676688&oid=2319599887 for you to see what we do to initiate new members, heh.
The videos are saved to my Con Various Playlists some of the cosplay seen during the weekend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo7zGJsYyAo & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ5YyqAZtX8
Here are videos via the Facebook of another friend (privacy might vary for seeing them, sorry):
Party Quirks: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150271691079420&comments
Pan Left/Pan Right: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150271714514420&comments
Sounds like a Song: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150271723044420&comments
Hey You, Down There: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150271739644420&comments
The Dating Game: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150271742079420&comments
National Anime Improv League (NAIL) shows – “Trouble on the Homefront”
“It’s Time to Duel!”http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505519419#!/video/video.php?v=10150271760334420&comments
Oh and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11NkP6F_5ps you can hear post NAIL show some of the actors singing about yesterday being “Friday”.
As always my 404s Eastside Playlist has the latest videos along with other convention various videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/trigunkwan where you can look up both Eastside 404s video playlists.
For some photos from the shows and more check via this grouped set from the 404s troupe:
Or go to either of my own online albums which you can find either one at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2103558351863.127413.1332600964&l=98a9ddd221&type=1 OR right here at my profile at http://www.crunchyroll.com/user/trigunkwan/photos under Con Photos.
Big thanks go out to the Otakuthon staff and the liaison, as she was with us the whole time aiding from hotel check in to our departure late Sunday. The biggest love goes out as always to you our supporters, fans and audience members who laugh with all our shows, sometimes come up to help on stage, and keep in touch online at our website and social networking sites.
Here, there, everywhere! Online in random spurts when I can be!